5 top tips to help you nail Veganuary

5 top tips to help you nail Veganuary

If you're doing Veganuary, read these tips to help you get it right

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In recent years, the popularity of Veganuary has gone through the roof, with many people choosing the month of January (and potentially beyond) to leave animal products off their plate, and instead choosing to consume a whole-food, plant-based diet.

But in order for it to be a success (particularly for first-timers), there are some important things to consider in order for it to be done optimally.

Here are my five tips for you to ensure that doing Veganuary provides you with a really strong platform throughout the month, and maybe even beyond!

Start with foods you are familiar with

There are bound to be many foods already within your dietary framework that are plant-based. Seeking out familiarity, as well as finding recipes that contain these foods is a great way to go.

You’ll feel less like you’ve thrown yourself in at the deep end, and more of a sense of control in that you will be consuming foods you already know and love.

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Increase your food volume

This is a change that I can’t stress enough. Let me paint you a picture; when I first made my switch to a plant-based diet in 2017 I noticed that, while I was feeling great, after a month or so I lost a couple of kilos unintentionally. Thanks to some research I quickly realised that when it comes to calorie density, animal products are higher in this regard than plant-based foods.

The answer?

Eat more food volume! Because plant-based foods are less calorie dense, you have to essentially put more food on your plate to make up for it. But fear not, you won’t over-consume calories provided you are eating whole plant foods that are rich in fibre, and will leave you satisfied.

Focus on key nutrients

Whilst a whole-food plant-based diet is very nutritionally complete, it is widely known that there are some key nutrients that do require a bit of attention.

Vitamin B12 is the key nutrient that you will hear about on a vegan diet; it is essential for red blood cell formation, nerve function, cell metabolism and the production of DNA.

Deficiency can present itself through fatigue, muscle weakness and more, so in order to prevent this developing (particularly further down the line if you wish to continue your plant-based diet) it is important to complement your diet with this.

Vitamin D3 is also another key nutrient (hormone) which is difficult to obtain through a vegan diet (you can put mushrooms in the sun to also generate Vitamin D) and unless you live somewhere that has constant sun, getting a D3 supplement (preferably with K2 added) is a smart play for overall immunity.

Other nutrients to look out for are iron (read my article about getting iron on a plant-based diet here), calcium, zinc and magnesium - all readily available through food but with some attention to detail needed.

There are a small handful of nutrients to pay attention to that will help you optimise your Veganuary
There are a small handful of nutrients to pay attention to that will help you optimise your Veganuary

Seek out inspiration on social media

When looking for recipes and inspiration to stay the course, there are so many people spreading the message in such a positive way through their recipes and ideas - some of my favourites include RG Vegan, Gaz Oakley (Avant Garde Vegan), Rachel Ama, and Toni Okamoto who runs the really useful resource Plant Based on a Budget.

Getting recipe ideas from these guys is a great way to keep things exciting when it comes to preparing your food. You can always check out the recipe section of my site as well!

See vegan junk food products as a treat, not the main event

Whilst there is nothing wrong with vegan junk food products, hear me out here.

I personally believe that to really thrive during Veganuary and beyond, prioritising whole foods and cooking from scratch is the way forward. When you do this you are flooding your body with beneficial nutrients which will leave you feeling vibrant and full of energy and vitality - a feeling I’m in no doubt that you will want to continue.

Indulging in some vegan ice-cream or a vegan burger every now and again is all good, and should definitely be enjoyed, but staying the course with a foundation of whole foods will have you feeling great and wanting to continue well after January.