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“I’ve had so much more veg”
Our CEO Katharine went vegetarian throughout January for Veganuary, here’s how she got on
Veganuary is a charity campaign where people ditch animal products for the month of January in the name of improving animal welfare and reducing climate change. The timing is apt, as The Lancet releases guidelines on what makes up a diet that’s healthy for the body and for the planet, and it’s almost entirely plant based.
Our CEO, previously-carnivorous Katharine, took on the challenge and, unsurprisingly, she’s eaten a lot more veg!
Why did you decide to do Veganuary?
Well OK, I should admit from the start that I did not do ‘Veganuary’ in fact, but ‘Vegetarianuary’, which isn’t so catchy, and is a lot easier. Having spent a lovely Christmas with my vegetarian Father in law, I was aware that his meals looked just as delicious and a lot healthier than my meaty alternatives.
What type of thing have you been eating? Have you made big changes?
I hadn’t realized how stuck in a rut I was with my cooking. I have very little time to cook dinner after commuting home, so I was delighted to find so many quick and easy recipes online.
Salads don’t provide much comfort for a cold January, but vegetable curries, bean stews, halloumi burgers, minestrone soup, even homemade falafel – which were much nicer than shop-bought (if I do say so myself) – all do. All ready in under 30 minutes and all considerably cheaper than the meat alternatives.
Has it affected your social life?
My friends and family all know how interested I am in healthy living and are used to asking me all about salt and sugar – it was a nice change for me to be asked about something else! Surprisingly, most people I spoke to also said they were trying to eat less meat.
I enjoy eating out and would normally choose a fish option. I quickly realized that restaurants have come along in leaps and bounds in providing imaginative alternatives, I was even able to order a vegan set menu in France, of all places! In fact, I found having less options to choose from quite relaxing – no food envy!
What about family life?
I didn’t think my husband would join in with me, but not only did he embrace it at home, he made some of the most delicious meals. My children are very young and as I only feed them unprocessed meat and fish as part of a well balanced diet, they have not joined in with us. In the future, who knows…
Do you think you will keep it going after January ends?
I will definitely commit to eating less and higher welfare meat and fish.
Have you changed your perspective on vegetarianism or veganism?
I was glad to get a ‘boost’ mid-January from a paper in The Lancet advocating a less meaty and more vegetably diet for both health and environmental reasons – a win win.
I do think being vegan would require a lot more planning, time and research, maybe next year.
Katharine will be sharing some delicious vegetarian recipes in this summer’s Positive Pressure Magazine. Become a member to receive your copy.