Is veganuary something you would do? Photo: Ella Olsson

Should you do Veganuary?

Veganuary – are you doing it? Or is Dry January more your thing? Veganuary started a few years ago to persuade people to look for other options than meat-based meals.

Normally these campaigns are created by large companies who want to sell something. On a non-commercial level, it is actually a good idea to give your body a break after the indulgence of the Christmas time. It doesn’t have to be vegan – just eat less meat, cakes etc.

But in case you want to give veganism a try – please make sure that you avoid any ready-made options in supermarkets as they are highly processed and full of salts etc.

The Quay Co-op has some great options that are prepared in their kitchen without any hidden nastiness. I find it very difficult to get excited about vegan food as I do love my butter, cheese and cream but looking at some of the dishes that Louise Kelly of I Am A Little Vegan showcases, I have to admit that it looks delicious.

A few years back at the height of the Critic’s Club, we went to Jacobs on the Mall when Tricia was still head chef – she created the moist amazing vegan dinner for our critics and one full-time vegan actually was blown away by the creativity that went into the menu.

So, if you would like to give it a try, get a good cookbook and start exploring the wonderful world of vegetables. The Happy Pear has some good books available and I like Leon Fast Vegan but keep an eye out for books that cover ‘normal’ food but has some ideas on vegan/vegetarian food.

I love books by Ottolenghi – although he has meat recipes he also covers a lot of vegan ones and a lot of them can be easily adapted.

I do love good vegetarian food but couldn’t go vegan at all – could you imagine a world without cheese? Unbearable to think about that. Everything just tastes better with a bit of butter and top anything with a slice of cheese and it becomes a culinary highlight (please don’t argue with me on this one).

You might assume already that I never followed Veganuary – and you’d be correct. I don’t believe in cutting any food group out of my diet but that balance is important.

As I am a glutton by default, the balance thing can be rather difficult for me so I have a steep learning (or more a control issue) curve ahead of me. My mum was a person who could eat anything and never (and I mean never) put on any weight.

I can assure you that it is not easy growing up with a mum like that and having to watch what I eat – there were times I would have given anything to swap places with her. If I ever meet a genie, I will ask only to be able to eat anything and everything without putting on weight – that’s my dream (and I guess millions of women would wish for the same).

But here I am, trying to make up for the feasts at Christmas…