Welcome once again Veganuary. I started my vegan journey 5 years ago after being a vegetarian most of my adult life.
Veganuary started way back in 2014 and each year it gathers speed like a runaway train. In 2021 more than 582,000 took the pledge to try veganism for the month of January, this broke all previous years records.
It has never been easier to become a vegan. Each supermarket carry their own brand of vegan products
- Asda Plant Based
- Morrisons Vegan Taste
- Tesco’s Plant Chef
- M&S Plant Kitchen
- Sainsbury’s Love your Veg
- Waitrose Plant Life
- Aldi’s Plant Menu
- Lidls Just Free
- Co-op GRO
Plus all the big brand names. Vegan products are big business. No longer are there a few apologetic products hiding away on the shelves, now some have they have their own aisle.
What is the best way to approach veganuary?
Whether you are taking part because of health or ethical reasons it is still daunting. Label reading becomes your new norm, scanning them and trying to detect if they contain any sneaky animal products. Do your research, there is so much information available online including the vegan society.
As they say, Rome was not built in a day. You will make mistakes, slip up or have moments of conflict. The most important thing is that you are willing to try. It would be silly to think that you could rid your life of all vegan products in a day. We are not just talking about food, what about the other products we surround ourselves with. Baby steps.
- Bathroom Products
- Beauty products
- Cleaning products
- Shoes and bags
This is the quote for most things we are trying to improve in our life. Concentrate on your food first because that is what will sustain you. We all have one non-vegan food that we find hard to give up. That usually comes down to
You do not have to give up everything in one go. You would not go from a couch potato to running the marathon in a day. It is your vegan journey and do not let others make you feel bad about the way you are doing it.
Try to focus on what you can eat and not what you can’t. So many things are unintentionally vegan. Eating more vegetables is never a bad thing. try to base your diet around
- Vegetables the more colourful the better such as aubergine, beetroot, red peppers and carrots, spinach, broccoli and kale
- Wholewheat products such as quinoa, pasta, bread, brown rice and pasta
- Beans which include black beans, baked beans, kidney beans, butter beans and cannelini beans
- Nuts including brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews and macadamia nuts.
- Seeds like flaxseeds, chia, sunflower and hemp
You will not like all vegan food, I hate parsnips and being vegan does not make me like them even more. Move on and try something. There is so much choice.
Worried about the cost
Forget the so-called vegan superfoods. If you are a savvy shopper a vegan diet can in fact save you money. I went to Aldis yesterday and they had introduced so many products as you can see in the pictures I took. I love their chickpeas and always purchase them over expensive brands. Their flaxseeds, dried fruit and nuts are half the price in larger supermarkets.
Batch cooking is the way forward, this will save time and money. Meals such as curries, ragu sauces, soups and chilli con Carne all freeze well. I invested in a vacuum bag sealer. I portion up my meals. Knowing there is always a gorgeous meal in the freezer for when I am tired, busy or just don’t feel like cooking is a weight off my shoulder. I freeze all the fruit from the garden.
You will be so surprised what you can actually freeze. There are websites such as these below.
The BBC, what foods can I freeze.
If you see fruit and veg on offer it is worth grabbing if you have room in your freezer..
There are so many different opinions on this subject. For me, after research, every day I take
Vitamin D is responsible for keeping your bones, teeth and muscles in good order. Lack of vitamin D can lead to rickets. In the UK they suggest everyone should take this supplement from early September to late March, because of the lack of sunshine. Vitamin D is mainly found in foods belonging to a non-vegan diet, so this needs to be taken every day if you are vegan.
Vitamin B12 Naturally found in foods from animal sources, this makes it difficult for vegans to obtain sufficient amounts. Some food sources are fortified with B12 such as
- Yeast extract such as Marmite
- Soya products
- Breads and breakfast cereals.
One of the most asked questions from non-vegans is “you need meat for iron and you will never get enough on a vegan diet.
I have suffered quite severe anemia all my adult life and my own doctor was not keen on me going vegan from being vegetarian. Saying that apart from the old blip my iron levels are better than they have ever been
Make sure your vitamins are vegan friendly
I will follow this blog with budget vegan cosmetics, cleaning products, beauty products and more.
Enjoy your food and do not put pressure on yourself. There are so many vegan blogs full of gorgeous recipes as is Instagram to explore.
PS: If you like this recipe, 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 my recipes. Or I would love to hear your comments