It’s not easy to start the new year with a plant-based diet after the holiday indulgences of December. It can feel as if we’re almost teaching our brains to think in new ways, and it can be exhausting.
But there are many compelling reasons to consider going vegan, whether it’s for animal welfare, health, or the environment. However, getting used to the diet’s restrictions can take some time, especially when it comes to dining out or satisfying cravings; that’s why we’ve created this blog.
1. Set Your Goals
Perhaps you want to try new foods or stick to a strict budget for your grocery shopping? Set a goal for yourself this Veganuary; consider what you really want to achieve from this challenge? Find something that will serve as your main aim for the month to motivate you if things become tough.
2. Get Social
Social networking is a fantastic opportunity to try new recipes, learn new skills, and meet new people. Vegans are a sociable bunch, and there are many of online discussion forums where you may ask questions and receive useful information.
You can also become a member of online communities. There are numerous social media forums where you may ask questions or seek guidance, and they will be more than happy to assist you. You won’t struggle to find a group by simply searching “[your city] vegans” on Facebook.
3. Tell Your Friends & Family
If they don’t know, they’ll invite you over for a Sunday roast, where the only available food is Brussel sprouts, alongside pitying looks. Tell them you’re participating in Veganuary and would appreciate their support and understanding.
You might even discover someone to join you in your Veganuary challenge. If you have a friend you can rely on for support and assistance during the month, you’ll be more likely to complete the challenge. You might share veganuary recipes you’ve found or let each other know if you come across any things that are “accidentally vegan”!
4. Find Your Favourite Milk
Switching to plant-based milk is probably the easiest move you can make. Different kinds of milk have different flavours, so it may take some trial and error to discover one you enjoy.
Soy and hemp milk, for example, can be a little watery, whereas almond and coconut milk have a unique flavour. Oat or cashew milk are the closest similar to cow’s milk and will stay lovely and creamy in your cup of tea.
Oatly is quickly becoming the nation’s favourite plant-based milk, thanks to a unique barista blend that enhances your morning coffee. As plant-based milk becomes more popular, most coffee shops and cafés will provide it, and many will even waive the extra fee.
5. Swap Your Meat
Veganuary obviously entails eliminating all forms of meat from your diet. But that doesn’t rule out the possibility of creating those meat flavours. Many vegan chefs utilise a variety of mushrooms to imitate the flavour and texture of meat with incredible precision.
If the prospect of mushrooms makes you feel queasy, don’t worry! Quorn, THIS, Beyond Meat, and Linda McCartney are just a few of the companies that provide plant-based meat substitutes that taste and feel like the real thing.
The charm of jackfruit is also a well-kept secret. Jackfruit can easily imitate pulled pork when cooked with the right spices and sauces. Going back to a meat diet in February may be more difficult than you think when there are so many tempting options.
6. The Honey Debate
While honey is a naturally occurring chemical, bees produce it for their own consumption; therefore, many vegans argue that farming honey is tantamount to stealing food from the bees. A jar of honey is also predicted to cost around £260,000 if bees were paid for their time, effort, and talent. It puts the value of bees in our ecology into perspective!
If you want to try something other than honey, agave nectar, molasses, date paste, and maple syrup are all excellent options, with agave nectar and maple syrup having fewer calories than honey.
7. Get Rid Of Temptation
With any diet, it’s easy to succumb to temptation, especially if your kitchen is stocked with tempting non-vegan treats. The best method to avoid this is to eliminate all non-vegan foods. You can give it to a friend or put it away for a month… just don’t throw away good food; donate it instead.
Don’t worry if you can’t clean up your kitchen or if your family or roommates aren’t vegan. It is still possible to succeed. Just make sure you have enough vegan items on hand, so you don’t have to go looking for something else to eat.
Make sure you have enough last-minute snacks on hand, such as almonds, hummus, fruit, rice cakes, peanut butter, Oreos, Lotus Biscoffs, Vego, and much more.
8. Meal Prep
Meal prep will be your greatest friend if you’re going vegan for the first time this Veganuary. It’s challenging to begin a new diet just because it’s new. It is, however, easier if you prepare yourself (and your meals!).
Being prepared is an easy method to avoid sneaking a slice of (non-vegan) pizza into your meal. You don’t have to prepare every meal before the week begins, but knowing what you’ll be eating each day is essential.
If you participate in Veganuary, your meal plan will be quite beneficial. Make a week’s worth of meals using a few recipes and a schedule. Prepare some of those meals ahead of time, or have the vegetables and fruit washed, chopped, and ready to cook.
You can also cook rice, quinoa, or any other grain a few days ahead of time and eat it. If you’re on the go, whatever you prepare ahead of time will come in handy. This is the most effective approach to succeed, and it gets easier as the weeks pass.
Every Change Is A Step In The Right Direction
If you feel unable to make the leap to go vegan for the whole month, Veganuary is still a great time to reduce your meat intake. Whether it’s having a vegan day once a week, or completely ditching dairy milk and drinking Oat or Almond milk, every small change helps us to fight climate change and protect our planet for future generations.
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