In the spirit of World Vegan Month, we gave our Gosh! digital guru, Toni, a challenge: to try something different and give veganism a go! Toni set out to test some of the common preconceptions attached to veganism, and to see what tasty plant-based food choices are out there! Here’s what she found:
You’re going what?!
“Without a doubt the most challenging part of my entire month as a vegan occurred during the first day: telling people! As you can imagine I was met with all of the common questions from worried friends and family: “Will you get enough protein?” “So all you can eat is salad?” “You won’t get enough energy, you’re going to be tired all the time!” The list goes on. This included my gym-loving boyfriend, who just couldn’t see where the protein was coming from! I realized that a bit of research was in order.”
“It turns out that a lot of beans, lentils and certain veg contain ample amounts of protein, and can be so much fun to shop for and cook (especially now that the boyfriend approves!). After my brief education on the nutritional aspect of veganism, I began experimenting with plant-based foods and found some real favourites:
- Bean stew
- Soya bolognaise
- Tofu (seasoned)
- Roasted veg
- Gosh! with…. Just about anything!
And these are just a few! I also found some new favourite veggies that I hadn’t even tried before: samphire, tenderstem broccoli, sweet sprouting cauliflower and exotic mushrooms. Cooking at home has been an exciting and educational experience, and I’ve cooked up some real winners (and some less appetizing dishes…. but hey, that’s how you learn!)”
“The meal that I found the easiest (and tastiest) was definitely breakfast – oat milk, oats, seeds and fruit is what gets me out of bed in the morning! Eating at friends’ houses was slightly more difficult: convenient foods that I could take along with me, like Gosh!, were my saviours here, and once my friends tried a bite they wanted some too!”
Eating out – freaking out!
“While most restaurants now cater for vegetarians, all the non-meat options still seemed to contain lots of cheese, milk, eggs etc. It proved very difficult to simply enjoy a meal with friends, especially when even some wine is not vegan (who knew!). Picking up a quick lunch on the go was another challenge.”
“My month as a vegan also brought with it a few surprises. Only once I needed to know exactly what was is in the food I eat did I realise just how little I actually know about what goes on my plate. For example, only when I started looking for milk on the ingredients lists did I realise just how many surprising foods contain dried milk! There were some pleasant surprises too though: before taking on my vegan challenge, I was concerned that my weekly supermarket shop would consist of nothing but raw veggies – how wrong I was! There are now so many more options available for vegans and special dietary requirements, and the ability to grab nutritious, satisfying convenience foods like Gosh! made my food shop far more fun. Foods marked with the vegan society logo made this whole process much quicker and easier. If only more vegan food could be labelled this way!”
“My tips and tricks?
- Humus or avocado smashed are great butter replacements- and healthier too!
- Vegan chocolate – need I say more?
- Pineapple flavoured Candy Kittens are great for satisfying a sweet tooth
- Vegan cheese with… well, anything!
- Experiment with different plant based milks to find your perfect match. For me? Cashew milk!”
“So my month as a vegan has now come to an end. And the result? For starters, I’ve proved my family’s and friends’ worries to be complete misguided – once they tried my plant-based recipes themselves they couldn’t deny that vegan meals can be really tasty! I’ve found that I’m now far more aware of what I’m eating – checking the back of packets to ensure products are vegan has also encouraged me to check for hidden nasties, and this is definitely something I will take forward with me. While I don’t intend to remain fully vegan now, this month has shown me how fun and varied plant based eating can be, and I certainly feel better for it. The experience has been much more positive than I anticipated, and I fully intend to continue cooking my favourite vegan meals for myself, family and friends!”
Here at Gosh!, we love to embrace life, and the freedom to eat and live well. Because our foods are simply a natural riot of vegetables, herbs and spices, you can rest assured that you won’t find any hidden nasties in our products! Feeling inspired by Toni’s experience of plant-based eating? Why not try eating entirely plant based foods one day each week? You might discover some of your own new favourite meals!