10 Tips or navigating Veganuary

Yes, it is that time of the year again and I don’t mean impossibly ambitious New Year resolutions. It is of course Veganuary.

Since 2014, over 1 million people have been inspired to take the 31 day challenge. I took mine in 2017 and 3 years down the line I am still vegan. Not only do they encourage us but they work with businesses to push forward a greater supply of vegan food choices in supermarkets and restaurants.

In my opinion, though supermarkets do take advantage of this and flood their shelves with new vegan products and processed foods, some of which slowly disappear once the momentum of Veganuary is over.

So many products are naturally vegan, such as egg-free pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous plus a vast array of fruits, vegetables and staples.

For me it was about taking it slowly, I had already been a vegetarian for most of my adult life and maybe that is a little easier. The big one for me was eggs as I have a huge love of baking. Cheese was slightly less problematic until it came to recipes like macaroni or cauliflower cheese. So swap 1 food item at a time, if that is better for you such as milk, cheese or eggs and gradually introduce more vegan meals into your weekly meal plan. Not everyone can go cold turkey {eek just a saying}.

Also don’t write it off if you cannot start on the 1st which is a bit like writing off a healthy eating plan where we have a not so healthy day. Start it for when you go food shopping, give yourself a few days to prepare and look up some nice recipes. This stops you going blindly around a supermarket flinging in as many vegan products into your trolley.

  • This will hit your bank balance hard and you will declare a vegan diet as expensive and maybe not for you.
  • You will end up with a lot of items you just don’t like or a ton of products bought with good intentions but you have no idea what to do with { been there and done that}

These are my tips for a successful Veganuary

  1. Get yourself organised, read up, look for recipes you will like or how to convert family favourites.
  2. Plan your meals. Whether you buy yourself a pretty notebook just for this {me} or on the computer. Look online for vegan recipes such as cottage pie, lasagne, Mac n Cheese and curries. Buy the ingredients just for the recipes you want.
  3. Stock up with natural vegan products for example
  • Porridge oats
  • Egg-free pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous
  • Tinned products Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, baked beans and chopped tomatoes

4. Read the labels, this must seem like such a consuming or not necessary but it is a must. Look for the ingredients to avoid labelled in bold print, like pork gelatine, milk, eggs or egg white.

5. Get yourself online inspiration, there are so many bloggers that produce great vegan food. Check out Instagram too. Find yourself a helpful vegan Facebook page, somewhere to ask questions and look for ideas We are not that scary honest, in fact, us vegans are a friendly bunch. Mine is a tiny drop in a large Facebook ocean

https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist

/https://www.facebook.com/livekindlyco

6. Look for and save some of the vegan recipes you have found into a folder on your computer or write them down. Soon you will have a varied collection,

7. Don’t beat yourself up or panic if you slip up, there is enough browbeating negativity out there, so cut yourself some slack. Your wellness matters above all. Transitioning into a vegan is a long and steep learning curve

8. Vegan alcohol is readily available, you may have to change your tipple slightly. The labelling of wine, beer and lager in shops is definitely getting better, you no longer have to look a little strange, tilting the bottle and squinting to read the label. The main ingredient you need to avoid is a product called isinglass finings which is used in the filtering.

https://www.americancraftbeer.com/what-the-hell-is-isinglass-and-why-is-it-in-my-beer/

Most spirits are vegan and there are some great companies out there producing vegan beers, lagers and ciders out there. I love the ones by BrewDog because they are also gluten-free. Thatchers Gold, UK Carlsberg, Tennents, Guinness and San Miguel are also vegan. A list is easily found online.

9. Don’t let other people rain on your parade or make you doubt yourself. This is a decision you have made for yourself. Negative Nellies or Nigel’s not needed. Be armed with some answers and facts such as how will you get your protein, vitamin B, iron and Omega. There will be some people who imagine vegans as seethrough sickly people, ready to faint at a moments notice. My family and Doctor were against me going vegan, mainly because of my poor immune system. I proved them wrong after my first set of blood tests.

10. Fabulous baked goods can still be achieved that stand up against anything not vegan. This is due to ingredients such as aquafaba {chickpea liquid}, flaxseeds, chia seeds and dairy free butter. You only have to check out Instagram to see that. Who thought a vegan snowy white meringue or crispy macarons could be perfectly made by the whisking up the translucent viscous and cloudy water once your chickpeas have been drained. No waste as the chickpeas are full of protein and make a great hummus or curry.

Falafels https://theglutenfreeveganalchemist.com/2020/08/19/falafels/

Chickpea and vegetable curry https://theglutenfreeveganalchemist.com/portfolio/chickpea-vegetable-curry-in-a-hurry/

 If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of the recipes.  I would love to hear your comments too.

One thought on “10 Tips or navigating Veganuary

Add yours

  1. I’m taking part in Veganuary this year and have learned from last time – I definitely made a couple of mistakes (like forgetting to order plant based milk in a coffee and realising it halfway through drinking) but I think that this year will be easier. It’s great to see that there are so many vegan products that are available these days, but I agree that it’s important to stock up on natural products too.

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