Veganuary has boomed since it first started back in 2014, increasing with participants worldwide each year. It is a non-profit movement which encourages people to go vegan throughout the month of January, a challenge of great popularity but how easy, or difficult, is it to be vegan for a month (or longer)? What opportunities do we UEA students have on campus?
Today it is easier than ever before to cut out animal products from your diet, with increasing options of substitutes for dairy and meat. The quality of the multiple options obviously differ but none of them can be expected to be absolutely accurate to the product which they are resembling. To succeed throughout Veganuary, you have to make sure not to compare the products you have substituted for but rather see them for what they really are. Oat milk is made out of water and oats and will obviously therefore not taste like cow’s milk. The texture of cheese will be very different. The trick here is to try not only different substitutes but also try different brands.
Veganism can seem expensive, and it is if you decide to live off of substitutes rather than wholefoods. Maybe you have to rethink how heavily you might have depended on milk, eggs and meat as the main components in your diet. So what should you focus on that is actually affordable? Beans and lentils are great sources of both fiber and protein and are way cheaper than meat. Fresh veggies are easy to get a hold of as is fruit, but they can feel too expensive. There is, however, the option of buying frozen and do not worry, they still contain an adequate amount of nutrition. Also remember, Google is your best friend, you can find literally any information and recipe with a quick search.
When you walk around the UEA campus whilst keeping the word vegan in mind you will suddenly see all the opportunities to help you through your Veganuary journey. Also, Ziggy’s do not only offer vegan flatbread with chickpeas and other goodies, but also the best vegan brownies available around UEA as well as vegan croissants. The Unio café offers different options for milk substitutes in your latte AND vegan syrups to sweeten and spice it up. They also provide sandwiches and several sweet treats ranging from flapjacks to brownies and energy bars. If you feel low and need some chocolate to cheer you up, try the Vego chocolate bar which is sold in the SUshop, or go cheap and buy ordinary dark chocolate as it will satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank as much as the vegan branded products might.