As of this week, more than 10,000 new people have pledged to join the annual ‘Veganuary’ campaign and try vegan for the whole month of January. Meat-eaters, pescetarians, and dairy/egg-loving vegetarians in 115 countries have committed to eat a vegan diet for one month for animals, the environment, and their own health.
While we’re all in favor of small steps like Meatless Mondays, Veganuary campaign organizers Matthew Glover and Jane Land say trying vegan for a full month makes it easier to break meaty habits and start to feel physical benefits.
People interested in giving it a go can sign up at here, which also has hundreds of recipes, meal plans, restaurant and product guides, health tips, inspiration, shopping lists, vegan myth-busting, testimonials, and more. (Please be patient as the website has been slow this week.) Participants can also get help from a huge Facebook support group, and some countries have their own localized groups.
Tips from campaign organizer Jane Land for the non-vegans:
• During the transition phase, it can be tough breaking those old habits and keeping things familiar can help. Try to ‘veganize’ your go-to meals. Whether you love burgers, pizza, chili, or ice cream, find a cruelty-free version.
• Make sure you’re replacing the protein (animal protein) in your diet with plant-rich protein. When people are new to vegan food, they sometimes cook their old dishes but omit the meat. Eating only veggies and carbs may leave you ‘hangry.’ Protein-rich foods like beans, peas, nuts, soy including tofu and tempeh, veggie meats, quinoa, or seitan keep your belly satisfied and your body happy.
• Think ahead; keep your bag and desk drawer stocked with snacks. If you know you’re entering non-vegan territory, nuts, bars, fruit, and crackers are brilliant for keeping you going. It’s simple to double up on your evening dinner and use the leftovers as a packed lunch.
Tips from FromAtoVegan:
• Browse through the recipes we’ve posted throughout the almost 6 years we’ve been live.
• Buy a vegan cookbook before you start. Having a book with recipes you’re likely to cook will take a lot of the guess work out of veganizing foods. Cookbooks are rigorously tested before being published, so the recipes really work if you follow them. We’ve reviewed countless cookbooks on our site. Read through the reviews to find one you’re likely to use.
• Try to keep it simple at first so you don’t get overwhelmed.
• Join Meetup.com and look for vegan supper clubs and other vegan groups in your area. These groups usually meet for monthly potlucks or to go out for vegan meals at local restaurants. Meeting with and having support of other vegans is priceless. They’ll share invaluable information on finding vegan ingredients at locals food stores, restaurants and more. Plus, you may find some lifelong friends as we have at our Meetup group.
• Join vegan groups on Facebook. If there are no Meetup groups in your area or you just don’t have time for social events, find a group on Facebook.