Elsie, Abby & Friends Try Vegan - Week One
Indigo People, Vegan, Raw, Free From Diet
08 January 2016

As you may’ve seen in this previous Blog Post series, a bunch of our Indigo Staff have pledged to Try Vegan this January with the aid of Global Campaign Veganuary.

All coming from different dietary backgrounds, it may be only week one but we’re going strong! 

Read on to see how we're getting on and what we're eating so far this month...

Elsie

Social Media & Marketing Coordinator

Elsie Tries Veganuary

Wow, Vegan. I seem to have converted from a meat, sweets and cheese eater into a Vegan veggie fanatic far better than I was expecting.

I’ll be honest, there have been two difficult moments; the first was when my Sister was back home for Christmas and on NYD she was demolishing a bacon sandwich RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. If you know me you’ll know Bacon was my thing, my favourite, my staple. I lived off it at University. However, I didn’t cave in, instead I watched like a hawk while she devoured the lot… which she didn't like me doing but I didn’t taste it. I WAS STRONG. Go me! (Personal highlight!) The other product I am missing is semi-skimmed Cow’s Milk, I’ve grown up having it every day; on my cereal, in my tea, in my smoothies, before bedtime… I know I’m 24 but don’t judge, it’s good for your bones right?!

Wrong. Well, maybe not wrong but I haven’t needed it. I am aware it’s only the first week but it’s been a great one! Despite turning my Parents into Vegan monsters (more on that later…) – I have thoroughly enjoyed trying new things, I wasn’t very experimental in my diet before this year and now I’m eating vaguely spicy things (turning point!), beans I’ve never tried before and discovering that without having meat on my plate, I can still enjoy a meal and feel full afterwards. I have found myself constantly reading the back of product packets, who cares about the calories it’s all about the ingredients… can I have it or not!?

So, what have I been filling up my stomach with so far?

ANYTHING COLOURFUL. My first meal of 2016 was rice, a mixtures of beans, sweet potato, spinach, salad, enchilada tomato sauce with Indigo Herbs Chia Seeds scattered all over it. Check it out below, a bright enchanting taste infusion. I was very content. My parents were heading off to a New Years dinner party which meant they had to take their own food because none of their friends are Vegan, so we whipped up some Falafels together – which I ate as snacks. (This was an ‘OH MY GOSH, THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I’D EATEN FALAFELS HOW HAD I SURVIVED WITHOUT THEM BEFORE’ moment)!

Vegan Meal with Falafels

I’ve been starting each morning with a Smoothie and a piece of toast. The smoothies include a variety of fruit; from Banana to Mango to Blueberries and Pomegranate seeds with Soya Milk, Soya Yogurt and so far I’m completely hooked on adding a teaspoon of Indigo Herbs SuperVital Powder Blend (Baobab, Acai & Beetroot) – BLEND and enjoy! Adding Chia Seeds on top of course. THEY GO WITH EVERYTHING! High in B Vitamins and Minerals too. Yum!

I have only attempted one Green Smoothie so far…I'm going to call it my Green Goddess Recipe, there's a handful of Spinach Leaves, a handful of Kale, 2 chopped Tomatoes, a handful of chopped Cucumber, 1 half of a Green Pepper also chopped and 1 tsp of Indigo Herbs Spirulina Powder. BLEND and Voila! It definitely tasted like a health kick! So green, so veggie, so tasty.

Green Goddess Smoothie

When I first told my parents I was taking part in Veganuary they laughed, and exclaimed they couldn’t imagine me achieving it. Understandable, my diet was diabolical. A week later, something changed inside them, they both informed me they’d thought about it and are interested in giving it a go too! Which was a relief, I didn’t have to watch them eat lots of things I’d want.

Since starting Veganuary, they have both become Vegan Monsters! They’re completely besotted with it. Telling all their friends, experimenting in the kitchen, coming home from the high street having discovered an intriguing new product and can’t wait to try it out. It’s the main topic of conversation at home. I’m baffled. Of course I'm thankful too, they’re making it a lot easier than I was expecting but I am just so shocked and proud and entertained all at the same time. Future blogs will inform you of Vegan Monster Parent status...

For Lunchtimes at work I’ve been consuming Vegan soups with salt rice cakes or rice/pasta salads with a mixture of Indigo Herbs White Sesame Tahini dressing, organic hummus, Indigo Herbs Sunflower Seeds, olives, salad, beans… anything left over in the fridge… make sure it’s Vegan… just chuck it in… shake it up… ENJOY!

I also discovered a meal I would’ve eaten last year turns out to be Vegan friendly! Shape your own Vegan sausage mix, jacket potato, kale and baked beans. The ideal TV dinner. The second image below is an experiment of mixing seeds, rice krispies and grains together to make Snack Bars… a second try is in order, for an after shot. Finishing the food line off with a delightful SuperVital fruit smoothie! Tassssty. 

Vegan Meals

Our Chicken, Lamb or Beef Sunday Roast Dinner bonanzas turned into a Lentil and Walnut Bake day… this was a shock to the system but VERY filling indeed! For pudding (with my Mum’s assistance) we tried out the Portuguese Rice Pudding Recipe from the Veganuary website, although we used brown sugar instead so it didn’t end up looking the same (vaguely resembles intestines in my eyes but don’t let that put you off) it’s genuinely a very sweet rice delight! 

Lentil Loaf and Rice Pudding - Vegan

In time for the next blog I will have tried out these recipes; Superfood Bliss Balls Recipe and Kale & Kalamata Olive Tapenade.

 

Abby

Customer Service & Dispatch Fulfillment Supervisor 

Abby Tries Vegan

Turning from a Vegetarian into a Vegan, so far hasn't been as much of a shock as I thought it was going to be! Aside from the lack of Cows Milk in my morning coffee to get me through the day. However, that is slowly being replaced with various plant milks. I've been really inspired by the internet, discovering different Food Bloggers on Instagram that make Vegan dishes look delicious. I’ve got my hands on a few Vegan Cookbooks too which are showing me I can almost transform all my favourite dishes from before into Vegan ones.

I’ve discovering that meal planning and batch cooking is the key to a successful Vegan diet, especially when you lead a busy lifestyle, like I do. As long as I try hard to stay organised, the rest of this month has the ability to be very exciting!

I’m feeling a lot less bloated than I used to and have more energy in the mornings. I’m a morning person anyway but find myself almost skipping out of bed! I love that a bunch of us from Indigo are doing Veganuary together, we can spur each other on and help each other. It makes it a lot easier with people by your side sharing the same daily food struggles and I’m so proud of all of us.

I’m excited for our weekly dinner parties, in the process of coming up with a theme for mine! It’ll make all this hard work even more fun with the celebrations and realisation we’re all achieving something wonderful!  

I’ve been on Green Smoothie overload for the last few days, so I’m excited to try the Kick Ass Choconut Smoothie Recipe. I need to get some Vegan chocolate tastes into my life and this one sounds like a nutty dream. I’ve also got my eye on the Vegan Beetroot Chocolate Cake on the Veganuary website, how amazing does that look?! An idea for my dinner party perhaps… 

Here’s the sort of things I’ve been consuming so far this month…

For me, January started with a Rainbow Salad with Indigo Herbs White Sesame Tahini dressing! What better way to start the year than with a fresh taste and colour explosion.

Here’s one of my favourite Green Smoothie recipes that gives me a boost on work days. It’s got Indigo Herbs Moringa and Baobab Powders in it with Almond Butter all blended together, I’ve put Indigo Herbs Goji Berries on the top for a splash of colour and taste. YUM!

The porridge shown I can’t completely take credit for, my Sister came up with this one. I recommend it as a definite for anyone who loves a fruity filling breakfast. It includes; Coconut Milk, Mango Powder, Porridge (made with Soya), topped with Blueberries and Raspberry Powder. LUSH!

The last photo is a Vegetables and Pear Barley stew made by my Boyfriend even though he’s not on board with the Vegan diet, it has Maca Powder stirred in which adds a creaminess to it and Chia Seeds sprinkled on top. It is fun to test the non-Vegans cooking for Vegans, I’m sure he’s having fun…! 

Vegan Meal, Smoothie, Porridge and Stew

The rest of my meals have been similar, the Chickpea salad with Rice combo is definitely one of my staple Vegan meals, easy to put together, tasty and satisfying. I’m so glad Avocado can still be in my life during a Vegan diet, if dreams were made of food – they’d be Avocados. Obviously!

My proudest food moment of this year so far is these Blueberry Oat Bars I made with Coconut Oil and Vanilla Powder, such a great snack! I’d have liked to have dripped honey all over them but Maple Syrup will do for now! 

Vegan Meals and Snack Bars

 

Faye

Kitchen Production Team Member

Faye Tries Vegan

This first section of Veganuary has been so exciting! I’ve eaten so much! I was eating Vegan before it was cool though, Rice and Dahl is one of my statement dishes.

My boyfriend and I are getting really inspired by recipes that use Tofu, Tempeh and Nuts in new ways. There is no way I’ll be missing out on any proteins or nutrients, I know what my body needs. We were experimental Vegetarians anyway, but this is a whole new ball park.

I’m happy to eat Nut Butters, Spreads, Vegan Pesto on anything! I’ve been creating 50 shades of homemade Hummus, polenta Pizza with Vegan cheese on top, I can’t go without the cheese but its fine when it’s 100% Vegan, and it’s great at melting too.  

I have been going a bit overboard with my meal planning and product purchasing, to the fact that it’s all become a bit pricey but I feel that a recent increased consciousness of what there is available on the shelves of the health food shop, ways to use it and enjoy it is better than going to a huge chain supermarket, HAS to be a good thing! Its way worth spending a few extra pounds in the long run, not just for your own health but for local economies and the planet too!

I think the meat-eaters who are taking part in Veganuary really need to concentrate on getting their protein fix. I’ve been caught out just before first bite bunch of times with smaller added animal products such as mayo in sandwiches, milk products in bread and unfortunately fish guts in Beer! (WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?)

The worst moment I’ve had so far this month was after a 3 hour training session I was feeling ravenous and a bit bored from Organic Oatcakes with Bananas so I purchased a croissant that I thought was okay…. *reads label* ‘ALL BUTTER CROISSANT!’ Damn. Luckily, I’m dedicated to this challenge, so I stopped myself from secretly demolishing it yet it was still very annoying. Must bring a ready prepared Vegan Protein smoothie with me next time!  

My successes this week have been in the shape of an egg-less Tofu Spanish style Omelette (see below) so delicious! Various noodle soups made from wheat with a ton of fresh Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds and eating my body weight in fresh grated Ginger. Trust me, don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. 

Vegan Omelette and Vegan Pizza

For my breakfasts I tried out making Coco and Buckwheat Breakfast Muffins using Indigo Herbs Chia Seed Protein Powder as a binder and Mulberries for a sweetness. I also experimented with Soft Purple Corn Flour Tacos, I griddled the Tacos with Vegan Cheese (it's actually not too bad!) and ate alongside a spicy bean and avocado salsa, laying the food out to photograph it was fun too! 

Faye Tries Vegan with Veganuary - Muffins & Tacos

 

Tawny

Website Coordinator

Tawny Tries Vegan

During a night out with the Indigo Crew, most of them who were potentially going to take part in Veganuary, I felt like they were buzzing around the excitement of trying this challenge. I wanted to be part of it. So, without much thought one of my friends filmed me on their phone promising to take part in Veganuary and go Vegan for the whole month of January. Eek! (This was after a few drinks!)

Fortunately, my boyfriend is joining in too and loves to cook up various storms and we’re having a lot of fun with it! I’m finding the diet so much easier than I was initially expecting! I’ve surprised myself in many ways. We were given A LOT and I mean A LOT of chocolate over Christmas, the non-Vegan kind, so we came up with the idea to pack it all up into a box and lock it in a cupboard, out of sight out of mind you know?! (We may well be seeing it again in early Feb but I’ll let you know).

We’ve since stocked our shelves to the brim with alternatives such as Chickpeas, Beans and Lentils. I used to rely on meat yet I’m feeling as though I don’t need it as much anymore, I know I’ll definitely be cutting down on meat meals after this month regardless of how my diet turns out. I’m not feeling as bloated as usual which is wonderful. I was also surprised at how much cheaper our weekly shop was without piling the meats in the trolley. This week in my house we managed to create some tasty healthy Oat & Quinoa Snack Bars with help from Indigo Herbs Walnuts, Cashews, Sunflower Seeds, Almond Butter & Coconut Oil. The second photo is of my favourite meal of the week, Tagine with Indigo Herbs Turmeric Powder to flavour it.  

I’ve even started eating Hummus, which everyone goes on about but I’m not sure if I liked it. I’m definitely trying tones more new things than I would’ve if I’d have chickened out of this challenge. Oh dear, I just said chicken… no!!!!!

An aim for the next week for me is to be more experimental in my cooking and make more main meals, such as this Courgette Tagliatelle with Walnut Sauce

Tawny Tries Vegan - Snack Bars and Tagine

 

Dinner Party - Asian Theme

Bring a dish, a drink and a smile.

Faye wonderfully hosted the first Indigo Herbs Vegan Dinner Party and it was a roaring success! We all took a dish. There were dips, quinoa salads, noodle Pad Thais, wraps, Rice Paper rolls, a tagine, Vegan crisps, homemade sushi and more... with a hilarious game of drawing consequences before Faye's magnificent black rice pudding with mango and pomegranate dessert. 

Vegan Dinner Party with Indigo Herbs Crew

Directors Claire & Steve are up next as Dinner Party hosts... what will the night entail... 

Follow our Social Media platforms for updates on our Indigo Veganuary adventures! 

Are you lot having any Vegan dinner parties? If so tell us about them through Social Media; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Comments

Have you tried hemp milk? Much healthier than soya & tasty. All the best.

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