Veganuary started as an initiative by Matthew Glover and Jane Land eight years ago. Since then, millions of people worldwide have participated in this campaign that invites them to try a vegan diet every January.
According to the numbers provided by Veganuary, 620,000 people signed up for the initiative.
These numbers have grown to a significant extent with the rising popularity of Veganism. The figures showcase that over the years, people have become more conscious of what they consume and its impact on the planet. This January is about choosing healthy vegan swaps for the foods you consume. The 31-day challenge is a strategically positive method to make a difference in the world.
By eating a vegan diet, we all can make a difference in the world
How is that possible? Here's how a vegan diet can benefit you and the planet together.
A vegan or plant-based diet can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by food production processes. In addition, according to the World Health Organisation, 'reducing livestock herds would also reduce methane emissions, which is the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide'.
This month is the time to swap meat with soya and dairy with plant-based drinks and yoghurt and begin your Vegan journey.
3 Reasons to go on a Vegan diet this January
1. The year's first month is a great time to set new goals and resolutions. Having new year's resolutions can give structure to your forthcoming year and a system for any goals. There could be no better time to try a vegan diet than January. The best way to start your year is by making an effort towards a positive change.
'In Brazil alone, 5.6 million acres of land is used to grow soya beans for animals in Europe.' - The Vegan Society
2. Since a multitude has joined the initiative of Veganuary, there are many recipes, blogs, tips, and advice for beginners. It's a perfect time to try a vegan diet. January could be your chance to learn about its impact on your health and the planet. Learn and begin!
'The number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2019'.
The Vegan Society
3. With the rising concern over climate change, many have realised the importance of vegan diets. Switching to a plant-based diet can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save certain forms of life from extinction. As per the Vegan Society, 'considerably lower quantities of crop and water are required to sustain a vegan diet, making the switch to veganism one of the easiest…'.
What to Eat on a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet derives its source from all plant-based things like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and anything from plants. It excludes all meat-based products; therefore, meat and dairy are strictly not a part of a vegan diet.
1. Protein (tofu, pulses, beans)
Tofu is a rich source of iron and protein. Consuming protein on a vegan diet is essential to keep energy levels high and stay full for longer. Pulses like chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans are another protein treasure. High in B6, calcium, and fibre, pulses are a great source of essential minerals and vitamins.
2. Carbohydrates (rice, pasta, cereal)
Keep you satiated and energetic for longer!
Carbs are a great source of energy and help fuel your system. They must be part of a vegan diet to maximise energy levels and prevent fatigue and weakness. Brown rice and pasta can be healthy choices when choosing what kind of carbohydrates to eat. Whole grains like quinoa and oatmeal are healthy options in the carbohydrate family.
3. Nuts and seeds
Rich in antioxidants, nuts and seeds can do wonders for your health. Regular consumption can improve heart health and reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer. Almonds, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, sunflowers and pumpkin seeds are indispensable in any diet.
4. Flapjacks (always check the label for information)
Flapjacks can be a healthy to-go snack for vegans. It is a wholesome and nutritious snack packed with nutrients and minerals. It keeps you full for longer, so grab a flapjack if you are short on time. Try to pick the ones with less sugar for maximum health benefits. Prepared with nuts, seeds, and all-natural ingredients, these are guiltless, healthy food options on a vegan diet.
You can also try vegan, hemp-based bars prepared with the goodness of hemp seeds.
How to Start a Vegan Diet?
1. Begin slowly. If you are new to a vegan diet, swap one non-vegan food item with one vegan thing at a time. Start with whatever you think is best. It could be switching to plant-based drinks in your morning coffee, eating tofu instead of meat, or going eggless while baking cakes. Small steps shall lead to significant changes.
2. Ensure that your vegan diet includes recommended proportions of protein and carbohydrates. In addition, taking advantage of essential minerals and vitamins in your diet is important. Finally, plan your diet for the coming week to keep your energy and nutrition levels high.
3. Read labels before you purchase a product. Before buying a vegan product, ensure it's free of any animal or dairy-based ingredient. If you need more clarification about a product, ask someone or look it up before you make a purchase.
4. Identify healthy options. For example, choose whole grains over white bread or pasta, pick up eggless desserts with low sugar and no artificial sweeteners, fill up on fruits and veggies, and consume nuts, seeds, and flapjacks as healthy snacks.
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