Try vegan this January

Posted by Maggie on 11/01/18 in Articles, Life After Retirement

Veganuary has hit the mainstream media, with the aim of helping people become vegan for the month of January.

Each year the charity’s popularity has increased, with around 50,000 participants in 2017 – and the figure expected to exceed a whopping 150,000 this year.

Along with a few friends, I took up the challenge 3 years ago after being vegetarian since my teens. I haven’t looked back!

As a visitor to this blog, you may be already be vegan yourself. But others who aren’t may be wondering what the positives are to a plant-based diet and lifestyle. In a nutshell, I've found that it can help improve health, both mentally and physically; stop suffering to animals; reduce carbon emissions; improve nutrition; and reduce the amount you spend on your groceries.

After the festive period you may be feeling sluggish and in need of positive change to help increase your energy levels and feel better about yourself. Trying a vegan diet might help you with this. A vegan diet has been found to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, while helping to maintain a healthy weight. So what’s to lose (apart from a few lbs)?

In comparison to a younger crowd, you may be wondering how difficult it may be to go vegan later in life. But with so much help and advice available, you can get going in no time.

Here at VfL, we have our own popular Vegan Rescue Pack, which contains information on nutrition, recipe ideas, and weekly meal plans. You can download a PDF version or contact us directly for a printed copy.

Many high street supermarkets have their own vegan-branded products. In addition, you may be surprised to learn of the high number of 'accidentally vegan' products, such as Birds Custard Powder, bourbon biscuits, Fry’s chocolate bars, Walker’s crisps and Jus-Rol™ pastry! Online shopping has never been easier, and with companies such as Ocado, buying vegan products can be a walk in the park. Websites such as the Vegan Womble, Vegan Recipe Club and The Vegan Society offer advice on how to live a vegan lifestyle with ease.     

One of the worries people raise when going vegan is how to make sure they’re getting enough nutrients and calories. Below you can take a look at which plant-based foods are high in vitamins and minerals to help maintain a well-balanced diet;

So, you’ve heard about the benefits and know where to buy your ingredients, but may be stuck for ideas on what to eat.

Being vegan doesn’t mean you need to buy expensive products: it can be cheap and cheerful. It also doesn’t mean you’ll just be eating salads and lentils. You can veganise most dishes; from a full English Breakfast, Sunday Roast, pizza, curry, pasta… the list is endless. Try swapping eggs for scrambled tofu, remove the cheese and meat from a pizza and replace with vegan alternatives (or remove altogether). Mushroom Wellington is a great swap for meat in a Sunday Roast.

Cutting out animal products doesn’t mean you’ll miss tasty food when eating out, either. Large chain restaurants such as Zizzi, Las Iguanas, Wagamamas, Harvester and others have great vegan options. If you don’t know whether a restaurant can cater for vegans, checking menus online first can give you an idea of what’s available. Contacting venues directly is a good way to find out more.

Unable to cook, or don’t like the idea of spending much time in the kitchen? Try our Take V recipe collection for ideas for quick and simple five ingredient dishes. There are also lots available in local supermarkets in the frozen, chilled and cupboard sections, such as Stagg Chilli, Vegetable curry and rice, Linda McCartney, Quorn, Amy’s Kitchen and Beanfeast.

Going vegan or even just reducing consumption of animal products has never been easier. So why not give it a go for yourself, the planet and the animals?


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