Veganuary round-up: will they or won’t they?

Veganuary 2018 has been a record breaker. An incredible 120,000 people signed up for the challenge this year, double last year’s number.  And if you haven’t heard of Veganuary you must have been asleep for the last month. Every day there has been some reference to it in the media. In short, the country has been abuzz with news of veganism. Today is the last day, so how have our own Veganuary challengers got on – and will they or won’t they stay vegan?

Saharla Ismail and Sarah Starling took the challenge and went vegan for January, supported by Miller Green. We supplied their suppers for the month. They sorted out breakfast, lunch and snacks.

How was it?

Sarah: “Really easy – it’s the second time I’ve given it a go and not feeling I had to look for any meat or cheese substitutes this time has made it very easy.”

Saharla: “I didn’t think I’d find it so easy. I really enjoyed the month and my friends have enjoyed the Instagram stories. My Dad enjoyed the food too – but he doesn’t believe it’s vegan!”

Did you cheat?

Sarah: “There was one 24 hour period when I was at an event in London and knew that if I didn’t eat something with dairy I wouldn’t eat anything. Other than that, no.”

Saharla: “I’ve been strong. I haven’t cheated at all apart from some Cheerios on the first day.”

Favourite Miller Green dishes?

Sarah: “Moussaka.”

Saharla: “Mac’n’cheese, nine jewel korma and moussaka”

Any problems?

Sarah: “It’s still hard to find vegan food when you travel outside the Bristol bubble.”

Saharla: “I was able to feed my junk food habit most places. Only Greggs was a struggle.”

What have you missed?

Sarah: “Butter.”

Saharla: “Dairy.”

How have you felt?

Sarah: “My hair and skin feel less greasy. I felt a bit grubby after eating stuff that wasn’t vegan. I think I would notice the difference if I went back to eating non-vegan.”

Saharla: “Healthier. I’ve lost weight and feel more energised.”

What have you learnt?

Sarah: “Being vegan is easier when you don’t try to replace meat and cheese with artificial substitutes. They just remind you that you’re not eating meat and cheese. If you just eat natural plant-based food, it recalibrates your taste buds and palate.”

Saharla: “That veganism isn’t hard and you can be a vegan even if you’re busy. I didn’t get as many cravings as I expected. Friends and family have been surprisingly supportive – it’s been really heart-warming. It has made me more creative with my cooking – and I’ve learnt that dark chocolate is not your enemy!”

Top food tips?

Sarah: “Tofu puffs – great for putting into stews and really soak up the flavours.”

Saharla: “I’m not normally a fan of cauliflower but I found a great recipe for cauliflower buffalo wings. It’s really easy and I made it loads of times.”

Will you stay vegan?

Sarah: “I can’t imagine going back to milk or cooking meat at home. Being a blogger I get invited to a lot of events so it may be difficult to be 100% vegan all the time but 95% should be ok.”

Saharla: “I’ll see how the first week goes. I’ll probably stay at least vegetarian.”

Well, we want to thank Sarah and Saharla for being our Veganuary challengers and for sharing their experiences with us. It’s been lovely collaborating with you both and all the best for your meat-free futures!

Sue x

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People following a vegetable diet have lower rates of a number of health problems, including excess weight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, gallstones, kidney stones, constipation and diverticular disease.

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