A vegan start to the year – 5 tips for a nutritious & delicious Veganuary

A vegan start to the year – 5 tips for a nutritious & delicious Veganuary

Tofu, lentils, mushrooms, nuts, fruits and vegetables – there are loads of delicious vegan ingredients that can help make the Veganuary challenge a breeze. 

Vegan eating is on trend. Thanks to the Veganuary challenge, January in particular is a time when thousands of people try to eat a purely plant-based diet for a whole month. Here, we explain what the trend is all about. With our 5 tips and a few vegan recipes, as well as information from a qualified nutritionist, you too can have a successful Veganuary.  

What does it mean to eat a vegan diet? 

More and more people are making the conscious decision to live a vegan life. This means completely abstaining from meat, fish and all animal products like eggs, honey or milk. Many vegans also do not use any items or materials derived from animals, such as wool, leather, down or fur.  

In recent years, serious hype has been created around the topic of veganism. As a response, supermarkets are filling up with vegan foodstuffs and plant-based meat alternatives, and numerous restaurants – especially in larger cities – have expanded their menus to include vegan dishes. The growing interest in vegan eating is also reflected in numbers: while around 850,000 people in Germany reported eating a purely plant-based diet in 2015, this figure had already reached around 1.52 million in 2023 – and the movement is still growing.  

The most common reasons for this development include the rejection of industrial livestock farming and respect for animal welfare, as well as issues surrounding sustainability and environmental protection. But health concerns also play a major role, as people who eat an exclusively meat-free and balanced diet have been shown to have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity.  

Veganuary is just the thing for anyone thinking about going vegan in the future or who simply wants to try out a plant-based lifestyle, because the challenge here is to give up all animal products for a month.  

Vegan food is fresh and versatile, often making use of plenty of different herbs to spice up a dish.

Use these 5 tips for a delicious & nutritious Veganuary 

If you want to do something good for yourself and the environment in the new year and fancy joining in with a global challenge, why not try out Veganuary? We’ll show you how you can make the switch to a purely plant-based diet easier and give you 5 tips for a nutritious and, above all, delicious vegan diet. We also spoke to qualified nutritionist Doris, who can be found on social media as “Mrs Flury”, and incorporated her expert knowledge into our tips. 

1. Prep and plan 

To ensure a stress-free and successful start to your vegan adventure, it’s important to plan ahead and buy some basic groceries in advance. Vegan staples include oatmeal, pasta, rice, tofu, soya yoghurt and plenty of fruit and vegetables.  

Many vegan newbies also find it helpful to create a meal plan, especially for the first few days, as this way it is always clear what needs to be bought and eaten day by day. The key here is “meal prep”, i.e. preparing fresh meals at home that you can then take with you to work. Not only is this a fun activity, it is also healthier and cheaper than eating out, says our expert Doris. If you do go out to eat, make sure to inquire about the restaurant’s vegan dishes, even if you don’t see any on the menu. Chefs will often conjure up vegan creations on request. 

Here’s an example of what a day’s meal plan in Veganuary might look like: Start the day with a plate of vegan banana pancakes with blueberry sauce and a vegan raspberry & almond smoothie. For lunch, enjoy a hearty and filling vegan curry. In the evening, warm the soul with an aromatic vegan pumpkin soup with pear and pumpkin oil.  

Start your day right by whipping up a batch of delicious banana pancakes, made entirely from plant-based ingredients.

2. Veganise your favourite dishes 

One big advantage of the current hype surrounding veganism is that there are now tasty vegan alternatives and recipes for almost all classic dishes. This makes the transition to a vegan diet much easier, because whether you're craving pizza, a burger, or pasta in cream sauce, you can find a plant-based variation of almost all your favourite foods.   

If you’re a kebab fan, for example, try making a mushroom gyro in pita with vegan soya yoghurt. There are also plenty of vegan recipes for delicious, juicy burger patties, like these vegan burger patties made from beetroot and kidney beans, which go perfectly with a portion of sweet potato fries. Read more about versatile meat substitutes here.   

3. Have snacks on hand 

In our often stressful daily (working) lives, we may not always have time to prepare a variety of dishes. But being busy doesn’t stop us getting hungry. That’s why it is particularly important to keep a variety of vegan snacks on hand during Veganuary to keep the usual cravings at bay.  

Be sure to stock up on mixed nuts, muesli bars and fruit for easy snacks on the go. Many supermarkets now also stock a wide range of vegan snacks and foods that you can try out during Veganuary. And if you ever get a craving for crisps, these vegan vegetable crisps from BORA X BO are sure to hit the spot.  


4. Get the balance right  

When switching to a vegan diet, it’s particularly important to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. The key word here is balance, as an unbalanced plant-based diet can quickly lead to a lack of protein, various vitamins, iron or calcium.  

Nutritionist Doris has the following advice: “When eating a vegan diet, it’s important to make sure you are getting enough protein and not eating mostly carbohydrates. Good sources include pulses, tofu and other soya products, seeds, nuts, and products made from these ingredients like protein powder. These sorts of foods fill you up faster and prevent cravings.” 

You should therefore make sure to incorporate specific foods into your vegan diet. Pulses in particular, such as peas, beans and lentils, are great sources of iron, calcium, vitamin B2 and protein. Nuts, wholegrain cereals, soya, tofu and quinoa are also important sources of nutrients.  

Tofu is a vegan protein source that works wonderfully as a burger.

5. Don’t be too hard on yourself 

Veganuary is a first step on your journey to achieving a more mindful and conscious way of living and eating. So don’t worry too much if you accidentally eat a non-vegan food or can’t resist the temptation of a real cheese pizza, because any big changes are difficult at first. See Veganuary as an opportunity to do something good for yourself and the environment, and a way to kick off 2024 with an exciting challenge.  

What is the history of Veganuary? 

The term “Veganuary” is a portmanteau of “vegan” and “January”. It was originally a campaign launched by the international organisation Veganuary, which aims to motivate people around the world to cut meat and animal products out of their diet for the first month of the year and beyond.  

Since the campaign was first launched in January 2014, just under 2.5 million people have registered via the initiative’s website to officially take part in the vegan month. The number of participants each year has increased significantly over time. In 2015, there were only 12,800 officially registered participants, whereas in 2023 that number had already reached 706,965 – plus all those who join in the vegan challenge every year without registering.    

The Veganuary challenge was launched in 2014. Vegan snacks like vegetable crisps make it easier to see the challenge through.

Celebrities including musician Paul McCartney, singer Billie Eilish and the German doctor, TV presenter and comedian Dr Eckart von Hirschhausen are just a few of the enthusiastic advocates for Veganuary. They all support the initiative, which over the years has become a global and, above all, impactful movement.  

According to a data analysis by Harvard University’s Animal Law and Policy Program, the Veganuary campaign saved more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents and six million litres of water between 2014 and 2020. What’s more, 80% of Veganuary participants stated that they would reduce their meat consumption by at least half after January, with 28% intending to remain vegan permanently.