So, 2017 has been and gone and 2018 has started with a vengeance. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? If your number-one goal in 2018 is to be better to your body and improve your general fitness and wellbeing, you may have heard about Veganuary. This charity movement is designed to encourage people to eat a vegan diet for the month of January.
Last year, some 50,000-people signed up to take on the challenge of going vegan for January and even more are said to have considered it for this year. The idea of eating a strict vegan diet might be somewhat daunting for staunch meat-eaters, with this plant-based lifestyle removing all types of meat, dairy, and eggs from everyday meals. For some people, being a vegan is a purely ethical decision. This demographic believes that a vegan diet reduces animal wastage and minimises energy consumption, with a plant-based diet requiring only a third of the land needed to support a typical meat and dairy diet.
However, there are a string of compelling health and wellbeing reasons why going vegan can improve your body’s general condition. Within just a month of going vegan, this recent report found that three-quarters (75%) of Veganuary participants in 2017 noticed an improvement in their health, sleep patterns, and weight loss. The same report found that the majority of Veganuary participants in 2017 that didn’t maintain a vegan diet in February onwards did so because they believe restaurants and retail outlets don’t cater for vegans as well as they should.
However, vegan food has come a long way in a short space of time and there are plenty of restaurants out there serving up vegan health-kick dishes morning, noon, and night. Mainstream chains such as ASK Italian now offer a non-gluten vegan pizza, with a tomato and dairy-free mozzarella base and three toppings of your choice. Zizzi has also got in on the act with its own vegan-friendly range of pizzas, utilising a mozzarella alternative made using coconut oil.
Veganuary is an opportunity for broad-minded people to experience fresh flavours and try something new for a short space of time. Without adopting a vegan diet, you may never have considered sampling foods such as silken tofu and vegan-friendly ‘wheat meat’, both of which act as excellent meat substitutes in any kind of dish. High-end supermarket, Waitrose has reported a 500% increase in searches for vegan-friendly food on its website in the days running up to Veganuary and many other supermarkets are ramping up their stocks of meat and dairy-free produce in-store.
Some of the world’s biggest stars are publicly vegan. British Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is openly vegan while American popstar Arianna Grande also abides by a strict vegan diet. In the UK alone, there has been a 300% increase in the number of vegans in the last ten years, with almost half reportedly aged between 15 and 34-years-old.
Have you given Veganuary a go? Let me know your personal experience below!