It’s one of those things that you feel compelled to do, especially if you’ve had a little excess over the Christmas season. I had family that did the Dry January, me? Dry January? Forget about it, I intended to carry on living my life, exploring my love of Gin and the many bars and beautiful wines on offer in Manchester, my current second home base.
I did plumb for the Vegan option though. Never have I done anything so extreme. Why did I do it? I needed to try it and I was, at the time, supporting my partner with her suggestion. So, January the 2nd was the day I started – had to squeeze a movie and a Five Guys in on the 01st if I was going to abscond from my love of burgers. A quick gluttonous purge and then a month of Veganism.
Now, I’d always looked at Vegans as a bit weird, I looked into it though and studied the comments, listened to friends make stupid comments about their love of cheese and steak whilst at the same time I smirked at their girth, smiled at there excitement at the opportunity of an evening of luxury with their M&S Dine for £10 processed meal.
It was my theory, my belief and my research that told me I was doing the right thing, and I was feeling better for it. My personality felt calmer, my ethics had come back to the forefront and I was going in the right direction despite what anyone wanted to throw at me. Even the terms and conditions conversations that would normally send me into orbit didn’t rattle me. I felt strong with my running, I lost 11lbs in weight and the key for me, I was eating a far better well-balanced construction of food groups that I hadn’t been eating when I was on a more processed path prior to the arrival of 2018.
I’d always liked to cook (you have to in this industry, otherwise you are in the wrong job), now I was needing to investigate further, my passion for cooking and fresh ingredients took a new turn as my palate was experiencing new directions. Out came more and more of my cookware pieces and my love of my knives took a new lease of life. I was privileged to have some amazing pieces of cookware and a great set of knives and this I find always helps.
I added three new books to my Vegan cooking journey and use them regularly to inspire or prepare for my week ahead and most of the time my lunch or dinner. I discovered more about the guys from Bosh and felt inspired when most of the supermarkets (Aldi failed me on this one) offered a few extra ‘treats’ into my Vegan shopping basket.
Seriously though, how hard is it to take a cauliflower, or some lentils and whack some spices into the offering. Okay I am a little more addicted to curry than most and the path I’ve been discovering when tempering my spices has added some wonderful comments from my kids as we have dinner together on Tuesday evening.
Im back in the kitchen more preparing ‘most’ of my food from scratch.
I don’t feel guilty about what I am eating.
I have lost weight
I am using my cookware for what its actually made for
My knife skills are taking me to the next level in prep and presentation.
I am more calm and feel good – despite what the world throws at me. (Ask me again after Ambiente)
It’s a list of positives, the general questions I read now are – Will you stay Vegan after the end of the month? Let’s see, I am at the Housewares Awards in February and I have requested a Vegan meal, I also have a dinner booked in Germany, prepared by some amazing Danish chefs and yes, you guessed it, another Vegan request…. And…. these guys have a cheese board to die for. Maybe that’s the wrong wording.
I think the last thing to think about is my eating out experiences, it can be a little trickier, Vegetarian is easy, quite flavourful, in the right environment. I think the cooks in the pub kitchens are a little lazy in some places as they think with their caveman thought process and think a Vegetarian meal is a Burger. I am trying to move away from the burger world so stop offering me such crap.
Two establishments I have enjoyed and experienced.
V-Rev in Manchester and in general Pizza Express.
V-Rev was good but a little pricey. Everything I found was Nutritional Yeast and Seitan (Google it – it’s easier than me explaining). It was good though, clever, but not somewhere I am desperate to revisit. Not because what the guys and girls there are doing isn’t clever? The poutine (google again or visit Canada) was amazing!!!! Only because I’ve enjoyed my cooking experiences at home, the food I am cooking is hearty, healthy and more plant based that anything processed. I’m getting to reinvent recipes and try new flavours that I maybe would have not thought about before.
Missing a pizza, then I like the fact that Pizza Express do a Vegan pizza and its edible. One pretty damned good pizza!!! The likes of Dominoes don’t cater for Vegan, so I took the kids to express and they had what they wanted and we tried the Vegan option. Pretty much all of the wine was Vegan as well, so I call that a raving success.
In summary and in answer to my own thought process. If I want to stay Vegan I will stay Vegan. I feel I am doing better for the planet and better for myself. No qualms there. I’m not missing many food groups and was always quite fussy about meat and fish. So as long as I concentrate on my nutritional intake then I guess I can’t be doing bad and at the same time I am reducing my carbon footprint. Now I need to discover what to do to get rid of all this plastic shite we keep consuming in the world. Check out the state of the sea and what we are doing to it.
Until next time, get your knives out (not at me) and pull your chef pan or sauté pan out of the cupboard and get inspired by what’s on Facebook and the internet re Vegan or Veggie inspiration.
So the views and opinions are my own, they are not that of HAUS, if you want to complain then you can email via Haus on firstname.lastname@example.org , I doubt anyone will reply though! If you want to talk positive stuff, food and kitchen kit, yes i am here, lets talk - Message me on Facebook! Next time I will update you on my latest experiences and inspirational waffle – well I was inspired, otherwise I wouldn’t have written anything.