Updated: Jan 22
Since 2014 hundreds of thousands of people have pledged to try a vegan diet in January. Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people to try a vegan lifestyle and supports them through the month and beyond. With this in mind January is a great time to join the movement and give veganism a try.
Committing to a vegan diet, even just for a month, can be challenging. So here’s a few tips to
help you enjoy vegan living through January and beyond.
1. Explore and experiment with Vegan ingredients
See it as an adventure! You don’t have to be an expert in the kitchen to get started, but exploring new techniques using vegan ingredients will help level up your cooking game.
Choose recipes that include ingredients you’re not familiar with. I remember how amazed I was after making my first creamy vegan pasta, or how proud I was after making my own cashew milk (it is ridiculously easy and very delicious).
You could try my favourite butternut squash and sweet potato stew for a perfect winter warmer.
2. Focus on what you Can eat
Often we’re uncomfortable to start eating vegan because we feel like we’re sacrificing a lot. We concentrate on all the familiar foods that bring us comfort.
However, the more we focus on what we cannot eat, the more deprived we feel. My advice is to concentrate on what we can eat, experiment and find your new favourite dishes.
NHS recommends that the average adult consumes 50g of protein a day, which is easily achievable with Vegan diet if you know what food items contains protein.
3. Know your protein
Many people are worried about getting enough protein while on a vegan diet. The NHS recommends the average adult consumes 50g of protein a day. This is easily achievable on a vegan diet and knowing your vegan protein options will give you a peace of mind.
There are many articles written on the best sources of vegan proteins, reading a few of them will give you the right idea of what you need. Here are a couple you could start with: BBC Good Food and Healthline.
I personally keep a list of my favourites handy in the kitchen for whenever I needed some inspiration about what to cook. It will also help you answer the tiresome question: “but where do you get your protein?”. Get your lentils, beans, quinoa, wild rice here.
4. Take inspiration from others
The vegan community is passionate and accessible and with so many high-profile athletes and celebrities switching to veganism it’s easy to find inspiration to keep you on track. I highly advise reading and watching videos about other people's experiences when starting a vegan diet. Knowing what to expect will keep you motivated and help you worry less about any side effects brought on by a sudden change in your diet.
5. Try some vegan “junk” foods
Let’s get things straight; vegan food isn’t about eating like a rabbit. There are loads of great vegan “junk” foods that can help satisfy even the biggest comfort-craving. And although eating vegan has huge health benefits, indulging in a giant vegan donut or a dirty vegan hotdog will definitely help you feel less restricted by your new diet and see veganism in a whole new light.
Good luck with your pledge and remember we’re here to help! Have any tips about incorporating a vegan diet into your life? What’s surprised you most about your vegan experiences? Share your thoughts below.
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