Trying Veganuary? Top tips for going vegan and staying vegan

Vegan food has come a long way, and as we prepare for another January, there’s another chance to ditch the animal products and give plant-based food a try. Keep these tips in mind if you are looking for a place to start or you need a little help along the way.  Be open minded and see where the journey through January takes you.


  •  Find places that prove how good plant-based food can be.
  • Find places that inspire you to eat differently.  Eating out is always a treat and an opportunity to try something new. Look for places that offer plant-based options and let it show you how good, fulfilling, nutritious and comforting a plant-based diet could be. It can also help to inspire you to get creative in the kitchen if you are struggling to think of ideas for cooking at home.  Test your local vegan cafes, restaurants and takeout's and find the foods that work for you that you can easily recreate from home and start from there!


    1. Get educated

    If you’re really serious about what the point of Veganuary is, then it's time to get educated.  Why is it we need to eat less meat?  Why is it damaging our planet and what really happens to the animals before we find them cooked and on our plate?  Don’t take this step lightly.  When you know the truth behind the agriculture business, animal welfare and just understanding the impact made on our planet from consuming these products, it really changes your mind because you have to hold yourself accountable and make a choice.  There is access to some great documentaries online to gain more understanding around the lifestyle.  Look out for What the Health, Cowspiracy and Earthlings. 


    1. Shop Around

    Supermarkets are definitely expanding their vegan ranges and that is a lot more choice on the shelf.  Even more so during Veganuary as all the supermarkets jump on board supporting the movement.  So do the rounds and shop around!  With so much choice on offer, stay open minded and indulge in the things you want to try.  With so many alternatives now, you might just find something you prefer, and you might not go back!  


    1. Tell people what you are doing so they can support you

    Hold yourself accountable for the month of January and let people know you are involved.  Band together with friends or family to help support each other.  Do food shops together or go try the local vegan café.  Having the support of others around you makes you more likely to succeed.  



    1. Learn to enjoy cooking/preparing/finding new recipes

    Reignite your passion in the kitchen by using new and fresh ingredients you haven't used before.  It's easy to get stuck in a routine of oven prepared dinners and grab and go lunches.   But breaking that habit early and taking your time to cut, slice, spice and season the different ingredients can be really satisfying.  We look at cooking as one of those things now that’s just about rushing and having convenient food to go, which sometimes is needed when you have a busy schedule.  But sometimes we can afford to slow down a little and appreciate what we are about to feed our bodies.  Making your food using wholesome, fresh, organic ingredients, you know exactly what you are putting in to your body.  Treat yourself to a new recipe book or look online or on Pinterest to find inspiration for new recipes to try at home.


    1. Listen to what your body needs!

    Your body craves different foods at different times, so listen to it.  You might think being Vegan is a lot of cold raw vegetables, but not anymore.  You can still get a classic comforting mac and cheese or pizza.  So, if you have a craving for something, there’s probably a vegan alternative for it so don’t use it as an excuse to dip out and fail your Veganuary challenge.   


    1.   Find comfort in your decisions

    Know that the decisions you are making are not playing a hand in destroying the planet.  By consuming less meat and manufactured products you aren’t part of contributing to the growing and destroying agriculture business.  Your conscious can be clear in knowing you aren’t mindlessly consuming animals who can't defend themselves and feel the pain of our actions.  Whether you stick with it for a month or longer, you have still contributed to making a change and a difference, by reducing your carbon footprint.


    1. Find your community!

    Do some research and have a look for community groups in your local area that support vegans, Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, or face to face meetups. Talk to other people who have the same interest and are going through the same thing to help keep you on track. Its hard constantly being around people chowing down on meat and dairy right in-front of you and can be easy to give into temptation. So find people who understand you! Its a great way to meet new people and also to discuss and share your experience of foods you’ve tried or local places that have a vegan menu. It's all about support and educating yourself and each other!

    And remember it’s a journey, you are trying and its OKAY, stay conscious and keep going.


    Happy Veganuary!

     

    By Donna Edwards

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