Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

How do you stay vegan after Veganuary?

Lots of people in our office have been trying Veganuary – inspired by the charity which encourages people to try vegan for January and through the rest of the year. Veganuary’s new book, How To Go Vegan, has been our guide, giving us motivation, meal plans and easy replacement ingredients, top tips and tools to cope with being the only vegan in the house, eating out and travelling. At the end of the month, people’s experiences have been varied, with different challenges and successes:

‘I’m feeling really positive about how things have gone so far. I think I’ve been sleeping better and I’ve really enjoyed trying out new recipes and thinking about meals in a different way. It’s not always easy – eating out with friends requires planning ahead, and constantly thinking about what you’re allowed to eat can be a little exhausting – but overall it’s not been as difficult as I thought it might be. After January I don’t think I’ll be able to go back my old diet (pescetarian), but equally I think I would struggle to stick to a strict vegan diet so I think I’ll probably end up eating mostly vegan and occasionally vegetarian.’ – Emma

‘Although it hasn’t always been easy, I have discovered a new joy in cooking for my friends and family and I have eaten incredibly well, remembering to treat myself every now and then! Knowing that I’m living in a way that reflects the things I care about has been really fulfilling for me.’ –  Maddy

‘As someone who hasn’t eaten meat for many years, I thought it would be easy-peasy. But I have missed eggs (and to a lesser degree cheese) and found it hard to be eternally vigilant – especially when out and about. However, How To Go Vegan and the Veganuary website have been a great help in this. I’ve discovered some exciting new breakfasts (scrambled tofu!) ingredients (nutritional yeast!) and recipes and we’ve even had a non-Veganuary colleague in our department getting into the spirit and making a vegan cake for us!’ – Helen

‘I have found it a really positive experience. It has been hard at times but I’ve perservered and I feel better for it. Strangely, I’ve enjoyed the challenge and I’ve really enjoyed bonding with my fellow veganuary-ers! The only thing I’ve missed so far is scrambled egg! I’ve enjoyed cooking different things and hunting out nice snacks and treats (champagne truffles!) At this point, I can imagine continuing with veganism beyond the end of Veganuary, though it would make things tricky at home as my husband and kids would not join me… As this is the case I’m not sure how realistic it will be to be 100% strict vegan, but I’m highly likely to go vegan most of the time and vegetarian in some situations’ – Jo

‘Veganuary has really brought home for me how committed and organised vegans have to be. I’ve stuck at it but one thing that has really bothered me is the lack of creative, tasty vegan options in restaurants. I would love for chain restaurants and sandwich shops to think outside of ‘cheese with something’ as their vegetarian option so it can double up as vegan friendly and make it easier for people following a plant-based diet to eat out with friends and family. My favourite discovery has been that almost any vegan meal can be improved with mustard, and Google is your friend for vegan food hacks. I signed up to do this because I was worried about the environmental impact of livestock agriculture, and I think it’s well worth doing. I’m going to try to keep it up’ – Melissa

‘I’m loving it! I thought it would be such a challenge but this has made me realise that being vegan is actually pretty easy. I’ve discovered some delicious alternatives to my favourite foods and tried some great new recipes. And, I think I’m finally getting my five-a-day!’ – Clara

‘I can’t believe it’s been a month! Although I’ve stumbled a couple of times (it was a pub crawl!) I’ve also discovered lots of new recipes and fun new ingredients, some of which I know will become old favourites. I have really learned the value of planning your dinners a bit, cooking BIG portions and packing lunches (saves so much money). I’m planning to carry lots of this on into the rest of this year.’ – Caitriona

‘My experience so far: meals are easy, snacks are hard! People who bring chocolate into the office in January should be pelted with carrot sticks!’ – Isobel

Our conclusion: Find a buddy, try going vegan a go for a month, use the Veganuary website and How To Go Vegan book to support you and see how you feel! It’s easier than you think.