What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a campaign run by The Vegan Society, which raises awareness of the environmental, health and animal welfare benefits of following a vegan lifestyle. It encourages people to try vegan for the month of January. The campaign was launched in 2014, has grown rapidly and now involves thousands of people around the world.
Why Go Vegan and The Benefits
If you are thinking about giving up meat and dairy products, but still aren’t sure if it is for you, here are some of the benefits of going vegan:
1. You may save money on food. Meat and dairy products are often quite expensive. By going vegan and opting for plant-based foods instead, you may save money on your supermarket bill.
2. You may get healthier. Going vegan means that you will be eating more fruits and vegetables than ever before. This means more vitamins and minerals in your diet which can only be a good thing!
3. It is not just about what you eat; being vegan can help you become more environmentally conscious as well. By choosing to go vegan in January, you can help reduce your carbon footprint by up to 50%. This means fewer emissions into the atmosphere, which means cleaner air for everyone else around us.
Making the Change
The prospect of changing your whole diet and the way that you eat, can be a very daunting task but it does not have to be:
1. Do your research. There is so much information about being vegan out there, particularly throughout Veganuary.
2. Talk to people who have gone before you. You can find many forums online where people are discussing their experience with veganism and what they learned along the way. These are invaluable and a brilliant support network.
3. Get rid of your old food! It might seem silly at first, but if you want to start afresh then why not get rid of everything that is not vegan or, in the interests of not wasting food, do not buy any non-vegan ingredients in your next supermarket shop.
4. Start eating more plant-based foods and make sure you have lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet every day.
5. Replace some animal products with plant-based alternatives: instead of cheese, try nut-based cheese (such as cashew or almond), soy-based tofu, or coconut products such as coconut oil or milk. If you like milk in your coffee or tea, try using soy or oat milk instead!
6. Try going meat-free one day a week: if you are struggling with giving up meat altogether then try going meat-free for one day each week (this will give your body time to adjust). This can be especially helpful if you are struggling with giving up red meat because it can take longer for the body to process this type of food; however, if you want to go completely vegetarian then this should be fine too!
How Oakland Care is marking Veganuary
Our care homes cater for a whole range of different dietary needs daily, from Kosher-style to Halal and of course vegetarian and vegan. Our homes have been trying out a variety of delicious vegan recipes in honour of Veganuary and the feedback from residents has been very positive. Our Lambwood Heights care home residents enjoyed baking and of course eating, some delicious vegan flapjacks. Our chefs have also created some other delicious recipes which you may like to try including Winter Vegetable and Lentil Pie with Broccoli and Saute Sprouts and Multi-Grain Bolognaise with Garlic Flatbread.
The Oakland Care family wish you lots of luck in your vegan journey whether it be just for the month of January or a long-term lifestyle change.