Whether you follow a fully-fledged plant-based diet or want to cut back on animal consumption, there are so many incredible reasons to go plant-based. Be it for health reasons, conscious living or ethics, there are an abundance of benefits to a plant-based diet. Veganuary is a great way to get the ball rolling for veganism or even to embrace a more plant-based diet in general. Whether it be a temporary challenge or to incorporate some long-term lifestyle changes, read on for some tips to help you stay on track.
Establish Strong Motivation for Going Plant-Based
A plant-based diet is timely for winter as it boosts your immune system thanks to the abundance of essential nutrients found in plants. It improves gut health so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from food that not only supports your immune system, but also reduces inflammation. In addition, plants are high in fibre so, in addition to exercise, it’s an excellent path for weight loss.
A plant-based diet seeks to avoid animal cruelty and suffering. There is no doubt that breeding, caging and slaughtering animals for food causes suffering. From a moral standpoint, a plant-based lifestyle promotes compassion and ethical living.
Plant-based living is much better for the planet in terms of sustainability. A plant-based diet requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. It also promotes sustainability as the production of meat and other animal products place a heavy burden on the planet due to the large production of greenhouse gases and water consumption. Making the switch to a plant-based diet is an effective way to reduce our impact on the environment.
Educate Yourself on Plant-Based Brands and Products
Do you crave pizza on a Friday night? Are you a chocolate lover? Find those meat and dairy free alternatives before the cravings hit. Do your research and find some meat and dairy-free deliciousness. Give yourself some extra time in the supermarket to read the labels of the products you are unsure about too.
Nutrition and Supplements
Like with every other diet, it’s essential to get the right nutrients. Eat healthily by avoiding processed foods, though the occasional treat is fine, and eating a healthy variety of the food pyramid. B12 is a supplement that people following plant-based, vegan and veggie diets tend to take. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, but luckily it’s found in a lot of meat-free and dairy-free alternative products as well as fortified breakfast cereals. It’s also important to review iron intake by consciously consuming foods that are high in iron. If you find your diet lacks iron, try to eat lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, chia seeds, and fortified breakfast cereals. Speaking to a nutritionist is a great way to find out whether you should be taking iron supplements.
Always Carry a Snack
Sometimes it can be challenging to find meat-free and dairy-free snacks on the go. As a plant-based diet tends to be high in fibre, it can make you feel hungry between or after meals. That’s why it’s best to always have an emergency snack on hand.
There are so many incredible books and series for research and motivation, The Game Changer is a great documentary to watch for veganuary. Additionally, there are so many YouTube channels, social media pages, websites and blogs dedicated to plant-based tips and delicious recipes. Find the sources of inspo that work best for you, from cheap meals to gluten free options, plant-based eating is a great way to get creative.
Veganuary is a great way to initiate your plant-based journey. Whether it be an experiment for long-term goals or a one-month health challenge, it can be amazing for the planet, your health and, of course, the animals. Join Veganuary for free for some amazing recipes, top tips and daily motivation to keep on track.