After this alcohol, sugar – in fact just calories in general, filled summer that I have had I decided to give my body a cleanse. Not only am I attempting #SoberSeptember, I am going Vegan for 10 days too (for the first time everrrr). Why? My skin was so bad by the end of summer and I was always feeling bloated. I’ve been trying to cut down dairy anyway as I’ve noticed a direct correlation to my bloaty feeling and I am sure gluten is instigator too.
There are a few things being a 10 day vegan has taught me, I have entered the vegan realm and live to speak about it:
- It is hard not to talk about being a vegan. I think I mentioned it at least once a day that I was doing a vegan cleanse. You just have to be so aware and conscious of what you eat that its constantly on your mind – oops!
- Get creative in the kitchen. You can’t just easily get something to eat on the way home. Even in London you have to look out for the right options. I usually plan my meals every week but this week I planned extra hard. I’ve also never eaten so many lentils in a space of 10 days.
I am writing this on the day after my 10 day detox and some people may ask – what is 10 days? Well combined with no alcohol and a cut in refined sugars it is quite the achievement for lil old me. So I am taking baby steps and I will continue to do this for a longer period. As for tomorrow, I am going to that toast with smoked salmon, avocado and poached eggs to treat myself. Have I seen any results so fars?
- My skin has improved, I was having a small breakout two weeks ago and this stopped
- Unfortunately a few days in my immune system fell victim to the viruses and shit weather so I was ill and took a break from the gym. However, I have noticed a small shed of weight ( I don’t weigh myself by the way I take body pics). Now I am ready to combine the diet with my workout and see if I can get those damn abs!
This was probably the most challenging part of my day because I LOVE eggs – scrambled, poached, boiled etc. Luckily, I also LOVE avocado’s. Making a quick Guacamole is a good shout to add flavour. Just get one ripe avocado, add a quarter chopped onion, some fresh corrainder and chopped tomato’s. Season it with some salt, pepper and lemon juice and there you have it!
Smoothies with oats and fruits are also a good alternative but on the cold days where you just want something warm you can opt for quinoa porridge with coconut milk. It keeps you full in the morning and tastes extra good with maple syrup 😉
Fruit is an obvious snack and also a post meal dessert. I was quite surprised at how easily my cravings for sweets and chocolates were killed after day 3 and I am determined to keep that going in order to stay away from the devil i.e refined sugars.
Nuts are also a great source of protein that help fill you between your main meals. I always stock up on nuts when I do a shop at Lidl because their so cheap!
It was surprisingly easy getting through with just veggies maybe because the summer ended and the weather turned cold so my body automatically craved curries and soups. An easy go to is a vegetable curry with lentils, chickpeas, long beans – actually any vegetable you fancy! Saute this with onions and garlic, mixed with chopped tomatoes and coconut milk and then add in a tea spoon or two each of curry powder, turmeric and cumin.
A great soup recipe I tried from “Eating Bird Food” uses vegetable stock with lentils, butternut squash and carrots with thyme. This soup really warms you up and keeps you full with the squash adding the perfect consistency without using any cream.
Another recipe I tried was for a vegan shepherds pie. For the mashed potato I used soy milk instead of normal milk and butter and that was enough to get the mash creamy and tasty. Like with the curry, you can add any veggie that takes your fancy for the day, saute them before adding vegetable stock to the mixture and letting it cook. Then place that with the overlay of mash into the over and bake for about 25 minutes.
There are so many other cuisine’s to experiment with. My good friend invited us round for a vegan Afro-Caribbean night. With Callaloo ( the leafy green dish, with similar flavours to spinach and kale), fried plantain (YUM), Roti, Jollof rice and chickpea & potato curry. Is your mouth watering? Yeah mine too…
My biggest concern was how I had to behave during my social appointments with friends. Was I going to be that annoying person who can’t go to the restaurant of choice because of the lack of vegan options? Thankfully no, the Athenian (my favourite greek wrap place in Boxpark Shoreditch) does a vegan wrap option with mushroom and their amazing aubergine paste. This tastes really good, although admittedly not as good as the chicken and halloumi alternative.
Bibimbap, a Korean place on Greek street, Soho also has a good vegan option with Tofu, veg and rice that tastes really good (especially with extra chilli sauce).
So as I sit here, after I have had a Lebanese lamb with rice and salad, I must say that I never felt too tired or overly full on any of my meals the last 10 days. And even after eating that lamb, it didn’t feel like I had really missed meat, in fact my jaws were probably annoyed at the added chewing they had to do.
So why not turn full fledged vegan? As much as it felt great, I would need a cheat meal here and there because I just love cheese, creamy things, meat every now and again and smoked salmon. So what I might do is do a longer detox for a month with a few cheat meals allowed here and there and see how that impacts me.
FYI – I am not a food nutritionist, I just listen to what my body tells me. If something makes me feel good and have great skin then it must work for me right?
I am going to treat myself to some chocolate now