Vegan coconut vegetable curry and roti.
Vegan coconut vegetable curry and roti.
Vegan salad - different, tasty and full of wholesome ingredients.
Vegan salad - different, tasty and full of wholesome ingredients.
Quinoa chips are a great snack.
Quinoa chips are a great snack.
We are seven days away from completing our vegan challenge, but who’s counting?

We are happy that we got to this point. Neither of us thought it possible without cheating or bending the rules.

Yet, with discipline, commitment and a lot of experimental eating and snacking, we’ve almost reached our goal.

Truth be told, we do miss our normal eating habits (and crave meat and dairy) and the convenience that comes with being a non-vegan.

It’s easier to buy meat, eggs and dairy at the supermarket rather than to troll the aisles, turning over every box and bottle for that elusive “vegan-friendly” sticker or label.

However, the health benefits of this diet might be worth committing to a plant-based lifestyle for a bit longer. Our skin is one of the most noticeable winners in the vegan lottery we entered this month. It has become more beautiful.

We have also survived the ridicule, questions and vegan jokes from our friends and colleagues.

Viwe

When I started this new lifestyle, I had one cheat day in mind - my birthday. But on the day of my birthday last week, I realised I didn’t miss meat and dairy products and continued my vegan diet.

Previously, my family and friends would usually drop off cake or cupcakes at work or at home for me as part of the celebrations.

This year, many were left with few options as the most convenient bakeries don’t cater for vegans.

But I found a wide range of vegan cupcakes at Charly’s Bakery that looked like any other sugary, buttery cupcake.

The vegan variety did taste slightly different, yet I enjoyed it and didn’t really see the need for a non-vegan cake.

While I enjoyed my vegan birthday, days later I realised just how much I was missing meat. I was tired of alternatives and the taste of meat substitutes.

I’m not a fan of the beef alternatives that are available in the vegan market. It’s just too far off from the meat that I usually eat.

But when it comes to chicken alternatives, I love the products and I could continue using them when I’m not vegan.

The challenge now is that I have to be more creative with food, be playful with my meals and focus more on the taste than what I’m missing so I can enjoy my meals.

Quinoa chips are a great snack.
Megan

If someone had told me six months ago that I would consider adopting a plant-based lifestyle on a more permanent basis, I would never have believed them.

Well, what a difference 23 days can make. In the last three weeks, the thought of becoming semi-vegetarian (or flexitarian) has crossed my mind more often.

If it wasn’t for this experiment I would still be filling my body with unhealthy, processed junk and wondering why I felt sluggish after some meals.

As I mentioned last week, the greatest reward for me is having the discipline to listen to my body and know when I have had enough.

Viwe and I had different objectives. Mine was to lose weight and, although my weight has remained unchanged, I do feel like I have more energy.

I have also been sleeping better and this is one of the benefits which dietitian Jessica Kotlowitz mentioned.

I also discovered two new favourites this week: the Simple Truth coconut vegetable curry and roti and Eat Real quinoa chips.

However, I am still dying for a cup of milky tea and a toasted cheese sandwich - with real cheese.

The absence of dairy products is probably the reason why I couldn’t go fully vegan. But vegetarian, definitely possible. I realised that while I could easily go without meat, milk and cheese are my weakness.