Happy New Year! After a really busy couple of weeks and a very late night for NYE I mainly stayed in bed yesterday but, in true seasonal spirit we did eventually go to the local pub to meet neighbours for a quick bit of supper. I was met with an unexpected problem however; NOTHING on the menu, except chips, was vegan, and as yesterday was the first day of me doing the Veganuary Challenge, chips was the only dish I could order. This was not a good start.
Ordinarily, I’m blasé about cultural fads, dubious about the ‘latest’ eating trends and am not interested in committing to any kind of lifestyle change in January, BUT, after watching a shocking film by Viva which highlights awful animal welfare issues in the Pig Farming industry, I felt compelled to make some changes. I wasn’t sure about becoming vegetarian again (I did it once before for 6 years) and after giving it some thought, I forgot about it. It was synchronistic then that a few days later I was contacted by by Sue Miller, the founder of Miller Green, a vegan fresh food delivery service here in Bristol, who wanted to know if I’d be up for trying vegan for one month. The challenge is in line with the global charity, Veganuary which encourages people to try vegan for January to raise public awareness. I spared no thought about the challenge and in true Gemma style, said yes on the spot.
Accompanying me on the Veganuary challenge is my friend Huntley, a photographer based in Bristol, and we will be supporting each other throughout the month. Our concerns at the outset are similar: ‘how will life fare without butter, cheese, eggs, honey, will people still invite us out, what can we eat in restaurants?’ and we shall regularly compare detailed notes over almond milk flat whites…
Sue is so passionate about animal welfare and the impact of meat and dairy industry on the environment and public health that she decided to set up Miller Green in order to show people that eating vegan is not only easy, it’s absolutely delicious. The family run company operates from the basement of Sue’s house in Bristol where we met her to discuss the challenge in more detail and and also to try products that we can use as butter and cheese substitutes – the two foods I’m going to really miss. Sue’s knowledge and passion to about being Vegan is inspiring, she also looks incredible for her age and is full of energy so any concerns I have about converting disappear (she also reassures me that Gin is vegan – winner).
I am particularly interested on the impact Veganuary will have on me both physically and mentally, specifically in relation to running (I currently run approximately 14 miles a week), my energy levels, hormones and my digestion (there will be a lot of beans!); but there is so much research that backs up the positive impact it should have on my body, that I’m actually really excited.
Miller Green will deliver lunch and supper to me daily, which will make the transition much easier, and I will be recording my findings as I go, giving you updates on here, Instagram and Facebook. Instinctively, I already feel that I won’t return to my old dietary habits (which are really healthy anyway), mainly because of the impact I know I can make by being Vegan, but I’m open to the experience.
More information from Sue about why we should eat more vegetables and the Veganuary offer for customers can be found at www.millergreen.co.uk