Another year has started, which means that people around the world are trying to stick to their resolutions. And there seems to be one resolution that is taking over the Net, recently: Veganuary 2020. So, what is that, and how do we do it?
WHAT IS VEGANUARY ?
Veganuary is a British non-profit organization created in 2014, which encourages people to adopt veganism, if not for life, at least for the month of January. Last year, the campaign saw more than a quarter of a million of people around the world taking part in it. And it seems that this year, participants have doubled.
For the founders, Jane Land and husband Matthew Glover from York, UK, it is a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people.
CELEBRITIES AS AMBASSADORS
If the couple started the movement in their kitchen, 6 years ago, it has been growing to such extent that this year, it is estimated that over 1 million people will stop eating animal products this month. And apparently, studies have shown that though the majority take only the month-long pledge, they end up turning it into a lifestyle. If the movement has been far from the headlines all these years, it seems that 2020 is the year of the vegan! Today, celebrities such as Joaquin Phoenix or Paul McCartney and many world high-profile figures are officially supporting the movement, and have drastically changed their own lives to become vegan.
SO HOW DO YOU DO IT ?
Interested? Check the website here. It offers help to those taking part in the challenge, with lists of recipes, as well as guides for eating out and shopping. The eating regimen means omitting all animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs and even honey. Instead, you will have to load on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and soy products like tofu, edamame and tempeh. Some studies have shown that a vegan diet can help with weight loss, but also boost psychological well-being. If nutritionists like the idea of people exploring a plant-based diet, they are a bit skeptical to see masses diving into the vegan lifestyle without much preparation or modifications first.
IN OR NOT ?
The name is catchy indeed, but for experts, Veganuary is not a realistic goal for most people. It is quite rigid, and if it can be healthy, uneducated consumers could risk deficiencies if following this diet without planning it knowingly. On the other hand, going extreme all at once could turn a lot of people off, so why not start by making a few changes in the kitchen to start with ?
Overall, Veganuary is definitely worth a try, as long as you manage to operate change in a healthy way, with healthy alternatives.
AN ALTERNATIVE TO VEGANUARY
If you want to ease into it, here are a few things you can start doing to introduce a plant-based diet into your life, without being too restrictive:
- Do “Meatless Mondays”
- Try “Vegetarian January”, without meat, but still including eggs and dairy;
- Try to go vegan 3 days per week, eating responsibly dairies the rest of the week, like eggs and fish, but cutting red meat.
- Eat vegan everyday before 6 PM, then eat a more diverse dinner.
- Make a list of your favourite recipes and Google the vegan version of them, you’ll find yummy alternatives.
In any case, if you ever had an eating disorder or diet issues, consult a nutritionist before going vegan. The restrictions could trigger old symptoms.