I FEEL like a bandwagon rode by and I hooked myself to it. I am talking about my recent dabbling with a plant-based diet.

It is Veganuary and I feel like I and many other carnivores are giving it a go in the way we might get the urge to pop on some skates and make like Bambi because the Winter Wonderland has pitched up in town.

I feel like I am following a fad and by saying that I mean no disrespect. I think there is science that supports it being a good way to go and maybe it won’t be a phase for me and many others and actually be a considered lifestyle choice.

I declare now, I am not a doctor (of any discipline), nor a dietician, nutritionist, scientist, anthropologist, chef or anyone else with remotely any credentials to endorse this, expound this or enlighten you to any depth on this subject.

But I am a fascinated foodie and I have done some reading. I have taken an increasing interest in plant-based food, from going to a talk from The Dirty Vegan aka Matt Pritchard at the Glamorganshire Golf Club last year, through to endlessly peppering my vegan friend Helen with questions on nutritional yeast and the merits of various nut milks.

We had lunch recently at ‘Ve Wild’, a vegan cafe in Whitchurch. I had a delicious all day breakfast with phenomenal baked beans (yes the humble baked bean can be such), tasty vegan sausage, my first scrambled tofu and seitan bacon. Admittedly I didn’t love the latter, but it did satisfy my curiosity.

Helen steered me through the menu. I have enormous respect for this incredibly intelligent and wonderful woman who lives her beliefs, vegan and otherwise and is a person of such personal integrity, she inspires me to want to up my game in all manner of areas of my life.

So with due consideration I decided to give it a go. I wanted to see if I would feel any different. I wanted to see if it would affect my food bill. I wanted to see if I could do it. Crucially I didn’t want to just cook processed vegan meat replacement food of which a scoot around any supermarket will throw up many options. Happily, I have mostly cooked from scratch, developed meals that celebrate the pulse, the bean, the vegetable and do not seek to fool myself that I am chowing down on Daisy the cow or Babe.

I feel I am stretching my culinary limbs. I am spending no more on food than I usually do and I have undoubtedly upped my fibre intake. I have energy and a friend said my hair looked good the other day. I am not here to endorse or persuade, I have lots to learn and I am not saying that I have given up meat forever, but I am enjoying my journey of discovery and am curious about where it will lead.