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Veganuary fruit and veg

Veganuary

If you want to kick-start 2019 with a new, healthy regime, a vegan diet might be the answer – and Veganuary makes it easier to switch to a plant-based diet for the first month of the year.


The Veganuary campaign began in 2014, when 3,300 participants pledged to eliminate meat, fish, dairy and eggs from their diets for a whole month.


In 2018, a record-breaking 168,500 people signed up for the challenge. Now veganism has gone from niche to mainstream, with new restaurants and brands springing up across the country, and vegan options now a mainstay on many restaurant menus.

A plant-based diet is good for your health and good for the environment. And January is the ideal month to give veganism a go!

Veganuary meal and logo

So what are the benefits of a plant-based diet? Apart from the obvious – that vegan food is an ethical, cruelty free choice – choosing only plant-based foods could also reduce your impact on the environment.


This is because high levels of carbon dioxide are produced during the meat and dairy farming process – and farmed animals also release methane, a gas that can be even more powerful at fuelling climate change.


Eating a carefully planned vegan diet – even for a short spell – could also have health benefits.

Veganuary vegan curry

According to the Veganuary campaign, many people who go vegan for the month report an improvement in their health, energy and vitality – with benefits ranging from weight loss to better sleep.


Switching to a plant-based diet will almost certainly mean eating more fruit and vegetables – which most nutritionists agree is one of the best ways to improve physical wellbeing and help prevent many diseases.


But what about protein? Protein is essential for health – especially to build and repair muscles – and many people think it's only present in animal products.


This is perhaps the most common misconception about veganism – but in fact you don't have to consume meat in order to ensure you get enough protein in your diet.

Nuts, beans, and pulses such as lentils are all excellent sources of protein. You'll also find it in grains such as brown rice and quinoa.


Many vegetables are good sources of protein too – especially greens such as kale, broccoli, and peas.

  

So, as an example, peanut butter on wholemeal toast for breakfast, a hummus and falafel wrap for lunch, and a shepherd's pie made with soya mince and served with green vegetables for dinner would easily provide enough protein for the average active adult.

Veganuary fruit

It's easy to try vegan this January. Participants can sign up for free at www.veganuary.com/register.

They're then supported through emails, social media, and a website full of helpful resources such as recipes, nutritional advice and meal plans.

  

Some participants even choose to use the month to raise money for good causes – a fantastic, positive way to start the New Year!


Fancy trying a plant-based diet, but not sure where to start? Try one of these fantastic recipe books!

Veganuary courgette salad with logo
There's a Vegan in the House
Deliciously Ella The Plant-based Cookbook
Vegan Cakes and Bakes

Vegan Cakes and Other Bakes by Jérôme Eckmeier and Daniela Lais

Can't imagine baking a cake without using eggs and butter? Think again! This superb collection features 80 easy-to-follow recipes that use readily available vegan ingredients to create every cake imaginable – from familiar teatime treats such as banana bread, to celebration cakes and dinner party desserts such as Black Forest gateau. As well as sweet offerings, the book has recipes for savoury tarts, breads and pizzas. It also includes a wonderful section on Christmas baking, with a range of festive treats from fruity Stollen to ginger Lebkuchen cookies.

Deliciously Ella. The Plant-based Cookbook

Deliciously Ella is renowned for healthy and delicious cookery inspiration, and this collection of plant-based recipes is no exception. One thing that puts many people off trying vegan food is that they think it's going to be complicated to prepare – but this cookbook proves that's not the case. Try soups, stews, curries, felafals, burgers, and salads – we particularly loved the olive and sun-dried tomato quinoa. There are also chapters on preparing delicious desserts, and ideas for feeding friends at get-togethers. Pages are colour-coded, making it easy to find the recipes you're looking for – and the book is packed with beautiful photography. Inspiring!

There's a Vegan in the House

This is an indispensable cookbook for any household venturing into veganism – especially when not all members of the family are taking the Veganuary pledge. Contains recipes that can be adapted to suit everyone, so that home-cooked meals can be eaten by vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters, with just a few tweaks and additions. Offers a superb range of recipes, from delicious main courses, such as cashew nut paella, to tempting desserts. There's also information about achieving a balanced and varied vegan diet, with key nutrients explained, plus easy to follow guides to vegan substitutes, shopping for vegan food, and top tips for stocking up your store cupboard with essential ingredients. A fantastic resource for families wanting to give a plant-based diet a go.

Little Green Space January 2019

Vegan on the Go by Jérôme Eckmeier and Daniela Lais

Vegan options in restaurants and takeaways are improving all the time – but to save money, and ensure a varied diet, packing up a lunch to take to work or school is a good idea. This fantastic book contains 100 delicious recipes so that you can enjoy a variety of different meals without resorting to sandwiches every day. From soups and snacks to salads and sweets, along with great advice for storing and packing up food, Vegan on the Go has lunchtimes covered. There's also a useful section about eating out, with tips for ordering plant-based meals in Italian, Chinese, Indian and Mexican restaurants.