With a new year comes new intentions and new beginnings. For some, this may be taking on a new challenge or adopting a new lifestyle. Enter, Veganuary. Veganuary challenges you to follow a plant-based diet for the whole month and encourages you to enter the year with a new outlook on your lifestyle choices.
Veganism has seen a steady rise in popularity over the past decade, with Ireland ranking in the top 10 countries worldwide for veganism .This rise in veganism can be attributed to various factors, such as concerns for animal welfare, environmental impact, and health benefits.The internet, more specifically social media has helped to increase the awareness and promotion of veganism, making it more appealing and accessible to more and more people.
Diving into the world of veganism for the first time can be a little unnerving, but it is a lot easier than people make out. Here are our top tips and tricks for those trying Veganuary.
Adopt a wider mindset
Being a vegan still has a bad rap, even in 2024. Unlearn the narrative that veganism is about deprivation and bland food; it is time to broaden your mindset.
Your food does not need to lack flavour; spices and herbs are vegan and make a great addition to any meal. Get excited by all the tasty, nutritious meals you will make whilst basking in the many benefits of a plant-based diet.
And you certainly do not need to deprive yourself of good food. There is now a large selection of vegan alternatives available that provide a similar texture and often taste, which can help to make the transition almost seamless. Explore the endless opportunities.
Have fun with it
Experiment in the kitchen and embrace this new adventure. Now is the time to explore your culinary skills and taste. There are so many plant-based recipes you can make. Get your family and friends involved and just have fun. Find a whole range of vegan recipes over on The Digest, all super easy to make with even the most basic list of ingredients.
You can also learn to embrace the meals you love but lean into ways of ‘veganising’ them. One thing to remember is that meat does not always have to be the centrepiece of the plate. Your chicken breast can become a cauliflower steak. These small changes may not match the taste but are equally delicious and nutritious.
Going in blind is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If this is an entirely new change of diet for you, you need to consider planning your meals in advance to ensure you meet your nutritional needs. The more organised you are, the easier it will be to stick to. Write down a weekly meal plan and a shopping list to go with. Check your cupboards and fridge to see what you already have; you may surprise yourself and have a handful of meals at your disposal. Be sure to batch cook some meals and keep them in your fridge/freezer for those days you are shorten time; this way you aren't tempted to order in pizza or whizz through a drive-thru.
Walk don't run
When it comes to transitioning to any diet, change isn't going to happen overnight. You should look to make gradual changes, particularly if you have never tried a plant-based diet. Wean yourself off animal produce, don't rush yourself into it as this can become detrimental to your mentality.
Chances are, it will be difficult. But remember, it is your own journey. If you fall off the wagon once or twice, it doesn't mean you have to give up. Perseverance is key.
Consider a protein supplement
Of course, a healthy and varied vegan diet can provide considerable amounts of protein, however, it can be difficult to hit your recommended daily requirements, even for those following an omnivorous diet. There is also a risk of becoming iron deficient due to the lack of red meat in your diet, and so a supplement is generally needed.
Made from premium European golden peas, Clean Lean Protein is high in amino acids and provides a natural source of iron. It is both extremely low in phytates and free of lectins, resulting in better nutrient absorption in comparison to other plant-based protein powders on the market. Clean Lean Protein is also free of fillers, gums, preservatives, and anything artificial, making it a great addition to a vegan diet!
While protein powders are not an essential part of a plant-based diet, they are a handy tool for incorporating extra protein into your diet, especially when you are short on time.
Invest in a quality multinutrient
While we always recommend food as a main source of nutrition, multinutrient supplements are often useful for vegan populations. They ensure you are getting sufficient vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin A (both mixed carotenoids and pre-formed vitamin A), iodine and other essential vitamins and minerals you could fall short of when following a plant-based diet. Good Green Vitality is a convenient all -in-one nutritional shake that minimises the inconvenience offering the same nutritional offering from alternative sources. Good Green Vitality provides a base for simple, nutrient-dense meals when time is of the essence.