If you’ve ever watched the documentary Supersize Me then you’ll know the effects fast food can have on your physical and mental health. There are other documentaries too, like Cowspiracy and What the Health? dramatising the impact eating meat and dairy can have on the environment, and revealing the ‘truth’ behind health organisations. All three make for some brilliant TV but the simple reality is that living vegan, even if only for a short amount of time, is really beneficial for you and our beloved Earth. And what better time to experiment with veganism than Veganuary?
A meat and dairy-free diet is better for the planet because feeding vegans requires way less energy and farmland. Meat production and animal byproducts put a strain on our resources.
In other news, because you can’t rely on meat, fish, eggs or cheese anymore you’ll have to replace these foods with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts and seeds – new sources of nutrition. With that, you’ll probably improve your overall health and see positive changes: expect glowing skin and more energy!
Where to start
You’re going to have to take some food groups away from your diet, most likely foods that you’ve become very fond of over the years, whether that’s meat, cheese or chocolate. But guess what? Meat substitutes are available, vegan cheeses are a plenty and you can find eggless cakes too! What a time to be alive.
Fitness fanatic? Don’t sweat it – from pea protein to hemp protein, there’ll no stopping you. And just in case you’re still worried, know that world tennis star sisters Serena and Venus Williams have been vegan since 2011!
If there’s a particular type of food you’re not ready to part ways with, say milk, try transitioning ALL other non-vegan foods to vegan alternatives and get really comfortable with them before the last hurdle.
What to eat
To help you on your vegan journey, we asked our friends at The Skinny Kitchen for quick recipes that won’t leave you bored. If if you need a break from cooking vegan food yourself, you can always choose a colourful, low-cal meal from The Skinny Kitchen at their new location in Angel, Islington, in Canterbury, Kent (UK) or in the summer, San Antonio, Ibiza.
Support Veganuary this month by signing up and The Skinny Kitchen will serve you a FREE vegan burger!
This dish is low-carb, delicious and easy to make, accompanied with fresh chilli for a tastebud kick and a metabolism boost!
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 red onion
- 2 red chillies (1 for topping)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper (for seasoning)
- 1. Preheat your oven to 180
- 2. Slice the butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and cut into it leaving a 1cm gap around the edges (save the chunks of squash for cooking)
- 3. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
- 4. Dice the onions and chilli and add to a pan with olive oil, cook for 5 minutes and then add in the butternut squash pieces, garlic, half a teaspoon of smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
- 5. After the 40 minutes is up, put the cooked mix into the middle of the squash and roast for a further 10 minutes.6. Top with coriander and/or fresh chilli and serve!
- Tip: You could add chopped avocado and/or tofu cubes to bulk up this meal
Zucchini pesto noodles
While spaghetti is usually vegan, courgetti is an ace, even healthier alternative and this Skinny Kitchen version is super speedy.
You will need
- 1 spiraliser
- 2 courgettes
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 3 tsp of green pesto
- Fresh basil leaves
- Optional: a sprinkle of pine nuts
- 1. Spiralise the courgettes, then cut them a little so they aren’t too long
- 2. Mix in the pesto, tomato, basil and pine nuts
- 3. Either serve cold or heat it in a little oil on a low heat in the pan
A good day starts with a great breakfast. Don’t miss our tutorial on making the perfect acai bowl.