It’s that time of year again – freezing cold weather, a bare looking house minus the Christmas decorations and Veganuary. I had a go at Veganuary for the first time last year and learnt 3 things:
- most places offered a plant milk option so getting a hot drink was easy enough.
- BUT most places did not have any cake or pudding option so I had to watch everyone else tuck into brownies while I sipped my soya latte.
- AND vegan cheese was, on the whole, rank!
So did it change my eating habits? Well, having at first felt very awkward about asking for plant milk when out and about, after a whole month of asking I got over it and continued to have plant milk in my drinks for the rest of the year. There were some questions from friends but these were genuine, curious questions. No one mocked me and I even got a few people including my Mum to try out some alternative non-dairy milks.
We mostly eat vegan at home anyway so not really any changes there. Eating out I feel more inclined to choose a vegan option nowadays but not 100% of the time. Sometimes there just isn’t an option and sometimes the veggie option sounds more appealing. Also, I still love halloumi cheese and am a sucker for it if it is on a menu. And then there is the non-existent vegan cake problem and sometimes a girl just needs to eat cake.
However, I’m giving Veganuary another go this year and this time the rest of the family are on board, some more enthusiatically than others. Not liking to waste food though meant I wasn’t going to throw out the dairy milk and cheese leftover from Christmas. No worries – husband offered to eat it up. He still prefers dairy milk in his tea and loves cheese so bit of a stumbling block there. As I’m not intending visiting the dairy section of the supermarket for rest of the month it will be interesting to see how he feels once supplies run out. The girls keen to give it a go meant a trip to purchase just about every type of plant milk going. Emily had a milk frother for Christmas so is quite excited about testing all the different types of milk out in her coffee (I can feel a taste test coming on.)
On the whole, I’m expecting the month to be easier than last year. Plant based eating has been in the news so much this past 12 months that it feels like it has gone from something quite niche to mainstream. It’s a bit like where vegetarianism was 25 years ago. There are loads of new products in the big supermarkets not just the health food stores. Vegan options on menus are becoming much more common with even a choice of dishes in some places. And I no longer feel a weirdo for asking for soya milk. Still waiting to see if a convincing vegan cheese can be developed though! Lets see how it goes.