The campaign to encourage people to try vegan in January is now in its fifth year, and is all set to be bigger than ever with Veganuary predicting more than 150,000 people will go vegan for the month. Last year, there were 60,000 registered participants from 172 countries, and one of them was Farringdon resident, Jules Fourey.
‘I became vegetarian in April 2015 after a few realisations’, says Jules. ‘Firstly, I didn't really enjoy meat most of the time - it always seemed to be undercooked, overcooked, tasteless, have a weird taste, be chewy, dry... This was coupled with being exposed to some stark realities about the treatment of animals in the meat industry and the impacts on the environment of producing animals for food. I asked myself a frank question - do I need to eat this? And the answer was No. It was a super easy transition and, when I realised that the dairy and egg industries are no better for animals than the meat industry, I signed up for Veganuary.’
Jules credits that month with changing her life. ‘I feel so much more comfortable in the food decisions I make every day; I know I am doing the right thing for the environment, for the wellbeing of animals, and for myself. It may feel like a small change in a huge world of chaos but I have the choice to make that change, and doing it feels great. I've maintained a healthy weight whilst eating pretty much whatever I want all day long, have stronger & healthier nails, hair & skin, feel better in myself with more energy and vitality, and I’ve have had so much fun exploring new recipes and restaurants I had never even thought of before.’
As Jules approached her first ‘veganniversary’ she is sharing her three favourite restaurants so that others who sign up for Veganuary - or just wish to try more plant-based foods - will have the insider tip!
- Niche in Islington. ‘Try the angel paté - made with white beans, smoked garlic, caramelised onion and herbs, and served with baguette toasts and whipped herb spread. It is really rich in flavour and tastes better than any traditional paté I've ever tried!’
- Banh Mi Bay in Holborn. ‘I love the summer rolls - sliced tofu, rice vermicelli, lettuce and Vietnamese herbs wrapped in rice paper. Served with a roasted peanut & hoi sin dipping sauce; followed by a Bun Vermicelli Noodle Salad - rice noodles with a salad of beansprouts, lettuce, chopped herbs and cucumber, pickled carrot and mooli, crushed roasted peanuts and choice of sauce - light, fresh, fragrant and so many flavours of Vietnam in one meal!’
- Wedge Issue in Clerkenwell. ‘I always go for the Clerkenwell pizza, which has peppers, courgette, mushrooms, onions, artichoke, San Marzano tomato sauce, and vegan pizza cheese. It’s absolutely fab comfort or hangover food - all you want from a vegan pizza without skimping on fulfilling your 'cheese' cravings!!’
It is free to take part in Veganuary, and everyone who does so receives daily support emails that offer shopping lists, an eating out guide, nutrition advice, recipes, meal plans, and answers to common questions. They also receive social media support in a closed Facebook group where they can connect with other participants, and a free celebrity e-cookbook. There are competitions with great prizes and special offers throughout the month.
Jules enjoyed the month so much, she has decided to stay vegan and her message to people thinking about taking part in Veganuary 2018 is: ‘You really have nothing to lose. But one tip - do your research and know why you are trying it because people around you will probably have a LOT of questions!’
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