If you haven’t heard about Veganuary yet then where have you been? Veganuary is exactly what it sounds like, people are going vegan for the month of January. But that sounds so tough right? Nope, this post is some of the tools that I heavily relied on in my first month of my vegan journey, if you follow these simple tips you’ll be flying through Veganuary like you’ve been vegan since birth.
Surround yourself with vegans
Ok, so this doesn’t mean ditching all of your friends and creating a new vegan gang. If you’re anything like me, you might not have any real life vegan friends but something that really keeps me going is surrounding myself with online vegans. There are loads of vegan documentaries on Netflix to keep you on the straight and narrow, if you’re vegan for animal welfare you’ve got Live and Let Live or if you’re trying veganism for the environmental effects you have Cowspiracy or if you’re in it for the health benefits you could watch Forks Over Knives or Vegucated. It’s also a good idea to get yourself a bit of a support network, try joining the Veganuary Facebook group. It’s also a good idea to utilise social media, there are so many vegan voices out there, there’s Vegan Food Spot if you want to perv on good looking food, The Vegan Kind for a mix of food, inspo, quotes and they make great subscription boxes. If listening to podcasts is more your thing then get yourself into Not Your Milk Podcast or subscribe to Vegan Geezer on YouTube to follow a real life vegan family. The more vegans come up in your timelines the easier you’ll find it to stick with being vegan, the consistent reminders help me so much.
Preparation is the key to being a successful vegan, I love cooking so I spend some time on a Sunday doing some food prep for the week, I make at least 4 lunches for work and plan out my food for the week. This doesn’t mean I don’t swap meals around, sometimes I’ll have my lunch for tea because I didn’t fancy my pumpkin soup but I find it really helpful to have a stocked fridge. Sign up for your free starter kit and you’ll be set, there’s even a gluten free meal plan for those of us who struggle with grains.
Prepping doesn’t always mean that you have to be chained to the kitchen if you’re not into it though, what you should do is make sure you’re armed with a list of safe foods and vegan places to eat so that when you’re in a pickle and need lunch or a snack, you’re ready to go. Luckily things like Happy Cow do a lot of the hard work for you, put your town or city in and boom it shows your vegan and vegetarian restaurants and shops near you.
Veganise your favourite foods
Veganise, is that a word? It really should be so I’m going to pretend that it is. So you’re going vegan, for Veganuary or for food but they doesn’t mean that you need to burn all your cookbooks, good food is good food regardless of where the recipe came from. Do not go out and buy lots of vegan cookbooks, it’s really not necessary. So you love steak and chips? That’s ok, give seitan a go (ok I can’t because it’s wheat but it’s apparently very good!), missing a burger? Worry not, there’s a ton of frozen burgers out there for when you can’t be bothered making one, these Amy’s Kitchen burgers are great to stash in the freezer. If you’re cooking a chilli or spam bol, ditch the mince for finely chopped mushrooms or mash a banana instead of an egg in baked goods. There are hundreds of vegan food hacks, you don’t need to worry about coming up with a whole new repertoire of meals, you simply need to tweak what you’re already doing.
Check your booze!
That’s right, not all booze is vegan and that honestly gives me the heebeegeebees, booze is the sneakiest of all the non-vegan foods. It’s really hard to browse the alcohol isle and figure out what is vegan and what isn’t, there’s nothing on the label. But fear not Barnivore is here for all your vegan booze needs. Much like Happy Cow, Barnivore is your vegan friendly directory for alcohol. So everything that I’ve searched for has been in there (but it’s not all been vegan), yes it does slow down your dash to the supermarket for a bottle of cider (Somerset gal through and through) but it takes away all of the stress of trying to figure out what booze is vegan. Make a bookmark on your phone and keep it handy!
Don’t limit yourself to January
If you can get through one month of being vegan, who says that yo can’t carry on? If you plan on completing a healthy Veganuary, you’ll be feeling better, probably have clearer skin and more energy so why would you stop? Use the Vegan Calculator to figure out how many litres of water and animal lives you’ve saved with your vegan lifestyle to keep you motivated.
So those are my top tips for surviving Veganuary, you can totally start 2017 with a vegan lifestyle and feel a ton better for it. Are you planning on taking part in Veganuary? If you need support during Veganuary then please get in touch, comment below, tweet me or email me. It can be tough starting but will a little help and encouragement you can succeed.
Good luck Veganuary newbies!