Veganuary 2015

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Bekki

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As the new year approaches I thought I would do the same as last year and promote a now far more popular and well heard of event, namely Veganuary. There are a few active forum members who are vegan.

"Veganuary aims to reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people across the globe to go vegan for the month of January"

http://www.veganuary.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/Veganuary?fref=ts

The above website contains all the information as to why, how, what etc to all of the questions you may have but there you go I challenge you all for just one month (health issues, if in doubt see a doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet, and current situation allowing e.g. living with parents/homeless/etc) to follow a vegan diet and to think about where food comes from and how a simple change can change various things. This year the month has gained a lot of following in circles that feel doing it purely to lose weight/health as well as in animal loving circles. Obviously veganism is a lifestyle not just a diet but for a month the vegan diet could help you lose weight as most of the foods have very low sat fat and are nutrient dense and gain a new perspective on things, and it can be a very very very cheap way to eat which is ideal after xmas for anyone feeling the pinch beans, rice, lentils and veg cost pennies whatever the reason hows about having a go?

Last year we had a few members give it ago and hopefully this year we can have a few more, and each year following as the challenge becomes more and more well known the numbers will increase further.

As a small reminder of what a vegan is here is the vegan society definition:
"Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose." and therefore vegans have "a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey - as well as products like leather and any tested on animals."

The following is my own personal take and my opinion on the above definition and the challenge so it may not align entirely with the views of every vegan out there so please bear that in mind when reading, it is purely meant to answer a few questions you might have on doing Veganuary:

With the above definition in mind a vegan will not use any animal tested/containing cosmetics or buy leather goods but obviously for a one month (and then potentially change forever) it isn't remotely practical to suddenly bin all leather goods and previously owned cosmetics, this would also be very wasteful. Instead I feel anyone should seek to replace goods with non animal derived options once they are broken, used up etc or even give items to charity depending on your own financial situation. I will admit here to owning a leather sofa as a below national average recent graduate with a mortgage to pay dropping a thousand pound to replace a perfectly serviceable 2&3 seater sofa is just not on the cards but small changes like buying non leather shoes (even clarks do some non leather styles if you need half size and/or non standard width fittings) was an easy choice for me.

For me personally the veganuary challenge is more of a follow a vegan diet for a month and see how it goes and then stick to it if it works for you and become a vegan and then deal with things such as cosmetics, however, if you would like to get some new cosmetics Superdrug label all of their vegan products which is most of their health and beauty gear, astonish cleaning products are all vegan and on request I can email a list of all the household products sainsburys have that are vegan, lush label vegan, barry m have a lot of vegan make up products too there are a lot of choices out there to hit every price point. For food most supermarkets produce a list of all the foods they sell of their own brand that are vegan including alcohol this makes life super easy and you might be surprised by some of the items on there (for example steak flavoured crisps can be vegan) as well as there being specialist stores such as health food stores and alternativestores.com which is an entirely vegan online supermarket, even amazon sell a lot of vegan goods just search vegan in the search bar to see them pop up items such as vegan pesto are really tasty!

A free book that may also be of interest whether you're taking part or not is
Why-We-Should-Go-Vegan-ebook by Magnus Vinding who has kindly offered his work free in ebook format, there is a small charge for a print version. This lays out a very logical reasoning without being preachy in my opinion. It is worth a read purely for educational purposes if you're not taking part :-). There is also a facebook group for support.

I shall stop waffling now as this post is already very long, I am not overly active on this forum mainly due to it being banned at work and it always logging me out on my devices other than my new kindle fire HDX however my inbox is open for anyone with questions and I aim to answer fairly without being preachy or judgemental (because those things really annoyed me and were really unhelpful when I decided to make the change with various health issues going on). For the month of veganuary I will aim to post daily a recipe, hints and tips or other vegan related trivia and even if you chose not to take part, for whatever reason, simply reading the thread will teach you something and it all increases the awareness of veganism and vegan products, one day I hope every person knows and understands what it is (rather than asking so do you want a tuna sandwich? in a restaurant for example). I shall also note that I will not be posting anything gruesome in this thread because I dont want to see it and I assume you don't either though if you like to use shock tactics on yourself documentaries such as earthlings, food inc, eat to live,forks over knives, fat sick and nearly dead and various others are out there to purchase or otherwise.



 

helen105281

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Great idea again Bekki. Am happy to support anyone that takes up the challenge too. The photo of Luna sums up the exact reason I am vegan and have been for 8 years (I think, maybe 7).

Agree on not replacing toiletries etc for one month, that's something to consider further down the line.
 

salembinx

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I am a vegetarian not a vegan. I would find it hard to be a vegan as I am diabetic too, and have varies other issues, so it's not easy for me. I do however think it's a brilliant idea, good luck to everyone who gives it a go x
 

Abbie

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I would like to try!
I don't think I can go vegan right away. Because that would be a huge change right away! But I have been wanting to go vegetarian.
I know the whole point is to be vegan, but I would like to take part in this month to help me become vegeterian to start!
 

ayemee

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I was vegetarian for 2 years and read a lot about being Vegan. I ended up losing a lot of weight over that two years, to the point where even I worried a little. I think I just went about eating the wrong things.

I'd love to give it a shot again. I feel extremely guilty about having such strong views but eating against them... :doh:
 

helen105281

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Great that you are happy to try again. The key is to make sure your diet is balanced which is the same with any diet really.

Abbie, really pleased you are looking to go veggie.
 

ayemee

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Yes I think that's where I went wrong. I have an extremely fast metabolism and struggle to put on weight in general. I know many people that say to me 'wow that's fantastic' when to be honest I really want to gain a little!

I'd love to try again.
 

helen105281

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What are you like with pulses and grains? they would be good foods to eat? and carbs too.
 

ayemee

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I like them, I just don't really know how to incorporate them into meals. I'm not good with consuming a lot of food at one time. I'm more of a grazer throughout the day.
 

helen105281

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Sometimes it's best to graze, rather than eat huge amounts in one go.

Do you need any recipe ideas or ideas for snack foods you can eat on the go?
 

ayemee

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It's mainly the snacks I struggle with. I end up going for quick sugary fixes and I think that's what caused me to lose most of the weight.


I'd live off the sugar rushes rather than decent healthy foods.
 
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helen105281

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Ideas I have so far:

Nakd bars and Nakd raisins
Humous and mini breadsticks or crudites
Salsa and tortillas
Nuts - snack portions of almonds, cashews etc
Dates
Bananas
Pretzels
Smoothies
Munchy seeds

Am sure more will come to me at some point.

If you are on Facebook have a look at What Fat Vegans Eat, it's full of ideas and you would be amazed at what some people have.
 

Bekki

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I wasn't going to publish this until later but for everyone who changes from omni to vege/vegan for the month I'll donate £1 to NEGPR who are a guinea pig rescue based near Newcastle upon Tyne which is ran by a Vegan family :) combines my love of piggies with my vegan ethics. A little bit of fun but with a good intention :D
 

helen105281

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That's really nice of you Bekki. I didn't know that about Layla.
 

Gizi

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Lovely idea! I could never give up dairy though. I like yogurt :) But I won't eat meat! I'll try anyway :)
 

helen105281

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You can get soya yoghurts and coconut milk yoghurts. In fact I think Coyo coconut yoghurts might be from Australia.
 

Coco&Luna

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I'm in! I'll need to start tomorrow though, i've already eaten cheese, lol. I've been a vegetarian for years and been wanting to become vegan for a long time. I only drink soy milk, but I will still eat cake and other food with milk in them. I really don't have the time or money to be spending so much on fresh veg and making meals all the time, but i'm off uni this month, so it's the perfect time for me to make a proper effort and see how hard it actually is. Also Lunas one of my guinea pig's names, so it seemed like a sign that I should. lol
 

helen105281

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That's wonderful. Hopefully Bekki will have some cheap meal ideas for you.
 

Coco&Luna

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That would be really good, what would be even better is a substitute for butter would be great if there is one? good opportunity to try the vegan cheese from Holland and Barratt i always wonder about too lol
 
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