12th January 2018 | Blog
Team t plus try out Veganuary
A big and belated Happy New Year to you all! All at t plus towers hope you are having a super (and healthy!) start to 2018.
So after a good few years of talking about it, we’re finally trying out Veganuary this month!! So many of our blogger buddies and industry friends either are already Vegan or have tried it so its time we joined the party. The, now well known, campaign with an aim to encourage people to try a Vegan diet for the month. They say more than 75% of people who have tried this report an improvement on their health and that there has been a 360% increase in the number of Vegans in Britain over the past ten years and that they estimate that the lifetime impact of Veganuary has been to spare more than 2.2 million animals. What incredible results.
Each January in the office it’s a topic that crops up (as well as dry January of course, but that’s one with very limited success ) and we thought collectively enough was enough, let’s take on the challenge and join the anticipated 150,000 Veganuary troopers for 2018 give Veganuary a good go.
There’s so many reasons people decide to choose a Vegan diet. Whether it be to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet or improve personal health, for me personally, the animals are my motivation and Veganuary tells me I will likely save 10 animals through this trial so that is all the motivation I personally need.
A couple of the t plus team mentioned they have put off trying Veganuary in previous years as they fear for the usual excuses of:
‘I’m not organised enough to have all the alternative food options in’
‘I wouldn’t know how to cook any Vegan meals’ or
‘I don’t have the time to research how they can ensure they / their family are getting the recommend levels of protein, B12, iron etc.’
However, enough of the excuses, we’re a pretty determined lot and we’ll figure it out! Also, for those that completed the challenge, there’s a Vegan Tuck box selection box waiting at the finish line.
We’re all 12 days in, almost half way there and wanted to share our experience so far…
I like many, struggle to think of meal ideas at the best of times when the list has no prohibited items. That shouldn’t really be and excuse as Veganuary’s website makes the transition unbelievably easy and has a selection of meal planners (even for gluten free, nut free, soya free diets). I chose the Family Friendly meal plan and it gave me a weeks worth of absolutely delicious Vegan meals and snack ideas. This has actually made my January even easier than normal and I am giving my families immune system a gigantic boost with all this fresh goodness.. and saving animals at the same time - happy days!
One thing we all agreed on with a passion was that we cannot rave about the Creamy Buffalo Sage Pumpkin Lasagne enough, wow - http://veganuary.com/recipes/easy-creamy-buffalo-sage-pumpkin-lasagne/ perfect for cold January.
Another thing we also loved stumbling across was the list of ‘Accidentally Vegan products’ and I was thrilled to read I could still eat my beloved Haribo and Doritos ( gasp of relief - we all have cheat days ). I was equally chuffed I could still eat my peanut butter loaded crumpets! so many goodies are actually vegan friendly, it might surprise you and more and more brands are releasing Vegan ranges so the list of snacks and options was surprisingly large, check out the list here - https://veganuary.com/starter-kit/accidentally-vegan-products-uk/.
There’s also the ‘Quick and Convenient Meal Plan’ which I have moved onto in my second week to vary things. I then plan on doing these back to back for the rest of the month.
So we’ve been discussing all our highs and lows so far and if we are being entirely honest then yes, it really has been a lot more work whilst we get to grips with all the new recipes and alternatives. There’s also been recipes we’ve gone to a lot of effort to make and haven't gone to plan which can be frustrating ( especially when you're hungry! ).
We’re only halfway there and still have a lot to try and learn, but so far we all really do feel great and I’m convinced I already have more energy. The recipes ( when you get them right! ) really are yummy. It can only get easier each week as we familiarise ourselves with it all, have all the substitutes in our cupboards ready ( therefore it will get slightly cheaper also and require less shopping trips ) and we get more confident with this new lifestyle so it will become less time consuming.
Nutrition was initially a concern and we all feel that some people planning to move to a Vegan diet may need to get some advice. Especially those that may be picky eaters or have any allergies, it can be difficult to sort through the nutritional needs. There is a risk of not enough of some nutrients, or even adverse health effects from excess nutrients for example calcium in the form of kidney stones or too much zinc which can lead to headaches or nausea. Vitamin B12 is another important point as it is not found naturally in a vegan diet ( predominantly coming from sources of meat, fish or dairy ). Luckily B12 supplements in the form of pills, sprays or all of our teas ( each t plus tea contains 50% RDA vitamin B12 remember! ) can easily fix that, but having the awareness to think about the nutrition side is important.
Veganuary reported in 2016 that 63% of people still identified as Vegan six months after Veganuary and 79% said they intend to eat a Vegan diet in the future - high five Veganuary team, we wish the campaign every success and hope 2018 brings in thousands more newly pledging Vegans! You’ve got two more definite's here at team t plus!
Big Veganuary love
Jade and the rest of the team