The challenge of going vegan for a month is becoming ever popular, and there are now whole months dedicated to it. In 2017, almost 60,000 people pledged to take part in Veganuary – which, if you haven’t guessed from the name, takes place in January.
If you’ve set yourself the goal of dropping dairy and eliminating eggs from your diet, here are some top tips that helped me when I took on the challenge:
- Join a group challenge
Don’t underestimate the support of others. You might know like-minded people and be able to gather a group of friends together to take part with you, if not Veganuary is a great online community to be part of. You’ll receive daily emails which not only provide you with recipes, so you’re not on a constant rotation of hummus with carrot sticks and beans on toast, but also motivation to keep going. Joining their Facebook page will also make you feel like you’re not doing it alone.
- Treat yourself
Whatever a treat to you is, find a vegan version and enjoy! Going vegan for a month shouldn’t be about denying your favourite foods and feeling like you’re punishing yourself. Whether you love pizza or ice cream, make sure you still indulge by either finding a store-bought vegan version or a veganised recipe. For me, it was chocolate cake, fortunately I found this great recipe for a delicious dairy-free version.
- Eat out
Similar to the above tip, still eating out in restaurants and cafes can make this challenge much more enjoyable. I’m fortunate to have a vegan café, Liar Liar in Oswestry, within walking distance of my work so was able to treat myself on my lunch hours to such delights as raw snickers bar and a piri piri Portobello burger with two types of ‘slaw. I strongly suggest downloading the Happy Cow app which shows you vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants for your location.
- Plan ahead
While supermarkets and cafes have got much better at offering vegan options, they still aren’t brilliant. It’s a good idea to make sure you plan your meals ahead – particularly if you know you’re not likely to be eating at home e.g. lunches while at work. If you’re a fan of soup making a big pot at the start of the week can be an easy way to take care of at least three day’ of work lunches. This butternut squash chilli recipe is a personal favourite.
- Accept any failures
If you do slip up don’t beat yourself up. It can be by accident and you didn’t realise something you ate contained some dairy. Or that you simply forgot and ate something from your pregan (pre-vegan) days without thinking or even deliberately simply because there were no other options, or you really wanted to. Whatever the reason, just move on don’t berate yourself over it – you’re making the effort and have the intention, so be satisfied with the gains you have made and don’t allow any slip-ups to throw you off track completely.
With these top tips you will hopefully find the challenge a little easier and enjoy delving into vegan living!