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4 things you need to know if you plan to do veganuary

It's a challenge to try going vegan for the month of January.

Some people do it for the animals. Others do it as a way to reduce their impact they make on the world. Then there are some whom combine Veganuary with their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and see this vegan diet as the healthiest start to the year.

Whatever your reason, here are four things you need to know before you do the challenge.

Make sure you get enough nutrition
View this post on Instagram

Dinner Idea: Creamy vegan mushroom risotto by @elavegan 💛 Recipe:⠀ Ingredients⠀ 1/2 cup risotto rice (120 g)⠀ 1 medium onion diced (divided)⠀ 2 big cloves garlic minced (divided)⠀ 2 tbsp coconut oil divided⠀ 1/4 cup white wine (vegan) (60 ml)⠀ 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth (300 ml)⠀ 1/2 cup coconut milk canned (120 ml)⠀ 3 cups white mushrooms sliced (200 g)⠀ 1 cup chickpeas canned (150 g)⠀ 1 tbsp soy sauce (wheat free if GF)⠀ 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar⠀ Nutritional yeast flakes to garnish⠀ Fresh parsley, black pepper, sea salt, red pepper flakes to taste⠀ ⠀ Instructions⠀ Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a skillet/frying pan, stir in 1/2 of the diced onion and 1 clove of minced garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes over medium heat⠀ Add rice, stir for about 1 minute until the rice is opaque. Pour over the wine, keep stirring constantly until the wine is absorbed⠀ Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth to the rice, and cook on low-medium heat until the broth is absorbed. Stir continuously and add more broth, 1/4 cup at a time until the liquid is absorbed and the risotto is cooked and creamy (about 15 minutes)⠀ In a different skillet/frying pan heat the remaining 1 tbsp coconut oil, stir in the remaining diced onion and minced garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes over medium heat⠀ Add the mushrooms and chickpeas and fry for 3-5 minutes, add balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and coconut milk and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with black pepper, red pepper flakes, salt to taste and fresh parsley⠀ Transfer the mushrooms mixture to the risotto rice, stir in the nutritional yeast flakes. Enjoy!

A post shared by Vegan Food Official (@veganfoodofficial) on

Plant-based foods rich in iron include beans, lentils, kale, spinach, soy, and more. Foods rich in protein include tofu, peanut butter, nuts and seeds and lots more. For vitamin D and B12, you need to have fortified foods such as soy milk and nutritional yeast or take a vegan supplement.

Check you the vegan food essential guide on the Veganuary website for tips on how to ensure you get enough nutrition in your diet. Follow some vegan hashtags on Instagram for inspiration such as #veganfoodshare and #veganuary.

Watch out for hidden animal by-products on labels

Know Your Labels | Veganuary

Not all animal products are highlighted in bold on the ingredient list on foods, only those that cause allergic reactions are. Therefore, ingredients such as carmine, cochineal, and E120 (which all mean the same; crushed beetles) are not highlighted, the same goes for beeswax etc. You need to be extra careful when purchasing foods during January, check out the blog post below that goes into detail about labels and watch to look out for.

You absorb iron better when you combine it with vitamin C
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@irawanjohan ・・・ Credit to @dr.vegan : 👉 @irawanjohan 👈 Foods with more vitamin C than an orange! 🍊 . Vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development and repair of body tissues. A recent meta-analysis also showed vitamin C was beneficial to people whose immune system was weakened due to stress. . While vitamin C may not be the cure for the common cold, there is good evidence to support that it helps reduce risk of developing complications when you get sick. Vitamin C itself is also a strong antioxidant that can help boost your blood antioxidant levels which in turn can help reduce risk of chronic disease. . If that’s not motivation enough to get in more Vitamin C, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with 42% lower stroke risk. . So don’t neglect this helpful vitamin and remember supplementation is always a great option too. . For more background info, one small orange has 51.1mg vitamin C and a medium orange has 69.7mg vitamin C. The minimum requirement for adults is about 75-90mg a day (but studies show up to 500mg a day to be beneficial). . . ---------------- YouTube: Dr. Vegan (link in the bio) Facebook: Dr. Vegan . . . #ilovetobevegan #veganhealing #whatveganseats #veganfoodshare #fueledbyplants #foodismedicine #vegancure #nomeatathlete #meatfreeathlete #healthisthewealth #veganlife #veganlifestyle #veganfortheanimals #crueltyfree #crueltyfreeliving #veganfood #govegan #vegancommunity #vegancoach #veganathlete #vegandoctor #crueltyfreefood #futuredoctor #plantbasedvegan #veganfamily #veganaf #veganhealth credit: @meowmeix

A post shared by ilovetobevegan (@ilovetobevegan) on

Eating vitamin C with iron can help your body absorb a lot more of the iron than if you'd just had the iron by itself. Therefore increasing the amount of nutritious value you get through your meal, for breakfast try adding blueberries to your porridge and for lunch or dinner add a bell pepper (any colour) to your rice, great combinations plus they add extra flavour to a meal that would be bland without them.

You'll become a farting machine

No joke! When you begin to eat more vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds your body isn't necessarily used to all the healthy whole foods you've introduced into your diet, therefore you'll experience increased bloating and gas. Don't feel to disheartened by this fact, because once your body adjusts to the new diet, the increased bloating and gas will reduce, and you'll start to feel the benefits of a vegan diet (if you are doing it correctly). Be sure to drink plenty of water to help your body pass dietary fibre and reduce the amount of bloating.

Overall, going vegan is not a bad thing, just make you do your research before jumping into it. With plant-based diets receiving more positive attention than ever, restaurants and food manufacturers are responding by producing an abundance of vegan options that make this lifestyle more convenient. You should find that finding vegan options easy, supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys have sections dedicated to vegan foods. Even some foods are accidentally vegan, you just need to do more reading on the back of products.

If you're looking for some inspiration, check out these cheap vegan recipes. Have a great Veganuary and go create some awesome meals!

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