I first heard about Veganuary from a work colleague who was going to give it a go and, as I was looking to make some positive dietary changes in my life, I thought I would too.
I found the transition to vegan very easy (it probably helped I’d tried it before in my youth). The expected cravings for cheese and Kit Kats (staples of my former diet) never materialised, and I happily swapped milk, butter and chocolate for vegan alternatives.
January went by very quickly and I decided to commit to another three months of veganism once we hit February; I felt I wanted to take it further but wasn’t ready to make a long-term commitment. Quite early on in that period, however, I realised that I did want this to be a permanent change, and committed indefinitely – and don’t really see anything making me want to alter that.
I lead a very active lifestyle – I work full time in retail, and my main interest outside work is ITF Taekwondo. I train three times a week on average, and one of my initial concerns was whether being vegan would negatively impact on my training… Happily the answer was no; if anything, my fitness has improved since becoming vegan and I’ve been able to train more intensely, helping me to grade successfully for my 2nd degree Black Belt in March.
The reaction from friends and family has been generally positive. I accept I’m lucky in that I work with two other vegans and a vegetarian (not a bad ratio out of a total staff of eight!). I come from a small family – my Dad is used to me doing slightly unconventional things, and my (adult) son thinks it’s all part of my midlife crisis!
The next step for me is to make more positive changes to my dietary habits – I’d like to more fully embrace the ‘Clean Eating’ philosophy, and experiment with eating ‘raw till dinner’ on a long-term basis to observe its effects on my health and fitness. My next challenge is to be fit enough for Brighton Half Marathon in February 2015, and after that I have my eye on 3rd degree Black Belt.