THE VEGAN DIARIES: Going cold turkey

If you’re a regular reader (then thank you) you might well have read my review of Vegfest, if you did you’ll already know that I’ve been toying with the idea of attempting a plant based diet and Vegfest helped to confirm that it’s something I’m really going to take seriously this year. In my usual style once I had decided that I wanted to essentially go vegan, I went in all guns blazing! Look at my fridge just a few days after Vegfest.


Then it hit me (much like falling over right onto my face) what this really meant for me, I’d made a lot of plans, including Christmas Day plans before this revelation. So what I decided to do was go cold turkey, give myself a week and a half to get into it before my Christmas plans started. Then anything that I had already booked and ordered, I’d still go with, I’d eat meat and dairy. That way I thought I’d be phasing it in and gently starting this overhaul of my diet.


In all honesty, by day 3 of the cold turkey approach I felt awful. I was feeling bloated, sluggish and just generally sick, whilst I know detoxing is hard (don’t let anyone tell you any different), your body goes through hell trying to expel all the bad stuff and get used to the massive change.

It’s also very hard to stay strong against the cravings and worst of all, it’s tough to break the eating habits that you’ve picked up over the years, but I’ll go into more detail in my review of the first week in January.

I managed to stick out the all guns blazing plant based diet for a week, by then it was time for my work Christmas lunch (which I’d already committed to). This felt like a welcomed break, I got to eat some turkey! For the lunch I had vegetable soup to start, gluten free Christmas turkey and a meringue with cream and berries for dessert. Now I can’t lie here, I bloody loved it, it’s exactly what I felt I needed, a break from it all. Writing this now, I feel weird. But that meal totally ‘cured’ me of the side effects of the detox that I was going through – I was raring to go again. So I started again, only this time I wasn’t as strict, mostly because I wanted to eat cheese, it felt like my right as a cheese loving human that I could eat cheese at Christmas, and eat the cheese I did. By the time I went home for Christmas I was feeling weird, I was in this odd limbo where I’d only eaten that one bit of turkey for two weeks, no other meat (not even bacon, my fave of all the meats), not one single egg and a fair whack of cheese – I mean what even is that diet? Health wise, I was feeling great, much better than the detox week at any rate.


This was tough for me, no one in my family is vegetarian, let alone vegan. I spent most of the time avoiding meat where I could on the sly. But, like I said earlier, I was happy to eat meat over Christmas mostly so that I wasn’t arriving and expecting my entire family to rearrange their food plans around what could well be just a phase. Christmas was amazing, there was great food, and I mean really GREAT food, if there’s one thing my family do well, it’s food (closely followed by booze). I didn’t spend too much time worrying about what I was eating dairy wise, I figured if this was my last traditional Christmas then I couldn’t beat myself up about it all. I ate the cheese, I ate the chocolate and I felt ok with it. The thing that surprised me the most was how fast I felt awful for eating meat, I’d only just started to quit meat properly earlier in the month but something in my brain had switched. I bloody love meat, Christmas is my favourite time for food, roast turkey on Christmas day and cold meats (especially ham) with pickles on Boxing Day are my two all time favourite meals, they always have been, but thus year was different. The long and short of it is, I felt bad, I enjoyed the food and I’m glad that I didn’t go home and be a diva (“I am vegan now, change Christmas!”) but gave myself once last chance to eat whatever I wanted because it really cemented for me that I wanted to give this plant based diet a real go. New Years Day would be the fresh start for my diet overhaul.

I’m going to try and keep track of how it’s going on here, please share any stories, recipes and experiences you’ve had on here or on my Facebook page.


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