Updated: Jun 7
Although I am not vegan, I am making a conscious effort to reduce my consumption of animal products and increase plant-based foods this year. Not only is a vegan diet better for the planet because of the effect that animal products have but also there is a large amount of evidence to suggest that it can be more effective in reducing total and LDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
However, it is really important for anyone participating in Veganuary to follow some of these tips if they want to make sure that they are going to feel the healthiest and most energised version of themselves throughout the month (or year!). Supplement with vitamin B12, vitamin D and omega 3. Other vitamins and minerals that you may lack in from a vegan diet are iodine, zinc, selenium, protein and calcium.
Try and include a source of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats at each meal. These can include beans, legumes, tofu, grains, starchy veg, fruit, veg, nuts, avocado). Protein is one macronutrients that many people seem to struggle with when they transition to a plant-based diet. To ensure that you are getting enough, combine different sources as only animal sources have a complete amino acid profile (rice & beans).
Try and stay clear from the processed vegan foods. Just because it is labelled vegan does not mean it is healthy. Instead of swapping to products like vegan bacon, just consume a variety of whole foods and basic things.
Eat something different to what you ate yesterday. In general, it is so important to get a variety of different nutrients by varying our diet; have a different veg with your dinner instead of your same go-to’s.
Make sure your plant milks and cereals are fortified! If they are not you will be missing out on certain nutrients that are essential for our bodies that are found in the animal-based alternatives
You don't need to transition straight away or have such an all or nothing approach. Maybe try 'meat free Mondays' to start with or have 2 out of 3 meals a day as plant-based. Usually a vegan diet means there is a lot more fibre which can cause symptoms like bloating and flatulence so it is worth considering gradually increase the amount that you are having.