Thinking about New Year’s Resolutions, you may want to lose a few pounds, eat less meat, or help protect the environment. Following a plant-based diet which includes eating more plant-based foods can help you reach your goal.  There are also many websites and apps available. One site is Veganuary which is described below.    If you choose to eat more plants, go vegan, or choose any diet-related goals I recommend working with a registered dietitian.  An RD can help you wade through all the information and decide what works well for you.

Several nutrients to look out for and some foods that have them include:

Calcium – Chia seeds, Almonds, Tofu, Fortified Orange Juice

Vitamin D- Mushrooms, Fortified Tofu, Fortified Orange Juice

Iron – Blackstrap Molasses, Lentils, Beans, Tofu and Tempeh, Spinach, Swiss Chard

Protein – , Soy Free Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Many plant-based meats 

 

Veganuary is a non-profit organization that supports people to try vegan during January and beyond. Millions of people have signed up to the one-month vegan pledge since 2014. Veganuary supports people and businesses to try a plant-based diet to help protect the environment, prevent animal suffering, and improve people’s health.

Environmental Impact

The way animal products are made is largely unsustainable and has many negative effects
on the planet around us. Industrialized animal farms — also called concentrated
animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — are overcrowded. They also require an
abundance of natural resources and pollute the air, water, and land with
chemicals and waste. 

Not to mention, one 2021 study concluded that people who lived close to CAFOs had a significantly higher risk of anemia, and cardiovascular and kidney disease mortality due to their exposures.

Animal Welfare

Many people adopt a vegan lifestyle as it supports their beliefs and personal ethics. Eating plant foods instead of animal products spares the lives of many animals being raised for food in industrialized farm settings. In the long run, this helps reduce consumer demand for said products and increase that for plant-based alternatives. 

Health Benefits

Regardless of the overall diet pattern, extensive research has demonstrated the benefits of
consuming an abundance of minimally processed plant foods. These benefits grow when
more plant foods — and fewer animal products — make up the diet. Plants are
rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients offer benefits for the heart, digestive system, brain, immunity, healthy weight maintenance, an
d chronic disease
prevention
.

Challenges and Supports

  • Friends ask why the change – Talk about new foods you are eating.
  • Cravings for snacks – Keep fresh fruit, nuts, whole grain crackers with hummus, and other plant-based alternatives around the house.
  • Planning vegan meals and no time to cook – keep jars of spaghetti sauce and curry in the pantry to heat with pasta or rice, add beans or tofu.  
  • Using vegan ingredients, you may not be used to – ask a Registered Dietitian online for information about the food at your local supermarket.
  • No time to cook – Choose a meal prep day and prep meals for the week.  I like to air fry a couple blocks of cut-up tofu to add to salads and wraps during the week.

 

 

To find out more about Veganuary and to sign up go to  Try Vegan this January.  There are recipes, nutrition tips, and restaurants listed to help you get started at the site. This is just one available website.  I will share other websites that support a plant-based lifestyle in future blogs.

 

Recipe card for Immune-Boosting Infused Water that contains one fourth cup of blueberries, one half of a medium cucumber, one half of a medium lemon, one medium lime, two liters of water, and ten mint leaves. The ingredients are sliced into pieces, added to a glass bottle, and then mixed with filtered water to be allowed to infuse for two hours.

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One Response

  1. This is a good post. Eating a healthier diet consisting of mainly plants and non-meat products can have a tremendous positive effect on one’s health and help kickstart a new year!

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