January is traditionally a time when we reset and refocus our habits. Every year, thousands across the country abstain from alcohol during Dry January (as we mentioned in our last post) and, increasingly, more and more people are also cutting out meat as part of Veganuary. The campaign, which aims to increase awareness about plant-based foods, started in 2014 in the UK but has gone on to gain popularity worldwide, with a whole host of reasons why people take part.

Curiosity

Many participate purely out of curiosity to see if they can stick to a meat free diet for an entire month. We’re accustomed to eating animal products so cutting them out can be a real challenge. To ensure you’re able to successfully complete a meatless month, experts suggest making small alterations to your usual meals rather than drastic changes. For example, try swapping meat pie night for vegan pie night and switch your chicken salad for chickpea salad.

Ethical Reasons

Others take part on ethical grounds, particularly true this year as the spotlight intensifies on climate change.

A plant-based diet obviously benefits animals; however, veganism can also help to boost the environment. Meat production is a major contributor of carbon emissions and the industry is also responsible for habitat loss in the rain forest – in 2018 alone, an area the size of Italy was destroyed.

You might not save the planet going meat free for a month, but it’s a great place to start!

Health Benefits

The purported benefits of going meat free are well publicised. Among the health boosts you could experience are:

  • Reduced risk of developing heart disease
  • Improved gut health
  • Improved mental wellbeing
  • A plant-based diet also tends to reduce calorie intake, so can be a very effective weight-loss tool

To Try New Foods

The myth that plant-based foods are boring has long been debunked – from like-for-like meat alternatives to plant-based originals, there are plenty of new foods to try for those giving veganism a go for the first time.

At Lakeside, our vegan burger, served with salad garnish and crisps, and penne pasta, which comes with wild rocket in a red pesto sauce, are two great plant-based options that we offer – and they’re both gluten free too.

Whether you’re already taking part in Veganuary or just fancy trying some tasty new food, be sure to drop in and give them a go!

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