My Vegan Month: One Problem With It Being “A Month”

Just a quick mid-week update today, because I hit a bump in the road on my Vegan Month adventure. I could have predicted it: after all, doing “a vegan month” will inevitably mean contending with a month’s worth of hormonal peaks and troughs.

Yesterday (and today) have been a trough.

I did wonder (in my intro post) whether the time around my period would lead to any cravings for meat/iron rich foods/fattier foods. It’s common knowledge that most women gravitate towards certain foods just before or during their periods. For me, it’s never been chocolate (sorry to shatter the cliche). But I definitely crave red meat, oily fish, and richer/fattier foods in general.

I’m no nutritionist, and this is totally a n=1, but I guess my body is asking for more iron (?), more calories (?) (fats being the most calorie-dense macronutrient), or… something. I dunno. But I physically crave red meat and even organ meat (sorry, vegans!) at this time in my cycle. It’s not just a vague “ooh I quite fancy that”. It’s a sudden physical need.

Anyway, all of that is to give context of how I usually feel, and to say that I went into this Vegan Month wondering if I’d get my usual cravings (and – if so – how I’d cope).

Well, yes, I did. Last night I did a pretty hefty pull session and was very hungry when I got in. I cooked my tofu and veggies in spray oil, and had that with the lentil “pasta” above. But even as I was making it, I knew it wasn’t what I really needed. I wanted beef mince with that pasta. Or even an egg stirred in or on top. Meat. Eggs. Egg yolk. Red meat.

Sigh.

What I don’t know is how to “replicate” what I need via vegan foods. I’m pretty sure I’m getting enough iron, B Vitamins, and everything else. I really do eat a wide variety of foods. Was it habit? Who knows.

So today I made an extra effort to make my meals super-tasty with herbs and spices etc. And I upped my fats a bit, and made sure I got them from “useful” sources (like the Omega Oil I’m using whilst I can’t have fish oil) rather than…er…vegan protein bars ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s my quick update. Kind of something and nothing really. But if any vegan ladies are reading – particularly those who haven’t been vegan their whole adult lives – I’d love to know if you crave particular foods around your period, and what vegan foods you turn to?

Ooh! Another question. I’m giving blood next week and had a sudden thoughtย  – are any of the snacks at the “post-donation sit down area” vegan?! THESE ARE THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, PEOPLE!

Proper update coming on Sunday as usual!

Nicola Joyce โ€“ the Fit Writer โ€“ is a freelance copywriter and journalist with 13 years experience in writing content and direct response copy for the fitness industry. Get in touch via Facebook, by sending a message here.

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3 Responses to My Vegan Month: One Problem With It Being “A Month”

  1. thelongswim says:

    Take some nuts or something with you to the blood donation – not much for the vegan there in my experience, but you need to have something. I find Naked bars good for snacks / emergencies in general.

    On the other issue, I’ve only been vegan for 2 years, but have been vegetarian for 30 before that. Just before my period I become a complete carb monster and crave toast, pasta, potatoes (but only rarely chocolate etc). This has been a consistent story throughout my adult life, but now that I’ve settled into my vegan diet, I’ve really found that the cravings have been much less. I think that this is because being vegan has had a general settling effect on my rather chaotic hormones (plus I’m nearly 50 and heading into the menopause, so heaven only knows what role that’s all playing). Adding in extra nuts has really helped though – I’m guessing because the fats aid satiety.

    Keep going!

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    • Hi Karen ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for this. Sounds like my “gut instinct” re period/cravings is about right then – carbs and fats. I feel fine/back to normal today. As for blood donation, I am experimenting with vegan baking today (!) so if that works, I’ll take one of my creations with me. Hope you’re well x

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  2. […] wrote about the hormonal challenge here, but had some helpful advice from vegan female friends. A couple of them said that they use big […]

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