Since being introduced in 2014, Veganuary has transformed into so much more than a 31-day food challenge or new year detox.
Veganuary involves eating more plants and cutting out animal products from your diet for the first month of the year.
According to experts, going vegan can be a very tough decision to make, especially if you used to a diet with meat in it.
Pioneering Zimbabwean vegan chef, Nicola Kagora aka chef Cola, explained that going vegan for a month can change your life, as well as the environment drastically.
This includes water reduction globally, as well as environmental upliftment.
He added that people will also start to see physical benefits to their bodies, with health conditions - such as weight - also being better controlled through a vegan diet.
“Chronic diseases are also better improved via plant-based diets,” he said.
Kagora added that vegan food gives us more energy to go about day-to-day tasks.
“You become part of the solution, not the problem, and a voice to the voiceless,” he believes.
“Veganism naturally stirs you towards animal, environment, and climate action. You not only change your life but the loved ones around you also slowly start to take better care of themselves.”
Here are our top tips for getting into a successful, healthy, and delicious Veganuary.
Stock up on seasonings
Even if you plan to live on vegan ready-meals, grab a few herbs and spices to keep in the cupboard.
They will come in handy in case you decide that tofu is not that scary after all.
Soy sauce, garlic powder, and celery salt will also all relish your cooking, and make you wonder why you ever bothered with meat and gravy.
Be creative with your recipes
Whatever you do, do not make the same vegan meal over and over again for the next four weeks.
Open Instagram, type in the vegan hashtag, and you will find many colourful and aesthetically-pleasing dishes like turmeric noodle bowls, pesto tortilla pizza, and creamy cauliflower alfredo.
If those do not inspire you, there are endless other plant-based recipes online to try, many of which offer replicas of classic meals in vegan form, such as lasagne, mac and cheese, and meatballs.
Appreciate that vegan food does not have to be expensive
There is, unfortunately, a widely accepted belief that veganism is more expensive than the average meat-eater's diet.
However, this is a misconception. Almost all supermarket chains, including the budget ones, have a great range of fruit, vegetables, and nuts, and store cupboard staples, such as tinned tomatoes, beans, lentils, pasta, rice, and grains.
You can keep your costs down by cooking from scratch and only occasionally buying pre-made meat alternatives.
If you stick to this more frugal approach on your vegan shopping list, you may well find yourself spending even less than before.
Cook in bulk
There are so many new vegan items, recipes and cookbooks, but creating three meals a day with hefty amounts of cooking time can be hard to plan, especially if most of your meals were meat-based in December.
Cooking in bulk is perfect for anyone, not just vegans. Whether you want to meet your macro-nutrients, cut down spending money on lunches, or reduce the time spent daily on cooking, having a freezer full of meals ready for the week is super satisfying, and you are more likely to stick to the diet.
You don’t have to worry about marinating tofu every night or having enough vegetables when you get home from work - you just need to spend one evening a week cooking up a storm.