Veganuary 2023: How to Go Plant-Based for a Month?

Veganuary is a month-long challenge to go vegan (Image via Pexels @Vegan Liftz)
Veganuary is a month-long challenge to go vegan (Image via Pexels/Vegan Liftz)

With the arrival of December, veganuary is in the air. If you haven't heard of this phenomenonal event yet, it swept throughout the globe first in 2014 and has since added many devoted followers annually.

Basically, veganuary is a movement that encourages people to try veganism in January. It turned out to be the largest yet with more than 6.255 million participants in 2022. Participants were recorded in many countries in the world (22 countries and territories) for the first time.

Veganuary 2023 promises to be even more fun and innovative, with chefs and commoners alike coming up with increasingly delicious vegan dishes. If you're planning to try veganism this January, go through the following pointers to be prepared for it.


Veganuary 2023: What and Why?

Veganuary started off as a challenge run by a UK nonprofit organization, designed to promote and educate people about veganism. If you're thinking of going vegan, Veganuary is an excellent opportunity for you to try out before making a long-term commitment.

Going vegan for a month has many benefits apart from the obvious health ones. It can help you plan your meals, think of vegan alternatives, and learn more about vegan nutrition (how to add more fiber, how to add more protein).

Besides, a vegan lifestyle can ensure that you're also thinking (and contributing) more about the environment and helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Check out the following major health benefits of going vegan, even for just a month.

1) Improved Digestion: Vegan diets are generally high in fiber, which supports gut and bowel health. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (beans, peas and lentils) are some examples of foods high in fiber.

High-fiber foods are generally considered very good for maintaining digestive and gut health. Fiber can act as a prebiotic to help gut bacteria function better. It also bulks up and softens stool, making it easier to pass.

Read here about how a vegan diet can improve gut health.


2) Reduced Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Perhaps the single greatest benefit of going vegan is that cholesterol level can come down due to cutting out meat.

That helps improve heart health and lower blood pressure, making you less prone to life-threatening conditions and chronic diseases. The risk of heart attack, heart failure, and peripheral artery disease can all be reduced by having lower cholesterol level.

Additionally, a vegan diet lowers blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are low in sodium, which is a salt that increases the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension).

3) Weight Loss: Although weight loss is directly dependent on the amount of calories you consume and burn, veganuary can give you a fair idea of how plant foods can translate to fewer calories than the same helpings of meat-based meals. Blood sugar level can be impacted positively by a high-fiber, whole grain diet. Lower blood sugar level can help you reduce your weight.

Check out this best vegan diet to lose weight.


How Can You Do Veganuary 2023?

Veganuary may seem challenging to those who have never followed a plant-based diet. Here's what you can do to make the transition easier for you:

1) Meal Planning

Meal planning and preparation is very important for any kind of diet. Research recipes and meal plans, and think of what you are going to have for the next week from today. That way, you can meal prep easily, which will prevent you from caving in last minute and ordering food.

This is the most ideal time to start your meal planning, as it's only December. We suggest that you look up recipes and start stocking your kitchen accordingly.


2) Plan your Nutrients

You may lose out on important nutrients while following a vegan diet. To ensure that you're getting the right amounts of all required nutrients this veganuary, plan your meals accordingly or take vegan supplements.

  • Calcium: People usually get this nutrient from dairy products, so you're bound to lose out if you're going vegan. Try eating nuts, beans, and dark leafy greens to get the calcium you need.
  • Iron: It's mostly absorbed from meat. So, if you're going vegan, you need to include foods high in iron like broccoli, edamame, and spinach. Eat foods high in vitamin C, such as bell peppers, spinach, and sweet potatoes, along with plant-based iron to aid in absorption.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Include avocados, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Protein: Plant-based dairy-free protein sources are now commonly available. You can even research recipes that include these protein-sources as a major component. Edamame, tofu, nut butter, beans, oats, and quinoa are all nutritious choices.

These are the two major challenges you could face while going vegan. It could be easier to do veganuary if you're doing it together with friends, colleagues, or family members.

Final Thoughts

Veganuary is a good way for you to assess if you want to switch to a vegan lifestyle. If your body responds well to the vegan challenge, and you feel like it, why not?

Even if you do not wish to go vegan entirely, you can consider doing it once, twice or thrice a week. Every small change is good for the environment, and it can also be very good for you in the long term.

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Edited by Bhargav
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