Tips For Veganuary

Veganuary

I read that this year more people are trying out veganuary than any year before which made my vegan heart very happy to hear. Every year people try eating vegan, vegetarian or plant based in January and a lot of people choose to continue to eat that way for the rest of the year or at least attempt to decrease their meat and dairy intake.

People do veganuary for different reasons each year. A number of people do it for ethical reasons as they believe the killing of animals for food is unnecessary. Others do it for health reasons as they believed eating a plant based diet is healthier. Some people try out veganuary in an attempt to lose weight. A lot of people these days are trying to eat plant based as it is better for the environment. Most people in my opinion do it for a bit of all the reasons which I think is really great.

I have been eating plant based for a few years now and I thought this year I would share some tips and tricks with you guys in case anyone is trying out veganuary or just thinking about reducing their meat and dairy intake in general. Here are some tips to help you with veganuary this year:

Do Your Research

Just like with anything new you try it is very important to do your research and find out exactly what you are getting into. I would highly recommend checking out some vegan bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers and more to see what the vegan lifestyle is like and to get ideas on what kinds of foods you can eat. I would also recommend doing your research because if you have not been vegan your whole life your body may need a certain amount of certain things and that way you can add vegan/plant based alternatives to your diet accordingly. I personally tend to get low on iron easily- it runs in my family- and that’s why I try to eat more iron rich foods daily to make sure I am getting enough iron.

Another reason I would recommend doing your research is because a lot of very popular vegans that you will find online will talk about products that they are probably sponsored by that are insanely expensive and totally unnecessary. Instead do your research and figure out what you REALLY need not the stuff being advertised by influencers. Not saying all of it is useless of course- some of it may be super helpful but you just have to be very careful.

Try New Things

Think about veganuary as an adventure and instead of sticking to the same meals you generally eat but with vegan alternatives try branching out and making new recipes you have not tried before. There are so many amazing vegan recipes out there (I know because my mum send me a bunch of them every day 😂) and a lot of them are super easy to make.

I know that I personally had really not eaten a lot of dishes before I went vegan. I usually stuck with the same things I would normally eat. However, after going vegan I have tried so many new things and I even tried a lot of international foods which was so fun. It was the first time I made Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Ethiopian and so many other types of foods from all over the world. I’ve talked to a lot of vegans who say the same thing too- that they ended up trying a lot of new things after going vegan.

You can have a lot of fun with a vegan diet if you try and making or eating new foods will help you get used to eating vegan much faster than if you stick with the same foods you generally eat.

Avoid Replacements And Alternatives

There are so many alternatives and replacements for literally any products you can think of. There are vegan replacements, plant based replacements, gluten free replacements, grain free replacements, paleo replacements, keto replacements and the list can literally go on for like another hour at least. Although this can truly be a blessing when you want to make a dish that needs specific ingredients I think it can some times also be a bit of a curse because constantly using replacements or alternatives can be quite expensive and more importantly it is not very good for your health.

Vegan alternatives are incredibly expensive and this is actually one of the main reasons why so many people avoid going fully vegan because truth be told not everyone can afford to eat these alternatives on a regular basis. However, as someone who tries to eat less alternatives and eat as many home cooked meals as possible I can confirm that’s super easy to eat vegan without using alternatives on a regular basis. Like I mentioned on my first tip you just need to do some research and find recipes where they don’t use meat/dairy alternatives and use homemade ones instead.

I know that a lot of these alternatives also talk about how healthy they are but truth be told they probably are not as good for you as they say. In general, eating something you have made yourself from scratch is always the best option whether you are vegan or not.

Meal Prep

Meal prepping is a total game changer not just for people looking to try out the vegan diet but for people in general. It saves a lot of time, allows you to stick to your budget and you get to eat things you love on a regular basis since you will be making them in bulk.

If you are not used to making vegan foods on a regular basis I would definitely recommend meal prepping because it takes a while to make something new and perfect the flavours and things. It’s particularly difficult if it’s something very different from what you are normally used to eating. Therefore, it may not be possible for you to cook something new for every meal as you may be busy with other things like work, school etc. It’s just easier if you have something that is ready to eat that you just have to heat up. Even if you don’t want to fully cook it try keeping the ingredients ready like for example you could chop the vegetables in advance.

Treat Yourself

My last tip is this- treat yourself. Don’t forget to enjoy veganuary because there are so many fun vegan things out there that you can try and enjoy. Remember not to just survive on salad- unless you like salad- and try eating something like pizza or fries once in a while. Obviously, do not just eat junk food all month but it’s okay to eat stuff that is not super healthy every once in a while because life is all about those small pleasures.

In my History of Food course I learnt that food is about so much more than just eating. It is about who you are, who you want to become and most importantly it’s about the emotions and memories that are attached to the foods we eat. Make sure to make some good memories this veganuary.

Final Thoughts

I think it is a really great idea to try new things because that’s the best way to grow as a person and veganism has helped me a lot with both my physical and mental health so I would definitely recommend trying to eat vegan for a month or even a few days.

I hope you found these tips helpful if you are trying out veganuary or even if you are just trying to decrease meat and dairy in your diet.

Your Thoughts

Are you currently vegan or thinking about going vegan? Are you going to try veganuary this month? Have you tried vegan foods and if so what is something you enjoyed? Let me know in the comments below or simply stop by and say hi!

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104 thoughts on “Tips For Veganuary

  1. I have thought about going vegetarian so many times because I personally don’t like eating animal meat and It’s also good for the environment. However being vegetarian just doesn’t accomodate my lifestyle. I tried it for a month last year and it just didn’t work for me. But I’m hoping to become vegetarian again in a couple years or when the times right. So I’ll definitely save this post! This is another informative and helpful post I definitely enjoyed reading it! ☺️

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yeah it’s definitely difficult depending on where you’re at in life. However, I’m sure when the time is right it will all work out. I tried going vegan a bunch of times but it didn’t work out till one day when it just did.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s so hard to find the right time to do it! I tried it a few years ago and only lasted a few months but last year when we went into lockdown I did it again and I’ve stuck to it and it’s almost been a year! It’s all about the right time for you! 🌱

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah my parents eat almost completely vegan now because they have blood pressure issues and other health issues too. I’m doing great thank you and hope you are great too 😊☺

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  2. I eat meat for the iron so I can’t go vegetarian or vegan. I have tried to in the past. The longest I’ve been vegan was 3 months and I was low on energy during that time. I have had some very tasty vegan and vegetarian dishes and definitely feel like we should be eating more vegan and vegetarian meals. Most of us don’t eat enough vegetables and highly nutritious food!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah it’s easy to end up lacking something because you’re eating a pretty limited amount of stuff and I think hat’s why it’s so important to do your research and plan your meals accordingly. Yeah more fruits and vegetables are always a good idea!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did my research and even minored in nutrition, and it still wasn’t a good fit for me. I’m borderline anemic and absorb iron better from meat. Everyone is different and has unique dietary needs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah some diets are just not for everyone and like you said everyone is unique and therefore has unique needs. I think I was raised vegetarian so since meat has never been a part of my diet it’s easier for me to absorb iron from plant based alternatives.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If ppl are able to go vegetarian and vegan and it fits their dietary needs, then I say go for it 🙂 It’s a cleaner diet, generally cheaper, and overall more healthy overall 🌱

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You are right especially about avoiding alternatives…

    Being vegan in Saudi Arabia is too expensive when you’re all about alternatives because most of it were imported from the US so there are more charges included apart from its original priciness… my youngest sister has gone vegan for yrs now and we know how expensive it can get when you’re not actively doing research and trying out recipes… she’s like that and my mom is complaining 😛

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah being vegan can definitely get super expensive if you rely on takeout and vegan alternatives. I think making your own food is significantly cheaper instead. I know it’s pretty difficult to be vegan in a country where veganism isn’t very popular yet- I had the same issue in Kenya as everything was imported from US as well.

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    1. Yeah that is definitely super important too. I only became a vegan for animal rights alone and did not care much about the other stuff but now that I know more about it I care a lot more about the other stuff too and try to buy ethically sourced products.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I agree I think people are more likely to give up if they think of it as just another diet but when you learn about animal rights and other stuff it becomes more of a lifestyle than a diet.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I can honestly say that I have never eaten so well since I started a vegan diet. Partly it has been because I now seek out recipes, cook more and end up getting a lot more variety in my diet. It can be expensive at times for certain things but for the most part I can satisfy most of my cravings … except I have not found a plant-based milk that makes a decent “cuppa”!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I feel the same way! I have tried so many new things and continue to try new things all the time. I would never have done that if I was not vegan. For me the one alternative I can’t find is cheese. Vegan cheese just doesn’t taste the same as regular cheese.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This is the most balanced and mineral rich I’ve ever eaten as well. I like almond milk in my coffee but it’s not for everyone. Like Pooja vegan cheese is just not close enough to the real thing. I thought i would crave it but I don’t. My guess is it’s because I eat plenty of plant based data

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve tried going vegetarian before and didn’t quite like it because my iron levels dropped really low. When I tried to add more beans, broccoli and spinach but my gut was not happy because of my IBS. I personally don’t like how sluggish red meat makes me feel so I tend not to eat it if I can, but I can’t avoid things like eggs and cheese 😅 my tummy hates it but my palette loves it! So vegan is a bit too hard for me… vegetarian is a little easier

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah it’s definitely a struggle trying to get your diet just right and because everyone has different dietary needs everyone kind of has to do what’s best for them. I honestly think a vegetarian diet is great too if it works for you- as long as you get in a lot of veggies and don’t survive on fries lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been vegetarian for the last 15 years but going vegan has been a challenge. Its a challenge especially when you’re travelling! As of now I’m doing 3 days vegan/week and I think that works for me for now. Even on the days I’m not vegan, I’ve cut down a lot on my dairy consumption. It hasn’t been the easiest and I agree with you avoiding replacements actually helped me. When I tried vegan milk/chocolate options it just made me crave the regular milk/chocolate. Just avoiding them all together turned out to be easier.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s definitely difficult if you travel regularly but I think you’re off to a good start by eating vegan a few times a week. That’s what I did for a few years before I finally went fully vegan.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting post and I agree with you as a vegetarian- although I do quite frequently consume alternatives. I think vegenuary is a good time for people to try out different vegan foods and potentially consume more after the month has ended.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing pooja, great post finally getting my kids to join me, with my vegan diet still touch and go because they don’t like my cheese, double or tofu vegetarian is easier for them! But they’re developing similar allergies like myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never actually considered going vegan or vegetarian – I am halal so I can eat meat as long as it’s halal – but I should definitely consider it as I’ve had a couple of vegetarian and vegan meals before!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’ve done the plant based lifestyle in the past. I’m trying to bring it into the present. Though since I’m close to a period, all good eating flies out the window. Maybe February will be better. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Remember that any particular diet is not necessarily one size fits all. For example, I have to be on Gluten Free diet. If I have wheat product, I tend to get sick (we’re talking disabling fatigue, sick stomach etc). It is expensive and really, unless you are made sick by Wheat/Gluten not really of any extra benefit other than it tends to rule out fast food junk food since it is either cooked with or has some kind of breading or wheat product. I tend to suffer from low Iron. Has to do with medical conditions. Yes, you can maintain iron on Vegan diet, but with the other limitations to my diet it isn’t really going to do me a lot of good to increase my limitations. Something as simple as popcorn isn’t suggested for me…it gets complicated. I admire your ethics and am glad you found a good life balance for yourself with that. I think it is great that there are a lot of people choosing the lifestyle. As long as there is respect for the various lifestyles, then there is no problem. It only becomes a problem when people judge lifestyle. Some lifestyle tings are not a choice and others are. Once we realize that no one choice fits for everyone, we move ahead with better understanding. Happy Friday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is great✨I am really trying this year to be vegan or at least cut out as much diary/meat products as I can.

    Would be much helpful if you can write more of “what I eat in a day” posts. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I randomly decided to go vegan the week of Thanksgiving. It happened because I was looking into cheaper alternatives to meat, found lentil recipes, then tried nutritional yeast and I was shocked. I thought “OH MY GOSH I CAN ACTUALLY DO THIS.” Now my kiddos gripe about it sometimes (they’re 16 and 17) but mostly everyone is up for trying all the new recipes. And there are so many! I’ve found a Korean bbq lentils and a coconut curry that make me so happy.

    I have celiac disease so I’ve been reading labels for a long time and it wasn’t a challenge to switch to avoiding animal products since I’m used to label reading. I read a lot of information about how to get proper nutrition as vegan and I’m feeling amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I meant to add after I started eating vegan and reading more I was astonished how horrific farming animal products for food is for the environment. I feel better I’m doing a small part to help the environment t

      Liked by 1 person

  14. People have a misconception that there is a lack of variety in vegetarian food, but it is completely wrong. As far as India is concerned, there are so many varieties available in vegetarian food that are completely different in taste and texture. There is a huge range of vegetarian foods in snacks, liquids, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To go completely vegan is difficult. I don’t see any harm in using dairy products. At least animals are not killed as it is in the case of meat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s true people think since there are less ingredients there is less variety but in my opinion that just makes you branch out more and try new things. I don’t know about India but in the countries I have lived the meat industry and the dairy industry are interconnected which is why I have decided to go plant based. The female cows that no longer produce milk as well as the male calves are slaughtered and the female cows that do give milk are badly treated.

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  15. Really good point about replacements, and I totally agree but I think it’s still worth having some fake meat in the freezer as backup. And regarding treating yourself- hell yeah! I had a go at vegan croissants because I miss pastry. You can check out the recipe on my blog if you wanna try :p

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Loving the little bit about food theory in regards to food being more than food. It’s so true that what we eat can tell so much about us and impact how we live our lives!

    While not vegan, I do want to cut down on meat & dairy consumption.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually took a History of Food course last semester which is where all the food theory part came from! It really made me think of food as more than just something we eat but rather as something that is a part of us and that makes up a large part of who we are.

      Yeah I think veganism isn’t for everyone but cutting down on meat and dairy definitely helps. I was thinking of you the other day because I think you mentioned you were GF and I had the best vegan GF pizza ever- it’s from Oggi and I would definitely recommend it!

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