Forgive me, for I am a little late to the game on this one. Recently, I came across this great website which challenges you to go vegan for the month of January. It’s called Veganuary.
You might recall that I did a 30-Day vegan challenge a couple of years ago. The challenge wasn’t always easy for me, but it was worth it. I did struggle with learning how to approach eating as a vegan and shedding my old dietary habits. But it was worth it because it caused me to think deeply about what I ate and why I was eating it.
While I wasn’t 100% vegan during my challenge (I had at least one slip up), I was pretty close – like 99% close. And when it was over, I chose to remain eating vegan. Over time, I have recognized that eating out as a vegan is difficult. In some cases – due to work reasons – I find myself in a position where there’s nothing vegan around me (or soooo very little). So I go vegetarian. It works.
I went vegetarian, and was probably vegetarian for almost a year, before I embarked on a vegan challenge. For me, it was a necessary step. I had to completely redo how I thought about food and rethink what I ate. Veganuary might sound like something you’re ready for, and it might not. But – if it’s not – consider if you can challenge yourself to rethink one thing about your daily eating habits.
- Could you give up eating meat at breakfast? Or eggs? You could replace it with this vegan toast.
- Could you give up butter? Try replacing it with Earth Balance.
- Could you take part in Meatless Mondays (or just any single day of the week?)?
Of course, you might be wondering why you would want to be vegetarian, vegan, or even scale back on animal products all together. And the reasons could be numerous, but as far as your health goes, it’s going to help you with your weight, blood pressure, and even cholesterol. Well – it could. Because it’s easy to be vegetarian and eat garbage (and remember that oreos are vegan! not gonna do to well if you eat them by the bag full though, right?).
I view vegetarian/vegan eating as a way to be more mindful about what I eat and why. You can, of course, be mindful at any meal no matter what you eat. But for me, I see the idea of Veganuary as being presented with an opportunity to be more mindful even if one isn’t a full participant. It is a great way to take a step back from our daily eating habits and consider what we are eating and why we are eating it. Then, if we want to, it’s also an opportunity to consider eating in similar or different ways.
Veganuary doesn’t have to be an all of nothing event. I encourage you to use this as a way to explore your diet and the effect your diet has on your practice.