The Veganuary project has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings, signing up a record 400,000 people in 2020 and an even more impressive 500,000 throughout this month, helping countless of people in the U.K. transition to a vegan diet and lifestyle in the most stress-free way possible, thanks to its free and informative resources.
But despite the rising popularity of the one-month challenge, those completely new to the idea of veganism can still struggle to figure out what they can eat, what they can wear, and what they can buy. To make things even more challenging, many people may feel like going vegan is an impossibly demanding sacrifice, giving up on the plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle soon after the end of January.
According to recent and alarming data, the majority of people who go vegan don’t actually stay vegan. If you don’t want veganism to just be another one of those New Year’s resolutions you never end up sticking to, you have to be fully prepared for the research and work you’ll have to put in to make veganism work for you in the long-term.
In this article, we’ve made the job much easier for you by identifying the steps needed to go vegan for the very first time, broken down for you in a way that’ll make the journey feel easy and stress-free!
Do your research and find your “why”
Research is the name of the game.
Getting familiar with the concept of veganism and what a vegan lifestyle entails, beyond eating a plant-based diet alone, will ensure you’re fully prepared before diving straight into the countless new habits. Finding your “why”, meaning the reason or reasons why you are going vegan in the first place will also help you stay on track when the initial motivation starts wearing thin.
Many people go vegan because of the health benefits associated with a balance plant-based diet, while others choose to give up animal products out of care for the environment and the lives of animals who are exploited in order to put food on the table or clothes in the wardrobe. Your reason might be one of these or a combination of all, or it might simply be a jumpstart challenge you want to embark on to start reducing your use of animal products – every “why” is valid and keeping it in mind at all times will ensure your motivation and enthusiasm for veganism stays strong despite the challenges you may face along the way!
Learn about vegan nutrition and try new recipes
There’s more to veganism than vegan food, but still, knowing what to eat and what to cook will go a long way in ensuring your nutritional needs are taken care of and the meals you’re eating are deliciously satisfying – crucial aspects for making you stick to veganism for years to come!
A vegan diet can give your body everything it needs to thrive, but you have to make sure you are supplementing key nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids regularly to meet your requirements. Following a diet rich in legumes, fresh fruit, and green leafy vegetables will ensure you are getting plenty of iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium for your body to thrive, and including a source of plant-based protein with each of your meals will ensure your muscles and metabolism are supported.
Take it slow with the swapping technique
So, how exactly do you start being vegan?
You can choose to stop purchasing all animal products overnight, but if that sounds way too daunting for you, you can try following a “slow and steady” approach: making small, yet deeply impactful changes to your current lifestyle one week at the time. Aim for making one big change (such as cutting out dairy products, meat, or stop purchasing non-vegan beauty products) every week to test how comfortable and satisfied you are feeling. Restriction can be a scary word at first, so we recommend adding something new to your diet and lifestyle before you start taking anything away from it. For example, you can start incorporating soybean products like tofu and tempeh into your current diet, and slowly start swapping old favourites for their vegan versions once you have found a product that works for you. Take your time sampling different plant-based milks, meat alternatives, and vegan-friendly snacks before you swear off all animal products for good: it will feel like your world is becoming bigger rather than limited and smaller!
Engage with the community and grow!
If you’ve decided that this is the year you embrace veganism and a more conscious, eco-friendly lifestyle, know that you are not alone in this journey. There are so many other people, just like you, trying to align their choices with their values, and engaging with the vegan community through social media can be incredibly helpful in keeping you motivated and excited for the new experiences to come.
We have everything you need to make this Veganuary a success, so if you’re ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime, head over to our collection of vegan-friendly and sustainable products to start exploring the amazing options waiting for you on the other side!