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Pea and bean risotto with rocket salad.
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Steamed vegetable dumplings with cucumber and home-grown mint salad.
Today is my thirtieth day as a vegan and tomorrow I could potentially wake up and eat one of my favourite breakfasts - scrambled eggs on toast with bacon. 

But will I?

Probably not. You see, the scary thing is, I might be a vegan convert.
It was with skepticism that I initially took on this challenge. I thought it might be fun for a while but presumed I'd quickly grow tired of a restricted diet. More specifically, a life without custard, chocolate and cream.
But instead of feeling frustrated and limited, I've found quite the opposite. All my pre vegan meals had a meaty focus and vegetables were an unexciting accompaniment, included only out of guilt. I dismissed the '5-a-day' goal as ideal but unviable, with just a minor nagging element of guilt. Since the vegan challenge, vegetables and other weird and wonderful items have been promoted to have starring roles and my repertoire of ingredients has increased exponentially. 5-a-day is no longer a challenge and, incredibly, five servings now seems ridiculously insufficient. I feel healthier (though the scientist in me wonders if this is a placebo effect) and I seem to have broken my once insatiable desire for chocolate.

I have had the luxury of holiday time to prepare food, so it could be more troublesome when I'm back at work. However, I'm going to give it a go. 

The only real draw back that I found was the experience of eating out with friends. Where vegetarians probably feel limited with one or two choices on the menu, vegans will in all likelihood have no alternative. There are a couple of vegan friendly venues around town but they are few and far between. I've found establishments to be terribly helpful if you call ahead, but this does reduce spontaneity in life and many meals out are unplanned. And enjoyment of said meals really is reduced if you have to give the waiter the third degree about all the ingredients of every dish.

Given that I primarily took up this challenge to see if it would improve my health, I've decided that I'll continue to be vegan on a day-to-day basis but, if I'm invited to dinner or out for a meal, I'll take a vegetarian option. This way, chocolat and cheese will be occasional treats as they really are meant to be. Mmmm... bannoffee pie. So - who's going to invite me out for dinner?!
 


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