18 January 2023
5 Tips For Staying Vegan After Veganuary
There is nothing new about the phrase ‘new year, new me’ or the idea of building healthy habits as the calendar turns to January 1st. However, whether you’ve committed to exercising more, connecting with friends regularly or adopting a healthy diet, the most challenging part is staying committed for the rest of the year.
According to health psychology researcher, Phillippa Lally, it takes more than 2 months (66 days) on average before a new behaviour becomes a habit. For those of you who have chosen to try out a vegan diet this new year, I hope this blog will give you the motivation you need to make it a permanent lifestyle change.
Taking On Veganuary!
As a passionate vegan of three years, it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of the non-profit organisation, Veganuary, and its efforts to encourage more people to embrace veganism in January and beyond. The organisation aims to “make powerful strides toward a world where vegan is the norm rather than the exception”, and made huge strides to achieve this last year. At the time of writing, more than 620,000 people from 228 countries have pledged to try a vegan diet this January, bringing the total #Veganuary sign-ups to more than 2 million since the initiative started in 2014. What an achievement!
As mentioned, keeping up with healthy habits is the hardest part of adopting them. So, from someone who’s embraced a vegan diet and lifestyle for 3 years (and been vegetarian for many years before that), here are my top 5 tips on how to stay vegan even after the hype of veganuary has worn off.
Tip 1: Make your favourite go-to recipes vegan-friendly
Embracing a vegan diet shouldn’t feel like a chore. By swapping out a few ingredients in your favourite recipes for plant-based alternatives, you can easily make any meal vegan-friendly. Since adopting a plant-based diet is rising in popularity, suitable recipes are abundant online and there are many ingredients in-store to help support your goals. If you’re on the go, mixing up some healthy ingredients in a blender is a great way to easily incorporate vegan goodness into your diet.
Tip 2: Plan ahead when eating out
While prepping vegan meals at home can become an easy habit, eating out often stops us in our tracks when trying to embrace a vegan diet fully. Though many chain restaurants now offer plant-based and vegan alternatives, some establishments are still lacking in options. Be sure to think ahead when you’re planning a meal out and research the places that can support your vegan diet, as these are the ones that you’ll keep coming back to!
Tip 5: Don’t get hung up on perfection
Sticking to a diet can be tricky, and the thought of slipping off is daunting. But momentary lapses are only normal and might be circumstantial, like a restaurant not providing vegan food options, or accidentally eating something non-vegan. Don’t beat yourself up if this happens – as long as you can recognise the reasons why and get back on track, then you can continue on your journey.
As with any change or new habit, embracing a new diet takes time and effort, it’s important to give yourself time to ease into the process. If you were previously a meat eater and want to commit to eating plant-based alternatives every day, that might be too much of a change to make all at once. If you’re finding it tough, try going vegan once a week. At the end of the day, anything we can do to make a difference to animals, our planet and ourselves, is a huge step in the right direction.
Tip 3: Follow fellow vegans on social media for daily inspiration
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people that are on the same journey as you is a great way to immerse yourself in veganism and be motivated to keep it up. There are many chefs, authors and nutritionists out there who share great content on their websites and socials. As well as Veganuary, I would recommend following Oh She Glows, Deliciously Ella, Tracey McQuirter’s By Any Greens Necessary and Michelle Cehn with World Of Vegan. Plus, I also share regular content about veganism on my social channels (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok) if you’d like to follow my journey.
Tip 4: Continually educate yourself (and remember why you started)
Remember to stand by your reasons for embracing a vegan diet. Whether that’s because you wanted to make positive changes to your mind and body or protect animals by reducing meat consumption, referring back to your “why” will keep you motivated and committed along your journey. There are many books out there to educate on the importance of veganism, many of which are on my reading wishlist, if you’d like to take a look!
Embracing A Vegan Lifestyle
The easiest place to start is with a plant-based diet – which is where my relationship with veganism began. Having noticed many positive changes in my mind and body since going vegan, this inspired and motivated me to launch my own plant-based food business, Plant Essence! But, once you’ve nailed the vegan diet, you might want to consider other ways to make your life more vegan-friendly. For me, and many others, veganism isn’t just about diet, as it can be applied to many aspects of your life such as your beauty routine, what you wear and how you decorate your home.
If you’re keen to learn more about how veganism could positively impact your life, read more in my recent blog about what I learned after adopting a vegan lifestyle. Or, if you have any questions that you’d like to ask me on the topic, please feel free to get in touch!