Veganuary was created as a campaign for people around the world that want to start the new year off trying a fully vegan diet.
Whether it be for personal health, environmental awareness or the love of animals, Veganuary is a great way to explore a vegan lifestyle and a fully plant-based diet.
Whatever your reason for participating in this global campaign—or maybe you’re already fully veg—we’ve got five tips to finish Veganuary strong and perhaps even keep it up beyond the month of January!
1. Follow plant-based social media accounts
When we first went vegan, we made a conscious decision to declutter our social media platforms from accounts that brought little to the table, so to speak. Instead, we began following accounts that inspired us to live healthy and compassionately.
We searched for our favorite plant-based doctors on Instagram so that their knowledge and expertise flooded our feed. Then we followed vegan recipe creators and bloggers that we admired for their creativity and determination to produce dishes made with all plant-based ingredients. Instagram and Pinterest are both wonderful resources for expanding your repertoire of culinary innovation.
Whether it be conceptualizing an entirely new dish, or taking a longstanding recipe and transforming it to its vegan counterpart, having a feed filled with vibrant plant-forward creations is an excellent way to stay inspired.
Some of our favorite plant-based accounts/bloggers to follow:
Sweet Simple Vegan
Avant Garde Vegan (Gaz Oakley)
The Vegan Roadie
…and so many more.
Have fun exploring hashtags and using different vegan-related keywords!
2. Watch documentaries
What’s Veganuary without watching a few eye-opening documentaries?
We are so fortunate to have people in our world that have worked diligently to highlight the effects that the consumption of animal products has not only on our bodies, but on the world around us. Documentaries like What The Health and Forks Over Knives have had the powerful ability to make people go vegan overnight just from the candid truth that they cover. These films can be easily accessed on Netflix, as well as Food, Inc. and Cowspiracy—both unveiling unsustainable industry practices that are putting the future of our entire planet at risk.
Some other enlightening films to binge on: Earthlings, Vegan Everyday Stories, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Vegucated, Okja, Vegan 2017, Vegan 2018, Dominion, Speciesism: The Movie, PlantPure Nation and Live and Let Live…. Just to name a few!
Do your research and you’ll find that there are so many to choose from—whether you're looking to learn more about being vegan for your health, for animal rights, or for the environment.
3. Meal prep
Whether you’re experimenting with veganism or you’re in it for the long haul, meal prepping is an efficient way to get all the plant-based necessities in your diet each week. It not only helps you save time, but it’s also extremely effective in keeping accountability in your daily diet. It’s much easier to stay on top of what you consume each day if you have it planned out and made ahead of time.
Often people hear the words meal prep and cringe at the idea of spending 2-3 hours in the kitchen on a day off. In reality, you will thank yourself for preparing weeknight meals ahead of time. Say goodbye to that “what’s for dinner?” question that can be especially stressful when you’re just starting out on a vegan diet. Meal prepping saves money, rids of stress, and can actually be a lot of fun as you make your way through the beginning stages of eating plant-based.
Here’s a list from Nutriciously highlighting people who may enjoy meal prep:
Full-time workers who need their daily lunches to-go
Parents who want to send their kids to school with healthy meals
Singles who don’t want to cook just one portion for themselves all the time
Students who need something in between classes or don’t have access to a proper kitchen
Health foodies who want their meals more readily available
Plant-based beginners who aren’t used to preparing their own food all of the time
People who aren’t into following full-on recipes each day
Anyone who’s on a budget or looking to reduce their food waste
Those who fall off the wagon easily because of inconvenience or lack of motivation
4. EXPERIMENT WITH ALTERNATIVE MEATS & VEGAN CHEESES
It’s a beautiful time to be vegan! As the movement moves out of counter culture and into the mainstream, new products are popping up all over the market. From plant-based “burger” patties to grated mozzarella and buttery goodness, there are so many alternatives available to vegans who wants to nix cravings that would traditionally be satisfied with animal-based ingredients.
This Veganuary, we suggest thinking of your absolute favorite meal and attempting to recreate it using vegan alternatives.
For example, we love Violife vegan cheese and we love Philly Cheesesteaks. And thus, the Happy Seed Philly Cheez was born. We used spices typically found in a classic Philly and meaty, shredded king oyster mushrooms with sautéed onions and peppers, topped with Violife Just Like Smoked Provolone slices… Voilá! This is just a small example of what’s possible when you combine creativity with all the vegan alternatives available.
We often feel the need to mention that many alternatives can be overly processed with ingredients that are not so healthful. As always, we suggest making plants the centerpiece of each dish!
5. Visit local vegan restaurants
Websites like Happy Cow will help you find all the local vegan and vegetarian restaurants nearby. While it may seem like you are swimming in a giant ocean of conventional eateries, there are actually many restaurants that have vegan-friendly options or substitutions on the menu.
As you finish off Veganuary strong, reward yourself with a plant-based meal from somewhere local. Who knows, you may end up finding your new favorite restaurant!