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Six Tips for a Veganuary Success

January is all about resolutions, and whether they’re a result of holiday extravagance coming to an end or a renewal of goals set the year before, it’s a great time to take greater strides in your personal journey towards a better life. This January, invite your friends and family to participate in Veganuary, a month-long celebration of veganism that was founded in the UK in 2014. Resolution season is the perfect opportunity to open a dialogue about the vegan lifestyle, and there are lots of ways to frame the discussion and make veganism more approachable (and fun!) for the ones you love.

Six Tips for a Veganuary Success:

● Host a vegan potluck: Kick off your Veganuary celebrations by inviting friends and family to a bountiful, plant-based feast. While for many, making a meal that contains no animal products is challenging, everyone can think of one dish that is vegan or can easily be made vegan. A potluck is a great, low-stress way to expand horizons and inspire your guests by showcasing just how delicious and satisfying vegan cuisine can be. As host, be sure to make something familiar, like a vegan mac and cheese, to surprise and delight your guests.

● Be someone’s vegan sponsor: The buddy system works wonders for keeping resolutions. Make yourself available to field questions, offer resources and reading materials, or share favorite recipes. Transitioning to a new way of eating can be difficult, but having a friend help you with the small stuff makes change easier.

● Recommended reading: Anyone trying out the vegan lifestyle for the first time is going to have a lot of questions, so it’s good to have answers ready. Visit the Talking Tofurky blog for articles on health, nutrition, sustainability, and animal advocacy as well as recipe ideas. Also check out the official Veganuary website for loads of helpful information, and articles on everything from the health benefits of a vegan diet to frequently asked questions. Knowledge is power!

● Dispel myths: You’ve heard them all before. From the idea that it’s too hard to get enough protein from a vegan diet to concerns that soy products are unhealthy, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Try to find approachable, fact-based sources to refute these myths and promote the knowledge that veganism isn’t just compassionate, it can also be a pathway to better health. Check out Veganuary’s Myths section for some great tips on dealing with some of these!

● Make it fun: Turn Veganuary into an opportunity for your loved ones to play with their food. Host a vegan ice cream social and have everyone pick out a vegan ice cream to bring. Visit a farm sanctuary. Have a vegan cheese tasting. Meet your friends at a vegan-friendly restaurant near you. Show your friends and family that being vegan is joyous.

● Keep it going: Check in with would-be vegan friends and family members at the end of the month. Ask them about their experiences—what did they love and what was hard? While they may not choose to remain vegan, they may work more vegan meals into their diet or replace some animal products with vegan ones. Encourage them to keep the spirit of Veganuary alive all year long. Veganuary’s Facebook Group is just perfect for keeping up motivation and connections you’ve gained along the way.

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Megan Scott works with The Heart’s Kitchen to develop and test simple, delicious recipes like the one you just read. Since 2010, Megan has worked with her husband John Becker for the iconic cookbook, the Joy of Cooking.

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