Jan 01: Veganuary and a 30 Day Yoga Challenge

I know what you’re thinking. It sounds like I’m taking on far too much in one go. Why on earth am I sitting here suggesting I commit to daily blogging, eating entirely vegan for the month, and throwing myself into 30 days of yoga? 

Because well, why not? Life is for living after all.

You only live once and so why not live life to the fullest. I’m intrigued, I’m inspired, and I’m excited to try something new. So that’s why I’m starting 2017 with these exciting new opportunities.  I’m embracing Veganaury (which for those of you who don’t know, means eating an entirely plant based diet throughout January) and I’m participating in a 30 days of yoga challenge at my local yoga studio in South London.

The important thing is to look at how you approach new things. Like I mentioned in my first post, it’s about seeing them as opportunities, not expectations. I’m embracing these challenges without pressures, without expectations. If I get a few days in and decide one of them isn’t for me, then that’s okay. 

 

So why have I decided to try Veganuary?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure! There seemed to be a great number of reasons floating around in my head, which culminated in the decision to give it a go. Like countless others today, I’m concerned about the sustainability of many of our daily practices and the welfare of our animals. I also consider myself a bit of a health nut and find the scientific research surrounding a plant-based diet very interesting. However, I’m not going to give a lecture one way or another, as everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions, and I don’t believe you should ever restrict yourself to a label. A label creates expectations and restrictions, both of which I am keen to avoid.

Currently, I eat a primarily wholefoods diet, including plenty of plant-based foods, and minimal processed foods such as refined sugars, refined carbohydrates, and processed oils. This means, a transition to a fully plant-based diet shouldn’t be too hard. I also love to cook, so I'm excited to try new recipes with new ingredients. I rarely cook with lentils or beans and so hope to create some warming winter dishes over the coming month.  

I don’t know whether I will continue to eat an entirely plant-based diet after January, but I do hope to be more aware of the many issues surrounding veganism and to substantially decrease my consumption of animal products.  I may or may not decide to remove from some foods from my diet completely, but I want to see how a different approach feels. I strongly believe in the importance of listening to your body. If eating a plant-based diet doesn’t feel right, then I will do what is best for my body.  

 

So what will I actually be eating?

Contrary to popular belief, a plant-based diet consists of a lot more than just a large bowl of salad!  The key to any sustainable diet choice is a little bit of planning and a lot of variety. I’m going to be eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Specifically, I’m planning on eating lots of my two current favrouites; sweet potatoes and bananas and indulging a little more in my nut butter addiction! I’m switching my daily greek yoghurt habit for unsweetened soy and coconut yoghurts. And I’m hoping to try out lots of healthy vegan baking recipes as the adaptability of flax eggs and chia eggs intrigue me.

Here’s a snap of a few things I picked up this weekend for this first week of Veganuary. I’ve got tofu and tempeh (two vegan protein sources, both of which are very versatile), soya and coconut yoghurts, dairy free chocolate, and some vegan protein bars too. 

If you've interested in finding out more about Veganuary, how you can sign up, or some advice on making the transition, then here's the link: https://veganuary.com.  I must admit, they've sent through some helpful emails in the run up to January, so I feel very prepared! 

Lastly, a few things to consider if you’re considering doing Vegauary too:

-       Vegan products are not automatically ‘healthier’ so make sure to read the labels carefully and look unnecessary refined sugars.

-       Make sure to think about the totality of nutrients that your body needs. In particular, I’ve been looking up ways to ensure I get enough calcium, B 12 and iron.  *More on these over the coming weeks!

-       Finally, the Internet can be a great source of information, but it’s also ever so overwhelming. It’s incredibly hard to sift through the rubbish and work out what is genuine when it comes to nutritional information. I’d advice having someone or somewhere you can go to for advice? 

 

Thanks again for taking the time to stop by and read my rambles.  I’d love to know if you have any plant-based products you’d recommend? Or any recipes you’d suggest I try?  Please do leave me a comment or drop me an email, as I’m very open to new ideas!

I’ll be sharing my first recipe on the blog tomorrow, so keep a look out. It may (or may not) start be something for those pancake lovers among you. But who knows…

 

Until next time,

Hannah x

#mylifeisforliving