Veganuary is a challenge to eat a plant based diet.


Veganuary is one of the best things that you can do for your health because it could change your diet, health and life for the better. If you’re not convinced, watch this Ted Talk with anesthesiologist Dr. Michael Klaper.


Transitioning to a Vegan diet was one of the things that I accomplished last year. I didn’t have many changes left to make because I’ve been a Vegetarian most of my life. However, the changes that I had left to make were in my mind, as difficult as that last 5-10 pounds that everyone struggles to loose. The truth is, it was easier than I thought.


I’ll share some of my tips to help you whether you’re wanting to complete the Veganuary challenge or transition your diet to plant based.


Five tips to complete the Veganuary challenge


1/ Changing your habits is hard if you’re not motivated to do it. Define your why so that you can refer back to your reason when you’re tempted to deviate from your goal.


2/ If you successfully stick with Veganuary for 30 days, you’ll probably change your diet for good. Thirty days is long enough for a behavior change to become part of your routine.


3/ Use plant based alternatives to replace some of your favorite foods. It will reduce the feeling of deprivation commonly associated with the word diet and make the challenge easier in the short run. It takes some experimentation to find the right substitutes. Purchase the smallest sizes until you find the right products.


4/ Review your cookbooks and purchase a new one or two to support your change. A good one to start with is Vegan at Times. It has a lot of simple and delicious recipes to keep your diet interesting and flavorful.


5/ Give yourself time to adjust and refine your diet. Your body will change and you’ll likely realize some health benefits over time. How much of a change really depends on your starting point.


Beyond Veganuary


Your why is probably the most important element of transitioning to a plant based diet. It might be that you want to improve your health, reduce your environmental impact or reduce your grocery bill. It’s all possible with a Vegan diet.


1/ Improve your diet


If you find yourself low on creative energy at the end of a workday and resorting to things that are fast and easy, give yourself some time on a weekend or staycation to cook. I cooked with the Vegan at Times cookbook over the holidays. By the end of the holiday, I was enjoying the process and loving the food.


2/ Reduce your environmental impact


The kindest thing that you can do for the environment is to purchase plants grown organically and locally. It reduces the packaging, transportation impact and the contaminants used during the grow process.


3/ Reduce your grocery bill


To reduce your grocery bill, purchase in season produce to get the highest nutritional value at the lowest cost. Flash frozen produce is as nutritionally dense as fresh and a good way to keep your diet healthy in winter months. Add a variety of beans and legumes for a low cost protein and other essential nutrients.


Lastly, when you try a new recipe reduce the batch size. The more you make something the better it gets. If you reduce the batch size and try it a few times, you’ll avoid waste and likely make something really delicious.

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