For the month of January, Veganuary’s goal is to inspire people to eat plant foods only. Since then, involvement in Veganuary has more than doubled each year, with Veganuary committing to an unprecedented 1.3 million individuals in 2019.
Anyone can do Veganuary, and if you’re a little late for a plant-based group, it’s not a big deal. But if you’re not used to being meat-free, or can’t imagine how you’re going to live without eggs or milk for a month (or longer), you may need some pointers. With a few tips for some extra plant strength, here are some answers to the most popular questions about Veganuary and some delicious recipes.
Can I get all the nutrients I need from a vegan diet?
“The American Vegan Society website states that “Vegans choose from a wide range of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruits, nuts and seeds to prepare meals. It may not be so easy to get all the nutrients you need from those categories of food, however. Florida-based nutritionist and accredited personal trainer McKenzie Flinchum says, “Vitamin B12, which is found in animal foods, is the biggest nutrient deficiency concern for veganism.” Flinchum recommends taking a supplement unless you are consuming fortified vegan items to satisfy your nutrient needs. “Deficiency of B12 can result in anaemia, so if you’re eating a vegan diet, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iodine and iron are nutrients to pay attention to.
Will Veganuary help me lose weight?
Veganuary’s goal is not weight loss; the movement began, according to Veganuary’s website, “as a way to protect the environment, avoid animal cruelty, and improve the health of millions of people.” But you may find that if you don’t keep an eye on your food consumption, you will lose weight, whether you want to or not.
How can I be sure I’m not eating animal products?
According to the American Vegan Society, “vegans don’t consume meat, fish, birds, cow’s or goat milk, eggs, honey, or foods made with any of these or other animal products such as gelatine, beef or chicken broths, lard or tallow.”
This might sound like a daunting list to a vegan newbie, but there are just as many foods you may consume, if not more: all fruits, vegetables, beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds and whole grains for starters are all naturally vegan.
If you consume pre-packaged foods, misunderstanding is more likely to arise, so you have to get into the habit of reviewing the list of ingredients to make sure there are no ingredients obtained from animals. Vegan packaged foods are labelled with a ‘suitable for vegans’ or ‘certified vegan’ logo; to make it easier for you to identify the foods you can eat. Additionally, if the product contains dairy, eggs, or seafood, it will be listed under its allergen list.
What should I do if I slip up?
If you accidentally eat something, which contains milk, don’t beat yourself up. Veganuary is meant as a challenge, so give yourself some possible shortcuts to make the diet work. Going vegan at the start can be overwhelming. Make it easy by buying pre-cut vegetables, for example, for easy meal planning if you need to. Another helpful tip is to take vegan snacks with you while you’re out and about, so when hunger pangs strike, you’re still ready with plant-based eats.
What if I can’t cook?
Going vegan for a month does not mean you have to become the next master chef. On a meat-based diet, you will find a vegan version of pretty much everything you can eat: pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, tacos, pasta.
Many restaurants and takeout spots offer vegan selections too, and in supermarkets, you can find pre-packaged vegan foods. Supermarkets such as Aldi, Asda, Tesco, M&S, Morrisons, Waitrose and Iceland have all launched campaigns this year promoting Veganuary and even advocating the reasons to try a vegan diet.
If you are struggling for Veganuary recipe ideas, here at Swan, we have put together a few of our favourites to offer you some inspiration.
Sweet potato cauliflower curry
This sweet potato cauliflower curry is a flavourful veggie-packed meal. It’s paleo, whole30, vegan, and vegetarian friendly!
A simple recipe for fluffy vegan waffles, which are easy and quick to make. They are delicious, dairy-free and egg-free. Perfect for breakfast or as a dessert.
This delicious and decadent vegan lasagne is layered with creamy homemade ricotta, vegan ‘meat’ sauce and rich cheese sauce.
Spicy Ramen Noodle Bowls
These healthy vegan red curry noodle bowls are flavourful, saucy and super easy to make! Served with vegetables, crispy tofu and gluten-free noodles too!
For more delicious recipes, Vegan meal and snack inspiration and the perfect chance to check out what vegan options are available, visit the Swan Pinterest board for Veganuary!
Make sure you tag us on Instagram and share all your delicious vegan meals with us.