9 Veganuary Tips from a Vegan
Veganuary is an annual challenge run by a UK nonprofit organization that promotes and educates about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. Since the event began in 2014, participation has more than doubled each year. - Wikipedia
1. Add more fruits and veggies to every single meal
By adding more plants into all your meals, you'll not only be eating more plant-based, but you'll also be eating more balanced meals. This will help the transition to a vegan diet and help you eat more. I found that I don't feel as full, so it's definitely a good idea to increase the volume of the food you're eating.
2. Find your favorite milk alternative
There are so many delicious options out there, and there's always news on in the grocery store. Like there is bound to be either a nut or plant milk that you actually like! If it helps, start with a sweetened or flavored version and then gradually transition to unsweetened/original. Or try a mix first; I originally started with coconut/almond milk because it's a little sweeter and eventually started using the unsweetened original. I personally only use milk in baking, coffee, and (occasional) bowl of cereal. Oat milk is currently my absolute fav; the taste and texture are ideal for my lattes :)
3. Don't cut out your favorite foods
Whenever changing your diet, don't deprive yourself of the things you love most; you'll only be setting yourself up for failure. The same goes for Veganuary! Try your hardest to either find substitutes or make your own favorite foods. I can have a major sweet tooth, and baked goods kept me from going vegan for a while until I discovered that vegan treats were equally as good, if not better. So, for example, if you love pizza, either find a vegan substitute or learn to make vegan pizza at home! You'll be must more likely to remain a vegan throughout Veganuary if you're able to continue enjoying the foods you love.
My secret hack to almost anything. Starting compiling vegan recipes to make throughout Veganuary and after! Pinterest has so many recipes, even vegan ones, and it will definitely help you learn to cook new plants you might not have tried before. When I went vegetarian, I started eating a lot of new vegetables, and Pinterest helped me with coming up with new healthy meals to cook (or have my boyfriend make me).
5. Try a new vegan product
Whenever people think vegan, they instantly think of diet, but being a full vegan encompasses more than a diet. Other products that may or may not be vegan includes things like clothes, bags, makeup, and more. So this Veganaury, I encourage you to try a new vegan item that you already need or would really like to try! Some suggestions by my sponsor EarthHero: Vegan Lip Balm, Vegan Food Wrap (less food & plastic waste!), and HiBar Shampoo & Conditioner Bars (highly recommend).
One of the biggest struggles I had when initially going vegan was feeling hungrier even after I finished my meal. I found myself reaching for unhealthy snacks like chips and Oreos, and while these are perfectly fine once in a while, it isn't exactly healthy to snack on them every day. Fortunately, I now eat hummus with carrots, nuts, and fruits when I want to snack. I still eat chips, but less often! I would suggest finding whatever you like and then using that; there are so many options for healthy snacks like peanut butter/apples, seeds, roasted chickpeas, and kale chips.
7. Have a plan for takeout
One of the most difficult aspects of veganism is going out to eat. Sadly, I have been told more than once that a specific dish could NOT be made without cheese or meat. So please keep an open mind when going out to eat, but for the most part, restaurants have no problem modifying my drinks or food to make them vegan. When trying new places, I like to look the menu up online so that when I get there, I know what to ask right away. I find doing this eases my anxiety when ordering because I know my options and have them in mind when talking to my server. Most places are extremely accommodating and already have vegan/vegetarian options on their menu, which are amazing to see!
8. Stay motivated
If you do have a bad experience, it's easy to want to give up, but don't! Remember why you're doing this in the first place, whatever the reason(s) may be. I'm sure they're worth it, and it only gets easier the longer you are vegan. Being vegan should make you feel proud for countless reasons. You're able to make an extremely positive impact by cutting out animal products from your life. One bad experience is not representative of what it's like to be vegan; I have had many more positive experiences eating out and talking with people than negative.
9. Don't worry about everything
It's okay if you mess up and eat something non-vegan or use a chapstick that has honey. The mistakes are how you learn, or maybe, it's not as big of a deal for you. For example, I bought Nivea milk and honey chapstick before going vegan, but I continue using it instead of throwing it out. I feel it would be more harmful to throw out products you already have and buy new vegan ones because you recently decided to go vegan. The same goes for Veganuary, don't go out and buy all new products because you're going vegan this month. Buy them as you need them, or as you really want them! Buying less is more in terms of sustainability, and being vegan doesn't need to more expensive. Worry less about being a perfect vegan and worry more about doing what you can.