Veganuary is a campaign motivating people to go vegan for the month of January. For many, it’s the realization of their New Year’s Resolutions to eat healthier or embrace their love of animals. It’s a catalyst for people who have been curious about plant-based diets but have been unsure how or where to start. That’s why this month, the Coconut Cloud team is going to be sharing multiple ways we’ve incorporated plant-based goodness into our lives.
Many of us are immersed in communities or economic systems that make going vegan seem like a daunting task, but the data points us towards the ethical, nutritional, and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet:
- According to research conducted at the University of Oxford, cutting meat and dairy products from one’s diet could reduce that individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73%. (Source)
- In one study, a vegan diet helped participants lose 9.3 lbs (4.2kg) more excess weight than a non-vegan diet over the same 18-week study period. (Source)
- Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fiber (essential to a vegan diet) has been linked repeatedly to a lower risk of heart disease. (Source)
The Plant-Friendly Approach: A Case for Incrementalism
Still, cutting dairy (not just milk, but also cheese and yogurt!), eggs, and more from our diet doesn’t happen overnight. It hasn’t for us. Plant-based diets are often discussed in the context of environmental sustainability, but we believe that if you’re not enjoying what you’re eating, your diet isn’t sustainable for you.
We love eating our fruits and veggies here at Coconut Cloud (it’s in the name!), and everyone has the opportunity to incorporate more plants into their diet.
Not ready to go 100% vegan or want to give plant-based a test drive? This Veganuary, try these routines on for size:
If you don’t have a reserve of vegetarian/vegan recipes in your repertoire just yet, build up your plant-based knowledge by cooking without meat every Monday. If you’re already vegetarian, give yourself the extra challenge of eating 100% plant-based on Mondays. You’ll discover a whole world of plant-based proteins and entrées that creatively use veggies, tofu, seitan, and more.
Some of my favorite vegan food bloggers for inspiration are our very own recipe collection here at Coconut Cloud, Hot for Food, and Laura Miller’s Vegan. Not Gross.
A New Veggie a Week
Going vegan can be difficult when we don’t even know the diverse, nutritious, and delicious array of produce out there for our enjoyment. Experimenting with a new veggie a week is a slow but sure way of expanding your knowledge of plants.
If you’ve tried… try this:
Sweet Potato ➡️ Purple Sweet Potatoes
Kale ➡️ Swiss Chard
Butternut Squash ➡️ Acorn Squash or Spaghetti Squash
Broccoli ➡️ Broccolini
Apples ➡️ Persimmons
Try a Local Vegan Restaurant
I’m personally fortunate to live close to a city where there seem to be vegan options in each neighborhood – New York City is home to establishments such as Red Bamboo (vegan comfort food), by Chloe. (more vegan comfort food), and Champs Diner in Brooklyn (even more vegan comfort food).
Our team members in our Denver, CO headquarters also highly recommend Watercourse, a great local Denver spot serving up (you guessed it) incredible vegan comfort food.
Vegan chefs and restaurateurs have dedicated their careers to making plant-based food delicious and accessible. Not sure if you can cook plant-based yet? Try a vegan spot for your next lunch or date night out. If you don’t have many vegan options near you, know that the plant craze has even spread to quick service restaurants like Carl’s Jr. and White Castle, who now carry the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger, respectively.
Our journeys of eating foods that are kind to both you and the planet have been long ones, and they’re ongoing. At Coconut Cloud, we innovate to make dairy-free delicious and accessible. Cheers to a Veganuary of success and growth!