Are you intrigued by a vegan lifestyle? Could you consider incorporating at least some vegan meals into your week? Can doing so really help our planet? What might it do for your health? Veganuary acts as a catalyst for many people to give veganism a try.. I am delighted to share a guest post from Jen who has decided to take part in Veganuary 2020.
“I never thought I’d take part in Veganuary. I felt sympathetic to the movement, but it didn’t feel like it was part of me or my life. I think many people of my generation feel the same way.
This year though, I realised I wanted to be part of it. I wanted to do something tangible, act on how I’ve been feeling recently.
So, in December last year, I started researching food and recipes. My 15-year-old daughter is vegan, and has been for 2 years, so I’m familiar with what a plant-based diet means, how to eat healthily and sensibly and the kinds of recipes I was going to make.
I wanted to be sure I could be excited about the food. I’m a real foodie and look forward to mealtimes, eating a variety of food that makes me happy. I know eating a plant-based diet means a different type of meal than I was used to.
And then my daughter said something interesting to me.
She told me to be sure that I had a very good reason to take part in Veganuary. If I had a solid and strong motivation, I would keep going.
3 Reasons to do Veganuary
Environment – I’ve been more and more aware of the effects of climate change on our planet over the last few years and have an increased urge to act and make a difference. Eating plant-based food and cutting out all animal products, helps reduce the increasing effects of climate change.
As a family we’ve been cutting back on plastic waste, slowly introducing new shopping habits into the home. We bought a soda stream so we don’t buy bottled fizzy water, we shop for our veg at the local greengrocers and buy dried goods from the zero waste store.
Introducing more plant-based eating into our home seemed like the next step.
Health – I’ve been perimenopausal for a few years and struggle to keep symptoms under control and to keep my weight stable. Many believe that a plant-based diet can help women in menopause, possibly with stabilising weight and joint inflammation. It was another reason to take on this way of eating. I’m intrigued to see if it helps my body. Of course, I’m aware that I need to ensure more of a whole foods diet, rather than processed foods, but I tend to eat this way anyway as a meat-eater.
Support – My teenage daughter eats a plant-based diet and lives a vegan lifestyle. She began on this path aged 13, strong in her convictions and very well-informed. We’ve supported her journey, helping her eat how she wants to, giving her opportunity to manage her choices and stick to them.
I’m inspired by her beliefs and those of many young people, teenagers mostly, who actively and tirelessly campaign for a better world. It’s humbling. They care passionately, they do something about it, and they will make a difference.
It felt important to support this generation, learning from them and taking their activism seriously. Taking part in Veganuary is my way of saying, yes, I hear you and you’re making a difference.
At the point of writing, I’m just over a week in. I feel good, if a little bloated (I’m not used to all the carbs) and exploring new ingredients and interesting recipes.
I’m trying not to focus on what I miss or can’t eat, but more on the exciting foods I have in my diet now. I’ve made some great curries, lentil soups, hot pots and pasta dishes. I’ve eaten out – Wagamamas has a great vegan menu – Costa serves a few vegan snacks – and a local café serves vegan scones, vegan breakfasts and of course, my favourite oat milk for my coffee.
I’m continuing my research, reading what I can to educate myself and watching documentaries to keep me motivated. I joined the Veganuary Facebook group which was a good support at the beginning but found the militant attitude of some too much to listen to.
Wish me luck, I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.”
Jen Stanbrook is a home and lifestyle blogger with an award-winning interiors blog Love Chic Living. She also writes about style, fashion and wellbeing over at Style Brief and runs her Pinterest coaching business from jenstanbrook.com