The third week of Veganuary did not pose to be as difficult as week 2 or deceivingly easy as the first week. Instead, I was presented with a number of interesting vegan finds that will definitely be incorporated into my routine after January is over.
Since starting Veganuary, my energy levels were deceptively normal. I did not increase my protein or fat intake in the first two weeks. However, halfway through week 2, I felt weaker – I had a cold; I felt tired most of the time; and I had little energy or willpower to exercise, as opposed to December. Though, my continuous lethargy could also be attributed to my extensive travel since the beginning of the month.
Thus, for week 3, I increased my fat and protein intake. Most notably, I have been fond of spreading Meridian’s Organic Pumpkin Seed Butter to any piece of bread I encounter. I have also tried stirring it into a butternut squash farrotto I made one evening – and it was a successful venture, I’m pleased to report back.
Pumpkin seeds are not foreign to me; I have previously tried my hand at making a pumpkin seed pesto. The creamy, wild, and organic flavour of this seed butter is unprecedented, however. It may well be my new go-to faux pesto in a jar. I can imagine this + a sprinkle of nutritional yeast would make for a heavenly combination.
As I’d like to extend veganism beyond my diet, I have been on the hunt for cruelty-free and/or vegan cosmetics since the New Year. Though not vegan, cruelty-free brand RITUALS is currently dominating my wishlist. The kind salesman at their Spitalfields branch handed me a sample of their luxurious Magic Touch body cream. A perfect addition to my winter routine, it is a paraben-free product oozing with natural ingredients. It has left my moisture-deprived skin feeling smooth and soft without the awful sticky feeling often associated with body creams and lotions.
I particularly honour the brand for their natural, sustainable and cruelty-free practices. It goes without saying that their marketing and branding are praise-worthy, too; the minimalist design is just so on point.
Some other recent vegan finds of mine include:
- Bonsoy milk: It was so refreshing to visit Guat’s Up Coffee Bar this week and find a non-dairy milk alternative that is not soy milk. Yes, it is still soya-based, but I can do without seeing the Alpro logo for a while. Bonsoy milk made for a creamy latte without the weird soya after-taste. There have been legal disputes over the soy milk formulation in the last couple of years, however, so I don’t know what to feel.
- Holland & Barrett Vegan multi-vitamins capsules: This has been a saviour for me. As well as drinking warm lemon water and cayenne in the mornings, my renewed routine has helped with making me feel more energised and ready to take on the world. I am not one for supplements usually, but these capsules are one thing I won’t mind having for the time being. Convenience can be a bitch, after all.
- Matt and Nat bags: I have vowed to limit my spending to save up for my upcoming travels. Nevertheless, Matt and Nat has been a glorious find thanks to Besma (of Curiously Conscious) – an ethical brand which will definitely be on my birthday wish list.
A week of Veganuary does not end without challenges, as you may know by now. This week, I felt rather uninspired in terms of meals. After the first couple of weeks this month being a whirlwind of Moroccan food and travel-friendly (yet luxurious) meals eaten at stations or cafes nearby, I succumbed to packed lunches of baked potato, vegetables, and steamed rice with lemon juice and chilli flakes. For four consecutive days.
I felt lazy and uncreative. I looked forward to my many meals out in the past week (burger places, funnily enough), and felt sluggish and miserable after I ingested another bean patty.
Thus, I am looking at vegan e-books (Carbolicious by Bonny Rebecca and A Spoonful of Nature Cookbook by Anna Prats) as well as non-vegan favourites, such as Persiana and The Detox Kitchen Bible, to get my creative juices flowing ready for the last week of January. I am already set to cook a family favourite, my pineapple curry, which will be shared here very soon.
How was the third week of your Veganuary? What have been your favourite recipes of the week? Kindly share these below!