How to start your Veganuary journey
It’s January and that means it’s also VEGANUARY! Any time of the year is a great time to start a plant-based diet, but Veganuary is especially awesome as you’ll be joining hundreds of thousands of others around the world deciding to go vegan.
So you’ve taken this pledge to increase your plant-based meal consumption — now what?
What’s your motivation?
In order to be successful, knowing the reason behind your decision will keep you motivated. Are you doing it to reduce the impact of animal agriculture on our natural resources and environment? Are you doing it to see what effects a plant-based diet might have on your health? Are you doing it because you would prefer to eat plants over animals? Whatever your reasons are, remind yourself often. Reading up on each subject also helps affirm your choices, and gives you the confidence to answer accurately when you’re asked about your decision.
How do I do this?!
In general, everyday life isn’t all that different! For example, grocery shopping is mostly the same — vegan food is all readily available at the same stores you shop at. Our head chef Natalie at Planted Meals says she continued to shop at No Frills, Superstore, and Costco when she switched to a plant-based diet (more on this in an upcoming post)!
If you cook at home, there is endless recipe inspiration online. Instagram especially offers a huge variety of meal ideas, from everyday meals to fancier dinner party spreads. Some of our local favourites include @erinireland, @easyanimalfree, and @plantbasedsteezy.
Of course, Planted Meals is the easiest and most convenient way to meal prep! We focus our menu on food you likely already enjoy eating; we just use plants instead of animal products and as always, make sure it tastes delicious. There is no need to compromise with vegan food!
Navigating social life
You’ll get asked “Are you crazy?”, you’ll get asked “What will you eat?”, you’ll get asked where you’ll get your protein, but fear not! Knowing your own personal “why” will help you answer these questions simply and confidently.
“Are you crazy?” Sure! “Where will you get your protein?” Peas, beans, lentils. Even bread has protein. “What will you eat?” Planted Meals, of course!
For dinner outings and parties, it helps if you plan ahead. Most restaurants will have vegan options but if not, eat a small meal in advance and you can munch on any side dishes they might have. If someone is making you dinner, offer to bring a dish to share. This will alleviate their concerns about what to make for you, and you’ll get to show others that vegan food is delicious, and really, just food.
What to watch
Netflix has a number of documentaries that have inspired us: Cowspiracy, The Game Changers, Forks over Knives. Even BBC’s Planet Earth is a great watch to remind us how beautiful our natural resources are.
We’re so lucky to live in Vancouver, one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world. There is no shortage of delicious vegan eats in the Lower Mainland! Some of our favourites include (in no particular order):
Be kind to yourself
It can seem daunting at the beginning, but don’t worry about learning EVERYTHING all at once. Give yourself time! Every bite, every meal makes a difference. If you slip and make a mistake, don’t let that derail your whole journey. Instead, remind yourself again why you’re making this positive change and see how you can improve for next time.