Lizzie joined over 150,000 people who tried veganuary. Here she shares her experiences and what she has learned.
Before the veganuary, I had a kind of animal product in every meal. My friend and I cook fresh, but we are fit. When we get home in the evening, not much is thought about what we eat.
I wanted to try veganuary to experience the health benefits of a plant-based diet, improve my mood and energy, and reset my skin after months of eating heavy foods – which resulted in an oily T-section and breakouts in my chin.
I learned the following …
You must be organized
The most striking thing was the time it took to plan, buy and prepare meals. I had to cook or prepare the night before or had limited options in local shops. It really helped build some vegan recipes.
You need support
Becoming vegan is a big lifestyle change and you need support. Fortunately, Amy and Nicola also did veganuary and some of my friends in the office, which meant we could share recipe tips and encouragement. Something as simple as "I bought almond milk for the week!" Made a big difference.
You add more salt and pepper
I added more spices to make food appear more appealing and ate more carbohydrates than normal. So initially I didn't see the effects on my skin I was hoping for. But when I got everything in balance, my skin felt less greasy and looked plumper.
You try new things
I was more adventurous when choosing my dishes. Veganuary had more restaurants on board than I expected. I tried an incredible vegan dish of caramelized chestnut gnocchi, baked pumpkin, chanterelles, salsify and truffles that I would never have tried before!
They treat food differently
Veganuary taught me to experience food in a different way. Instead of seeing meat as the main ingredient in a meal, I created and selected dishes for their delicious mix of flavors, textures and nutrition. I think the biggest effect was on my energy level, I feel more positive and sleep better.
I will continue in moderation. I want to eat vegan during the day, but not too restrictive at night because I find it difficult to plan alongside an active lifestyle. Still, I'm definitely going to try more vegan options in restaurants and try out more inventive herbal recipes myself.