The 40 year old vegan! I can pass for 39 though.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock recently you will more than likely have heard the words ‘Vegan’ and ‘Veganuary’ being dropped into conversation. This year is set to be the ‘year of the Vegan’ supported by Veganuary which is now in its 5th year. There have been over 250,000 people across 193 countries joining the movement. with many of those following a new plant-based diet being British.

According to the guardian not a single week went by in 2018 without Veganism hitting the headlines in one way or another. Many celebrities can be thanked for several of those headlines with strong views on Vegans – those trying to save the planet by giving up meat and dairy. Apparently, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so to a certain celeb talking about veganism I shall raise a glass of organic vegan prosecco to you for raising the profile of the vegan movement.

In case you were not aware wine, beer, cider may contain animal derivatives in the form of gelatine, albumin, casein, isinglass, fish oil and honey…. luckily most venues like The Crafty Dog in Chesterfield and Market Pub will list what beverages are Vegan so you can drink safely in the knowledge your plant-based diet is not compromised.

So, let me break it down for those of you interested in what Veganism is all about –
‘Veganuary’ is a charity inspiring people to try going Vegan for January with a view to continuing following a plant-based diet there on.

If you become ‘Vegan’ you do not automatically fall in love with Yoga, feel the need to burn incense in every room or have to like/love avocados – although why wouldn’t you?
Can one person make a difference?

Absolutely! An average meat eater consumes over 7,000 animals in their lifetime so that’s 7,000 less animals bred for your consumption.
How will I get enough protein?

Before I answer this if you are seriously considering giving this a go, I would memorise the answer because you will most likely get the ‘protein’ question asked to you … every day – trying not to eye roll when you answer is a finely tuned skill you inherit almost like a Vegan initiation.

Now to tackle the protein question – when I gave up meat some 33 years ago there was very little choice for a then 7-year-old girl.

Today we are spoilt for choice with meat substitutes packed full of protein such as Seitan, Quorn, Soya, Tofu and Oumph to name a few. These can be used to replace mince in your lasagne, chicken in your burrito, meat in your salad, the list is endless. As well as these ingredients such as lentils, chickpeas, edamame and spelt are high on the list where protein is concerned.

Marks and Spencer’s are the latest large multi Grocers to join the movement launching a huge plant-based food section in stores nationwide. They join Tesco’s, Iceland and Sainsburys. Aldi, Morrisons and the Co-op all offer small ranges, but these can differ from store to store in terms of what they stock and availability.

The big C – what about Cheese?

Tesco’s & Sainsburys are in my opinion the leaders with their own brand range of vegan cheese. Like anything you need to try them to decide which ones you like the most – taste, especially cheese is so subjective. If you want something a little more artisan, head down to your nearest vegan market or event – these take place all over the country throughout the year, you will be surprised just how many there are.

Vegan Top Tips:

Vegan Cook Books
Thug Kitchen
15 Minute Vegan
Easy vegan
Vegan 100Failing that just ask Alexa for a recipe or type into google what you fancy cooking for an endless list of scrumptious Vegan recipes.

Vegan Guilty Pleasures
Oreos, oreos and more oreos
Magnum Vegan Ice creams
Ben and Jerrys Vegan ice cream range
Party Rings

Vegan lunch on the go
Greggs – Sausage Rolls Quorn of course, the roll that broke the internet this month
Tesco’s – Wicked sandwich and salad range
M & S – plant-based salad & sandwich range

Top places to eat in Chesterfield
The Market Pub – lots of choice and run tasting evenings throughout the year but you have to book quick!
The Crafty Dog – Highly recommend the Soya Wilcox burger and their Vegan roast is insane.
Batemans Mill – Don’t get me started on the Tagine…
Barley Mow Wingerworth – Monday nights are Vegan night with additional Vegan dishes added to the menu, Excellent.
Pizza Hut – We all need a pizza fix once in a while and with Pizza Hut offering a vegan base and cheese on any pizza this is a winner all round not to mention their new Jackfruit pizza.
For further information on why becoming Vegan will help to save the planet watch Cowspiracy, you can also find them on facebook and Instagram.

Thanks for reading.
Jennie Sim – 40 year old Vegan