My week as a vegan – Day 1

vegan week day 1 plantbased pantry

7.15am Made a cup of coffee with rice milk – the rice milk is off. There’s pond scum floating in my mug. This, after my toddler had an hour long tantrum at 5.30am because apparently it’s unreasonable of me to expect her to lie down at that hour and I don’t understand her needs and go away mommy but actually come back so I can smack you. Chucked the coffee, nearly chucked the kid. Will grab an almond milk latte from the café near my office.

7.30am Morning smoothie. I’m only halfway through my big grocery shop and I’m missing so many key ingredients – plant milks, grains and smoothie stuff that’s not banana. Tried the smoothie…it tasted like pure mashed banana. Gagged. Gave it all to Mark.

8.45am Arrived at café near the office, late because running errands. The café is called (rather deceivingly, I feel) Gourmet and it does not do almond milk lattes. Or oat milk, rice milk or any other kind of milk lattes. It is the opposite of dairy-free – it’s dairy-bound. There’s another coffee shop next door that does every kind of milk latte you can imagine as well as great vegan food, but I’m late. Will have to get by without my morning coffee. God help us all.

9.00am Grumpily made a cup of black rooibos tea. At least I drink my tea black. Fridays are Cake Days in my office. Think sausage rolls, samoosas, tarts, muffins and always a bag of chips. We arrive and tuck in straight away, it’s legendary. Today I glare at the offending treats, snickering at me with their non-vegan ingredients. It’s even more lush than usual – mini chicken and beef sliders ffs and some vegetable spring holy shit did I just see vegan on the label?????? YES!!! This is pure luck – I haven’t mentioned this experiment to my colleagues, although they know I’ve gone veggie. Maybe these spring rolls are specially for me? That’s so sweet, I love these girls! I celebrate by stuffing a handful of Lays in my mouth and oh shit are chips vegan? I discover mid-chew that this flavour is not. What now? Do I spit them out? No, don’t cause a scene. Swallow the chips, chalk it up to experience.

9.30am Breakfast – slice of wholewheat toast with an aubergine tapenade type thing that I picked up in a random shop. It’s ok. I’ve been eating hummus on my toast lately which is definitely preferable. Will make some this weekend.

10.15am Ate my spring rolls. This is the highlight of my day so far.

10.20am Ok, I have a confession to make. I also put a chicken slider on my plate because CHICKEN SLIDERS. It’s sitting here looking at me and it looks so delicious.

10.21am Put the chicken slider back. Hope no one noticed.

1.00pm That extra hot, extra strong almond milk latte has given me my life back. (Note to self – you can do this vegan thing, but sort out your milk situation because that right there is your deal breaker!) Lunch was a roasted veg, pesto and hummus sandwich on toasted health bread from my other local café called Green Beans, more popularly known as The Struggling Vegan’s Lifesaver.*

3.00pm Snack – fresh guavas.

6.30pm Dinner was a Thai veg stir fry with rice noodles and a bottle of wine. I know most (all?) wine isn’t actually vegan, although you get vegan wine. But let me just say this right now – however this experiment ends, I will never give up wine. I won’t even google what the offending ingredient is or where it comes from. I don’t care. They may take my cheese, but they will never take… (dramatic pause)…my wine! (special thanks to Mel Gibson’s William Wallace for this plagiarism opportunity)

Day 1 verdict

It’s actually been fine, I felt normal and ate – for me – normally. The only thorn in my side is the milk issue. Hopefully a solution is on the horizon.

Do I find the elusive milk substitute? Can I ever eat chips again? Find out on Day 2 here.


*I don’t buy lunch often, today was an exception while I finish my shopping. In London it’s quite normal to see people popping out for lunch daily (most likely after a cheeky pint at the pub). However the economic climate in SA doesn’t really allow for this. Buying lunch is a luxury and no one I know does it, at least on a regular basis.


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