Week one of being a vegan

I went into my vegan challenge feeling quite smug and happy. I’d meal prepped like a boss. I had replacement snacks. I was good to go. 

As someone who is very routine-based with the meals I eat during the week (same breakfast, same lunch, similar snacks) I just had to replace them with vegan alternatives. I had my meal pan for the week and felt confident.

Breakfast was easy. I just swapped my whey protein powder in my porridge with a vegan version. I used almond milk already so that was fine.

The Form vegan protein I tried initially (chocolate salted caramel flavour) was delicious and gave a good consistency to my porridge (super stodgy, which I love) but I didn’t feel great afterwards. I felt a little sick and like it was a rock in my tummy.

The MyProtein Vegan protein powder however sat far better in my stomach. Sadly the taste was far inferior (I had the chocolate flavour). For feeling better afterwards though, I’ll stick with the MyProtein.

For lunches at work I’d meal prepped a roasted beetroot, butternut squash salad with an olive oil based dressing (getting my calories wherever I can!) for two days and a lentil chickpea curry for three days. The beetroot meal was delicious, filling and left me feeling good.

The curry was a different story. While very tasty and filling, it left me feeling extremely bloated and very, well, windy. I probably further compounded this issue by then having a vegan salad on the same day when Kyle and I went to the cinema. As it’s only around 220 calories I decided to throw in a load of chickpeas to bulk it out and up the protein.

This meant that on Wednesday I felt dreadful. I don’t mean to go too much TMI here but I was literally needing to fart ALL THE TIME. This is awkward when you work among people in an office. I kept having to go to the loo or just hold them in which just made me feel even worse. I looked pregnant as well how much my stomach was bloating.

For Wednesday dinner Kyle and I went to a pizza place called Popsi’s in Southampton before we saw the Bodyguard music show and I was able to have something non-bean related.

I had a mushroom fake cheese bread starter, followed by a pizza with fake pepperoni, chicken and cheese on it and then churro nuggets with a hazelnut chocolate sauce (all vegan of course).It was quite nice (to be honest, at this point I was happy with anything that wasn’t a salad or a chickpea) but it tasted very “samey”.

Like the meat was all very tasteless and the cheese wasn’t cheesy at all. I enjoyed it don’t get me wrong, but it definitely was more of a “better than nothing” rather than a “better than the real thing” kind of meal.

The churros though were GOOD. Blobs of sugary chocolaty goodness.
Sick of feeling bloated, the next day needed a change. I had my lentil curry lunch planned but I couldn’t face it so popped it into the freezer.

My dad gave me an onion soup he had in the fridge and I made a little salad to go with it (#health). I felt SO much better. It wasn’t the best lunch in the world and it contained minimal protein but I enjoyed it and it caused ZERO bloating issues.

I caved by Friday and bought a fake meat substitute to throw in a salad. A kebab style meat thing from Vivera. Their range looks really good and it was really nice. I’d go as far to say that I’d eat this after my vegan challenge. It’s quite expensive though (£3 for a pack and I ate it in one…).

Unfortunately I didn’t read that you had to cook it before eating!! But it tasted fine and I had no ill effects… it’s entirely plant-based so?

Dinner-wise, well I’ve been out twice so that’s helped. Monday night I didn’t fancy what I had planned so ended up with soup with added chickpeas (the start of the chickpea saga…).

Thursday night I had a tofu based meal. I threw in lots of veg and peanut butter to make a sauce and bulk it out a bit and it worked well. But the tofu was a bit bland and sad. I need to work on this as I know I can make it better.

The weekend is where it got tricky. I’m used to having exciting and fun meals… I’ll usually have an Indian takeaway (I love tandoori chicken on the bone) and I’ll probably go out for a meal or two.

Well we still went out for food on Saturday but I just made sure it was vegan-friendly. This did mean we were limited on where we could go and when we turned up and it was absolutely rammed we had to wait for about 20 minutes for a table instead of just going somewhere else like we would normally have done.

The restaurant was the Southsea Village which, after eventually getting a table, was really nice. I went for BBQ pulled jack fruit burger and BBQ pulled jack fruit loaded fries, having been told jack fruit was amazing.

And it was! It was so tasty and had a meaty texture. It was lovely. But because it was essentially the same thing for both it quickly became very samey. I should have chosen a different burger (there were a few vegan options) but I wanted to avoid anything bean-related.

A big upset was getting a cafe we know and love and finding out that the vegan cakes had sold out. Kyle was lovely and offered to not get anything but I told him one of us had to enjoy a slice of cake at least!

Honestly this was the hardest part of the week, watching him eat a slice of cake I could have happily destroyed. I did have a very silly moment of wanting to cry when I saw how good it looked but I quickly pulled myself together. It’s just two weeks, Anna!

Anyway, on to week 2. I’m still going strong, though I have to say it’s a lot harder than I thought.

Have you ever gone vegan?

What’s your go-to easy meal?

Have you ever tried a vegan cake?

4 thoughts on “Week one of being a vegan

  1. No vegan cake – the horror! I am sure at the New Forest half there was a stall (Peachy cakes?) that sold really good vegan cakes and brownies and things.
    I always think Mexican food is a good way to go (a taco salad or something) because of all the fresh flavours from the salad things, roasted veggies, salsa and then some delicious guacamole. Or a lovely sweet potato chilli, although if you don’t want to have too many beans that is not such a good option.
    I have never managed to make really tasty tofu whereas I’ve had lovely tofu when eating out. Taifun do a nice basil tofu or smoked one, and they can be eaten cold so you can chop them up and add them to salad. Or if you are making something baked with a sauce, silken tofu is good as you blend it into the sauce and bake it, and it thickens it up and makes it filling but without all the pressing and things of cubes tofu.
    Good luck with week 2!
    Maria @ Maria Runs recently posted…Hopping over to Bruges for waffles (mainly)My Profile

  2. Your description of struggling to hold in farts in your office made me have flashbacks of what happened when I returned to the office after eating a fancy salad. My bottom *may* have backfired in the office, my colleagues took the mick for several weeks. I spent the day cringing. Trying to hold farts in doesn’t work with my stomach, I end up feeling like I’m going to explode. Better out than in…
    I’ve never gone vegan or eaten a vegan cake. I’ve never even considered it, perhaps I should.
    My favorite go to (not so) easy meal is steak and peppercorn sauce with salad.
    Emma recently posted…Juneathon Day 13: the one with a lie in, meeting and trip to BrewDog in BirminghamMy Profile

  3. I’ve been vegan for many years and the majority of what I eat now still is plant-based.
    A quick favourite is Pasta with grilled veggies (like zucchini, onion, garlic, tomato, maybe mushroom).
    It sounds like going vegan is a steep turn from what you normally eat.
    And I promise: if you would eat legumes on a regular basis you would not have to fart all the time (the body adjusts). I guess they are not a lot on your menu normally so it’s just a bit much all of a sudden. Funny enough, I barely ever ate or eat meat or cheese replacements which are sold ready to eat. They all do taste a bit the same to me too… (I like Tofu but it needs to be prepared well.).
    Of course, I did not live without cake! There are many ways to make delicious bakes vegan-friendly, it just comes down to know how it works.
    Good luck for week two, you can absolutely do it!
    And please, keep us posted!
    Julia recently posted…Running In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, FranceMy Profile

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