Veganuary is here again, and Celtic Wind is joining the challenge, will you join with us?
Veganuary is an annual campaign and challenge movement that encourages people to try a vegan diet for the month of January. It is an opportunity to educate and learn more about veganism and its benefit for you and the environment. Veganism can be easily achieved and maintained when you are powered with the correct tools, nutritional advice, and food alternatives. Always research before making any changes to your diet so you achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle. We want to provide you with some helpful tips and plant-based alternatives to help you to start your vegan journey.
Knowing the difference…
We understand that it can be a bit confusing at the start, but continue reading to understand more.
What is veganism?
Veganism is the practice of not eating food that is derived from animals, and not using products of animal origin. Veganism avoids the exploitation and cruelty of animals for food, clothing or for any other purpose. Veganism promotes the use and development of animal-free products, benefiting and protecting animals, the planet and us.
Is vegan the same as plant-based?
Veganism involves a plant-based diet but excludes all meat and animal products. People might have a plant-based diet but wouldn’t label themselves as being vegan as they eat mostly plant-based but sometimes eat meat or animal products, for example, once or twice a week. Any reduction in your meat consumption is hugely beneficial, not only for your health but great for the environment. You can read more on this topic here.
Whatever you decide to do on your vegan journey, find what works best for you and remember that veganism is a lifestyle choice, nothing has to be restrictive or inhibit you from enjoying food and leading a healthy lifestyle.
If a product is vegan, does that mean it is also cruelty-free?
Vegan is not the same thing as cruelty-free.
Cruelty-free means that a product has not been tested on animals and there was no exploitation of animals during the production of that product. Vegan relates purely to the ingredients of a product, in which ingredients of animal origin would be avoided.
It can be overwhelming to change everything at once, so focus on what you want to change firstly, and take it from there.
How to Start…
Choosing plant-based is one way you can start your vegan journey. If you eat meat and are looking to reduce or eliminate meat from your diet, don't fret, there are so many options these days in nearly every shop you walk into for meat-free alternatives, and they are delicious too. It is no secret that you can easily eat meat-free and not miss a thing. At Celtic Wind, our meals are best-enjoyed plant-based or vegan.
There are limitless meat-free options out in the market, that allows buyers to shop happy when reducing or eliminating meat from their diet. Why not enjoy a vegan nut roast, vegan chili or curry - there is so much room for favorable veggies and spices, it makes cooking all that more interesting and fun.
There are numerous plant-based options to replace milk in your diet. The most common alternatives are soy, oat, and almond milk. A personal favourite here at Celtic Wind is oat and almond milk. Oat milk is great for tea and coffee, and almond milk is preferred in cereals and overnight oats. This is our recommendation, but it is down to personal preference what plant-based milk you prefer - they are all great alternatives. We’ll admit it, it can take some time to adjust to the taste if you are new to plant-based milk, but we promise you will grow to love the alternatives!
Don’t forget there is also hemp milk to choose from, also readily available in most supermarkets. Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds and is highly nutritious, and it has more protein and healthy fats compared to other popular plant-based milk.
Similarly, with yoghurt, there are so many brands that produce delicious vegan yoghurt, with so many options to choose from when you shop. If you prefer specific plant-based milk, for example, almond - you can choose an almond yoghurt. You can also get your preferred yoghurt in different flavours, again, it is entirely your decision and there is so much to choose from. A popular and well-known plant-based brand is Alpro. Not only do they produce plant-based milk and yoghurts, but they also provide alternatives for Greek yoghurt, cream, ice-cream, desserts and coffee drinks – you name it, they have it and they are all great!
When it comes to veganism, cheese is generally the hardest thing to replace, and it can be difficult to find an alternative that you love. But there are many options for vegan cheese with the industry exploding. We recommend experimenting with different brands until you find the one you like. Nutritional yeast, also known as ‘Nooch’ can be added to sauces to give a deliciously cheesy taste and is high in B12.
Similar to milk, options are abundant when it comes to choosing a vegan butter spread alternative. Vegan spreads are readily available in your local supermarket, and there is very little difference in taste and appearance compared to diary spreads. Again, experiment with different brands and find one that is right for you. Our favourite spread at Celtic Wind would have to be Flora, this brand naturally contains vitamins A & D, Omega 3, which contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. Flora also uses 100% sustainable palm oil in their spreads.
For some people, eggs are relatively easy to exclude from their diet, but if you cannot live without them, don’t fret, there are plenty of options out there for you. Scrambled tofu is a great option. There are also egg alternatives available in supermarkets such as ASDA and Sainsbury’s, such as Aquafaba by OGGS, vegan eggs by Follow Your Heart and ‘No Egg Egg Replacer’ by Organ, and many more.
Many, nearly all, restaurants now cater for vegans, offering different and tasty options to choose from. There is nothing worse as a vegan or vegetarian when you go to a restaurant, and the only option is a veggie stir-fry. It gets a bit boring after a while! HappyCow is a great platform for finding great vegan food in your area.
Looking for easy vegan meal ideas?
Celtic Wind's CBD Infused Recipes have the perfect vegan dishes we know you will love!
Next step further…
If you are new to veganism and trying Veganuary for the first time, we recommend focusing on your diet first. If you have tried veganism before, even a couple of days a week, you could start thinking of changing other products you use in your life to vegan, including beauty/personal care products and household cleaning products. In most big supermarkets such as Tesco and Dunnes Stores, there is numerous vegan products to choose from for every product, so this makes it easy to swap and pick a vegan product. You can do further research online if you are unsure, so you make an educated decision on what products you want to use.
"Vegan is just pure love. Love for animals, love for the planet, and love for yourself."