7 Practical Tips On Surviving (And Enjoying) Veganuary
STORY: Priyanka Elhence
22 January 2021
Congratulations! We’re more than halfway through January, which means that you only have a fortnight left of trying to embrace the annual vegan lifestyle challenge if you’ve signed up for it. If ever you wanted to test out the potential of veganism - no meat, dairy, eggs or honey - there’s no better time than right now, especially as the vegan movement is increasingly gaining popularity all around the world.
But going vegan for a month can have its challenges too, so check out these 6 practical tips on making your one month effort sustainable. And you might even have fun along the way and find it enjoyable!
1. Educate yourself
Don’t just sign up for Veganuary blindly. Identify what gives your challenge purpose and educate yourself on the reasons that make a vegan lifestyle attractive in general. Watching documentaries such as Food Choices, Forks Over Knives and Before the Flood also help if you’re not a book person. And if you know what you are talking about, it makes it easier to ignore those who don’t understand veganism themselves but will try and belittle anyone experimenting with a vegan choice.
2. Try a vegan version of your favourite foods
January is so focused on going vegan that even if a restaurant is not vegan, most places do offer vegan options. There’s a vegan alternative to practically everything these days, ranging from faux meat to non-dairy alternatives, so don’t lament about what you can’t eat. Instead, think about what you can eat and how creative you can get with a vegan version instead. At the end of the day, food is meant to be fun, not stressful, so have fun experimenting. For instance, swap eggs for flaxseeds when baking, scramble tofu for breakfast, and get your cheese fix from nutritional yeast perhaps?
3. Plan Ahead
Adding a vegan dimension that will probably restrict most of your favourite foods is a guaranteed recipe for failure – unless you plan your meals ahead. As with many things in life, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Pack plenty of vegan snacks to tide you along the day between meal times, and even bring along a vegan-friendly lunch if you know you’re not going to have time to step out yourself.
4. Try new restaurants with your friends
Now that you and seven of your favourite friends can dine together, eating out is a great way to experiment with Veganuary. You can start with someone as small as an oat milk latte and work your way up, especially since so most restaurants are offering special vegan alternatives for the challenge. And getting your friends involved too will make the new lifestyle run feel more like fun.
Don’t worry, you’ll be getting more than enough protein on a vegan diet thanks to awesome foods such as tofu, lentils, chickpeas, chia seeds and quinoa. However, the only thing you cannot get on a plant-based diet is vitamin B12, so make sure to take a supplement for it.
6. It’s OK to fall off the wagon
Plant-based diets take some getting used to, so don’t beat yourself up too much if you had a cheat meal. Just remember why you decided to take on the challenge in the first place, and then go back to finishing the challenge. You’ve literally got less than two weeks left now!