Charlotte is (obviously) beautiful, fun, kind, creative and all-around-amazing. We met at work not long after I arrived in Manchester and connected immediately over our love of all things creative, the arts, good movies and: good old healthy living.
Charlotte isn't vegan or vegetarian, but has a really interesting story about growing up vegetarian and is passionate about fresh local produce, eating healthily and living life to the full! We have been working together on some creative ventures recently and, through our time together, we have talked quite a bit about my vegan lifestyle. It's very freeing to find someone who isn't vegan but genuinely interested in talking about it. In that way - we learn new things from each other before running out to catch the 10:30pm screening of "The Purge". As you do. (It was awful, don't go.)
The Challenge....and Contributions....
I am so excited to announce that Charlotte is going to be embarking on a full vegan month for August!
One entire month - 100% vegan.
She announced this yesterday over a yummy breakfast together and I could not be more excited.
The best news is: Charlotte is going to keep us updated on her month of Vegan power, right here on oopsimavegan. There will definitely be an introductory post and conclusion when August is over to let us know if she loved it, hated it, felt healthier, felt awful. Hopefully there will even be snippets in between! If my instincts are right: expect some awesome meal photos :)
Charlotte is already a very healthy gal, therefore I'm confident she won't experience too many detox symptoms or uncomfortable digestion because of increased fibre or anything. If someone goes from McDonalds, white bread and zero fruit into a vegan diet overnight, I would be worried about their digestion playing up and a serious detox time, but I don't think that will happen to Charlotte. She is also a phenomenal chef, creative and looks at restrictions as opportunities, not deprivations, so I have no doubt she will be whipping up phenomenal plant meals and I can't wait to see them.
There will definitely be (at LEAST) one evening when I have Charlotte over for dinner and we can have a big feast, so look out for photos of that too. I've been wanting to tackle a Mushroom Wellington for a while now, probably because I live in England!
The tips I have for anyone trying out veganism would be the following! (None of which Charlotte needs to hear. She's all over this like a rash!)
- Eat MORE than you're used to. Fruits and Vegetables are lower in calories, so eat enough to be satisfied.
- Try to go for as many whole foods as possible and stay away from excess vegan "junk food".
- Bake at least once so you can see how easy and fun vegan baking is.
- Listen to your body, but recognise what "cravings" are. Most cravings can be satisfied with something sweet, so try yummy fresh dates or strawberries with some dark chocolate! Yum.
- YouTube and research thriving vegans and let yourself be inspiried. Alicia Silverstone is an obvious favourite.
- Share the experience with friends if you can. Throw dinner parties that are based on simple, delicious foods in their pure state. Dinner parties will never be stressful again and people are always shocked they are leaving not feeling ill.
- Don't ever feel deprived. You honestly don't have to be. If you're out with friends and they're all eating dessert you always have a choice. You can get a soy hot chocolate, you can ask if they have vegan options or you can be happy and content with not eating dessert. Or, of course, you can just cave and eat some if you really, really want to. But remember it's not about saying "I can't eat anything", it's about "I don't want this right now".
- Embrace this as a "lifestyle", not just a diet. Open your eyes to how beautiful the world is, let yourself see veganism as something more than "not eating cheese" and allow yourself to feel the wanky "peace" that so many vegans and vegetarians experience. I'm not remotely spiritual, but, hey, it happened to me.
Till next time, folks! Can't wait to hear from Charlotte.
Also - here is a link to Charlotte's own blog where she talks about her creative work, posts awesome pictures and more! http://iamcharlotteemily.tumblr.com/
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