There was a time after The Game Changers premiered on Netflix where everyone wanted to try a plant-based diet and put its claims to the test. The eye-opening documentary showcased the strength of super-athletes, from a powerlifter to an ultramarathon runner, which purely came from plant-based proteins. This changed the way veganism was seen – vegans weren’t ‘weak’, and it wasn’t a fad diet to lose weight either. It has since made the term ‘plant-based’ go mainstream, securing the refreshed label a more prominent place in grocery stores, cafes and conversation.

If you’ve ever wanted to try being plant-based, but weren’t sure where or how to get started – Veganuary is here! The world’s largest vegan movement, started by a non-profit organisation of the same name, encourages people from all over the world to go vegan during January and beyond. A 31-day challenge, it aims to promote the bigger picture of veganism, which is the worldwide impact it has from protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering and improving the health of millions of people.

It doesn’t matter what diet you follow – Veganuary is for everyone! Don’t let living in a country filled with flavourful food, where cheap dishes usually end up being the most delicious, discourage you from going vegan. It’s not as bland as it sounds, and doesn’t have to be costly either. Here’s our beginner’s guide to the plant-based challenge, courtesy of our plant-based editor:

What Can’t I Eat?

Avoiding animal products (meat, fish, eggs, dairy and honey) doesn’t mean you have to give up big, juicy burgers or your lifelong love for cheese – there is a plant-based alternative for everything! From protein-packed tempeh patties to dairy-free cheese, they taste just as good and are guilt-free too.

Is It Nutritious? 

Did you know that every single nutrient we need is available in non-animal sources? Protein can be found in tofu, tempeh, nuts and vegetables; beans and greens tend to be calcium-rich; edamame, lentils and chickpeas can boost your iron intake; leafy greens are filled with omega-3 and omega-6; seaweed is the best plant source for iodine. However, vegans are advised to take B12 supplements. If you have health concerns, please speak to your doctor or a registered dietician before starting.

Will I Lose Weight?

Not all vegan food is healthy. As mentioned earlier, there is a plant-based alternative for everything, including sweet treats and snacks such as ice cream, donuts, cakes and cookies. Like all diets, it needs to be balanced in order to be healthy. Some people lose weight at the beginning because they aren’t sure about what to eat and end up eating less than usual. Start by planning your meals out, and remember – it shouldn’t be restrictive, it is simply a replacement.

Is It Hard To Eat Out?

More and more vegan options are becoming available, even Tealive sells oat milk now, but most restaurants are able to swap out food items for you. Here are my vegan restaurant recs:

What Should I Start With?

Try these small switches to get a better idea of how easy and affordable it can be.

What Happens If I Can’t Do It?

Don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s okay if you miss a meal or even a day. Just know that these seemingly small changes that you make to the way you eat can actually have a big impact on the world. Happy Veganuary!

The new year is around the corner and new year’s resolutions are on their way. Following through with your new year’s resolution of having a healthier lifestyle may seem like a daunting task – it doesn’t help that being healthy is associated with spending a ton of money. But what if we told you it doesn’t have to be that troublesome or expensive?

Try these 6 easy and small swaps to make big changes to your life! 

  1. Swap carbonated drinks for coconut water from Movlah

 

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In need of a refreshing post-workout drink? Replace energy drinks with Movlah’s 100% natural coconut water made from freeze dried coconuts! It comes in travel-friendly sachets and you only need room temperature water to make them. Coconut water makes a great post-workout recovery drink as it reduces body heat and quenches your thirst.

  1. Try granola from Naked Super Food instead of packaged cereal

 

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Ditch the packaged, sugar-filled cereals and replace it with granola from Naked Super Food! Their granolas come in several mouth-watering flavours, contain low sugar and sodium, are a good source of fibre and protein, and have no artificial colouring or flavouring!

  1. Ditch antiperspirant for natural deodorant from Salt Of The Earth

 

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Natural deodorants are great for limiting skin issues – they won’t block your pores and promote less irritation! Salt Of The Earth’s natural deodorants come in a variety of refreshing scents, leave no white marks, are vegan society approved, and are not tested on animals. It’s also made free from alcohol, parabens, perfumes, and more so you can have peace of mind. 

  1. Replace pads and tampons with menstrual cups

 

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Certain pad and tampon brands have harmful ingredients that we should never have near our bodies. Menstrual cups are a great alternative for that because it’s made of silicone or rubber that is safe for the body. It’s also better for the environment because not as much waste is created and some menstrual cups can be recycled!

  1. Opt for oat milk instead of dairy milk

 

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Looking for an alternative to dairy milk? Try oat milk! This plant-based milk has a mild and creamy flavour that pairs well with coffee, cereals, and more. It provides more vitamin B-2 than cow’s milk and contains beneficial nutrients, such as protein and fibre, to help keep you full for longer. 

  1. Replace junk food with fruit & vegetable chips

 

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Say goodbye to junk food and hello to this delicious and healthy alternative – fruit and vegetable chips! You can find plenty of options at the grocery store, kiosks, online, and even make them yourself with an oven or air fryer. Now you don’t have to feel unhealthy when you have the munchies!

Have a healthier new year with these small, easy, and affordable lifestyle switches!