Advice for people trying Veganuary from a sound vegan

By Fiona Frawley

January 10, 2024 at 11:38am


Disclaimer, I'm not the sound vegan in question.

I fall into the former camp - a lentil-wielding gombeen filling your social media feeds with shaky footage of myself attempting to prepare plant-based meals and proclaiming "I'm actually really happy with how this turned out", whilst standing over a mess of spinach and nutritional yeast.

Along with the rest of the Lovin' team, I'm giving Veganuary a go and if you are too, you'll probably agree the enthusiasm ebbs and flows. There've been some great days - like the one where I discovered Hobnobs are vegan and got the last tub of gochujang at the Asian supermarket. However, there are others where the thought of even looking at another mushroom is enough to tip me over the edge - and I'm barely even a third of the way into this challenge.

Luckily, the Irish vegan community have been coming through with kindness and patience as many of us venture into a new, uncertain plant-based terrain - holding our hands while sharing recipes and advice on how to make tofu crispier, stay strong in the face of temptation and keep B12 levels up.

A good pal of mine, comedian Keith Fox had some wisdom to depart for anyone giving Veganuary a go, and I thought it was worth lobbing into an article for anyone struggling on their quest.

Here she blows, for those interested:



KF: Eat more. Plant foods are typically lower calorie. So, do not feel weak or lose energy, try eat larger portions or add in some snacks over the day.

Plan snacks. Have a bottle of Huel, or some mixed nuts, or something with you so you don't suddenly crave chipper.

Recipe wise, follow Callum Harris and PlantYou. Both have simple recipes that just taste good regardless of being vegan. Follow Accidentally Vegan too.

On the chipper piece, if you've got a hankering I will say McGuinness's of Camden Street is on-hand with a full vegan menu of real chipper chips, battered sausages and curry cheese chips without an animal product in sight. But obviously, nuts are great too.

Fake Meats

KF: These are nothing like the real thing. But, if you've been a while without meat, they are a solid replacement. The vegan chicken breasts (Green Cuisine Brand) are lovely, as are Linda McCartney's. Make a chicken roll for yerself. Vegan sausage rolls from Lidl are also very nice.

Vegan spicebags, and Thai red curries are savage. A lot of chippers happen to have curry chips that are vegan also (check allergen list for fish and dairy).

A tofu spice bag from Chop Chop, Clanbrassil Street (I'd only poured out half the bag - the serving is a lot more generous than this).



KF: Nab a vegan multivitamin or even just get B12 and Vitamin D. They're cheap.

Staying strong

KF: Mentality is the big one. Veganism is about the animals, but people can also do Veganuary for other reasons (climate, diet, a challenge). Whatever your reasons, I'd recommend a few follows of people who help remind you of your motive.

For animals - Earthling Ed has some very good, well mannered debates on his channel. It can be good to see some footage from abattoirs... but the internet is bad enough, so go lightly on yourself.

Environment - Life on Our Planet documentary converted me.

Maybe mute foodie folk who aren't vegan for the month.

Keith concluded that anyone trying Veganuary is likely to get loads of advice - and it's best to just pick the bits that work for you. There's no wrong way, unless you happen to accidentally eat a pig.

As well as being a sound vegan, Keith is also a great comedian. You can keep up with him right here.

Are you trying Veganuary, or recently turned vegan? How are you finding it? Let us know!



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