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Saturday 2nd February

On waking – tea with almond milk

Breakfast

Museli with almond milk and chopped kiwi fruit

2 slices of toast, one with Marmite and one with p-nut butter

Coffee with almond milk

Snacks

Lemon & Ginger tea

Water

A stick of celery

Quite a few dates

Lunch

Steamed asparagus with non-dairy ‘butter’

Wholegrain basmati rice with spices and chopped tomato

Red grape juice

Dinner

Tamale Pie from the ‘Colour Me Vegan’ cookbook (a bit like a Mexican version of ‘Shepherd’s Pie’, made with beans, sweetcorn and vegetables, topped with polenta)

Colcannon from the ‘Colour Me Vegan’ cookbook (made with potato, curly kale, garlic, onions and non-dairy ‘butter’

More dates

A coffee with almond milk

Sunday 3rd February

Breakfast

3 slices toast

Baked beans

Fried mushrooms

Grilled tomatoes

Tea with almond milk

Half a red grapefruit with a sprinkling of muscovado sugar

Mid-morning: Black coffee

Lunch

Salad of chopped bell peppers and baby spinach leaves

Carrot batons

Houmous on 2 x medium sized baked potato – skin crisped with olive oil and salt

Supper

Wasn’t very hungry so snacked on pistachios, dried apricots, and ate 2 of the Oat/Banana/Date cookies (recipe from ‘Colour Me Vegan’) that I’d made.

In the evening I drank both fruity and chamomile teas and ate another of the cookies.

It’s been a weekend of feasting on a wide variety of delicious food, much more of a variety than I’ve been accustomed to eating for a long time.  It’s been great, but it’s been quite intense too (and that’s before you factor in last night’s curly kale affected sleep…)  I think it’s fair to say that, at the moment, my body doesn’t know quite what’s hit it.  Things are being flushed through.  I won’t go into detail, but I’ve spent a bit more time than usual in the loo today, and have also found myself quite emotional and having a cry as well.  In the middle of the afternoon I had a lie down and a nap.  Despite this, I’ve felt mentally alert, cheerful and in touch with my appetite.  These are all good things.  I’ve worked hard for my food this weekend, but I’ve enjoyed it (it was great to enjoy a cooked breakfast this morning) and I’m pleased that there are enough leftovers for me not to need to worry about Monday’s meals.

People continue to be curious.  Dan tells me it’s making him think about trying not to be “a lazy vegetarian” and look at how he can get more veg variety into his meals, not rely on the same old staples.  At church this morning, I chatted with a friend who is vegetarian but is going to eat Vegan during Lent.  We’re going to collaborate on a food consciousness evening: a shared meal, prayer and discussion.  There was more talk about shoes.  People seem to be very concerned about the shoes and handbags issue.  Handbags aren’t really an issue for me personally, but shoes, as I’ve mentioned previously, will require some thought.  This evening I was offered some Mead and declined, which led to a chat about honey and bees.  I didn’t want to be a bee-bore, so I avoided lengthy explanations, and stuck to the “Vegans don’t use anything at all that’s derived from animals” line.  It seems that choosing to eat Vegan brings with it some ambassadorial duties.  I’m not entirely comfortable with these at the moment.  The acute focus of it all is taking a lot of energy and I’ll be glad as time passes and it becomes more ‘normal’ to be doing this.

In the evening, I baked some Banana Oat Date Cookies.  Sweet treats to last through the week.  It was another recipe from ‘Colour Me Vegan’.  Very quick and simple to make.  They contain lots of my favourite things, including coconut, and smelt enticing while they were baking.  The taste is less sweet than I’m used to, but the texture satisfying.  A friend who tried one said, “Mmm. Interesting. Tastes very…. healthy” which I don’t take as a whole-hearted endorsement, and I found myself fantasizing about dipping them in chocolate.  (That would be allowed as long as it was pure, dark chocolate, without dairy, so I’ll bear it in mind for the future.)  I guess we really are used to things which are very sugar-ed up, and nature’s sugar is gentler than that.

I’m going to end by crediting the ‘Colour Me Vegan’ recipe book, since it’s seen me off to a really good start, not just this weekend, but in preceding weeks as I’ve tried out new recipes.  The format – eating by colour – is seductive and the nutritional advice sound.  The enthusiasm of the book’s author – Colleen Patrick-Goudreau – carries you along and encourages you into a feast of the senses as you explore Vegan eating.  Here’s a link:- http://www.compassionatecook.com/publications/color-me-vegan.

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