Veganuary

Today will be my last day for a month eating foods which include; milk, eggs and meat.  From tomorrow I shall be taking part in Veganuary – a month long soiree in becoming a hard and fast vegan.

I have to say I’m quite excited and optimistic about Veganuary.  I found out about it at work one day and thought, hell why not?!  After all being vegetarian is a diet I am actively heading towards.  Being a vegan for a month will hopefully ingrain that better way of eating.

However, before having even started this challenge I have been quite surprised by such negativity and the downright opinionated comment’s I’ve been receiving.  Considering it’s my choice to do this (I am, by most accounts an adult), and the fact I’ve not made any huge announcements about it, the vegan/meat diet opinions have been flying about with zeal.

I’ve not entered into debate.  I thought it better to actually experience being a vegan, and arm myself with intelligent, evidence based facts before slaying anyone.  Not that it should be like that.

This isn’t a diet competition and I’m certainly not going to start waving my vegan flag because this isn’t an easy journey, nor should it be taken lightly.

Everyone is of course free to eat what they want.  I am a meat eater.  A paleo fan.  In the past I’ve probably eaten a herd of cows a year (if not more).  Eating meat was not only expected of me but it was relished.

But now, I feel like I know better (both in my heart and my mind).

Reasons why I am going vegan in January and heading towards becoming a vegetarian:

  • Aside from the brutality of actually eating another mammal;  which I do because packaged meat is disjointed (excuse the pun) from the poor animal that I (don’t) recognise in a supermarket.  Being so far removed from farms, slaughter houses and killing I constantly forget the pain and suffering of the animal, but if I was in a position to do it myself I would rather starve than take the life of another being.  That in itself makes eating meat absolutely senseless to me and yet I still eat meat.
  • Secondly the health benefits of eating meat have been quashed on far too many occasions now.  Science has proved (numerous times), and without a shadow of a doubt, that taking meat/fish out of your diet will not only stop cancer, bring down heart disease and make you live longer, but that this nonsense about vitamin deficiency can be cleared up instantly by taking a vitamin pill or ensuring (like any diet) you get a whole based diet.  It’s not eating fish that gives you the magic omega nutrients, it’s the food they eat and consume which hold the real nutrients (micro algae etc).
  • Then there is of course factory farming, a process of rearing animals on an intense scale because the margin between giving an animal space and the profit you can make from it is just too small, with the population it has to feed
  • Meat and fish, free range, grass fed is expensive and I can’t afford it.  When eating meat I cannot eat anything but that because how else will I know what I’m eating?
  • Just because I’ve always eaten meat doesn’t mean I have to keep eating meat.
  • Just because I love the smell of bacon, or the taste of steak doesn’t mean I can’t change what is essentially just habits.
  • Finally when people say “you shouldn’t do that” my first thought is always “hell yes, I am!”.

So with all that stupidness out of the way I’m left to concentrate on how exactly I’m going to get through the next 31 days without milk chocolate…

Before I start this challenge I wanted to see just what my starting point is so I have something to measure against come 31st January.

Here are my vital stats:

  • Weight: 142Ibs (I’m not even going there)
  • General health:  Good, no major illness or problems
  • Current fitness:  Good, 1 x sprints per week, 2 x dumb bell work outs per week, 5 x walks per week.  Also running with Mouse quite a bit!
  • Sleep pattern: Approx 8hrs (depends how much exercise I’ve had and how much is going on in my head)
  • Overall energy levels: Okay, although can vary (if anyone is iron deficient it would be me, as have suffered in the past. I do take a high iron tablet anyway (and that’s with serious red meat addiction, go figure).  I get severe energy slumps mid afternoon.  Also too much exercise can bring on delayed muscle soreness which in turn depletes my energy levels.

So having bought most of the contents from my local health shop, armed with a list of good meal ideas, and conversing with a community of like minded folk I feel ready to go.

I don’t have many health expectations over the next 31 days other than to avoid hunger pangs, cope with chocolate cravings without killing someone, and finding a good enough substitute for butter.  Everything else experienced will be a surprise.

My one major concern will be putting weight on due to an increased uptake of carbs, (especially granulated sugar), so I’ll keep an open mind on that one.

I’ll keep you updated and let you know how I’m getting on.

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Oh by the way – every time some one states that I will clearly be ‘deficient’ (in some way of another), if I don’t eat meat, over the next 31 days, I will put £1 aside.  At the end I will donate however much I’ve collected to a local charity.  I’ve already got £5 and I haven’t even started yet 😉

Wishing all my lovely readers a very Happy, peaceful, joyful New Year

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Cover photo courtesy of Brisbane Falling