'; Kerstin Heath | CCC2019 cCHALLENGE
I'm passionate about helping to sort out the planet! I have a number of projects I am working on currently.
My challenge
Going vegan

Day 30:

And of course this group has been great for increasing connections – I have interacted with the people here both within and outside the group, as well as having had conversations with other people about related issues, than I would have done without.  So thankyou!

Day 30:

A last-ditch post!  So overall it has gone well.  Sure there have been small aberrations but I know that percentage-wise I did very well.  I shall continue doing what I am doing to a large extent.  


I came across this article which I am posting not for the veganism which I know is a contentious issue! but for the discussion of change which I thought was very interesting.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/shortcuts/2019/jan/30/farmers-vegan-science-behind-changing-your-mind?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR0QMZ9kTPOO1lsvhlZVRGYOcMeEbcZ8AUiJ-xewTnW1UK0j_eQ_8CSO7cc

Day 13:

Still essentially good today, but I did have another aberration with a reduced dairy-containing pastry which had been requested by the children, with which I joined in.  


I love the fact that I am contributing less to plastic waste by not using cow’s milk and cheese.


I still feel lighter.

Day 12:

And please don’t anyone worry – I’ve already re-checked info on other things one needs to eat besides just protein for healthy nails eg this article https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/no-more-brittle-nails-load-up-on-these-6-essential-nutrients-for-healthy-nail-growth-1768895

Day 12:

Glad to see you describe yourself as a radical optimist, Marilyn – I also am an optimist!


Overall this challenge is going ok: I have not specifically had any dairy milk or cheese and have done pretty well bar a few aberrations like the ones already mentioned.  One of these was a slice of pizza when my children had one from a pizza place which makes really nice pizzas which I really enjoy.  Normally I would have had more, but I just had one slice.  Also today there was a pancake I don’t often buy, but if I do, I normally have with butter.  I had half without, but I did have the other half with.  Again, I just really wanted to have a small taste of the flavour.


I am also a little bit worried as my right thumbnail is quite soft.  I know a lot about nutrition and plant protein including combining (which I am aware is sometimes contested) so am rather frustrated by this.  Had an in theory good combo this morning (beans on toast and pecans) and this evening (pea soup with oatcakes) but am considering upping the sunflower seeds tomorrow.   I am a bit unhappy about this.

Day 10:

Aha!  I discovered today that the chocolate I had the other day was in fact vegan when I thought it wasn’t – hooray!  

On the other hand, when I bought the children a pizza I just had one slice.  Similarly today I bought them something with cream in and just had a bite to try it.  I’m ok with this though as these were just tiny amounts, so much less than I would have had normally.  And why did I do these things?  As with so many things, it is difficult to identify all the ‘reasons’ and mysterious forces involved, but definitely one of them is being used to joint, social eating with the children and another is just liking particular flavours.  But I was still fine with my efforts, as I was perfectly happy just to have a taste.  As I always say, percentages matter, ie the fact that I am having so much less dairy in particular is the main thing to write home about, whereas having the odd mouthful is really neither here nor there. 

Day 9:

I wanted to say that near the beginning of the challenge I rushed up to the shop to buy some sunflower seeds (in a paper bag, of course!) as a comfort backstop in case I felt I might be in a situation where I was lacking something (mostly calories, a satisfying feeling or protein, I think).  I knew that pulses were good, but I was not confident that I would always have some cooked and on hand, so the seeds were more immediately available.


I have been monitoring my body and mind to make sure that I have not become more weak or vague (a B12 deficiency symptom) but I have been fine.  I feel less clumpy – not that I actually felt clumpy before, but now I feel that bit better.


I also have cooked more (brown) rice to have on hand, which is great, as brown rice on its own has a reasonably high protein content and I find it most satisfying.  I note the food miles considerations as per Daniela and fully agree that oats or barley are better, but we do already eat a lot of oats and I thought that at least rice is better than some other things.

Day 9:

So there have been a couple of aberrations.  The first was a pre-arranged visit to a Chinese restaurant which can not use MSG on request.  I had wanted to go here for years, but now the situation had changed slightly so we ‘needed’ to go during the challenge.  I could have had vegan, but I had had this planned in a certain way for so long so did not.  But that’s ok.  It is part of life and I am still otherwise keeping to the challenge: for example, it is a big thing for me to be dairy-free – probably more than meat-free, as I had not eaten much meat or fish for years, whereas I had hitherto always eaten dairy almost daily. 

A second was a tiny taste of a meat pizza which some of my children wanted.  Again I felt fine about this, as it was a tiny taste only.  In addition, I did not feel ‘deprived’ at them eating meat when I did not, which was good.

So some people might be disappointed, and for sure it would have been better not to have eaten any – after all, no one was forcing me to – but at the same time these were small aberrations.  I still know that I am taking this very seriously – I still spend most of the time scouring about for dairy-free foods and often feeling hungry – but still clearer and more conscious.


Day 4:

I am pleased to report that since yesterday afternoon, when I felt really hungry and so ate lots of seeded oatcakes, I have felt really good – I still feel much ‘leaner’, and in general hungrier than before, but I and my mind and body seem to have come to terms with the differences, although it is early days yet.  Really enjoying this clearer nose too!  So there can be unexpected advantages to effecting changes, can’t there!  I am looking forward very much to hearing from the other 3 who also decided to go vegan.

Day 3:

So yesterday morning I woke up feeling much clearer in the nasal area.  I’d never had a problem as such, but I did have probably a very slight tendency for nasal congestion which I gather is very common with commercial dairy.  So that was most welcome and I think might encourage me to eat much less dairy or keep it out completely going forward too.


As regards other effects, I was glad that I was already quite familiar with the effects people often experience on changing to vegan or raw diets, as over the past 2 days I have felt hungrier, keener at times and also at times decidedly weird, with a strange feeling at the top of my head.  I am keeping a firm eye on myself healthwise however and mentally checking that I am not falling short on any nutrition.


I was disappointed earlier in the day when the children and I shared out 2 squares of chocolate each and it was only after I had popped it in my mouth that I remembered I was on the challenge!  There was no way I was going to waste it though!  Similarly I’ve realised only now that I had a fish oil supplement earlier today!  No matter – these things will hardly ‘break the bank’ of essentially being vegan!

Day 1:

I had already done some transitioning things like on and off mentally preparing myself for this, although I had not sat down to think this through fully – but I liked that – I didn’t want to over-plan it.  Yesterday evening I likewise had just a quick scan to see if anything non-vegan needed eating up, so had a particular sandwich.  Also during the night I found myself thinking about accompaniments for one of the meals for today (leek and potato soup), which I would normally accompany with cheese and butter but now will have either just plain or with a small sprinkling of salt or perhaps something else.  But I was looking forward to the challenge, as although I had not been a huge animal products eater, I had wanted to cut down for a while.  But still this morning I found myself surprised that I ‘could not’ have a morning drink with (cows’) milk.  I am not really interested in most plant milk substitutes as they generally come in even worse packaging than cows’ (in many respects), so I quickly chose a herbal tea whose taste I was completely happy to have without milk of any sort: it was fennel!  I look forward to seeing what the rest of the day and month will bring!  It will be an adventure!