I’ve always skirted on the edge of vegetarianism – once, I didn’t eat meat for 13 years – and ‘vegan-curious’ is a word I’ve actually used in conversation. Then two small kids come along and, well, to be honest it all seemed a bit too hard. Which is why, when I decided to sign up for Meat Free Week, I looked around for the easy option. And there it was! There are several food delivery companies that do that hard work for you – offering vegetarian and vegan meals that take the pain out of shopping AND make it all look a darn sight more appetising than my mushroom risotto. I do some speedy research and settle on Soulara. Welcome to my vegan week.

Day 1
The big silver box was delivered as promised yesterday afternoon so I’m all set for the week ahead. I’ve ordered breakfasts and dinners, leaving lunch as my ‘thinking’ meal. First breakfast is a Sunbliss Granola Bowl. I’ve been wondering about milk and have researched the best plant options but whaddya know? It comes with a sachet of pale blue spiralina milk. It’s kinda sweet, which is great for cereal. Lunch turns out to be easy – I’m meeting a friend from work, so we head to a local café that does some great vegan salads. How come I never noticed that before? I have it with a peppermint tea, (no to the honey, thanks).

In the evening I’m back to the Soulara selection and Juan’s Mexican Red Beans and Rice. Just like my abuela used to make! So far so vegan.

 

Day 2
As my mum is fond of saying, I don’t mind cooking, I just hate having to decode what to cook. She would love Soulara. I feed the kids their toast and open the fridge to find a fabulous Ruby Sunrise Chia Pudding, with coconut yoghurt and pumpkin seeds. I would never usually have something as lovely and it feels like a treat.

Lunches haven’t been half as hard as I thought they would be. My vegan colleague has given me the lowdown on which local cafes are on the ball and once I discovered that I could eat most breads (I know, I’m new) I was home and hosed.

Day 4
It’s Wednesday. I’m off to Bali in a couple of weeks and hoping to pass muster in my swimmers so alcohol is off the menu. But did I mention it’s Wednesday? Come dinner time I crack open a bottle of (vegan) Craftsman Organic Shiraz and pour a glass to have with my I Am Golden – that’s tofu scramble, roast button mushrooms and kale, with sundried tomatoes and pumpkin seeds. And as an added bonus, it’s just 422 calories.

Day 5
Another great breakfast, this time a Mystic Black Rice Pudding sets me up for the working day ahead. Our boss orders in Thai food at lunchtime and now there are two vegans in the office, there are lots of stir fried vegies, noodles and tofu dishes on the table.

In the evening I look back at the week so far over my Mushroom Bourguignon with Black Garlic Mash and think mostly about how full of ideas I am. With just two days to go, Meat Free Week has made me realise that my ‘too hard’ excuse is wearing a bit thin. And I Iost 1.1kg this week. It would probably have been more if not for that wine.