I gave up on new year’s resolutions a while ago but there is still something about the 1st of Jan that makes me want to be healthier, fitter, better, post-Christmas eating and watching box sets! So, I decided to sign up for Veganuary. I thought about ‘couch to 5 km’ but the ‘going vegan option’ sounded an altogether gentler way to a new me!
Now, despite being vegetarian for most of my adult life, ahem…40 years…I’ve never tried to go vegan. I like my dairy too much and that’s a big problem if you want to switch to veganism. However, I am prepared to give it a go and now have, in my fridge, vegan cheese, butter and oat milk. Honey, which I had honestly never thought of as vegan, is also off limits but, for me, that wasn’t such a loss, as I rarely eat it anyway.
All through the 70s, 80s, 90s, oh my, it was hard to be vegetarian in Scotland. However, recently it seems there has been a tipping point and now there are more vegetarian/vegan options in restaurants than ever before – and no one is querying why I opt for vegetarian lasagne because everyone is choosing it! There is even a couple of 100% plant-based eating places in Dundee now: one being the tasty, Underdog, where I went with friends for lunch. It’s really great to have the whole menu to choose from – and that includes all kinds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Another café I hope to try out soon is, Serendipities. (If you get there before me – let me know how it is). A special mention here to our local Harbout Café in Tayport which offers a wide range of appetising vegan options.
So, how am I doing after the first couple of weeks? There is no shortage of ideas for meals from the inspiring Veganuary website and, I’ll put in another local plug here, for our very own, excellent Tayport library where I was able to borrow some cookery books. But I have to come clean and confess, I’m now…how shall I put it…on a modified version of Veganuary. Folk sign up to Veganuary for a variety of reasons. Mine are the same as being vegetarian – a concern for animal welfare and the planet, so – do I stick to my local, free range scrambled eggs for breakfast or do I opt for toast with mashed avocado – flown, with considerable air miles, from Spain or Mexico? I haven’t, yet, got used to the taste of cow’s milk substitute in my coffee but I will persist with attuning my taste buds. Same with vegan cheese, where I think I have to lose the idea that it is going to taste exactly the same as regular cheese. Also, it does take a bit of effort to check the contents of foods and I can be lazy about that, however, I will continue, beyond January, to move towards a vegan diet.
I’m keen to hear from anyone who is trying out Veganuary and either succeeding – or sort of, failing, like me! Being a vegan/vegetarian extends to all sorts of life choices including not wearing leather etc and it would be interesting to hear from anyone who follows faithfully to these principles. Oh, and look out for a Vegan Festival on April, 11th in Dundee.