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I just wrote a whole very dull post about how Veganuary has been dead easy because most of my meals were vegan before and telling you all about what I like to eat. But I deleted it. No-one had anything to gain from that.

So instead I will advise anyone thinking about becoming vegan to join a facebook group because it’s absolutely hilarious and will spur you on. I do think that anyone going from meat eating to vegan in one step is far braver than me, but reading the many tales of drunken chicken burgers has been a real laugh. Sometimes laughing at others is the best way to get out of my own embarrassment of what a nob I feel asking if anything is vegan in a small town cafe (it isn’t).

For anyone wanting to go veggie, or vegan, a few insider tips; couscous is crap.You don’t need to eat it. There are so many other options all of which are infinitely tastier – lentils, quinoa, giant couscous, beans or a whole world of different kind of rice. Most dried pasta is vegan, who knew? I didn’t. ‘Just Puff’ puff pastry is vegan! Some noodles are vegan, not just rice noodles, YAY UDON! Almost all food tastes better if you take inspiration from Ottolenghi and sprinkle a load of toasted crushed seeds on it, and you can just do this in bulk and keep it in a jar, I go through a tonne of Caraway, Coriander, Fennel and Cumin seeds. So good. Beetroot and Caraway is a particular match made in heaven. You don’t need to buy weird vegan products, I haven’t. I am looking forward to eating blocks of paneer in February but didn’t bother getting any vegan cheese or fake meat. Oh I did get some soya custard, which was delicious. You might not loose weight. I’ve certainly not. Thanks a lot family sized bags of crisps for being vegan. You’ll hate yourself for saying the word vegan several times a day, especially if your husband or friends point it out every time.

I’ll definitely not be vegan after January, but I’ll also definitely be eating less dairy. I didn’t struggle at all to cut out eggs so I’ll be hoping to very rarely eat them, although it’d make going for a coffee infinitely more enjoyable if I can sometimes have a cake too. I’d also like to make my switch from milk to almond milk permanent, so the main change will be not reading ingredients of ready made things, and being able to eat non-vegan chocolate and biscuits again (phew!). I baked three vegan cakes this month and they were all delicious. We’re lucky to have a local amazing vegan bakery called This Old Chestnut, who supply lots of cafes in Leeds with vegan cakes, and we had all vegan cakes baked by them at our wedding. So I’m very aware that vegan cake is just as good as non-vegan, but unfortunately where we live, in Otley, our only option is to bake our own.

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