Veganuary has become a staple in the food industry calendar. With over half a million people registering for the 2021 campaign, this year is predicted to be an even bigger success. As the plant-based diet continues to gain more devout followers, the month-long vegan challenge is set to make waves.
Vegan January, otherwise known as “Veganuary,” is a campaign that encourages people to adopt a plant-based diet for the first 31 days of the new year. With participants from over 200 countries and territories, this movement has encouraged businesses to offer more vegan food options, making the plant-based way of life more accessible and visible worldwide. A fun start to the new year, you can use Veganuary to kickstart your health and try out some plant-based dishes.
If you’re one of the many people participating in this “New Year’s Revolution,” here are some tips and tricks to help you out:
1. Pledge with Family and Friends
Finding people to go plant-based with can make the experience easier and more fun. It also keeps you accountable! Take the pledge with your friends and family or if they’re not fond of the idea, there’s a whole world of people who are. From online vegan communities to local plant-based meet-ups, lean on likeminded people throughout your Veganuary challenge.
2. Go Easy on Yourself
People tend to have an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to new challenges. However, when you’re in the early stages of adopting a plant-based diet, this mindset can be detrimental to your progress. If you slip up, don’t let that halt your progress. Shake it off and start fresh at your next meal. After all, progress is what’s important. Any change you can make to include more plant-based foods in your diet is a win in and of itself. Remind yourself why you’re making the change and use that to stay motivated throughout Veganuary.
3. “Veganize” Your Favourite Meals
There are easy swaps you can make that will help make the transition to plant-based less intimidating. For example, if you love to eat pasta with a meat sauce, top your favourite pasta with a tomato sauce instead. To achieve that meaty texture without the use of animal products, add lentils or mushrooms to the dish. There are also plenty of mock meat products on the market to help make the transition easier. While it will feel like an adjustment at first, the changes in your diet will become more instinctive over time. You may even notice your cravings and appetite shift during Veganuary.
4. Try New Vegan Recipes
It’s never too late to try something new. While it’s a smart idea to have some practical, go-to recipes in your vegan arsenal, exploring new recipes can be a fun way to stay interested in plant-based eating. Every meal is an opportunity to whip up some vegan dishes; from breakfast burritos and pancakes to chickpea burgers, teriyaki stir-fry, and tangy tofu banh mi. You can improve your health all while keeping your tastebuds happy and guessing.
5. Educate Yourself
It can’t be stressed enough. With any lifestyle change, preparation is key and there are plenty of resources available to help you transition to a plant-based diet. Pinpoint your reasons for trying Veganuary and educate yourself on how your changes are making a difference in that regard. By transitioning to a vegan diet, you’re creating a kinder world by actively preventing animal suffering. Additionally, you may experience several health benefits such as lower cholesterol, improved digestion, weight loss, disease prevention, and healthier blood sugar levels. Whatever your motive may be, research can help you stay driven and on track.
6. Find a Plant-Based Doctor
If you need an extra level of guidance and support while adopting a plant-based diet, Dr. Nagra is here to share his expertise. A devout vegan for more than a decade, he too has made the transition away from animal products. From nutrition counseling and applying an evidence-based approach to improving your overall health, he has the knowledge and experience to help you maximize your Veganuary! Reap the benefits today and book your appointment with a plant-based doctor.
Matthew Nagra is a Naturopathic Doctor and is a passionate advocate for evidence-based nutrition as medicine. I have a particular passion for plant-based/vegan nutrition, physical medicine, and chronic disease. With additional training in nutrition, I hold a Plant-Based Nutrition Certification from Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies where I’ve authored multiple articles on the subject.