Veganuary…. All You Need to Know!
Well friends… another year down in the books! It’s time to start fresh and attempt to become your best self! And what better way than by jumping headfirst into a plant-based lifestyle? Every year since 2014, a U.K.-based nonprofit organization named Veganuary challenges individuals to avoid all animal products for the month of January. It’s been gaining more momentum every year since its creation. In fact, in 2022, more than 620,000 people participated.
This challenge is the perfect opportunity to get you started on a plant-based lifestyle! Not only will you gain a sense of community from other participants, but you will experience heaps of health benefits that will you leave feeling ready to rock the new year! A plant-based diet packed with a variety of fruits and veggies has been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. And the health benefits of a plant-forward diet can be seen even from short-term efforts! In a 2019 review published in the journal Nature, authors noted improved glucose, insulin, and cholesterol levels, as well as weight loss and decreased inflammation for participants who maintained a plant-based diet for anywhere from three to 24 months. Another 2018 study showed participants had reduced total cholesterol after going vegan for just four weeks — aka the length of Veganuary. This just goes to show how powerful a plant-based diet can be!
As well as being healthier, by participating in Veganuary, you can also check off another common New Year’s resolution: to be more environmentally friendly. By choosing a meat-free diet instead of one loaded with animal products, individuals can dramatically reduce the amount of land, water, and oil resources that they consume and the amount of pollution they otherwise might cause! In fact, eating a veggie diet means 2.5 x fewer carbon emissions than a meat diet! This is a staggering number!
When hearing all these benefits, you’re probably now thinking “Well, where do I start?!” Our best advice to you is to just ease yourself in! Don’t be afraid to veganize your favorite traditional foods! While we definitely advocate for a more whole-food plant-based diet, there are so many amazing vegan treats out there that make transitioning so much easier! It’s also very important to have a plan. Don’t wake up on the first day of your vegan adventure without having thought about what you might eat! That is the absolute quickest way to fall off the wagon. Some people find making a weekly meal planner helpful, so they always know what they need to shop for and what they will be eating. There are plenty of vegan meal plans out there (many for free!) and these are great tools to use. Another tool we suggest is an app called Happy Cow. It allows you to search for vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants near you. This way, you can have fun experimenting with new restaurants.
And with that my friends, we wish you a very happy Veganuary!