What's it like going vegan?
As its National Vegan month, we had a chat with Lois, who recently went vegan for a month. Lois is one of the owners of The Skinny Kitchen and passionate about food and living a healthy lifestyle. Being veggie for so long, it seemed like a good challenge for her and here is how she found it!
Are you giving National Vegan Month a go? Let us know how you get on!
What was it that made you want to try the vegan diet?
I've been vegetarian for 7 years now for many reasons but recently I have gained more knowledge due to reading and watching videos and films about the dairy industry and I am starting to think it is just as bad as eating meat, I don't particularly like eggs or milk so my only challenge really is cheese (I love cheese!)
How long did you go vegan for?
I lasted 2 months which was only my personal goal to start with but I would like to give it another go when I feel ready again.
What was your favourite vegan meal?
I loved the fact that I was eating more vegetables and fresh food than I was before, it was nice to be able to experiment with new vegan products that I hadn't tasted before, like vegan cheese! My favourite meal (which I ate everyday) would be the vegan pancakes from The Skinny Kitchen! (work perks!)
Will you continue with the vegan diet and why?
I was only ever doing it as a challenge and I stopped as I felt quite bloated but I have read that the bloating does go over time and time depends on the person, it can be a week or even 3 months.
What did you find hardest and what did you find helped with this?
At first the hardest thing for me was having to check the ingredients of everything thing I ate but it did make me more aware of what I was putting into my body. Looking into the full ingredients of products that I would normally eat was a real eye opener for me. The less ingredients that is hard to pronounce or you don't know what it is, the better!
Where did you find it easiest to shop for vegan things?
My local supermarkets have a good range of vegan options (Sainsbury and Tesco) The brand Quorn has also started brining out vegan products too.
What were the top five things on your shopping list?
1. Vegan cheese
2. Coconut soya yogurt
3. Vegan burgers
4. Almond milk
5. Peanut butter
What is your favourite vegan meal at The Skinny Kitchen?
The buckwheat noodles and of course the vegan pancakes which are made with spelt flour, almond milk, oranges and spices - they are warm and come served with homemade coconut cream! The perfect winter dish.
Did you go out to eat during this time, and did you find it difficult if you did?
I went out a few times and I have to admit it was harder to eat being a vegan than it is vegetarian. Most restaurants have a lot of vegetarian options now, it seems only a few have made the move over to completely animal product free dishes which is a shame. At The Skinny Kitchen we have always had a good range of vegan options and have actually added on our winter menu that's just launched!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to try being vegan?
I would say to do it in stages, cut out meat first and try that for a month, then to start cutting out dairy products one at a time. Try and interact with other vegans and get some tips and recipes, get a recipe book and try different foods. The main thing is to be passionate about it and remember why you are doing it!
If you are doing National Vegan Month, check out all the vegan options at The Skinny Kitchen, in Canterbury, Bournemouth, Belfast and Ibiza. We have so much on the menu now, making it easy for you to give this diet a go!