Veganuary at Tide

Veganuary at Tide

This January the Veganuary movement was more popular than ever. With sustainability becoming ever more important, some of our Tideans decided to give the challenge a go.

Throughout January our Culture Club volunteers planned various vegan-themed initiatives. With talks from our Solutions Architect, Sam, and our Head of Agile, Karin, and a delicious array of alternative meals (homemade by our Tideans), we dedicated our lunch breaks and after work socials to spreading awareness and educating each other about a plant-based lifestyle.

Some of our Tideans chose to take part in Veganuary this year and dedicate themselves to an entirely plant-based diet. We checked in with them at the start of Feb to see how they found their vegan journey.

Our Chief Operations and Product Officer, Laurence

Is there an aspect of going vegan that was a surprising benefit? If so, what was it?

Yes, I felt my energy levels remained constant throughout the day and I lost a little weight 💪

What question do you hate being asked about being or going vegan, and why?

I hate being asked “will you stay vegan?” because it feels like extra pressure. I am doing this as a experience, with no commitments to staying vegan but wanted to see how I felt and how I would cope with the change in lifestyle. I also wanted to do it for my wife, Nikki, who is a vegan – she made delicious vegan brownies which were widely appreciated by the company!

What’s your top tip for new vegans when eating out?

It’s easy, especially in London, where everywhere caters for Vegans. Also, especially easy in Thai and Chinese restaurants, where you can ask to substitute meat for Tofu.

What’s your vegan food or drink guilty pleasure?

Vegan Shawarma, tastes as good as the real thing.

Do you have to tip-off for us about a cool company who makes great vegan clothes/shoes/cosmetics or other non-food products?

I hear there is a shoe brand called “Vegetarian Shoes

And finally, before Veganuary 2020…

I was an omnivore

After Veganuary 2020…

I’ll go back to eating an omnivorous diet but mostly vegetarian 🌱

Our Solutions Architect, Sam

Is there an aspect of going vegan that was a surprising benefit? If so, what was it?

It has made me care more about animal welfare.  Animal welfare was not the driver that made me switch but, once I had made the commitment, I started to discover more details about animal agriculture and this became a huge additional motivator for me.

What question do you hate being asked about being or going vegan, and why?

Hate is a strong word – but you do have to be patient when having the same conversations repeatedly.  “How do you survive without cheese?” is a common one. That’s like asking an ex-smoker “How do you survive without cigarettes?”, you just do.

What’s your top tip for new vegans when eating out?

Come to accept that you will end up eating foods that are not your favourite some times. I’ve reluctantly learned to eat more aubergine & butternut squash – not my favourite foods, but you need your nutrients. Having said that, meal offerings for vegans are rapidly improving across the board, so this problem is slowly going away.

What’s your vegan food or drink guilty pleasure?

Falafel & Hummus – I can’t get enough.  And one more, if I may – Hellman’s vegan mayonnaise – I don’t know how they did it, but it’s better than any mayonnaise I ever remember!

Do you have to tip-off for us about a cool company who makes great vegan clothes/shoes/cosmetics or other non-food products?

Natural Collection – online shopping for eco/vegan folks.  You can filter products by ‘vegan’ to find things like vegan shoes for example.

And finally, before Veganuary 2020…

I’d been vegan for more than 1 year.

After Veganuary 2020…

I’ll continue eating a vegan diet.

Our Head of Agile, Karin

Is there an aspect of going vegan that was a surprising benefit? If so, what was it?

Being vegan has had a positive impact and, for me, it’s also a way of living in alignment with my values. This is by far the best benefit for me. 

What question do you hate being asked about being or going vegan, and why?

I can’t say that I hate any of the questions I get asked. If someone wants to know more and is curious, that’s great. Plus I have a list of plant protein sources ready for you.

What’s your top tip for new vegans when eating out?

London has plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants so it’s quite easy to find tasty options. I would recommend to try them all. 

What’s your vegan food or drink guilty pleasure?

Definitely vegan burgers. Also, Unity Diner has a hot dog with Mac n cheese on it 🧀

Do you have to tip-off for us about a cool company who makes great vegan clothes/shoes/cosmetics or other non-food products?

No, but did you know that Adidas launched a pair of limited-edition vegan sneakers in collaboration with the Beastie Boys? (My birthday is in March… 🙏🎁)

And finally, before Veganuary 2020…

I’d been vegetarian for 25 years!

After Veganuary 2020…

I’ll continue eating a vegan diet and only cheat for my dad’s mashed potatoes.

Our Social Media Manager, Ali

Is there an aspect of going vegan that was a surprising benefit? If so, what was it?

I’m honestly a terrible cook. This month has really forced me to experiment in the kitchen and I’ve produced some surprisingly edible dishes. I’m definitely no Nigella, but I’ve been inspired to keep trialling new ingredients.

What question do you hate being asked about being or going vegan, and why?

“Are your shoes vegan?”

I was brought up to believe that a meal isn’t complete without adding meat (think Yorkshire Roasts every day), so spending a month on a plant-based diet was a bit of a challenge! I’m really happy that I’ve reduced my meat and dairy consumption, but I’m definitely keeping my leather boots!.

What’s your top tip for new vegans when eating out?

Veganism is in right now, so almost every place you visit will have a vegan option. Just be prepared to accept that Chinese takeaways are a struggle (and Uber Eats don’t deliver the vegan KFC burger 👎).

What’s your vegan food or drink guilty pleasure?

I don’t want to admit how many Greggs vegan sausage rolls I’ve consumed this month… Also the new vegan burger from MEATliquor is amazing. 

Do you have to tip-off for us about a cool company who makes great vegan clothes/shoes/cosmetics or other non-food products?

Our Tide member Alive Boutique! They’re an amazing online marketplace for vegan and ethical fashion.

And finally, before Veganuary 2020…

I was an omnivore.

After Veganuary 2020…

I’ll continue eating a vegetarian diet.


Veganuary is an annual event, which is growing in popularity every year, but you don’t need to wait till next January to try veganism! If you want to experiment with a plant-based diet, or would like to learn more about vegan lifestyles, our Tidean vegans recommend Jonathan Safron Foer’s book, We are the Weather, and the Netflix show, Game Changers.

If you’re interested in learning more about #LifeatTide events then follow us and check out our Instagram highlight. Or if you’re really interested you can always join us! Check out our career vacancies here.

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