Is Veganuary setting your resolution up to fail?

(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images for Girl Behind the Camera)
(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images for Girl Behind the Camera) /

Could Veganuary or Vegan January too restrictive?

As a new year begins, some people have embarked on Veganuary or Vegan January. While the idea to add more fruits and vegetables into a healthy eating lifestyle is commendable, the complete switch to only a vegan diet can be quite restrictive. Is it setting people up to fail?

Begun by a UK organization, Veganuary is a 30 day challenge that encourages people to adopt a vegan lifestyle. The hope is that the 30 day change will have people adopting this healthy eating food choices. While over a million people have pledged to this commitment, it might not be as easy as it seems.

Granted, over the years, plant-based food options have become more readily available. More and more people have added more meatless options to their healthy eating lifestyles. But, vegan is different than plant-based eating. It can be quite restrictive.

To be vegan, it means to restrict any food that is derived from animals. It is more than skipping that spicy chicken sandwich, hamburger or even that piece of salmon. It is anything and everything derived from an animal. So, goodbye traditional cheese, milk and a variety of other food choices.

While plant-based food options have grown in availability, there are many foods that can sneak into a diet. From certain breads to even those favorite French fries, it can be harder than it seems to follow an exact Veganuary program.

Although some people will strive in a restrictive program, others will fail and just give up. With so many food choices not available in this way of eating, it could be too difficult for some people to follow.

Instead of choosing a choosing Veganuary why not resolve to add more fruits, vegetables and plant based food choices to healthy lifestyle. For example, just a switch to a Meatless Monday, one more vegetable at dinner or just starting the day with a fruit smoothie can be an easy lifestyle change. More importantly, it can be a sustainable one.

Resolutions are more about changing a habit. It takes a long time to change eating patterns. Even a person with the strongest willpower needs time appreciate the changes.

Still, any resolution needs to be attainable or people slip and give up. While change isn’t easy, it does need to be attainable. Sometimes the simple changes can be the longest lasting.

After the tumultuous previous year, why not focus on attainable change. Skip Veganuary and commit to one more serving of fruits and vegetables per meal. That idea is a change that will all year long.

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What do you think of Veganuary? Are you making a healthy eating resolution this year?