Anthony joined the Vegan Network in Winter 2019 and was keen to make more healthy lifestyle choices and move towards incorporating more vegan food in to his diet for this reason. We caught up with Anthony at the end of January 2020 after he took the Veganuary challenge. Here’s how he got on…
What made you try Veganuary?
I am a lapsed vegetarian so I’m now a returning vegetarian determined to go up a division to veganism. I want to become vegan mostly for health reasons. I have read enough to understand the benefits of a plant-based diet. I know a growing number of people, including some close friends, who have made the same switch. I have thought about doing this for a few years. I guess I am now sufficiently motivated to give it a try.
What’s been the hardest thing?
Fidelity to being 100% vegan. I had 3 lapses in January. I’m keen to have fewer in February. I am quite relaxed about this. I aim to be a 95% vegan as I do not have enough self-control and discipline to be perfect. I have been obsessed about it throughout January but I have been tempted by three naughty favourites – a slice of pepperoni pizza once at an Arsenal home game (better than pies I think and the game was dire): fish and chips as comfort food once; and cows milk rather than oat milk in coffee twice. I travel a lot and this month I have had some seriously boring meals when going for the vegan option, which has often been one bland dish. Cooking vegan at home has been much tastier.
What has been a pleasant surprise?
Firstly, the high quality of supermarket vegan products nowadays compared to my vegetarian phase – which lasted 15 years. Secondly, the brilliant guidance available, including from the fanatics in Suffolk! It’s always easier to make personal changes when you feel connected to other people doing it as well as the issues. Thirdly, I do feel better as a result – not so clogged up and I have more energy. This is a priceless gain.
What will you be taking from the experience?
A strong belief that a vegan diet and lifestyle is healthier. The real test will be if I become vegan for a long period in the same way I became and stayed vegetarian. I obviously gave that up although I cannot remember why. I must be more disciplined this time.