Veganuary (going vegan for the whole of January) is becoming increasingly popular. Some people just like the challenge of doing it for a month, while for others it encourages them to make a permanent switch to veganism.
My eldest decided to do Veganuary in 2021. And, after finding the first week or two tough, he decided to stay vegan.
He might be an adult, but meal planning and shopping is still mainly down to me. Plus, as a vegetarian myself (he was previously a vegetarian), I’ve ended up eating vegan with him a lot too. As vegetarians, we just assumed Veganuary would be easy and didn’t plan. It turns out it was harder than expected, especially for the first few days.
If you are thinking of doing Veganuary next year, I would definitely recommend doing some research and planning in advance. At the very least, you want to wake up on 1st January and know that you have food in the house that you can eat.
While there is definitely a lot more vegan food than there was a few years ago, there still might not be quite as much as you would like! You can go into Gregg’s for a vegan sausage roll, but most bakeries won’t stock a single vegan cake.
Supermarkets have their own vegan ranges (Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers are particularly good). Other brands to look out for are Vivera and Naked Glory for meat alternatives, Oggs for cakes and Alpro for the biggest and best value range of dairy alternatives.
Here’s our tips for Veganuary:
- Research recipes in advance. If you’ve still got meat eaters in the house, look for recipes that can easily be adapted.
- Veganuary is a good opportunity to try different vegetables, herbs and spices.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make a nutritious, home cooked vegan meal every day. Sometimes you will only have time for a supermarket vegan pizza.
- Look at the nutritional content of any replacements – protein, fat, sugar and calories. The nutritional content of replacements should be very similar to what you were eating before.
- Remember that if you are moving from meat to vegan you might end up eating considerably less calories – and you need the calories!
- Remember also that vegan food is generally much lower in protein than meat, although some of the manufacturers are doing a great job at changing this.
- Check the labels – it’s surprising how many things contain small amounts of milk and egg, even when it doesn’t seem like they should do.
- Try a few different things in advance – there are many different milk replacements, some you will like and some you probably won’t.
- Most vegan cheese is horrible. Applewood is the best and just about OK when it is cooked, but you might want to just give up cheese for the month!
- Remember to stock up on snacks as well as meals – biscuits and even some crisps usually contain a small quantity of milk.
- Quorn isn’t usually vegan!
- Vegan food ranges can be expensive – make sure you budget for it.
This is a great website with an extensive Is it vegan? listing https://www.veganfriendly.org.uk/