Taking on a vegan challenge is probably the very best way to dip your toes into plant based eating and find out what effect it might have on you. I started out by taking The Vegan Society’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge back in July 2017 and I haven’t looked back. If you’ve decided to get stuck into Veganuary this month, here is my best advice to see you through it. Go to veganuary.com to sign up or learn more!
Ten Tips for Veganuary
1. Watch Some Vegan Documentaries
Staying in touch with the reasons you are doing Veganuary can help prevent your motivation from wavering. Whether it be for the animals, the environment or your own health, there are plenty of documentaries out there to whet your appetite. Three of my favourites are Earthlings, What the Health and Cowspiracy. There are countless others.
2. Check out Some Vegan Youtubers
If you don’t have the time to sit down and watch a one or two hour long documentary then simply turn to Youtube where you will find plenty of shorter informative videos to keep you on track. Some of my favourite channels for vegan inspiration are Earthling Ed, James Aspey, Bite Size Vegan and NutritionFacts.org. If you’re eager for some longer Youtube documentaries check out The Land of Hope and Glory and Gary Yourofsky’s The Best Speech you will Ever Hear.
3. Read Books
Take a look at The China Study and Dr. Greger’s How Not to Die to learn more about the health benefits of a vegan diet. Other books on veganism that I have on my own reading list include Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and Dead Zone by Philip Lymbery.
4. Get The Happy Cow App
No matter where you are in the world, The Happy Cow app can help you locate the nearest restaurants, cafés and shops serving vegan food. It even includes user reviews to help you whittle down the recommendations to the ones that will suit you best. If you aren’t going to a place listed on the app I suggest checking out menus online and calling ahead to let the chef know you will need a vegan option.
5. Supplement B12
I like the Better You B12 Spray. Whilst B12 deficiency is not confined to plant based eaters, it is a recommended supplement for those on a vegan diet. B12 comes from bacteria and is supplemented to the animals we eat. In our sanitised world it can be hard to get b12 from plant-based sources so I suggest you do like the cows do and supplement it!
6. Click into Barnivore.com
Did you know that not all alcohol is vegan? Searching the Barnivore website will help you figure out whether your favourite tipple fits the bill. Thankfully, more often than not it will be vegan.
7. Use the Vegan Calculator
The Vegan Calculator is a great way to see the difference you are making with each day you spend eating a plant based diet. The cumulative effect is incredible.
8. Try New Recipes
Borrow some vegan cookbooks from your local library. I love The Happy Pear cookbooks as well as the (hilarious) Thug Kitchen books. The Vegan Before Six book also has some great plant based recipes although it also includes animal-based recipes too. Borrowing a few from the library will help you discover what ones you like before investing in the best ones. Check out Bosh on Facebook too for easy to follow video recipes. I have a few vegan recipes on the blog which I often make including chocolate chia pudding, chocolate chip cookies, butternut squash soup, vegan tacos and Indian dahl.
9. Join Vegan Communities on Facebook
The best way to stay on track is to become part of a support network. Maybe you are lucky enough to already have some vegan family or friends. Fortunately there are countless vegan groups on Facebook and I’m sure you’d even find online communities taking part in Veganuary specifically. Simply search vegan groups on Facebook and the most relevant ones will appear. Your own city or town may even have a dedicated group.
10. Don’t Give Up
Drastically changing your diet over night may not be easy and it may take time for your body to adjust. Check out Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen app to make sure you are getting all the daily nutrition you need and be sure to drink plenty of water to help your body with the change. When you reach the end of Veganuary you will be in a much better position to determine what specific benefits it has had for you! Whilst I obviously prefer a whole-food plant based vegan diet in the long run, there are plenty of vegan “junk foods” to try out during Veganuary. Eating what is familiar may make it easier for you to stick to the challenge. So, if you want a Hob Nob, an Oreo or a packet of King crisps don’t worry! They’re all vegan! Most importantly, remember it will only get easier.
I’m happy to support you on your Veganuary journey so feel free to send on any questions you may have!
The Clean Coconut x