Hannah Holder is Practise Transformation Lead for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism.
WEEK 1 AND 2
I’m starting my blog from week two because I was off with flu for the first week of Jan, which did mean however I managed to adopt a vegan lifestyle really easily due to not eating anything but crumpets (with vegan butter)!!
I’ve decided to do a bit of a different approach which I’m calling the 3-2-2.
I would like to gradually intorduce more vegan meals in to my home so thought it would be better for me, and my husband and two children to do 3 days of what we normally eat, 2 days veggie, and 2 days vegan.
I’ve been doing a lot of research and am quite environmentally minded, so I wanted to find out the impact eating meat and dairy had on the planet and why veganism was so much better for the planet.
Id like to share some of that research with you in case you’re like me and are interested in this kind of thing!
If the US’s population ate a vegan diet for just one day, this would save:
100 billion gallons of water
1.5 billion pounds of crops that would have ordinarily been fed to livestock
70 million gallons of fuel
3 million acres of land
33 tonnes of anti-biotics
1.2 million tonnes of C02 gas
3 million tonnes of soil
4.5 million tonnes of poo
Information taken from Dr Joel Kahn’s website.
IT’S ALL IN THE PREP
To get me started, I went on a food shop outing with two friends who are vegan to ensure that from day one there were vegan options available to me and the family at home. That was important to me to be prepared for when the kids are hungry and I need to get something ready quickly.
HOW ITS BEEN
If I’m honest, my 3-2-2 has been a bit more complicated than I anticipated! There’s been times when my husband has cooked meat but used vegan cheese, and veggie days when I’m actually eating vegan anyway! The veggie and vegan days merge, so it’s more like a 3-4 now.
I’m working through little things like replacing the milk I have in my hot drinks at work, which I’ve found more of a barrier than I realised.
I’ve been really impressed at how many places I can eat out at and the variety of food available to vegans.
MY FAVE THINGS SO FAR
Oat milk on cereal
The kids love the vegan yoghurts
Vegan protein yoghurts
Franki and Benny’s vegan menu
TFI burgers (they’re a company that have a burger van in Ipswich town centre some days)
THINGS I’M NOT SO KEEN ON
Oat milk in hot drinks
Vegan cheese that I’ve tried so far
WEEK 3 AND 4
I’m coming to the end of my month of the 3-2-2 diet (or 3-4 as it has mostly been) and I’m pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been. Finding vegan alternatives has been easier than I thought and, in some cases, such as sausage rolls and chicken nuggets, the vegan alternatives are way better than the meat versions we used to buy. Even the kids think so!
I found that once I had stocked up the kitchen things flowed and eating at home became effortless. Cold ‘chicken’ nuggets in a wrap with Veganaise mayo was a major success, I’ll definitely be making those again for my lunches and I will be continuing with at least two days a week vegan.
When I signed up to the new diet, I was dreading how difficult it would be to get my kids to engage and embrace the new food but this has been the most positive thing from the whole experience. They’ve given all the new food a go and they don’t want to go back to non-vegan sausage rolls!
One downside has been the ‘cheese’. It’s not the same, it’s just not. You have to either live without it or get to like the vegan version. But, on the plus side, I’ve found lots of food I already enjoyed are accidentally vegan, like Oreos.
Another struggle has been plant-based milk. I love oat milk on cereal, even more than dairy and I’ll be carrying this on too. However, plant milk in hot drinks has not been successful for me. I asked the lady on the coffee platform to try frothing my soy milk to get a cappuccino and she accepted the challenge valiantly but unfortunately it was not a success.
It’s been a real positive experience for me and it hasn’t required the huge effort I thought it would to eat out, eat at home and to convince the kids to try some plant based alternatives.