This January I’ve decided to take part in Veganuary – a charitable campaign which encourages people to live a vegan life for the month of January.
Going vegan has been something I have been contemplating for a while now, I’m already vegetarian and eat very little dairy – as I discuss in this post – “Do you have to be vegetarian or vegan to be healthy?” so the leap for me is not as great as it would be for some. But over the past year, I’ve been becoming more immersed in the world of veganism, working at numerous vegan events and reading more about the ethical and sustainable benefits of going vegan as well as the health benefits.
I don’t personally like to put a label on my food choices and I don’t feel the need to subscribe to a particular diet trend or approach, which I appreciate may sound like a contradiction given the title of this blog! But for me taking part in something like Veganuary has given me the inspiration and motivation I need to make that change, whether I stick to it will come down to how I feel over the next month because I believe in listening to your body and giving it the nourishment it needs through food. After all, being a vegan doesn’t automatically mean you’re eating a healthy diet. There are a lot of unhealthy vegans out there, and as I will be discussing over the coming month, if you’re removing animal products from your diet, there are some key nutrients, including protein and vitamin B12 which you must make sure you get from other sources to keep yourself healthy.
For me, this experiment will help me understand if a diet free from animal products will have additional health benefits. I have had various health issues over the years and through a lot of trial and error, I’ve found that eating a plant-based diet rich in fruit, vegetables, pulses and gluten-free grains, with no meat, and very little refined sugar and dairy helps me manage my symptoms. But with some outstanding issues, I’m keen to see whether taking the next step to go vegan could help further. Plus, as I move towards living a more sustainable and ethical life, I want to minimise the animal products I have in all areas of my life, not just my diet. The food should be easy, the other areas will require more thought and consideration but it’s good to think more about the items we bring into our lives and to be more conscious not only of what they contain but where they come from.
I think I’m already very conscious when it comes to what I eat, drink and the products I purchase, but I’m actually really looking forward to being more aware of what I’m consuming on all levels.
The organisers of Veganuary probably won’t thank me for saying this, but taking part in Veganuary (in my opinion) doesn’t mean you have to go completely vegan if that doesn’t feel right for you. You might start by eating no animal products for one day a week and having two more meat-free days as a step towards a less meat-focused and more plant-based diet. Or you might just try having one meal a week which doesn’t contain meat. It has to feel right for you.
I’ll be sharing some of my favourite vegan recipes over the month of January to help you make the shift towards more plants or you can also contact me to discuss a bespoke vegan diet plan to suit your needs.
Here a few vegans who have inspired me…