It’s that time of year again
Happy Veganuary to all vegans and to everyone taking part in the challenge By Karin Ridgers
So many people have told me that doing Veganuary is the best thing they have ever done. So, if this is your very first time, well done and welcome! This is the greatest and most important decision of your life — to go vegan! Lots of TV personalities and celebs have taken part over the years, showing the challenge’s worldwide reach.
TV presenter Jasmine Harman took part in the very first Veganuary in 2014 — and I am delighted that we have remained friends ever since. Superstar actor and voice for the animals Peter Egan took part in 2016 and has never looked back, as did actor Gary Webster in 2020… Although being married to vegan legend Wendy Turner Webster is going to have helped him a great deal, too!
Vegan Life magazine and the Veganuary website itself are jam-packed with the ideas, recipes and the motivation that you need, however, it’s always great to find like minded people or hear from others that have enjoyed a journey to a vegan lifestyle too.
Paula Alcalde and Anderson Caicedo are the co-founders of GreenBay (greenbaysupermarket.co.uk), the UK’s first
omnichannel vegan supermarket based in West London and online. The pair were frustrated to have to travel to different shops and order from multiple websites when they went vegan, so they decided to give up their fantastic careers to start a vegan supermarket!
Paula tells me: “I made the decision to become vegan quite quickly and found the transition quite easy. I enjoy discovering new vegan foods — and this is helpful when finding new delights for our customers.”
“It is important to have good support and, in the store, we give our plant powered advice and assistance to our
customers… Many are trying vegan products for the first time and are unsure of what to try first.”
Anderson adds: “Find some Instagrammers who inspire you and join some friendly Facebook groups too, to find out about new vegan foods that you may not know about yet. It’s also worth joining groups like Viva!, The Vegan Society and Animal Aid, so you feel connected to like minded people — and, of course, pick up Vegan Life magazine!”
It’s always exciting finding new vegan foods to try and there will be plenty more new vegan-friendly goodies out for Veganuary 2022.
I feel that vegan fish is something well worth exploring — whether this is your first Veganuary or you are a well seasoned vegan like me.
Although I have been enjoying vegan fish for more than 20 years, it was hard to pick up back in the day… VBites has been making their vegan tuna, fish fingers and fish cakes for a very long time and these are still my favourites.
There are some other brands, I am afraid, that are quite terrible. However, my newbie readers, do not let this put you off! You will find delicious vegan goodies out there — most are fantastic, even if there are some that should be banned.
Paula says: “We have a whopping different 15 types of vegan fish products alone on GreenBay mainly made from tofu, carrots and seaweed — no fish harmed!” Eating vegan fish will mean there are plenty more in the sea, quite literally.
Cheese, of course, is something that many people feel they may miss — without realising there is vegan cheese! Now, I do remember when the choice was just Sheeze from the health food store and I didn’t mind as I loved it and still do.
For many years, us vegans accepted that it didn’t melt either. However, the number of melty vegan cheeses has grown dramatically and many now are made by small artisan businesses who are super passionate! Do give them your support. Looking again at GreenBay, I cannot believe they have 115 vegan cheeses available!
I am drooling writing this, and in need of their Beer Washed Rind cheese, Ethiopian Spice cheese… And the Smoky Charcoal! However, I am not so sure of the Mouldy Goaty… Well, who am I kidding — if it’s vegan I will try it anyway!
Check out the lovely companies who feature in Vegan Life magazine — and do support the small independent vegan businesses when you can. They will certainly help your Veganuary. There really is a vegan version of everything now. And even if there wasn’t, going vegan would still be the best decision you will ever make.