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Veganuary – New Year, New You….


It’s not just a fad! The decision to switch to a plant-based diet is for a number of reasons: a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering, and/or improving your health (adapted from www.veganuary.com). According to sign up figures, back in 2017, 50,000 people decided to try it for 31 days, this number rose significantly to 170,000 in 2018, 250,000 in 2019 and a record breaking 400,000 in 2020. No doubt, this number will be smashed again in 2021, as we become more aware of the benefits a plant-based diet has to offer and the increased interest in public health, since the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Of course, every argument has a counter argument and what you eat is ultimately your decision, but here are a few key facts and benefits to going vegan:


Food related emission would drop by 70%.
Of all the agriculture land available, 68% is devoted for livestock.
Lifestyle diseases would plummet, having a dramatic impact on health and the economy.
An estimated reduction of 8 million deaths per year (reduction in heart disease, diabetes, stoke and some cancers).


The meat industry and agriculture has a profound influence on many developing countries and just simply turning off animal product production requires a well thought out plan, but one that shouldn’t be avoided or ignored. Being more aware and doing your bit will only help improve things for you, other animals and the world. 

For more information on the benefits of Veganuary, check out www.veganuary.com. Whether you decide to sign up or not online, give it a try. Your diet may need some support and we are here to provide you with some additional information, hints and tips, along with product support. 

plant max vegan model

“No meat, are you mad?”


It’s always a shock to hear the immediate reaction from people when talking or suggesting a plant-based diet. Maybe it’s the immediate resistance to change, the worry and anxiety of no longer eating a steak or another lifelong dietary staple. Of course, our meat intake drastically effects our dietary protein availability and to support muscle growth and development, a reduction in protein could spell problems in hitting your targets and goals. Animal-based products are often packed with protein and for some meats they are pretty much all protein, take chicken as an example. But do not disappear, removing animal products from your diet doesn’t have to mean a reduction in dietary protein. In truth, it may actually help you to spread you protein intake more evenly across the day, rather than a typical meat fuelled diet, that often includes a protein punch at lunch and dinner, and not much elsewhere. 

Protein packed vegan foods 
1. Beans, pulses, nuts and seeds.
2. Meat alternatives, such as Quorn, Tofu, Seitan and Tempeh.
3. Dairy replacements, such as Almond, Coconut, Oat and Soy Milks.
4. Chickpeas and Houmous.
5. Nut butters

But what do I eat? I hear this a lot when talking about going vegan or vegetarian. The reality is that you are already on the wrong track if animal-based products dominate your diet. A better way to look at things is to think about the food that you can add to your diet. Have you ever cooked with quinoa, amaranth, quorn, tofu etc. Perhaps try adding in a vegetable or food into your diet that you have not eaten before. Be adventurous; explore all the amazing foods that we have available. Try to go fresh food where you can, but of course, process food, ready meals and take-aways are often more convenient. Preparation is the key! Spending 30 minutes on your diet is as powerful and important as exercising for 30 minutes a day.

Top 5 tips to going vegan
1. Swap meat sources for lots of vegetables, added beans, nuts and seeds. Go fresh food first, but for some meals, meat alternatives are a great substitute.
2. Swap couscous and rice for quinoa and amaranth. Always try to find some protein carb sources, rather than just heavy carb sources.
3. Vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus and spinach, pack a relatively good protein punch. Try to hit at least 5 portions of fresh, non-starchy vegetables per day.
4. Mushrooms are a great meat substitute from a texture perspective. Of course, they won’t replace the protein, but there is lots of varieties which make an excellent addition. Don’t forget mushrooms contain the added antioxidant, selenium! 
5. Avoid thinking about the foods that you can’t have and embrace all the ingredients and foods that you don’t already know or cook with.

Even the fast food giants, KFC, Macdonalds, Burger King, Greggs, to name a few, recognise that there is a growing need to stock and supply meat free versions of their well-known foods. So going vegan, even if just for January, couldn’t be any easy. Food technology and availability has come on a long way and provide lots of options to support a vegan lifestyle.


Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 4-6 hours
Serves: 6 people
Meal Occasion: Dessert

Whether you're just starting out, adopting a Flexitarian approach or are a seasoned pro at all things vegan, chances are you're going to want a sweet treat at some point. This vegan cheesecake ticks all the boxes so if you are looking for a healthier version of a family favourite, then this is the dessert for you. It tastes sweet with that slightly tangy flavour and is very creamy. Make your cheat day as clean as possible.Recipe provided by Victoria at vevivos.com

Ingredients

Crust:
150g mixed fruit and nuts
1 cup of almonds
1 cup soaked pitted dates
1 tbsp coconut oil
Filling:
1.5 cups soaked raw cashews
1 large lemon, juiced
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
250ml coconut cream
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp salted natural peanut butter
2 tbsp cacao powder

Preparation

1. Before cooking, soak the cashews by placing into a bowl and pouring boiling hot water over them, soak for 1 hour uncovered, then drain and use.
2. For the crust, prior to cooking soak the pitted dates in warm water for 10 minutes then drain.
3. Add dates to a food processor and blend, once the mixture forms a ball, remove and set aside.
4. Add the almonds and fruit and nut mix and process into a meal. Then add back in and blend. A loose dough will then form but, if it's too dry, add a few more dates whilst processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Add the coconut oil to help form the crust and gel together.
5. Lightly grease a glass dish around 20cm in diameter. Scoop the crust dough into the dish and press down with fingers. To pack it down, use the back of a spoon to compact it. Place in the freezer to set.
6. Place all the ingredients for the filling into a blender and mix until very smooth.
7. Remove the crust from the freezer and then place the filling on top of the crust, spreading evenly. Place back in the freezer to set – around 4 to 6 hours.
8. Once set, remove from the freezer and decorate with cacao nibs. Use a knife for slicing. This will keep in the fridge for around a week – if you can make it last that long!

vegan cheesecake