So you’ve signed up to Veganuary, now what…
First of all congratulations! This is going to be a life changing month. Second, don’t panic, there are heaps of resources out there to help you get through the month!! I’m going to share with you some of my tips & tricks to help get you through the month, but I highly recommend checking out other websites/blogs/books so you are armed with as much knowledge as you can, after all knowledge is power.
I signed up to Veganuary 3 years ago in 2016 and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has changed my life for the better! I am healthier and happier than I have ever been!!
TIP 1 – MEAL IDEAS
Meal ideas will be your biggest hurdle. It takes some time to adjust to vegan cooking after years of cooking the same meals. I have included below some of my favourite recipes to help you get an idea of meals you can be making. I try to center my diet around whole plant foods, cooking mostly from scratch but don’t be afraid of meat substitutes to begin with. They are a great way to help you transition and when you feel more confident in your vegan cooking you can move toward cooking more meals from scratch.
- Toast with dairy-free butter and marmite
- Toast with peanut butter, banana and cinnamon
- Toast or bagels with avocado and tomato
- Pancakes with fresh fruit
- Oatmeal cooked in water/almond milk with blueberries and maple syrup
- Baked oatmeal (recipe here)
- Veggie fry up with baked beans, mushrooms, hash brown, grilled tomatoes, sauteed spinach and fresh toasted bread
- Sandwiches filled with chickpea tuna (recipe here)
- Veggie Sushi (recipe here)
- Falafel with a Greek side salad (falafel recipe here)
- Leftover dinner from the night before
- Tabbouleh salad wraps (recipe here)
- Soup and crusty bread (recipe here)
- Baked sweet potato with crispy chickpeas (recipe here)
- One pan Mexican quinoa (recipe here)
- Lentil Bolognese (recipe here)
- Sausages, mash potato and peas – my favourite are the Linda McCartney brand
- Stir fry (recipe here)
- Lentil loaf and roast veg (recipe here)
- Golden French lentil stew (recipe here)
- Cauliflower Dahl (recipe here)
- Chickpea & spinach Tikka Masala (recipe here)
- Mac & Cheese (recipe here)
- Tofu dengaku bowls (recipe here)
- Burgers with oven chips
- Homemade pizza
- Fresh fruit
- Hummus & carrot batons or crackers
- Blueberry muffins (recipe here)
- Bliss balls (recipe here)
- Green smoothie (recipe here)
- Cheese scones (recipe here)
TIP 2 – COMMON SWAPS
One hurdle many new vegans find themselves facing is milk. There are a huge variety of dairy free milks available and finding one that you like can take some time! My personal favourite is oat milk but I highly recommend buying a few different kinds and trying them out, everyone has different taste buds, find one that works for you!
Another common swap is dairy free butter, I like the Olivani olive oil spread and the Nutulex range of dairy free spreads. The Nutulex buttery spread works well in baking as a butter sub too. Or better yet skip the butter completely and use avocado as a spread on your toast instead!
Cheese is another big one. It was the thing that took me the longest to give up and the longest to find a substitute that I liked. I went a while without any form of vegan cheese and I recommend you do the same. Your taste buds will change and you will no longer crave that cheesy taste. Instead try to find salty ingredients to replace the saltiness of the cheese. A great swap is olives. I have now found a vegan cheese I love – the Zenzo brand here in New Zealand. Another great option is to make your own nut cheese.
TIP 3 – PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION
Don’t be afraid to slip up from time to time! If you do accidentally eat something containing animal products don’t beat yourself up, accept it and move on. It happens to us all from time to time!!
TIP 4 – EAT LOTS!
Many people make the mistake of not eating enough when they first turn vegan, this in turn causes them to feel terrible and instantly turn back to eating their usual diet. Plant foods naturally contain less calories than animal foods so you have to eat more to reach your bodies calorific needs, if you don’t eat enough it can cause headaches, nausea and dizziness. The below picture is a great visual tool to help understand this.
TIP 5 – YOUR BODY WILL DETOX
One thing I hadn’t prepared myself for when I did Veganuary was the detox my body would go through. Everyone will be different in the way their body detoxes from the meat, dairy and eggs but some common detox symptoms are headaches, fatigue and acne. My best advice is to drink lots of water and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. You may also experience an increase in bloating/wind if you include a lot of beans and lentils in your diet (which I highly recommend as they are cheap and very nutritious!). This will subside over time as your body gets used to them, so don’t be alarmed!
TIP 6 – HAVE FUN & DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
I am always here and happy to chat if you have any questions or you simply want to share your journey with me. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me through my Instagram Everyday Plantbased
Have a great Veganuary, try lots of new foods and let me know how you get on 🙂
As always, much love xx