So, that’s Christmas over for another year. The tree is back in the loft, only the worst chocolates remain in the Celebrations tub (we all agree that it’s the Bounty, right?), and the radio stations have stopped playing Mariah Carey.
While it can be sad to say goodbye to the festive season and all the joy that comes with it, January offers a clean slate and new opportunities, both of which are certainly worth some excitement!
Perhaps this is the year you finally try Veganuary, the annual challenge that encourages participants to follow a vegan lifestyle for the entire month. Here’s how you can prep for the experience ahead of January 1.
#1 Educate yourself on veganism
Before diving headfirst into Veganuary, you must first understand exactly what veganism is, the benefits of following this lifestyle, and what you need to do to make a positive difference to the environment, animals, and your health and wellbeing.
There’s so much information online that you can tap into whenever you want. Articles, social media groups, YouTube videos; set aside some time to use the facts and figures to your advantage, going into Veganuary not just knowing the ‘how’, but also the ‘why’. This kind of prep will give you the best possible chance of succeeding.
#2 Plan your meals for each week
Whether you’re a regular meal planner or not, getting organised and knowing what you’re going to eat throughout the week is a crucial way to prep for Veganuary. Especially important if you’re completely new to this kind of diet, meal planning will help you stay focused, organised, and determined to see the month through.
There are so many delicious, plant-based recipes for you to explore, such as butternut squash stuffed shells, veggie fajitas, and falafel. Don’t forget that the vegan food industry has advanced so much that there are alternatives to almost all your meat preferences! Simple swaps will mean you can still eat all your favourite meals throughout Veganuary.
If you prefer to do your shopping online (who doesn’t these days?), supermarket websites such as Asda and Tesco have categories dedicated to vegan and plant-based products, making the process of buying food so much easier for you during Veganuary.
#3 Switch your household items
Veganism is about so much more than what you eat and drink. Yes, it’s important you choose dairy-free chocolate and oat milk over regular milk, but these positive switches go beyond what we put in our mouth. Embarking on the Veganuary adventure will mean taking a step back and looking at all your household items, switching any that aren’t as kind to the environment as they should be.
Stop buying kitchen roll that’s packaged in naughty plastic, and instead switch to eco kitchen roll, completely plastic free and sustainably made in the UK, without compromising on the type of quality you’ve come to know and love.
In a similar way, Veganuary means no more cleaning products with ingredients that contain animal by-products (such as caprylic acid and tallow), and no more cosmetic or beauty items that have been tested on animals. Throughout January, you must check the products you want to buy to ensure they say ‘Suitable for Vegans’ or have a ‘Certified Vegan’ logo.
#4 Accept that this is a marathon, not a sprint
When your alarm goes off on January 1, don’t wake up with the intention of completely reinventing your lifestyle. A successful ascent into veganism requires patience, so it’s crucial you don’t bite off more tofu than you can chew. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices and switches that you need to make, start off small by first focusing only on your household items, and maybe one vegan meal per day.
Veganism isn’t a competition, and you won’t lose any points for taking things slow. The point of this challenge is to open your eyes to the benefits – whether your motivation is saving the planet, your health, the animals, or all three – of plant-based living, so that you can make more informed choices moving forward.
A little bit of prep goes a long way
Maybe taking part in Veganuary has been on your list for quite some time now, or perhaps you’ve only just got wind of it, but you’re raring to go! This January lifestyle challenge is open to everyone, and you’ll find that a little bit of prep goes a long, long way.
Find your ‘why’, make small changes to your diet and household, and lean on others for support where necessary. We have every faith in you!