If you haven’t been tempted to try Veganuary yet – there’s still time.
And by signing up at www.veganuary.com you will receive loads of encouragement and recipe ideas and can also download a celebrity cookbook with lots of tips, meal plans and motivation.
Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try veganism for the month of January and possibly longer.
In January 2022, 620,000 people from over 220 countries signed up to be plant-based for the month.
A large proportion stayed that way – or significantly reduced their meat and dairy intake – because they felt healthier.
I was plant-based (I prefer that description to ‘vegan’), for five years but I finally decided that I didn’t want to keep my rescued hens and give their eggs away, so I am now slightly more flexible and without a ‘title’. Don’t get caught up in all that pressure.
People wanted to label me a ‘vegan who eats eggs’ a ‘flexigan’ or ‘mostly vegan’, whilst other more creative friends called me ‘veggan’.
I think it is far more helpful just to focus on the food.
There is a huge range of plant based foods to choose from now, making it simple to avoid animal based products, but try not to overlook the most basic staples – veggies.
Most of my friends who have switched to a meat-free diet said they struggled with ‘learning to love veggies’ and tended to default to baked beans and chips in ‘panic’.
I think you do have to learn a different way of cooking to make a plant based diet sustainable. And, like everything, preparation is key. But just get a few of your favourite veg dishes under your belt and you’re there.
One food poll showed that 70 per cent of people eat the same seven regular meals every week and usually on the same day.
The main reason cited was a lack of time and confidence to try new recipes and many admit to lying to friends to make their diets sound more exciting.
It’s not surprising that trying to sustain a whole new ‘diet’ can be tricky for some.
From a gardener’s point of view I think one of the best things you can do to help yourself make the shift is to grow your own herbs.
They are obviously a boon for any kind of cookery, but fresh herbs really add that something special to plant-based dishes.
Most can be grown on a windowsill throughout the winter too, but don’t be discouraged if you can’t keep the supermarket herbs productive.
They are grown so quickly they don’t have time to establish a substantial enough root system to support the top growth.
You are better off buying small pots of herbs from a garden centre. And if you’re not already, get acquainted with your local garden centre as I bet, after Veganuary, you will probably be more inspired to try growing some of your own veg too.