Why You and Your Family Should Try Veganuary This Year
As the new year rolls in, it’s the perfect time to embrace new beginnings and healthier choices. That’s where Veganuary comes in – a month-long pledge to try out vegan living. We, as parents, have navigated this journey with our children and found it to be not only doable but also quite delightful! Whether it’s for health reasons, environmental concerns, or animal welfare, Veganuary offers an opportunity to explore the vibrant world of plant-based eating. Let’s take a closer look at what Veganuary is and why it might just be the refreshing start you and your family are looking for this year.
What is Veganuary and Why Should you Try it?
Veganuary, a non-profit initiative that started back in 2014, with a purpose of inspiring people globally to try a plant-based diet for the month of January and perhaps even beyond. This global movement is more than just a diet change; it’s a gentle nudge towards a more sustainable and compassionate lifestyle.
As families that has took on the Veganuary journey over the years, we’ve experienced firsthand the array of benefits and joys this lifestyle brings. Initially, we were curious to see how our families especially the kids, would adapt to plant-based eating. To our pleasant surprise, it turned into an enlightening journey that expanded our culinary horizons and brought us closer as a family.
The main things we discovered is that Veganuary is not only about abstaining from animal products; it’s about exploring a rich variety of foods and recipes that we never knew existed. From hearty lentil stews to creamy avocado pastas, every meal became an adventure. The kids especially enjoyed discovering the endless possibilities of plant-based desserts – who knew that chocolate avocado mousse could be so delicious?
Veganuary has been a learning experience for us all. It opened up conversations not just about nutrition, but also about the environment, and animal welfare, helping our children understand the impact of their food choices. As parents it’s been heartwarming to see them grow more conscious and thoughtful about what they eat.
Veganuary offers more than just a dietary challenge; it’s a chance to step into a kinder, healthier, and more sustainable way of living. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, reduce your environmental footprint, or simply try something new, Veganuary is an inviting and accessible platform to begin your journey. So why not take the leap this January and see where this wholesome adventure takes you and your family, you might be as surprised as we were.
Veganuary: A Decade of Plant-Based Progress
Veganuary, the global movement encouraging people to adopt a vegan lifestyle for January, is celebrating a significant milestone this year – its 10th anniversary. Since its launch its rapidly grown in popularity, attracting millions of participants globally. Its goal extends beyond a month-long challenge, aiming to change consumer attitudes towards plant-based living.
Veganuary’s influence isn’t just for individuals – businesses are getting on board too! Last year, thousands of companies, from your favourite high-street shops to loads of restaurants, hopped onto the Veganuary bandwagon. This led to a whopping 1,610 new vegan products and menus popping up everywhere. It’s not just the big fast-food names like Burger King and McDonald’s rolling out vegan options; even the usual suspects like Wagamama, Pret, Greggs, and Subway are dishing out more plant-based goodies. It’s clear that vegan choices are on the rise and everyone’s taking notice!
This plant-based challenge is really catching on, and even celebs are getting excited about it! This year, there’s a cool free vegan e-cookbook you can download, packed with all sorts of vegan recipes to try out. And there’s also the amazing first-ever official cookbook, all fancy in hardcover, filled with Veganuary’s best recipes and meal plans. It’s just hit the shelves and you can grab your copy on Amazon. Talk about upping your kitchen game!
How to get Enough Protein, Iron, Calcium, and other Nutrients on a Vegan Diet
A common concern when transitioning to a vegan diet, as we initially had, revolves around meeting daily nutritional requirements, particularly for protein, iron, and calcium. However, we quickly learned that a well-planned vegan diet can not only meet these needs but also introduce a variety of delicious and nutritious foods.
Protein, a vital building block for our body, is plentiful in the vegan diet. We were delighted to discover the rich protein sources in lentils, chickpeas, nuts, and tofu. These versatile ingredients can be transformed into a myriad of tasty dishes, from hearty lentil soups to creamy chickpea curries. Even everyday staples like whole grains and vegetables contribute to your protein intake.
Calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth, is another nutrient that people often associate exclusively with dairy products. However, we found ample sources in plant-based foods. Fortified plant milks, like almond or soy milk, and tofu are excellent for daily calcium needs. We also incorporated a variety of beans and leafy greens, such as kale and broccoli, into our meals, which are not only rich in calcium but also add a fab burst of flavour and nutrition.
Iron is crucial for maintaining healthy blood cells and energy levels. Initially, we were concerned about getting enough iron from a vegan diet. But, to our surprise, options were abundant. Foods like oats, which were already one of our breakfast staples, lentils, and even dark chocolate, are great sources of iron. We made it a habit to sprinkle seeds, like pumpkin or sesame, over our meals for an extra iron boost. It’s important to note that vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron, so including fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C in your meals can be beneficial.
Vitamin D and B12 are two nutrients that require special attention in a vegan diet. Especially during the UK’s darker months, Vitamin D supplements are recommended. We also learned that B12, an essential vitamin for nerve function and blood health, is not commonly found in plant foods. Hence, why we included fortified foods like nutritional yeast and plant-based milks in our diet and just took B12 supplements to ensure adequate intake.
With kids incorporating these nutrients into a vegan diet made it into a fun and creative journey. With a bit of planning and variety, it’s quite straightforward to meet your nutritional needs and enjoy a plethora of delicious meals. Remember though, each individual’s nutritional requirements can vary, especially if your pregnant, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered nutritionist, especially for specific concerns or dietary needs.
How to Plan a Vegan Menu for the Whole Family
Planning a vegan menu that appeals to the entire family, including kids with different tastes, can be quite an engaging and rewarding challenge. Our journey into planning vegan meals began with the realisation that many of our family favourites were already vegan-friendly. Staples like pasta, rice, and baked beans, as well as some of our go-to breakfast cereals, were easily incorporated into our new diet. The trick lies in creatively combining these familiar foods with a range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes to ensure a varied and balanced diet. This approach not only maintains nutritional balance but also introduces the family to a diverse array of flavours and textures, making meals exciting and satisfying.
We found 100% the key to successfully managing a vegan diet in a busy household is forward planning. With school runs, work commitments, and extracurricular activities, finding time to cook can be a challenge. We found that preparing meal plans at the beginning of the week saved a lot of time and stress. Quick and easy options like instant noodles, hearty soups, and microwaveable vegetable pots became our go-to solutions for those hectic days. Additionally, we embraced the art of batch cooking. Spending a few hours on a Sunday preparing dishes like veggie lasagna’s, bean chilli’s, and curries meant that we had a fridge full of healthy, ready-to-eat meals that could be quickly reheated throughout the week. This not only made our weekdays smoother but also allowed us to spend more quality time together as a family.
Maximizing Variety and Enjoyment in Your Vegan Menu
To keep our vegan menu exciting and appealing to all family members, we experimented with a variety of cuisines and flavours. Themed dinner nights, such as Mexican, Italian, or Asian, were particularly popular with our kids. It was a fantastic way to explore different cultures while enjoying a wide range of plant-based dishes. Tacos filled with spicy beans, vegetable stir-fries with tofu, and creamy mushroom risottos were just a few of the dishes that became regulars at our dining table.
We also involved the kids in the meal planning and preparation process, which turned out to be a great way to get them excited about trying new foods. Letting them choose some of the meals for the week or help in the kitchen made them more invested in the eating experience. This hands-on approach not only made meal times more fun but also provided a great opportunity to teach them about nutrition and the importance of a balanced diet.
Simply, planning a vegan menu for the whole family is all about balancing nutrition with convenience, variety, and most importantly, enjoyment. With a bit of creativity and some strategic planning, it’s entirely possible to keep everyone happy and healthy on a vegan diet.
Tips and Tricks for making Vegan Food Delicious and Nutritious.
We’ve discovered that vegan food doesn’t have to be dull or unappealing. The secret lies in spices, herbs, and creative cooking techniques. Air fryer recipes have been a revelation for us, offering a healthier way to enjoy crispy treats. One-pot meals have also been a game changer for our busy household, offering nutritious meals with minimal clean-up.
The Benefits of Veganism for your Health, the Environment, and the Animals
Veganism isn’t just about what you eat; it’s a lifestyle choice that benefits your health, the environment, and animals. We’ve experienced positive changes in our health, including feeling more energetic. Environmentally, a plant-based diet contributes to reduced carbon emissions and water usage. Ethically, it aligns with our desire to reduce animal suffering.
All things considered; we wholeheartedly believe that giving Veganuary a try can be a wonderfully rewarding journey for the entire family. It’s more than just a diet change; it’s a chance to bond over new, exciting foods, discover the joys of nutritious eating, and make a positive impact on our planet. To keep this adventure both tasty and fun, don’t forget to explore our handpicked “Top 20 Vegan Cookbooks” for a treasure trove of delectable recipes. Wishing you a delightful and inspiring Veganuary!