Your survival guide to Veganuary

10 Jan 2022

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atozee

Your survival guide to Veganuary Photo: Samuel Regan-Asante

We’re well into January of 2022 and if you’re embarking on veganuary as someone new to veganism, we’d like to say congratulations, you’re on a great path.

Here at abillion, we know full well how tricky going vegan can be. It’s a lifestyle adjustment that takes time, planning, fortitude and also plenty of encouragement. Here’s our survival guide to get you through the month, and more.

Get organised: plan ahead

There are 31 days in January and assuming you’re having three meals a day, that means 93 meals to plan around. The easiest way to make sure you’re having a vegan meal is of course, to make it yourself at home, but we all have social lives and busy schedules so the best thing you can do is to plan.

Start by forecasting which meals you have complete control over and which ones you might not. Yes, plans change but, at the very least, you gain some insight on your own schedule. After all, the adage goes that what gets measured, gets managed.

Tell your loved ones

The hardest times to go vegan are when you’re out with friends or loved ones who might find it a hassle to accommodate your dietary change. Telling them about your Veganuary goals as early as possible would help, and you never know – you might even get a supportive friend to join you on your journey.

Research restaurants and eateries

vegan restaurants and eateries Photo: abillion

Weekends and social occasions will come up. You'll need to rustle up a list of places that you could hit up. Our app and site has an explore function to help you find community-driven recommendations of vegan-friendly options around you, wherever you are in the world. Take charge and suggest these places to your friends – it helps that restaurants offering vegan dishes these days tend to be a lot more innovative than expected.

If you find yourself stuck in a situation where there are no vegan options on the menu, ask for the vegetarian options and don’t be afraid to ask the server if the kitchens could omit certain ingredients from your order.

Level up your nutrition

vegan nutrition Photo: cottonbro

Going vegan even for a month means you have to omit many of your usual food items. With that comes the need to understand vegan nutrition. In this respect, most vegans supplement their diet with B12 and vegan omega oil. For someone attempting to go vegan for a month, you might not need supplementation just yet but if you can, check in with a health professional.

Otherwise, read up on our beginner’s guide to nutrition on a vegan diet. We also have a guide on getting enough protein, member recommendations on protein powders, ways in which you can include it in your daily meals as well as getting your vegan fats right.

Bookmark recipes

The best way to go vegan, as we mentioned earlier, is to cook your meals yourself. Fret not if you think you’re not the best in the kitchen – you’ll be surprised at how easy some recipes can be. We have a great recipe section that’s updated weekly on new things you can try for a range of skills. There are easy snacks you could make like power balls, nacho platters and dips that take minimal effort. Those looking to impress can also look into this bundt cake recipe and even baklava.

Shop for groceries mindfully

Mindful groceries Photo: Ron Lach

Now that you have a game plan for your meals and an arsenal of recipes, it’s time to hit the grocery store. It’s tempting to go overboard and try out all the different brands of plant-based milk and meat alternatives – this is after all, a whole new category of food that exploded in number in recent years. But go slow and buy only what you’re confident you’ll use up so you don’t get overwhelmed with options. It’s always a good idea to prioritise whole foods and learn to cook with vegan protein staples.

Stay in touch with your motivation

Going vegan is a big lifestyle change so trying it out for a month is a great way to learn new ways of living. Some people are vegan for the animals, some for the climate, and some for their health. Some go vegan for a combination of those reasons. All are equally worthy. In times when it gets tough and you feel like giving up, it’s worth pausing and examining your motivations to keep going. And who knows, it might take you further than you realize.

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