Joy Does Veganuary

Hi, I’m Joy! A keen meat-eater, the thought of being vegan had never crossed my mind until a few months ago.

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The physiotherapist in me has always been very health conscious, although that hasn’t stopped my weight being up and down like most women. My staple diet consisted of white meat – particularly chicken. I could eat chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, I ate other things too but my diet was very heavily influenced by protein-rich meat.  Every so often, the naughty side of me will over-indulge in bread, rice and chocolates – lots of it too, and as much as I hate to admit it – sometimes, all in one go! Eeek! Do not try this at home kids!

Last year, I realised I needed a change! I love to cook and eat good food, but I knew I wanted feel good too. I’m a big foodie, clearly, and I believe everyone is entitled to eating guilt-free. So I started researching ways to still enjoy the things I love whilst discovering new things but, at the same time, trying to stay healthy. This brings me to my initial reason for wanting to become vegan – to have more healthy variety in my diet.

I considered being vegetarian but I once dated a vegetarian and for two and a half years, we virtually ate the same diet except that he didn’t eat meat, so quickly that lost its place on my options list.

I had been hearing about veganism for a while but unfortunately, on most internet sites, there are individuals who tend to preach… about eating raw, not being an ‘animal killer’ or how fat you will be if you don’t eat vegan food. This put me off a lot at the start, but then I decided to take the 22-day vegan challenge. I managed this successfully by not taking it too seriously. I concentrated on simply finding alternatives for things I couldn’t do without ,like milk, butter etc.

I also knew if this was going to be fruitful, then I would have to somehow manage to eat the things I like – spicy, hearty food. Unfortunately, I also found the vegan alternatives for desserts – my absolute weakness and with carbs being on the menu, I went heavy on the rice, pasta and bread (which I had cut out of my previous protein rich diet).  Safe to say I completed the 22-day challenge successfully, but I felt like I wanted more. I felt like all I had done was turned my current diet vegan but there was just much more out there to learn, and I was itching!

Soon enough, I found out about Veganuary and it was a match made in heaven. Very quickly, I was Twitter-chatting with Founder, Matthew and Marketing Manager, Clea. The quick-thinking presenter in me quickly came up with an idea for a video series and now, I couldn’t be happier to be working on an amazing project with them.

Through this video series, I’m hoping to throw myself into this mad, exciting new world and learn as much as possible about the vegan lifestyle and its people. Whilst I’m feeding my curiosity, I’d love to lose a few pounds too!

I hope to continue my vegan journey after January in some shape or form. Ultimately, I’d love to see ‘everyday’ restaurants with menus full of vegan alternatives so that being vegan is accessible to everyone and anyone. This way, we’d be saving our planet, and future generations will grow up more open-minded and informed enough to make better decisions.

Click here to follow the Joy Does Veganuary video series

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Veganuary is the world's largest vegan movement, inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.