- Over a million people have participated in Veganuary since 2014
- Even fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s now have vegan items on their menu
- Below are some useful tips for people who want to participate in this year’s event
If your New Year’s resolve is to start eating healthy or to care more for animals and the environment, then Veganuary may just be the challenge for you.
The event Veganuary was launched in the U.K. in 2014 as a means to encourage people to try a vegan diet in January. Since then, over a million people from 192 countries, as well as businesses and restaurants have supported Veganuary, with 600 restaurants participating in last year’s event, Veganuary.com said.
Veganism is “one of the most effective choices” that can reduce animal suffering because of food production, improve health and even help the planet, according to Awareness Days. As part of Veganuary, people who are interested can try their hand at the new lifestyle for the entire month.
Who knows, perhaps they might even pursue it even after Veganuary has ended.
There are different types of vegan diets that people can choose from, but the basic idea is to live a lifestyle that excludes animal cruelty and is friendlier to the environment. No matter which one you choose, here are some tips to get the vegan lifestyle started, courtesy of Veganuary.com, Healthline and The Vegan Society:
It’s certainly very difficult to start a new lifestyle if one is not prepared. Having a plan about what one will eat helps prepare for a vegan day, or perhaps a week, ahead instead of having to just decide at the moment.
Remember to exclude meat and other animal-based products from the meals. This includes some that may not be as obvious, including honey, fish-derived omega-3, animal-based gelatin and butter.
Look for vegan-friendly restaurants
People who are not too keen on cooking could try looking for vegan-friendly restaurants instead. This way, one need not spend time asking the waiter whether a meal is vegan or not. This may be a little easier these days with many restaurants starting to offer vegan options on their menu. In fact, even popular fast-food restaurants have started adding vegan options.
While eating at a non-vegan restaurant, it is better to scan their menu online for possible vegan options or perhaps calling ahead of time to have a vegan meal arranged.
A vegan diet doesn’t mean eating salads all day. Researching delicious recipes where one can simply replace meat to make a vegan meal would be wise. For instance, one can still make a pizza with vegetarian toppings and vegan cheese, or perhaps tacos using various vegan toppings.
What’s more, there are also so many snacks and meals that are already vegan. This includes trail mix, peanut butter, tea, fruit juices, pasta and many more.
One can keep some vegan snacks nearby at all times, just in case one ends up looking for snacks in a place where vegan options are just not as easy to find. However, The Vegan Society recommends staying aware of veganized junk food that may be unhealthy.
A good vegan diet includes meals that can prevent nutrient deficiencies, Healthline explained. However, it’s sometimes difficult for vegans to get all the nutrients they need.
For this, it’s important to search for the supplements that one may need including calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Iron and Iodine.
Take it slow
Having such a massive change in one’s diet, and perhaps the entire lifestyle is difficult. It’s okay to take it slow in the beginning and to ask for help from a more experienced person. There are many resources online and people who would certainly love to help you in the transition.
And when it’s getting difficult, The Vegan Society recommends reminding oneself why you decided to make the transition in the first place, whether it’s for Veganuary or the long haul. This could include simple things like keeping motivational posters in your room or perhaps visiting an animal sanctuary.
“Make sure that you do things along the way that remind you of the joy of vegan living, and take it one day at a time,” The Vegan Society said. “You’ve chosen an amazing, exciting and profound way to live your life — be sure to enjoy it.”