Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I'm Going Vegan... For November.

I'm not in the habit of posting pictures of myself, I PROMISE. It won't happen again. But this is the only decent picture I could find of the 1.2kg steak I ate in under 20 minutes. 

So I'm going vegan for November. I can't put my finger on one reason I decided to do this; it's certainly not PETA-related and I haven't started wearing hemp. P
erhaps I'm bored and wanted a new challenge? Perhaps I know I eat too much meat and drastically went the other way. Or perhaps I was bullied into it by the person doing it with me

Either way, I'm attempting it. No meat, fish, animal products (and yes Mum, that includes ham), dairy, eggs and honey for a month. 
Some have asked why not just vegetarianism, but that almost seems too easy (!). Those who know me - and most who don't - will know this will be a massive struggle. I've spent a while laying awake at night wondering what the hell I'm going to eat for breakfast. I've spent the last couple of weeks casually checking whether things are vegan or not and silently sobbing when finding out that Campari isn't. Bye bye Negronis. 

A couple of people have kindly offered to donate to charity as an incentive for me to succeed. Thanks for being wonderful - nothing motivates me more than money (I jest...). I've set up a JustGiving page for it. One caveat stands; I am potentially going abroad for 5 days mid-way through November and veganism will be impossible, in which case I'll be carrying those 5 days into December.


Wish me luck. Please send me your favourite vegan recipes. Tell me about the worst vegan product you've tried. Tell me where I can eat in London when I can't be bothered to cook for myself. HELP. 


If you fancy keeping up with day-to-day vegan meltdowns, #veganvember is the hashtag to search for. May contain swearing. 

37 comments:

Helen said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA.

AHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

HA

HA

oh and, HA

Anonymous said...

Kenji on Serious Eats in the States went vegan for a month - recipes here: http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/02/vegan-experience-recipes-soups-salads-sandwiches-mains-snacks.html

Anonymous said...

Are you weighing yourself before and afterwards? Would be interested to see the results.

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Helen - HAHAHAHAHAH oh shit HAHAHAHAHA

Anon - thanks! very helpful

Anon - I hadn't thought about it but it seems a good idea. To be honest, I'll probably spend the month eating chips.

the gannet said...

wow! and i thought i being hard considering a veggie january! good luck! (and definitely wanna know if you gained/lost weight... not that i'm vain....all about the planet innit..Ha!)

Sharmila said...

Suggestion - eat as much Indian veggie food as possible. Most of the Indian meals I cook are easily vegan, as long as I don't dollop a load of yoghurt on the side.

And, loads of stuff in Fuchsia Dunlop's new book could work on a vegan diet, as there's so much veggie stuff in there and pretty much no dairy presence.

Good luck!

Deepa Mistry said...

I'd definitely miss cheese a lot if I did this but I think more than anything I'd miss tea - proper milky tea.

Couple of good blogs: http://hownottobeaskinnyvegan.blogspot.co.uk/
http://www.veggienumnum.com/ (veggie but lots of vegan ones)

Would definitely investigate Gujarati cooking too which is mainly vegan, awesome and lots of places in London seem to be doing it (one on Exmouth Market I spotted recently doing thali and rice and dahl)

Blonde said...

What the buggering heck is in Campari?!

(Also: your trip where veganism will be impossible... Are you just off somewhere with a bloody good steak restaurant!?)

Rosie said...

I tried going vegan for a month and the worst thing I tried was vegan cheese - even if you are really missing cheese, it just isn't worth it. This raw brownie is pretty great though:
http://mynewroots.blogspot.co.nz/2011/04/raw-brownie.html

Lizzie Mabbott said...

the gannet - Thanks! I'll do a weigh-in...

Sharmila - Yep, curries are high on my list to make things at home. It's a bit dodge with eating out what with the ghee though... I will grab of copy of Dunlop's book!

Deepa - Brilliant, thanks for the blog links. I actually like Earl Grey without milk so all good on that front. Will look up Exmouth Market too, ta!

Blonde - A lot of drinks are fined with fish gelatin I believe... Beers, wine and cider especially but some spirits too. Fret not - gin and vodka are vegan! The trip isn't a steakhouse, pah ha - it's Hong Kong.

Rosie - I have also heard this vegan cheese is abominable. I have a weird fascination to try it now... thanks for the link!

Katie said...

Good for you! As a veggie-borderline-vegan (can't give up that damn cheese) I think this will be a great experiment.

Try going Asian for inspiration, they don't use dairy much at all. Lots of spices of course, and maybe try things you haven't before - a new vegetable or grain a day. I have a couple of vegan recipes on my blog - http://www.whatkatiedoes.net/category/food-cat/recipe. I can't really help with restaurants as I haven't really found any great ones yet...

Katie said...

p.s. just saw you're going to Hong Kong - it's actually not too hard to be veggie there; I survived pretty well on dim sum, hotpots and tofu. Hunt out the diy hotpot places and restaurants where they mould tofu into all sorts of meats - vegan offal or octopus anyone? - they're worth a try just for novelty value.

Richard Elliot said...

What a challenge. Good luck!

I follow a Thai blogger every now and then who does a vegan month every year. Perhaps some Thai food could be a good option?

Thinking about vegan restaurants in London I found this exciting website:
http://www.veganlondon.co.uk/eat/

Su-Lin said...

Damn! Good luck!

Tesco Value Chef said...

Best of luck! We're cutting down on meat, but it's really just a token effort of a veggie day once a week... we really should make more of an effort.

Have you made contact with the Naked Vegans?

http://nakedvegancooking.com

Harriet Fisher said...

http://www.mannav.com/index.php/menus/dinner-menu.html
http://www.mildreds.co.uk/
http://www.vanillablack.co.uk/
Some restaurant ideas...not been to Vanilla Black yet though. They are vegetarian not vegan but all have many vegan options.

sunfug said...

Yotam Ottelenghi's 'Jerusalem' is freakin' awesome with stacks of vegan (or easily modified) recipes as well as being a great multi-cultural read. Funny how Chinese family think pork is veggie. Good luck!

catty said...

GOOD LUCK. that is all.

Thunderstorm Bun said...

The Joy of Cooking, if you have one, has an amazing dairy-free chocolate cake. It uses distilled vinegar as the rising agent, and is literally pour everything into a bowl and beat.
If you don't have one, I could probably sort you out a scan.

Daveshuffles said...

Blimey. That would be too much for me. Good luck!

I only use one vegan recipe, but it's a goodun - http://cookeasyvegan.blogspot.com.au/2008/03/hot-and-sour-soup.html

Foodycat said...

I admire the resolve. I couldn't do it, not because of the food but because I really don't think I could have black coffee for a month and any of the milk alternatives are horrible in coffee.

Rice milk and almond milk are better than soy for other things, but a soy banana smoothie is genuinely delicious and filling for breakfast.

meatballandsaltedcod said...

FIrst of all....GOOD LUCK! Kenji Lopez from Serious Eats did the same challenge some time ago and he had amazing recipes and some very funny stories and tips to stay vegan http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/02/vegan-experience-recipes-soups-salads-sandwiches-mains-snacks.html?ref=search

I am definitely NOT a vegan/vegetarian and I loved some of these recipes.

Hope you make it!

Tang said...

You are so brave lah! I am sure you will come up with lots of fun and tasty vegan recipes! Good luck!

Heather said...

Oh no, you're going to have to deal with soya milk in coffee! *gags*

Food Urchin said...

Invest in patchouli oil, it will help mask the huge, massive, stinking farts that you will emit throughout November..........fucking hippy

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Katie - thanks, and thanks for the link. I'll definitely be cooking a lot of Asian food. As for Hong Kong, all my meals there are arranged for me, so not really possible...

Richard - Thanks! Thai sounds perfect.

Su-Lin - thank you!

Tesco Value - Thanks! A lot of this stems from wanting to cut down. I will have a look at that link... though the nakedness scares me somewhat.

Harriet - thanks! Will check it out.

sunfug - oooh - I know someone who has that, may have to borrow it off them. Thanks!

Catty - THANKS. Eek!

Thunderstorm - Oooh thanks. When I get the chocolate craving I'll let you know!

Dave - Brilliant - thank you!

Foodycat - well... I haven't made it yet! Black coffee isn't too much of a struggle, and I'm a bit worried about how much sugar there is in almond milk. Will give rice milk a go though.

Meatball - thanks! I have Kenji's recipes all bookmarked. I hope I make it too!

Tang - Thanks! I'm gonna need it...

heather - no way no way - black coffee all the way.

Food Urchin - hippy, huh? Well i might as well embrace it. I'm going to wear sandals and dread my hair.

Shu Han said...

miso is your good friend if you can't have cheese.
http://mummyicancook.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/seared-radishes-with-radish-leaf-miso.html

almond/rice milk are kind of bleh when you want sth creamy. coconut milk all the way! buy gallons of the stuff.

good luck lizzie, just glad it's not me hur hur. x

My name is Elle said...

I went vegan for nearly a year and I found that it gave me an entirely new view on food. It really makes you think about how to put things together and forces you to be a bit more creative with your cooking. Hopefully it will do the same for you. Good luck!

princessjasmine said...

You should post pics of yourself more often - I liked putting a face to the name of "Hollow Legs" - also you are v pretty :)

Secondly - daaaaaamn, that steak is as big as your head. I'm going to be tweeting! Gigantic!

Explody Full said...

How is day 4 going so far! I am impressed you are attempting this! good luck and i'll be looking forwards to some updates!!

Anonymous said...

My friend just linked me to your blog. I'm vegan and I promise, as someone who thought it would be impossible, you will probably be pleasantly surprised. Plus you'll feel amazing if you do it right! Tesco do quite good vegan cheeses now. The soft cheese is great and the hard stuff is really good melted. Might quiet the cravings :)

Looking forward to being inspired by your recipes which I am sure will be more inventive than my own :) Good Luck!!!

Linz said...

My girlfriend is vegan and although I'm a full blooded carnivore, most of my dinners during the week are vegan because it just makes sense. It's really not that bad when you get used to it. Just remember to season the hell out of everything! Like Milly says, Indian food is great for the purpose. Simple things like vegan pad thai, soups and bean chillis do the job nicely.

If you absolutely have to have something cheesy, Cheezly is about your best option because at least it melts. Cashew cheese is pretty good too. I'd avoid anything like vegan mozarella though - it's pretty grim. Good luck. Just think of the steak at the end.

Linz said...

My girlfriend is vegan and although I'm a full blooded carnivore, most of my dinners during the week are vegan because it just makes sense. It's really not that bad when you get used to it. Just remember to season the hell out of everything! Like Milly says, Indian food is great for the purpose. Simple things like vegan pad thai and bean chillis do the job nicely.

If you absolutely have to have something cheesy, Cheezly is about your best option because at least it melts. Cashew cheese is pretty good too. I'd avoid anything like vegan mozarella though - it's pretty grim. Good luck. Just think of the steak at the end.

A Mummy a Wife a Glamorous Life said...

O...M....G....

That is all

:-)

Anonymous said...

If the other person in the house returns with a crap Tesco Turkey at Christmas like last year, I may also become Vegan.

Linz said...

Only a few days left. How are you getting on?

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Hi Linz! I have 9 days left (I went to Hong Kong on a press trip so veganism was impossible and thus, suspended for 5 days) and I'll admit it, I'm pretty miserable. Every meal requires a lot of thought. I'm going to the opening of a burger joint and also a hog roast party this week. Hold me.