When I first chatted with Matthew Glover the founder of Veganuary it wasn’t even a thing! The website wasn’t ready and there were only weeks to go before we announced this wonderful way of introducing everyone to a vegan way of eating!
Fast forward 7 years and a massive 1 million people have taken part in Veganuary! Restaurants have their Veganuary specials, supermarkets have their Veganuary deals and we receive hundreds of media releases with Veganuary news – it is just incredible.
Veganuary 2021 is on course to be the biggest year yet with more than 500,000 people already officially signed-up, double the number as at the same time last year.
Perhaps this is the first time you have come along to VeggieVision TV as you need some inspiring tips for your first Veganuary so here are a few essential pointers…..
So in a nutshell vegans won’t eat:
Anything to do with an animal whether the animal is dead or alive so…..
No chicken, no beef, no pork, no bacon, no mince, no animal sausages, no fish etc.
No animal products:
No cow milk
No dairy yoghurt
No dairy butter
No dairy ice-cream
No products that contain any of the above – as well as hidden ingredients that I come on to in a bit….
HOWEVER there is a vegan version of all of the above!!
So it’s a case of extending your arm and picking a vegan version off of the shelf or the fridge in the supermarket or health food store. Or clicking another button online… rather easy! We have vegan meats and fish free fish made from soya – great for protein, lower in fat, cholesterol free and tasty. Try making a Spaghetti Bolognaise with vegan mince and we bet no one says ‘where’s the meat?’!
Vegans have non dairy products made with soya milk, rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, oat milk, almond milk – try out various ones to see what you like the best. Some you will like more than others, some work better than others in tea and coffee too. For any you don’t like – don’t waste them! Blend them up with a banana and berries – you won’t taste the milk.
Next steps are checking labels and labelling has improved a great deal over the years.
So vegans will not have:
Whey powder – from cow’s milk.
Gelatine – the boiled bones, tendons, ligaments and skins of dead animals.
Cochineal – Dead squashed beetles.
Rennet – curdled milk from the stomach of an unweaned calf used in curdling milk for cheese.
There are various e numbers too that you will avoid – however so many products are labelled as vegan now so don’t feel overwhelmed! Feel empowered!
Your first steps of being vegan can be a little challenging and especially if temptation is put in your way so the best advice we give to who we are coaching is to “know your why”.
This is what I advise journalists and celebrities too. Why are you going vegan? Is it to improve your health? Not be part of animal suffering? Have a lower carbon footprint? To cut out eating cholesterol? Or any other reason?
Add your personal reason to sticky notes and pop up on your PC, on your fridge and on your phone so if you are tempted in the early days you will remember your reason why you are going vegan and this will give you more strength.
Chat with your local health food store manager and check out vegan products online and we promise a whole new world of food will open up before your eyes.
Going vegan is the most important decision of your life and having something like Veganuary taking it step by step with you does make a a huge difference.
Karin regularly coaches media and celebrities to go vegan. Although not a “vegan chef” she can tell you how to “veganise” just about any dish and she went vegan nearly 25 years ago when it was not on trend. Over the years Karin has advised Center Parcs, the MailOnLine, written for Ocado and Leona Lewis’s blog.
She has a weekly radio show on Phoenix FM, runs VeggieVision TV, is the presenter for VegfestUK as well as running a vegan PR business.