Veganuary tips from our resident nutritionist, Becky
For many of us, January is the time for a fresh start and 'Veganuary' can be a great way to kick things off, especially if you're feeling a bit 'blah' after the festive season. If you're struggling with sluggishness, stuck in weight loss limbo and are experiencing digestive issues or skin problem, adding some plant power to your diet may well make a difference.
A well-planned plant-based diet, including lots of healthy veggies, pulses, nuts, seeds and whole-grains and removing meat, fish, dairy means lots more vitamin C, E, fibre, folate, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Long term, vegan diets can be lacking in iron and the B vitamin family which is crucial for energy production, and it is definitely worth supplementing with B12 if you're planning on making your plant-based plate a permanent fixture.
We are all creatures of habit and if you rotate the same meals all the time, take the opportunity to mix things up in the kitchen.
Don't forget protein
It's vital for liver detoxification and building lean muscle, combine plant-based proteins throughout the day to meet your needs, such as beans, lentils, nuts or seeds.
Keep protein interesting
Make a batch of falafel, whiz some nut butter or homemade houmous and add a handful of lentils or beans to cooking sauces.
Pick 2 or 3 different recipes a week
Pick 2 or 3 different recipes a week and experiment with spices, sauces and methods of cooking.
Make preparation your middle name
Make 'preparation' your middle name and stock your cupboards with beans, lentils, colourful veggies, spices and herbs, and batch cook a veggie chilli.
Don't fear fat
Essential omega 3 fats help to support a healthy brain and help our bodies to detox. Oily fish is usually the best option but plant sources like walnut or flaxseed oil drizzled on salads and veggies is great, or sprinkle pumpkin seeds, ground flax or chia seeds on your breakfast. Seaweed is another good source of omega 3 and includes iodine, which can also be tricky to get enough of in a vegan diet.
Make vegetables centre stage!
When cutting our animal products, it's easy to reach for the carbs, but try not to rely on pasta and rice. Fill half your plate with colourful veg. Roasted, sauteed, steamed or raw and crunchy ... the choice is yours.
Try something different