I can’t believe it was a week ago that I was whisked away for my birthday!
I was taken to Center Parcs in Woburn Forest for 3 nights. It was SO MUCH FUN!
As I venture into Veganism, I’ve found it super easy to go vegan at home where I control what I buy and what I eat. But I set the intention when I started out that, when going out for dinner or going on holiday, if the vegan options available are limited or unappetising then I allow myself a dairy dish. This is because I think being vegetarian limits you enough (depending where you live/where you travel of course), and I rarely go out to restaurants or go on holiday so I don’t want my enjoyment to be impeded.
This was my first holiday since I began a vegan practice, so I thought I’d keep a little diary! (No food pics though, sorry!).
We drove to Woburn Forest on Friday morning and I kicked off the day with a soy chai latte from Costa. We picked up some food at Tesco to store in our room and I bought plenty of veg, hummus, almond milk and vegan cheese while my boyf bought regular cheddar, milk and meat – we eat completely opposite foods! As its a birthday trip I treat myself to a red velvet cake, which is most definitely not sugar-free or dairy-free!
Once we’ve arrived, checked in, explored and played badminton (which I lost, even though I insisted on ‘birthday rules’ which is where I get to make up the rules and point-scoring system to favour myself!) we are shattered by 5.30pm lol! We visit the onsite supermarket and decide to buy the easiest, quickest dinner which we can cook up in our room. We decide on pizza, and there is only one non-meat option for me, a classic margherita pizza.
On Saturday I had a cup of tea in the room (with my almond milk), and then we went to play archery! Traditionally I’m quite good at archery and it’s one of the only games I can beat my boyf at, but this time I lost (I blame the cold!).
We hurry to the onsite Starbucks afterwards where I have another soy chai latte. Then we go back to the room and I have a vegan lunch of my veg and hummus (plus a bit of cake).
After a nap, a ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ marathon and some drunk blogging we go to Strada (an Italian restaurant) for dinner, but not before hitting the bar for a mojito!
I start with a delicious tomato Bruschetta but for mains I only see a few vegetarian options and no vegan options at all on the menu, so I settle for a Caprino pizza with aubergine, courgette, mozzarella and goats cheese. (It is really lovely!) For desert I go completely off the rails (I’m way over my sugar/calorie intake by now anyway and have succumbed to dairy) and have the Pizzetta Nutella. Literally, a pizza covered in Nutella 🙂
For breakfast we kick off with tea and prepackaged golden syrup porridge made with almond milk. Which, to be fair, is very tasty, but I’m pretty sure the ‘I Quit Sugar’ diet would not approve!
I headed down to the spa for a few hours, I LOVE me a spa! There are tons of sauna rooms, steam rooms, meditation rooms etc and my favourite is the crystal healing room which had a lovely big amethyst in the centre.
I grab a quick vegan lunch in our room before we head off to our next activity which was my favourite: the OWL Encounter! Check out this dude!
I’m very good at holding owls 🙂 I wish it was my job!
For dinner we go to an American diner called Hucks. Again, there are few vegeterian options and none vegan. I know I can probably ask any restaurant if their chef could veganize a dish for me, but I see enough lovely-looking cheesy dishes to tempt me.
We start with goats cheese empanadas, and then I have a vegetarian burrito with salad and Mexican rice – this is a largely vegan dish but does have a bit of cheese inside the burrito.
We then go to the bar to play a bit of pool, which I lose at. I lost at everything we played this weekend, it’s so annoying!
Monday is my birthday itself and we are booked into Cafe Rouge for brunch. I decide to treat myself (why stop now!) to eggs florentine which comes with spinach and potatoes, and it is lovely.
We don’t eat again until dinnertime, by which time we are back at home, and I am so tired that I grate spaghetti strands out of a large courgette (zucchini), grate some smoked vegan cheese over the top and add a dash of nutmeg, and microwave it. Lazy, but tasty!
So, what I’ve learnt is, if I do decide further down the line to be a stricter vegan when I’m out or on holiday, I will need to ask for vegan options to be created for me because they are likely not to be openly available. I will also need to be really disciplined to avoid all those lovely cheesy vegetarian options!
I didn’t feel too guilty though, as really it was only a few times that I succumbed to dairy: the rest of the time it was still super easy to make myself or obtain tasty food. I figure that the occasional dalliance with dairy isn’t the end of the world, it’s my regular daily choices that really count and they are still committed to striving to be as dairy-free as possible.
As for trying to be as sugar-free as is humanly and sensibly possible, well that just didn’t happen did it 🙂 IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY! I’m back on the wagon now though!