The first time I tried to go Vegan, I was banned for doing so and, rightly so.

I was an in-patient on an eating disorder unit.

In order to be “allowed” a dietary requirement, you had to get it signed off by family and health professionals. Luckily, I had proof that I was a life-long vegetarian (that diet wasn’t my eating disorder talking) but I couldn’t go vegan because I had the wrong intentions in doing so.

Before being admitted on to the unit, I had lived in Italy where I convinced myself and others that I had a gluten-intolerance (when in fact it was a fear of carbohydrates).

So you can understand why part of the “ban” on a unit is to do with special “dietary requirements.”

Whilst, I know Veganism is much more than a “diet,” it’s a lifestyle and all that, there are however many of us eating disorder patients that have to be careful.

We have to ask ourselves, are we following our conscience or our eating disorder?

sophie mei lan mama mei cocktail girl

Having said that, fast-forward 8 years and I am now choosing to go Vegan, for the right reasons (as far as I can rationally tell).

I know it’ll be challenging and I have to be careful because I have trained myself out of checking food and drink labels (because this used to be obsessive) but I will have to be scanning products to see whether I can eat them and also prepare a lot.

I also need to make sure that I’m avoiding certain foods purely for the fact they are not vegan and not for any other reasons.

So why do it?

The more I have, read, heard and watched about veganism and plant-based living, the harder it is to be ignorant about animal-cruelty and the impact on the environment.

The thing that really stuck in my head was when I read about the dairy industry and how they mass produce cow’s milk. It broke my heart as a mum and particularly as a breastfeeding mum. I could not imagine my child being taken away from me so that I could be milked and that other mammals (human beings) would happily drink another mammal’s breast milk.

So that picture has stayed with me and encouraged me to go Vegan.

Going Vegan (there’s been a 350% increase in Vegans!)

I decided to go Vegan in November 2017 – with my start day being New Year, so rather than go full vegan suddenly, I decided to wean myself off certain non-Vegan things that I consumed a lot (and thought “I couldn’t live without”) such as, boiled and scrambled eggs, cappuccinos and yoghurts.

I have replaced eggs with tofu (which I now prefer), I use soft tofu with spices for scrambled egg and firm tofu for stir-frys and snacks. My cappuccinos are now made using Oatly milk as it gets nice and frothy but doesn’t curdle and, instead of having instant coffee I’ve bought coffee filters to have a nice black coffee on-the-go.

And if I fancy a yoghurt I just buy alpro-soya yoghurts or desserts.

Verdict: My first week

It’s only week one so I am still on a ‘New Year New Me’ high and I have found the Veganuary resources helpful. I’ve found I need to be more prepared as I’m a snacker and often snack on yoghurt and cereal, so I have gone all out and done a HUGE Vegan shopping haul…

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