The VMAG five-day vegan challenge

3 min read
07 Aug 2017
3 min read
823 words
It is not going to be easy, but the efforts will be worth it

Last week, we considered the importance of eating well and talked about the various reasons why cutting down on meat and dairy products from our diets would benefit us. Continuing on with more on veganism, this week, I introduce the M&S VMAG five-day vegan challenge. It is not going to be easy, but the efforts will be worth it.

Step one: Let’s start slowly

Kathryn Sunantha of Bliss Raw/Probiotics Café suggests that it is wiser to gradually start weaning yourself off meat products by opting for alternatives. For example: (i) If you are not a vegetarian, start by refraining from red meat and opting for lean, white meat such as chicken and fish. Eventually, substitute meat products with other sources of protein. (ii) Include a serving of salad in every meal, and gradually replace at least one meal with a hearty salad. (iii) Replace white sugar, bread, rice, noodles with brown varieties.

Step two: Mentally prepare yourself

“Do not think of the meal plan as a punishment,” says Sunantha. “It is important to be aware of why you are doing anything. Instead of telling yourself, ‘no I cannot eat this!’, say, ‘I choose not to have this because I want to nourish myself better’.” You can discipline yourself better when you choose to do something, rather than when you are forced to do it.

Step three: Find support 

It is also crucial that you have support from people who you know will be your personal cheerleaders in this endeavour, especially your partner and family with whom you share family meals. 

The M&S VMAG five-day vegan challenge

Being vegan means consuming no animal/meat products, including eggs and dairy. You can replace dairy milk with nut milk (walnut/almond), coconut milk or soy milk, which are readily available in supermarkets. 

Day one
Always start your day with a glass of warm water, either with a squeeze of lemon or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal with a cup of milk/black coffee/tea (Mix half a cup of oats with milk and a teaspoon of honey. Stir it well and leave it in the fridge overnight. Next morning, garnish the oatmeal with some nuts and fresh fruits).
Lunch: Rice with stir-fried vegetables and a side of pickles.
Snack: A glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice and crackers with peanut butter.
Dinner: Brown rice with dal.

Day two
Breakfast: Buckwheat pancakes (prepare without milk or with soymilk) topped with fruits and a drizzle of honey. A cup of milk/black coffee/tea. Lunch: Stir-fried pasta with broccoli and tofu.
Snack: A green smoothie (blend together mangoes, spinach, mint and hemp seeds for a healthy, filling drink).
Dinner: A bowl of qwati or any other lentils with a side of steamed vegetables

Day three
Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal with a cup of milk/black coffee or tea.
Lunch: Chickpea salad (Stir-fry kabuli chana like you would when you make tarkari. Serve them on a bed of veggies such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomato and peas).
Snack: Brown bread with peanut butter.
Dinner: Stir-fried noodles

Day four
Breakfast: Green smoothie with some nuts/brown bread.
Lunch: Brown rice with coconut vegetable curry (add nutritional value to your typical vegetable curry by adding coconut milk at the end).
Snack: Veggie sticks (cucumbers, carrots, red peppers/capsicums) with hummus dip (you can check out my previous article on how to make your own homemade hummus).
Dinner: Sukha roti/Chappati with dal.

Day five
Breakfast: Brown bread topped with peanut butter and sliced banana. A cup of milk/black coffee/tea. Lunch: Fried rice with a side of salad.
Snack: Fruits and nuts.
Dinner: Leftover salad from lunch. 

These are just some of the meal suggestions you can try. Experiment and enjoy. And do share your experiences on our official social media accounts.