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Veganuary 2022: 7 hacks for how to follow a vegan diet for the whole of January and beyond

Veganuary challenges people to follow a vegan diet for the whole of January - but it can be hard to know where to start if you have eaten meat all your life

With Veganuary 2022 having just kicked off, you might well be thinking of giving a vegan diet a go this January.

But if you’ve eaten meat for your entire life - as most people in the UK have - it can be quite a leap into the unknown.

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So what are the best tips for getting through a whole month of eating vegan food?

If you’ve been a meat eater for your entire life, it can be hard to know where to begin if you want to give a vegan diet a go (image: Shutterstock)

We spoke to prominent vegan and international communications and marketing lead at Veganuary Dr Toni Vernelli for her advice on how to follow a vegan diet.

Here are her seven top tips for going meat-free, as told to NationalWorld.

  • Be prepared

It’s no good just waking up one day without thinking about what you’re going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Get a few things in before starting, like plant milk, sausages or margarine. The last of these is especially helpful because if you don’t know what to eat, you can always start with toast.

There are so many vegan options out there, e.g. for plant based milk alternatives, that it can be hard to know where to begin (image: Shutterstock)
  • Don’t reinvent your diet

If you like sausage and mash for dinner, don’t start eating quinoa and kale straight away.

Start with foods you feel comfortable with before giving the more different aspects of a vegan diet a go.

Get comfortable with the basics before you branch out.

  • Try out different food products 

There’s such a huge variety of products out there, it can be difficult to know where to start.

For example, with plant milks, you’ve got sweetened or unsweetened soy, as well as oat milk and rice milk.

It’s the same for fake meat - there are some products that are really like meat and some that really aren’t.

Don’t just try one product and say you hate that particular thing because you are bound to eventually find a product you like.

You do not have to reinvent your diet if you go vegan (image: Shutterstock)
  • Don’t aim for perfection

Be kind to yourself, we all give in to temptation.

If you eat meat at one stage, that doesn’t mean you have failed.

  • Use apps

A good tip I personally follow is to use an app like Happy Cow that helps you find vegan options when you’re on the go.

It’s easy enough to be vegan at home, but if you’re in a new town or city, it can be hard to know where to look for vegan options.

A lot of chain restaurants have great vegan dishes but some smaller places aren’t good at signposting them.

As for other apps, Vegan Friendly has one that is similar to Happy Cow and the Vegan Society has a useful app.

Some apps do recipes but might require a subscription, while other ones may connect you directly to a shopping basket or the website of a supermarket.

Subscription boxes are also good.

Meal kit boxes often do vegan options, and they usually have a wider variety in January.

  • Connect with others

Try to connect with others doing Veganuary because doing it alone is tough.

Join Facebook groups - there are tonnes out there. If you do Veganuary officially, you’ll be invited to our own Facebook group.

Away from Facebook, there are societies for all kinds of interests, like the Vegan Running Club.

These are great places to share tips and talk about your plans.

They make it so much easier to be vegan.

  • Sign up to Veganuary

We will send you a cookbook, a 31-day meal plan - and it’s all free.

You don’t even have to sign up in January - whenever you choose to do it, you get the same 31 days of information.

I think it’s more fun to do a vegan month in January though, because there’s more buzz about it and supermarkets often have more options available.

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