Vegan vs vegetarian – no, I am not having a fight with myself or anybody else. I thought it would be good idea to share my thoughts on Veganuary, what I liked, what I didn’t, struggles & successes!
Before I jump into the nitty- gritty of all the truths, I did a 4 week recipe marathon where I shared my favourite recipes from each week of Veganuary! Links here – Week 1 – Week 2 – Week 3 – Week 4. I did these in a meal plan way, so you’re covered from breakfast to dinner. Plus some snack ideas too!
What I liked about being vegan?
I liked the challenge of cooking and eating vegan foods only. It really made me think outside the box on what meals to prepare. But on some – I just modified our go-to dinners to be vegan friendly.
One thing I knew would change drastically was snacking. Completely eliminating all chocolate bars was a massive win for me, as I love chocolate. But I couldn’t go the whole month without any chocolate. The only free from chocolate I actually enjoy is Nomo chocolate! They are delicious! You have to try them! Veganuary forced me to eat more healthy snacks like fruit, nuts and veggie sticks.
Main vegan obstacles
Eggs & honey. Both products are produced whether or not a human interferes in their affairs. But a full on veganism is to avoid all foods that are byproducts of animals and all living creatures. The sticking point is the use and treatment of these animals where the ‘no animal products for vegans’ come from. I have to be honest & say, that I did use honey during my veganuary, as I failed to get maple syrup.
If I ever decide to be a full time vegan, I might need to reserve the right to have some eggs once in a while.
As I mentioned in my Week 4 recipe blog – towards the end of the month I struggled to come up with new or modify existing recipes. I felt like my brain had switched off and didn’t want to play anymore. It has been 9 months since I gave up meat and became a vegetarian, while changing other animal by-products over to plant based as well. I am still fresh with vegetarianism and switching to being a vegan for a month was a big challenge.
Are shops vegan friendly?
Right… this is a toughy! There are tons more vegan options on the shop shelves than there was a year ago, but still very-very limiting. You have to be creative and think on your feet with what meals you can make with what’s available. I don’t want this to put you off going vegan, this is just a heads-up!
I do think big grocery store chains could do more- offer more variety and options for vegans and vegetarians. For example- we loved Tesco finest dinner meal deals. They were tasty & great value for money. However, we have only ever seen one vegetarian main dish in the selection. And none for vegans. Who knows – maybe part of the reason why people don’t want to go down the plant based route is that they don’t think there’s enough options?
If you would have told me this time last year that I will be a vegetarian and completed a whole month of vegan friendly foods only. I would have laughed and told you to fluff off. But, here we are and I am super proud & happy with myself for doing it and completing it. For me personally – I can’t do half measures, it’s kind of- all or nothing kind of deal. But if you are looking into going down the vegetarian route or trying vegan foods, don’t be scared to try. You don’t have to change your whole diet or lifestyle. Just do one thing at a time. Start with trying what will feel the easiest to swap out, and take it from there.
I would just like to say that at the moment- it’s only vegan foods I am trying. I’ve not changed any other part of my life over to veganism. One thing at a time.
So… the verdict… vegan vs vegetarian!
Erm…. I don’t think I can call it either way. There are things that you will find easier being a vegetarian. And some as a vegan. I have been (whole 9 months) a vegetarian, which is tons more than I’ve been a vegan, but I enjoy both. Both are challenging, veganisms more so that vegetarianism. But isn’t that the best part? Taking on a new challenge and smashing it?
This blog post isn’t really about vegan vs vegetarian as such, more of an explanation with what I’ve discovered while being both.
I do hope you have found this helpful and please – check out some of my other posts. Vegan recipes by any chance? Why not head over to the Food section (click the image below) of the blog and see if anything takes your fancy?