Is meat-free becoming mainstream?

Veganuary has come to a close and while I was a little late to the party I challenged myself to go vegan for a week as part of a Hubbub video investigating the mainstreaming of the meat and dairy-free diet.

I have been a vegetarian for a few years but I’ve never taken the dive into veganism for lots of different reasons, but mainly because I have an unhealthy love for cheese, and cooking all my food in butter. At the end of the week I wanted to share with you a few of the things I learned when I ditched dairy and eggs for the week.

1) You don’t need all the alternatives

Don’t get me wrong some vegan alternatives are delicious and and it’s amazing that vegan alternatives like quorn, tofurky and others exist, but I didn’t have them everyday. A lot of the alternatives can be heavily processed and I didn’t feel like I needed them to feel full. Things like Tofu, nuts and good old fashioned vegetables gave me plenty of protein for the week and kept things affordable.

2) I didn’t miss cheese

I am as shocked as you, trust me. I truly thought cheese would be my downfall but after a few days the craving wore off and I didn’t miss it nearly as much as I thought I would. If you are looking for alternatives I much preferred the soft cheese alternatives to the cheddar style hard cheeses. Also vegan pizza is incredible…

3) I ate pretty much the same food

Rather than trying to learn how to make complicated new recipes with loads of ingredients I tried to keep it simple and cook all of my favourite dishes with slight twists. Nutritional yeast, which you can get really cheaply from most places, helped make dishes like risotto and pasta taste creamy. Dhal and curries also make great staples. It’s always fun to experiment and mix things up but a big change to your lifestyle should be easy to keep up and not take up too much more of your cash or time.

4) Eating out is easy

I live in London which may affect things but eating out was a breeze, most high street chains have a vegan option and it was easy to find places that catered for vegans and meat eaters alike. There are few great apps that help with locating the best vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants in your area. More Than Carrots or Happy Cow are two options worth checking out. 

5) There is loads of support out there

Doing a quick search for recipes led me to a host of vegan bloggers and chefs who had all been on this journey before so they had some great advice on what to eat, how to make sure you are eating enough of everything and cooking delicious, affordable vegan food. If you are interested in dipping your toe into veganism I would recommend visiting the Veganuary or the Vegan society website for some top tips.

Watch our vlog to find out more about how I found going meat-free for the week.

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