By Robyn Dutton
Veganuary, also called Vegan January is not just a catchy phrase, but also an important concept to kick start the year in a healthy, cruelty free and environmentally conscious way. I promise if you give Veganism a 30-day trial run, you’re going to be a happier and healthier version of yourself. Which is worth the risk, right? 12% of millennials are already meat-free, which is a large percentage compared to the 4% of their baby boomer parents. Many young people are ahead of the curve, and if that’s you, I applaud you. But I’m here to encourage the rest of you to learn the facts because I think you’ll open your mind up when you know the truth. Eating plant-based foods aren’t just for hippies anymore, high profile celebrities such as Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Ellen Degeneres, Alicia Silverstone, Ariana Grande, Joaquin Phoenix, Stevie Wonder, Pamela Anderson and Al Gore have all jumped on board too. Al Gore, you ask? Yes, the meat industry is the largest contributor to global warming. In just one month, the benefits you will reap are clear skin, weight loss, better athletic performance, healthier heart, fuller hair and reduced allergies. Not to mention, you’ll reduce Co2 emissions, deforestation and save 600 gallons of water per day, according to National Geographic.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… “I could never give up meat! I don’t want to eat soggy tofu and broccoli for the month” and I think you’ll be surprised at just how far vegan food has come. You can enjoy mock meats of every variety and even dive into a burger that bleeds like steak. These alternatives are not only tasty, but better for your waistline, preventing diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Plant-based means you won’t be consuming any animal products. Not a pro at deciphering labels? Don’t worry, you’ll pick it up in not time. There are plenty of resources to let you know what’s vegan and what isn’t. Use any basic vegan grocery list to get started and a wide variety of recipes to cook up creative concoctions. When eating out, make sure you know the plant-based go-to’s at your favorite spots. Like to read, gals? I’d recommend Skinny Bitch for a no-nonsense guide to getting started. Everyone else, do yourself a favor and head to Netflix to binge on Cowspiracy, Food Matters, Bill Clinton, Forks Over Knives and Earthlings while binging on some plant-based burgers!
I’ll leave you with this… Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn said it best, “Some people think the plant-based, whole-foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.”
Keep it simple and eat vegan.