Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Vegan Dry January Day 16: Taking stock

Vegan rubbish.
Okay - half way through. Let's take stock.

Firstly, although a month seems like a long time, it's not really. It's so short I don't need to think much about my nutritional intake, my appetite for alcohol or animal products or make any permanent lifestyle changes. Most people can put up with most things for a month.

I'm also not being bombarded with offers to drink alcohol or eat fancy foods. I have one social occasion in the diary between now and February, which involves going to watch a comedian in London and then driving home from the station afterwards. Normally I'd expect to go out for a boozy meal after the show, especially as we are meeting old friends, but driving will ensure my resolve holds. And as we are going out in central London, I suspect finding a restaurant which offers a vegan meal in January won't be too tricky.

Sticking to vegan dryness in, say, December, might require a different kind of willpower and a more focused psychological approach. In 2014, when I stopped drinking for a year, there were three difficult moments. The first was after three months, when there were still feelings of attachment to alcohol (eg fancying a pint, especially when being around others who were drinking).

The second was after nine months when I no longer had any urge to drink, and felt very much outside the drink "bubble". Then I wondered what the point of continuing to prove this psychological detachment actually was. It became almost existential. I felt myself turning into quite a serious person, which had echoes of the weird, earnest little creature I was before I discovered alcohol.

The third, and quite surprising moment, was in December, when London appeared to be wrapped in fairy-lit pre-Christmas, boozy bonhomie. I knew this was coming, but thought I'd be fine as I was on the home straight. I actually felt a profound sense of missing out. I think the togetherness that alcohol brings is part of what it is to be human. Shame it's also the cause of so much violence and disease.

So all that abstinence in 2014 took a lot of psychological re-setting and self-management, and you can tell this time round I haven't approached it the same way. On Saturday I gave myself the opportunity to relapse, and took it.

On the food front, it's been far easier than I expected. I'm probably not doing it properly (if I see another "delicious vegan recipe" I will scream), but convenience foods and animal-product substitutes are making this month go by in a delightful fug of plant-based righteousness. I pulled all the food in the photo above out from my fridge and cupboard in about 60 seconds. I didn't include the fresh fruit, bread, cereal, noodles and veg which I have been calling into service on a regular basis, but you get the point. It's more than enough to work with.

So Vegan Dry January preliminary conclusions: food-wise, enjoying it. Alcohol-wise, enjoying it, but less so.

I haven't yet discussed any post January veganality with Mrs Wallis, as it will require some thought, but I'd personally be quite happy to continue vegging about indefinitely. At least where practical. Problem is we already have enough fussy eaters in the family.

Today's vlog is below (or here on youtube, if you can't see the embed). It contains video evidence of a small alien creature I have captured, as well as further ruminations on #veganuary. Please upthumb it or subscribe or whatever it is you are meant to do. Tale of the tape below that and then the #vegandryjanuary blog archive. Thanks for reading.


Weight: 11st 7.6lb

Exercise: 30 mins circuit training, 15 mins abs.


Porridge oats, soya milk, syrup
Beetroot in vinegar
Tea with Oatly
Bread and soup
Pepper stuffed with couscous, probably.


Vegan Dry January Day 31: The Last Post
Vegan Dry January Day 30: A Vegan in Downing Street
Vegan Dry-ish January Day 29: Can't see what all the fuss is about
Days 26 to 28 are Nonblogged.
Vegan Dry January Day 25: Simon Amstell is a Vegan
Days 20 to 24 are Nonblogged. 
Vegan Dry January Day 19: Peer review
Vegan Dry January Day 18: Are you a vegan?
Vegan Dry January Day 17: Mmm... cashews.... 
Vegan Dry January Day 16: Taking Stock
Vegan Dry January Day 15: A relapse
Days 13 and 14 are Nonblogged. 
Vegan Dry January Day 12: There was no Day 11
There really wasn't a day 11
Vegan Dry January Day 10: Alcohol wobble
Vegan Dry January Day 9: Avoiding four meals a day
Vegan Dry January Day 8: Smeared Poo
Vegan Dry January Day 7: Separation Anxiety
Vegan Dry January Day 6: Wastelands of Admin
Vegan Dry January Day 5: Oatly is the tits
Vegan Dry January Day 4: Milk is everywhere
Vegan Dry January Day 3: I've lost my nuts
Vegan Dry January Day 2: This is going well
Vegan Dry January Day 1: Vegan Dry January is go


  1. Enjoy reading your blog Nick. Although not a Vegan, I can't have dairy due to Lactose intolerance so do eat a lot of meat-free products. Safe to say it's a damn sight easier now than it was 20 years ago!! Good luck with the remaining 15 days... Phil @philracing

    1. Thanks Phil. My mum was lactose intolerant for about 30 years, then discovered Lactaid. Have you got on to that? N

    2. I remember having them when I was first diagnosed but they disappeared and to be honest I'd forgotten all about them! I've got so accustomed to avoiding products with Lactose in, it's second nature, though now you've reminded me I will investigate. Thank you, I'll see you in the pub on Feb 1😃