It’s the month millions of gym memberships are born (and later abandoned), it’s the month many of us vow to go dry for 31 days, and it’s the month we all make promises to change our lives for the better.
Well, in my usual dramatic fashion, I’ve taken it one step further this year.
I’m already mocking myself for the horrifically hipster sentence I’m about to type, and you’ve probably already cracked the not-so difficult code thanks to the title, but…
…I’m going vegan.
I know, I know, next I’ll be cycling to work on a basket-fitted bicycle and gluing a moustache to my upper lip.
BUT, I’m only going vegan for one month – I’ve basically signed up to do the Veganuary challenge.
Why would I do this to myself? Why would I deprive myself of beef? Cheese? Chocolate? Jeez!
A few reasons actually. The first is – I love a challenge. Two marathons kinda proves that theory. In the past I’ve also done 30 days sober and I tried the 100 days of running challenge a few years ago. I don’t know what it is, but I like setting myself weird challenges. And so rather than do Dry January this year I decided to try Veganuary (because let’s face it, doing both would be social suicide).
There are so many pro’s and con’s to going vegan, a big pro being that apparently vegans live longer than meat-eaters, surely that’s something to consider?
But a big con? Who the f*** wants to date a vegan??
But seriously, what used to be a lifestyle trend known only to Yoga instructors is fast becoming the new favourite lifestyle choice. It’s apparently helping people all over the world to lose weight and get themselves in shape. I follow some seriously inspiring (and erm, I must say, super-duper attractive) vegans on Instagram, a lot who have gone through some incredible weight-loss transformations and who claim that going vegan has changed their lives for the better.
Okay, so I’m not saying I want drop three stone, get a whole new body, shed every single bit of body fat and earn myself a new rear in the new year (I like my arse Thank you very much!) BUT I would like to shrink some of my other wobbly bits. And actually, I’d just like to have a healthy body and look after it more, and half of the time I eat food, I genuinely have no idea what is actually in it or where it came from. I’m a simple girl – I get hungry, I eat. I don’t read labels or check calories. And whilst I’m not saying my diet is responsible for the mental health problems I’ve faced over the last year, I don’t imagine all the foods I put into my body to be exactly mentally stimulating or helping the situation (for any of you that don’t know me well, whilst I love foods like avocado, spinach and bananas, I’m a sucker for a McDonalds cheeseburger and other dirty and greasy foods).
And finally, I guess another BIG reason I want to try and see if I can go vegan is, yup, you guessed it, for the animals. Oh the animals!
I used to call myself a true animal lover, that was until every vegan would pull me up on it: “Well obviously you’re not if you are eating beef, lamb, pork, chicken and fish.” And they were right. I obviously wasn’t, because I love love love eating all those meats. When I was 13 years I proudly went veggie in a bid to save the cows, but I only lasted two years until a mate dragged me into McDonalds; one whiff of a cheeseburger and I was a carnivore again, willing to sign my soul over to the devil just for one bite. So whilst my little teenage heart yearned to help all the poor defenceless animals, clearly my taste buds were thinking f*** them, they taste too delicious.
But on a serious note, I am aware that we have a problem when it comes to the slaughtering of animals to fulfil our greedy needs. I’ve avoided those documentaries that show you how cows get brutally murdered and how live baby chics are thrown into blenders *voms in mouth a little bit* I’ve avoided them because I know I will feel horrifically guilty. I’m being a total chicken (excuse the pun). I did however, just watch Dairy is Scary, a five minute explanation of how the dairy industry treat cows and bulls, and oh em gee, I’m not sure I can ever drink milk again … or will I? Will the image of cows being raped and then forced to give up their newborns eventually fade from my mind when I’m craving a chocolate bar or want a pizza doused in four different cheeses?
So, I’m doing this challenge to not only see how a complete lack of meat and dairy will affect my body – my anxiety-ridden mind included in that – but to see if I can actually do it, if I could actually live as a vegan and at least try and help all those poor animals and no longer be a part of the dairy industry and meat industry, because as long as I’m buyng it, I’m partaking in all that cruel treatment to the animals, I’m the reason it’s happening.
But I’ll be honest, I already have very little faith in myself and no doubt February 1st will spent eating all three of my daily meals in McDonalds, devouring all the cheeseburgers my body can take after 31 days without.
Or maybe I’ll surprise myself, maybe I won’t miss the meat, maybe at the end of the 31 days I’ll jump on the veggan bandwagon (ok, so apparently thats like being a vegan, but you eat eggs).
Just to be clear, in case any of you feel like joining me in this challenge, here is what you CAN eat as a vegan:
• All fruits
• All veg
• Beans (including Heinz baked beans, joy)
• Soy-based products like Soy milk and Soy yoghurt
• Almond based products, such as Almond milk
• Pasta (that’s not made from egg)
• (Most) Coffee
• Olive oil
And here is a list of
my favourite foods all the foods a vegan CANNOT eat:
• Butter or cream (goodbye cake!)
• Milk from cows or goats
• Cheese from cows or goats
• Beef, chicken, lamb, pork, fish or shellfish
• Gelatin (Goodbye sweets)
• Honey (*cries*)
I was supposed to be convincing you, but I think I have completely put you off, haven’t I? I don’t blame you, I have found myself wondering how on Earth I’m going to do this.
But alas, I can only try.
To follow my progress and see how I do, you can follow me on Insatgram and keep up with my IG stories. Or you can now follow my hashtag: #hannahbananagoesvegan (just search for it on Instagram under tags, and then click follow).
Or to sign up yourself, head to veganuary.com and take the pledge (and chuck a little donation their way too).
I already put a little note on IG to announce I’m going Vegan and I’m chuffed with the response and support I have been given. Including an old work colleague of mine getting in touch (Thanks Angela) to tell me this very random but very important piece of information:
DID YOU KNOW THAT FOX’S PARTY RINGS BISCUITS ARE VEGAN??????
*immediately logs onto Tesco.com and orders 35 bags*
Below I’ve listed a few links that lovely friends and Twitter & IG followers have passed onto me to help both me, and any of you that, that want to do Veganuary this January: