Veganuary for Beginners: What is a Vegan Diet?
‘Veganuary’ – adopting a vegan diet for the month of January – has been gaining popularity since 2014. The charity Veganuary, who started the challenge, have inspired over a million people to take part and encouraged the trend for veganism worldwide.
So, what’s a vegan diet? A vegan diet is one that avoids all animal products – including cheese, eggs, milk and ingredients such as gelatine and honey. It may sound daunting to switch to veganism, but with our dedicated vegan shop stocking an incredible range of vegan alternatives, it couldn’t be easier.
There are different levels of veganism – which are really down to you as an individual and why you may choose to follow a vegan diet or lifestyle. Some vegans will avoid everything that is animal derived – including non-vegan alcohol, beauty products, clothing, supplements and more. Environmental and animal cruelty issues may inspire them to keep following and advocating veganism. Others might choose to try a plant-based diet for a month as a way to try healthier eating.
Below we’ll explore what you can eat as a vegan and answer common questions about veganism.
Vegan MeaningA typical vegan person would define a vegan diet as plant-based – consisting mostly or entirely of food and drink derived from plants, rather than animal sources. But what is considered vegan often varies between people, depending on the reason that they choose to follow a plant-based diet. For example, some people may include honey in their diet, whereas others might not.
There are so many influential and celebrity vegans you can go to for inspiration. Who is a vegan or who has followed a vegan diet? Ella Mills, behind the Deliciously Ella brand, Serena and Venus Williams, Lewis Hamilton, Paul and Linda McCartney, Russell Brand and Lionel Messi to name a few.
What Do Vegans Eat?If you’re thinking about trying Veganuary, you’ll want to know what vegans eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Get started with these tempting plant-based recipes on our blog.
As well as fruits and vegetables, staples such as pulses, beans, nuts and grains all form part of a vegan diet and because plant-based diets are so popular now, there are many more delicious food products available, meaning vegan diets don’t need to feel restrictive. You can find vegan alternatives for almost everything you crave, and vegan food includes treats like chocolate, cakes, biscuits and alcohol. Read about other great vegan alternatives below.
It’s easy to find vegan alternatives to your favourite ingredients in our vegan shop. Discover Provamel Soya Cream, a vegan alternative to cream, or Oggs Aquafaba, a great vegan alternative to egg whites for baking. Love cooking Thai? We even have a vegan alternative to fish sauce.
Mergulo Original Plant-Based Butter 200g
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Heura Plant Based Chicken Strips
Kinda Co. Farmhouse 120g
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Troo Inulin Syrup 227g
Shop vegan honey alternatives here >
Planet Organic Unsweetened Almond Drink 1L
Shop vegan milk alternatives here >
What Don’t Vegans Eat?
Because a typical vegan diet doesn’t include animal-based products, you may need to take additional supplements to get all the vitamins and minerals you need if you’re following a plant-based diet. Omega 3, vitamin B12, zinc and iron are often used to supplement a vegan diet.
Viridian 100% Omega 3:6:9 Oil 200ml
Omega 3 is found is oily fish, so if you’re a vegan or vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish, a plant-based Omega 3 supplement is a great way to get the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA.
Balanced Vitamin B12 30 Caps
Vitamin B12 is only naturally found in animal-derived products. Certain vegan foods, such as breakfast cereals, soya products and yeast extracts are fortified with B12, but a supplement may be necessary to meet your needs.
Viridian Balanced Zinc Complex 30 caps
Without zinc-rich meat and shellfish in your diet, a supplement can help prevent zinc deficiency.
BetterYou Iron10 Oral Spray 25ml
Although there are plenty of plant-based iron sources, (including dark green vegetables, nuts and pulses) you’ll need to include a lot of these foods in every meal, especially if you’re a woman between, to get enough. An iron supplement is the best way to make sure you’re reaching your daily needs.
Do Vegans Drink Milk?
Traditional dairy milk is off the menu if you’re following a vegan diet, but there are so many plant-based alternatives to try instead. We stock dairy-free milks made from oats, soya, hemp, almonds and more.
Types of Vegan
There are so many interpretations of the vegan diet and it’s your personal choice as to what level of veganism you decide to follow. Some people may only be vegans temporarily – for example during Veganuary or at a certain time in their lives. Some people may only be interested in a vegan diet, whereas others may want to adopt vegan skincare, beauty and fashion. For some people it’s a way of life from which they wouldn’t ever deviate. Veganuary is a good time to experiment and see what works for you.
Do Vegans Eat Meat?
A vegan diet does not include meat, fish or poultry, only plant-based alternatives. There’s no need to miss out on what you love most – explore our incredible range of meat alternatives, including chicken, turkey, beef, bacon and sausage alternatives.
What Are Vegan Foods Made Of?
Vegan foods are made of ingredients not derived from animal sources. Vegan meat alternatives are often made from soybeans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, pulses, seitan and vegetables. Cheeses and milks are usually made from nuts or grains. At Planet Organic, we only sell vegan alternatives made from natural, plant-based ingredients so you can be confident they’re free of artificial preservatives, flavourings and sweeteners.
When Did Veganism Become Popular?
The term veganism was coined in the mid 1940s, but only relatively recently has it become mainstream.