What is Veganaury?
Veganuary is a campaign promoted each January to encourage people to try a vegan lifestyle for the first month of the year. Eating vegan for 30 days can be a rewarding and positive experience, for your health and for the planet.
What happens when you go vegan for 30 days?
A month of removing animal products from your diet can have a variety of health benefits. While 4 weeks is not an extensive amount of time, eating a healthy plant based diet for the whole month will give you a boost in energy, more mental clarity, better skin, and you may drop a few pounds!
As for planetary benefits, a vegan diet uses an average of 54% less water, which adds up to saving 18,250 gallons for just one month of Veganuary. Plus, a vegan diet creates 75% less carbon emissions, so if enough people switch to a vegan diet, it would drastically reduce climate change.
Is it hard to go Vegan for a month?
It may seem like a daunting undertaking to change everything you eat for a month. But, it may not be as drastic as you think. If you already eat a generally healthy omnivorous diet, the changes you will need to make might be small. However, if you are a hardcore fast-foodie, there may be some big changes – but the benefits will likely be greater too.
No matter where you’re coming from, I’m glad you’re here! Give yourself a high-five for taking up the Veganuary challenge for a healthier you and healthier environment!
To help guide you through this month, here are five tips to help you make the most of Veganuary:
5 Tips for an Enjoyable Veganuary
1. Veganize your favorite meals
Make note of what you regularly eat and look up recipes for vegan versions. This is 2024 and the internet is loaded with vegan recipes for just about everything (yes, even steak and chicken wings).
But try to stick with recipes that match your chef skill levels – it can be frustrating and easier to give up when you mess up a recipe and you’re hungry!
2. Be open to vegan alternatives
The vegan food revolution is underway and new vegan alternatives are popping up on grocery shelves every single day. There are tons of vegan meats, cheeses, milks, yogurts, eggs, ice creams, etc.
I’ve tried many of these vegan products over the last 9 years of being vegan, and trust me, they have improved so much lately! There are times when I have to double check the label because I don’t believe it myself.
Here are a handful (out of many) brands that I recommend:
- Miyoko’s Kitchen has awesome cheese alternatives
- For non-dairy milks, I use Silk’s original soy milk or Oat-ly original full fat oatmilk
- Kite Hill has great yogurts and dairy-free raviolis (Trader Joe’s also has great vegan raviolis that are much cheaper than Kite Hill)
- Dr. Praeger’s brand has a great burger alternative.
- Sausage links are best from Field Roast brand, and Jack & Annie’s brand breakfast sausages (links and patties) are delicious and pretty healthy too.
- Hot dogs are good from Lightlife brand and they have tasty burger patties if you can find them (I’ve only seen them in restaurants, not store shelves so far).
- Primal Spirit has tasty not-beef jerky that I’d say are in a tie with Pan’s mushroom jerky.
- For deli meats, I recommend the brands Tofurky , Yves, or Unreal Deli.
- When it comes to chicken alternatives, Gardein’s (black label) Ultimate Chicken Tenders are amazing and the Daring is best for unbreaded chicken pieces to use in stir fry, salad, and pasta.
- Follow Your Heart brand Veganaise is my go-to vegan mayo if I don’t make it myself (there is an oil free mayo recipe in my cookbook, Rooted)
- I have not yet tried vegan eggs, I just use tofu (see my egg scramble recipe and egg patty recipe) but when baking I use flaxmeal (1 egg = 1 TBSP flaxmeal + 3 TBSP water, sit for a few minutes until it thickens)
Enjoy your Veganuary challenge with 10 FREE vegan recipes that are easy to make, mouthwatering, and take only 30 minutes or less to make!
3. Plan your meals
If you’re not used to eating a vegan diet, planning is essential to stay on track.
- Breakfast: keep it simple with cereals or oatmeal with added muesli on top. Or make avocado or peanut butter toasts. If you have a go-to breakfast, find a vegan version and meal-prep all or pieces of it so it is easy to throw together in the morning.
- Lunch: Meal prep your lunches (and remember to bring it to work with you).
- Dinner: Plan your dinners and stock up on the ingredients ahead of time.
4. Follow vegans on social media
There are so many vegan influencers that post mouthwatering recipes or “what I eat in a day” videos every single day. Seeing their posts in your feed will help keep you on track, give you meal ideas, and reveal how awesome vegan food can be. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube @rootyfruityvegan, or click the links below:
5. Educate yourself by watching TV (so easy!)
The last ten years have produced some great documentaries about the plant based lifestyle’s benefits for human and environmental health. Watch the following documentaries to learn more about veganism’s benefits and how to stay healthy on a plant based diet, because there is no doubt you will get questions from people around you.
- The Game Changers
- What the Health
- Forks Over Knives
- Eating Animals
- A Life On Our Planet
If watching these documentaries convinces you to stay vegan, check out my post on 10 Steps to Go Vegan.
Now that you’re ready to take on Veganuary, here are 8 recipes to get you started: