Natural healthy foods is a brand new vegan eatery in Birmingham, West Midlands. All their food is free from gluten and refined sugar and everything is natural and organic. The flavours in the food are incredible and they serve a range of regular, herbal, matcha and kombucha teas as well as coffee and soft drinks. The desserts are second to none and they don't contain any refined sugar or other nasties.

Taking part in Veganuary

As 2018 draws to a close, most of us are craving salad and exercise after over-indulging at Christmas. Veganuary is a popular challenge at this time of year, with people around the world giving up meat and animal products for the month of January. Reasons for taking part vary from concern for animals and the environment, through to the health benefits to the individual.

Depiction of the environment as a reason to do Veganuary. Image of a river reflecting the sky.

Why I’m taking part in Veganuary

I’ve looked at Veganuary for the past few years and wondered whether to take part. But it has always seemed a bit too difficult. I cook for the whole family every evening. So, if I go vegan for the month, I’ll have to either cook two different meals or feed everyone something vegan. 

This year though, something has changed. Firstly, we’ve been edging towards eating more vegan meals anyway. I’m vegetarian and the meat alternatives we eat as a family are increasingly vegan as well. Secondly, I’ve discovered a few types of vegan cheese that I quite like. Cheese has always been the sticking point for me, because I’ve always eaten a lot of it in the absence of meat.

Giving up cheese is often the most difficult part of veganuary. Image of a plate of tempting cheese.

My main reason for wanting to go vegan for the month is because I don’t feel comfortable with the ethics of commercially produced animal products. I am not ready to commit to being fully vegan, but I’d love to get to a point where I remained vegetarian, but with a predominantly vegan diet. After a month of being entirely vegan, this should seem like a much easier task. Additionally, the health benefits of Veganuary will be a much needed boost after the Christmas excess. 

How do you take part in Veganuary?

The Veganuary website is an incredibly helpful resource. You can sign up to receive regular emails throughout the month for motivation and recipe suggestions. Anyone who signs up can access a digital copy of a vegan celebrity cookbook. 

There’s no obligation to take the challenge in January either. When you sign up, they ask whether you want to start receiving emails straight away, on the first of January or in seven days. A hard copy recipe book is available in addition to the digital one, and the Veganuary blog has some tips and ideas to make it easier to go vegan. 

I hope that this will be the start of a lifestyle change for me. Whilst I don’t want to be completely vegan, my ideal scenario would be to only eat animal products on a social basis. For example, if a meat eater is cooking me dinner I’d eat vegetarian rather than vegan. If I’m out in a restaurant with no vegan option, I’d eat the vegetarian option. But at home when I’m doing the cooking, I hope to remain vegan as much as possible even after the Veganuary month is over.

Are you vegan or will you be taking part in Veganuary? Please do let me know if you have any tips to help me on my way! 

Veganuary | How to take part in Veganuary and why it's worth it. Find out where to sign up for emails and tips on how to become vegan for the month of January to make Veganuary as easy as possible and decide whether the vegan lifestyle is right for you. #Veganuary #vegan #vegetarian #veganfood #veganrecipes

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  1. I’ve been veggie for 26 years and vegan for the past 3 so happy to help xx

    My top tips:

    Avoid PETA (they mean well but use methods of shock and gruesome)

    Watch useful documentaries that don’t use horror scenes.
    Forks over Knives Documentary is a good starter – they use a scientific sensible approach.

    Earthling Ed on YouTube can help you tackle some of the challenges people ask.

    Good luck

    Otherwise just ask – always happy to help xx

    1. Thank you so much for all that info Emma, that’s really kind of you. I’m definitely going to check out these resources and I’m hoping it won’t be too much of a chore to eat vegan for a month and I’ll be able to carry on at least mostly having a vegan diet after that!

  2. Good luck with it! I’ll be interested to read about how you get on.
    Where do you find these vegan cheeses which are OK?! Cheese is the only dairy I eat and I don’t eat eggs (although I don’t actively avoid them as ingredients), so I’m not far off vegan either. But I genuinely have no desire to give up cheese, which is one of life’s pleasures for me.

    1. Yes, cheese is the difficult one for me too! I quite like the Tesco vegan cheeses, particularly the spicy one. I can certainly live with that instead of normal cheese for a month. I’m hoping to mostly just use fresh food though and see how I get on.