Half a year of being vegan. 

Next week I will have been vegan for 7 months. Over half a year. I’ve found it quite easy although I went from vegetarian to vegan so I was already not eating meat, I’ve never liked cows milk and don’t like eggs. 

This is what I’ve found so far. 

Giving up cheese was my biggest worry. I ate a lot of cheese. So far I haven’t found a vegan cheese substitute that I like, and I think that if you’re someone who really enjoys cheese, fake cheese will definitely taste like a poor substitute, but I actually don’t miss cheese at all. To start with I did crave cheese but that stopped quite quickly. 

My skin has been much clearer since being vegan. I used to get quite a few spots, but now, aside from a persistent spot which always appears on my chin around the time of my period I don’t have any. 

I don’t suffer with bloating anymore. I’ve suffered with ibs for as long as I can remember, but for the past few months I’ve been able to stop taking my daily medication. 

I’ve lost my few extra pounds which had been really difficult to shift. Probably because I’m not eating cheese and chocolate. 

I don’t crave chocolate. I thought I would but actually when I have sweet cravings I find myself reaching for a piece of fruit. Pomegranate seeds are excellent for quashing sweet cravings. 

There are so many milk substitutes available, coconut, almond (which I particularly like in tea) rice, hemp and oat, that it’s very easy not to drink milk. In fact I drink milk every day now when I previously wasn’t drinking any. 

Vegan meat substitutes are becoming easier and easier to find. All of the main supermarkets have a good range, especially ocado, which I use. Quorn have even introduced vegan foods. 

Being vegan is not expensive. Sure, some meat substitutes are pricey but as a vegan you’ll probably eat lots of rice, grains, pasta and lentils which can all be bought quite cheaply and in bulk. Also fruit and veg which can be bought cheap, especially seasonal veg. 

Vegan products such as shampoo, soap, cream, and shower gel are easy to find. I tend to buy mine in Superdrug, they have plenty of own brand vegan friendly products, all very reasonably priced. 

Household products are also easy to find. The astonish range are available in Poundland and all do the job very well. 

Since going vegan I can honestly say I feel better in myself, knowing I’m choosing cruelty free, I feel like I’ve developed an even more compassionate outlook. 

The (online) vegan community seems to be split into two, those who are often very insulting towards meat eaters, and even vegans who they don’t feel are vegan enough, and and those who prefer to encourage people to cut down on meat and dairy, understanding that cutting out meat and dairy can be a big step,  and like to share helpful information and recipes. I hope I fall into the latter category. I don’t believe that bullying people or alienating them is the best way to promote veganism. 

On the other side of that point are the meat eaters who seem to seek out vegan posts in order to make a “witty” comment such as “yum bacon” on as many posts as they can find. They also enjoy belittling vegans as if their decision to live a compassionate, cruelty free lifestyle, is a weird thing to do. 

Some of my favourite vegan products are ; Alpro almond milk, which I mentioned earlier on, and Koko milk, and yoghurts. The Alpro go in yoghurts are also very good. 

Vegedeli bacon, this makes a very satisfying bacon sandwich, especially with fried tomatoes and spinach. 

Sainsbury’s own brand veggie mince, it’s very good in cottage pie, bolognese and tacos. Their meatballs are also very good. 

Flora dairy free spread. My non vegan kids also like this and I think it tastes just like the real thing. 

Fry’s family vegan hotdogs are a big favourite of mine. 

Linda McCartney have a number of products also suitable for vegans. The country pies, sausage rolls and quarter pounders are exceptionally good. 

Going vegan is a big step, and perhaps can be made easier by cutting out animal products in stages. Meatfree Monday is a good place to begin. 

The Vegan society website is very useful for more information on being vegan as is the Veganuary website. 

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