Staying Vegan During Veganuary 2022 and Beyond

Veganuary 2022 is a great way to springboard into a long-term plant-based diet. In 2021, we showed you how to keep January meat, fish, and dairy-free whether you were at home or on your travels. This year, we will help you remain vegan past the end of the first month of the year. Here’s our season-by-season approach to help you stay on your plant-based path from Veganuary 2022 all the way through to December.

1. Winter, When Veganuary Begins

New Year’s Resolutions are easy to make but easier still to break. Perhaps an early holiday will help. This will take you out of your everyday routine. The Canary Islands are popular winter destinations. There is a lagoon in Gran Canaria’s Maspalomas where you can see avian flocks on a long-haul flight from north to south. You will find snowbirds of the human variety on the nearby beaches and within the numerous apartment and hotel complexes. Seeing how dazzling the Canaries are as a winter sun destination, we put together Green Life: The Ultimate Vegan Canary Islands Guide.

The beauty of the Canaries is two-fold. While the easterly, closer-to-Africa islands are more developed, the westerly, nearer-the-old-end-of-the-world isles are more traditional. Developed here means offering international fare that caters for diversity such as veganism. Convention, meanwhile, draws on the everything-grows ethos of the Canaries, where fruit trees and vegetable plots are a common sight. Island-based produce is frequently incorporated into the local diet.

2. Spring(board) Into a Permanent Plant-Based Diet

Unlike the Canary Islands, Spain’s capital Madrid is a city of extremes on the temperature front. While bitterly cold in winter, it’s oppressively hot in summer. Spring is a much better time to visit Iberia’s premier city. There’s a party atmosphere in the streets as the plazas fill up again as al fresco drinking and eating becomes altogether more palatable. Our 21 Things to Do in Madrid Before You Leave contains plenty of suggestions to ensure you stick to your new vegan regime.

So, you can drop by and experience the convenience of Honest Greens, which has a handful of outlets in the Spanish capital. The more exclusive Levél Veggie Bistro, meanwhile, attracts a fashionable clientele to its stylish Ibiza eatery. Alternatively, wander into any old bar and order tapas which typically include patatas bravas. Fried potatoes are accompanied by a piquant sauce and often by alioli, a condiment that usually includes eggs in the supermarket version but which is prepared without huevos when made fresh.

3. Summer, Tis the Season to be Lean and Green

When the sunny days arrive, who wants to heat heavy, hot food? Salads are in. They are as sexy as you make them. So, go drizzle that olive oil over a sumptuous selection of fruit and vegetables. Last June, Chef Denise shared her Favorite Summer Recipes for Cherry Tomatoes with our readers. These include recipes that don’t include any meat, fish, or dairy products along with others that are easily adapted to become vegan. Use your imagination to come up with some plant-based alternatives of Chef Denise’s specials.

Our founder Leesa Truesdell also set up #GlobalFoodieFriends on Twitter. This was a celebration of tummy treats. Regular #FoodieFridays allowed a keen collective to share some of their favourite foodie memories. These included @live4sight’s summer salads. Now that’s a fine advert for DIY cuisine.

4. Autumn, Fall’s Perfect for Nature’s Harvest

The leaves come down, along with windfall fruit. Harvest Festival celebrates nature’s bountiful supply. Veganuary is long gone but there is no need for you to start flagging. As The Top 10 Traveler revealed in an intriguing interview, Green Life: Meet Moshe, the Vegan Travel Expert, there are other initiatives to provide inspiration further down the line. Moshe namechecked the likes of Challenge 22 as fountains of ideas for plant-based goodies.

Another creative resource to draw on is Meatless Monday. Although established in 2003, it has its roots in the actions of US president Woodrow Wilson during the First World War. Appointing Herbert Hoover to head up the US Food Administration, citizens were urged to cut back meat and wheat consumption. So the concept of Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays was born.

5. Staying Meat, Fish, and Dairy Free 365

As our calendar shows, there’s never a bad time to be a vegan. Seasons come and go, bringing with them different fresh fruit and vegetables. A plant-based diet is certainly a colourful one with natural products mirroring the rainbow in a range of hues. Let’s see if Veganuary 2022 is the starting point of a whole new plant-based you.

To commit to Veganuary 2022 and beyond is to take it to another level, however. It’s as important to be focused on a cruelty-free approach regarding what you put on your body as well as what you put in. Share the same zeal about cosmetics which don’t test on animals like The Body Shop’s range and fair fashion such as DC’s vegan shoes fashioned from algae rather than leather.

 

Green Life: Meet Moshe, the Vegan Travel Expert

Vegan signMoshe, also known as The Top Ten Traveler, traveled for the first time to Paris at the age of ten. His passion has always been about travel but at that age, he wasn’t aware that he would later find another passion in life — veganism. Born in Israel, Moshe explains why his home country has become a firm favorite as a vegan travel destination. Moshe has been living a happy vegan lifestyle with his partner, another follower of a plant-based diet, in Brooklyn. 

Moshe’s fondness for vegan travel involves planning trips abroad that include choosing which plant-based restaurants are on the itinerary. He enjoys mapping out his trip according to the exciting places to eat out. Madrid’s varied vegan eateries are one of the examples he shared. In between meals, he fitted in seeing the sights of the Spanish capital. It’s a pleasure to introduce Moshe Huberman.

How old were you when you became a vegan?

I became a vegan about three-and-a-half years ago at the age of 34. 

Why did you make the switch?

All my life I was a carnist, and enjoyed eating everything and anything. Even when my partner turned vegan, I continued eating whatever I wanted. We had both vegan products and non-vegan products at home until one day I saw a short movie. This talked about how milk is so bad for our body and that was my trigger. We already had all the vegan stuff (cheese, milk, and meat alternatives) so I decided to go for it. Just like that, on one summer day, I cut out all animal products and switched to veganism.

Israel food is the best way to vegan travel

When did you become aware of veganism? 

In 2014 a vegan activist was on the Israeli Big Brother show. Tal Gilboa talked about animal cruelty and the meat/dairy industry for the first time on prime time in Israel. Eventually, she won, and that made this topic become even more popular. I was touched by that, but at that point in time, it didn’t make me change my lifestyle.

A few years later, while living in New York, we met up with old friends who had also moved to the city. When they invited us over for dinner, we realized they were new vegans and that was a major part of what we talked about that night. They raised many legitimate arguments in favor of veganism. Unfortunately, I pushed them all away, as most people do when they first engage in such conversation. A few months after I made the switch for health reasons. Nonetheless, I believe that the only reason I am still vegan today is feeling compassion for animals. 

When did you first hear about Veganuary? What role does it play in increasing the popularity of veganism?

When I turned vegan, I didn’t know that there are so many trends that promote veganism, such as Meatless Monday, Veganuary, Challenge 22, and many more. For people who struggle to make the switch, I think it is an amazing community to join. This is especially the case for community support, which is so important. During these challenges, people learn about all the vegan products that exist out in the world, how to cook vegan at home, the best vegan travel destinations, and which restaurants in their area offer vegan food. However, in order to make it last for a long time, it must come from within you, from the heart. 

Try vegan travel and grab some breakfast in Israel

Which steps would you recommend that those who switched to a plant-based diet in January follow to continue being vegan?

Find vegan communities to be part of — it can be either friends, group chats on Twitter, vegan inspiration on Instagram, vegan Facebook groups, etc. It’s really important to be surrounded by people in the same mindset, as they can support you when it feels hard, share tips, and inspire you to continue.

Then I would say, keep on trying. There are millions of recipes out there for cooking vegan. Plus, supermarkets add more and more vegan products (and prices go down) while restaurants keep updating their menus with vegan options. It does require a little bit of research at first, but after a while, it becomes your norm.

What effect has veganism had on your body and mind?

Not long after I made the switch I started feeling so much better. I felt fresh, I slept better at night, and woke up more easily in the morning. My body was lighter during the day and I was more energetic. I wasn’t expecting that, and it was amazing to feel it.

Is vegan travel different in Israel? For example, are products easier to find?

Israel is one of the best countries for vegans in the world. I wasn’t vegan when I left Israel, but I am a member of several Facebook groups of Israeli vegans. Every time I return to visit, I am thrilled to see vegan food everywhere. There’s something about the culture there that makes it easier to absorb veganism. First, for Kashrut (kosher) reasons, dairy is not mixed with meat, so many products that might contain dairy by default elsewhere, do not contain dairy in Israel (for example, cooking in oil and not in butter). Second, like in many other Mediterranean cuisines, Israeli food is prepared with lots of vegetables and legumes. 

While the vegan food scene in New York is amazing with many 100% vegan restaurants and growing options in non-vegan restaurants, in Israel it’s easier to find vegan options almost in every non-vegan restaurant and nationwide cafe. It already goes beyond the big cities and can be found everywhere. 

To what extent have family and friends followed your lead?

Amongst my family and friends (except for the close vegan circle that I mentioned before) I was the first one to go vegan, so I was “catching all the fire” about that. When my brother-in-law, who is an athlete, moved to veganism to improve his performances, nobody asked him why or criticized the move. Then, my sister became a vegetarian, and my friends started sending me pics when they cooked something with tofu instead of meat. My mom constantly searches for vegan recipes and proudly shares pictures with me when she makes them. Even if they are not fully vegans, the awareness of what they eat is constantly on their minds.

Where do you stand on lab-created meat?

I think it is the future of meat production and something that can significantly change our world. The suffering of farm animals will be over and there will be no need to artificially create animals, just for killing them later. So much land will be freed so we can grow more crops for human consumption, rather than animal consumption. It will help to feed more people on the planet. People will not be afraid to be labeled “vegan” as they continue to eat “meat”. It will be easier for the masses to adopt, unlike using meat alternatives. If the price is right, and it is easily distributed, especially in larger nations like China and India, it will help to save the lives of billions of animals.

cows grazing

And what about fast-food chains: do they have flexitarians more in mind than vegans?

Some fast-food chains add 100% vegan items to their menus while others are on the flexitarian scale. I don’t necessarily understand why they choose to sell plant-based patties with dairy cheese on them, but it doesn’t really matter to me. If someone goes to Dunkin’ or Burger King and orders their plant-based patty, it’s one less meat patty that is sold and it’s already a good thing. 

Down the road, the vegan audience is strong, and if big chains want to reach that audience and not just flexitarians, selling a plant-based patty with dairy cheese or a non-vegan bun is not enough. Businesses exist to make money, and catering to vegans will attract more people and make them more money. 

A vegan burger in Madrid

Moshe is looking forward to traveling again. He is especially excited about returning to Israel to see family when travel is not restricted. For more vegan travel top tips, be sure to catch up with the Top Ten Traveler in our upcoming resources section.

by Leesa Truesdell

How to Do Veganuary Whether Home or Away

It’s January, so how about starting off the new year in the best possible way? When you travel, even if it’s only a staycation, I hope these tips come in handy. But you can celebrate Veganuary wherever you are in the world. It’s a journey in its own right as you take an adventurous, compassionate, and healthy step onto a cleaner, greener, and leaner path. For those of you newcomers, welcome. Pat yourself on the back and let’s walk through some tips, shall we?

Tip 1: Search for Vegan-Friendly Hotels 

There are few exclusively vegan hotels. Scotland’s Saorsa 1875, for example, was the first fully plant-based hotel to open in the United Kingdom back in June 2019. Although not quite a castle, its Victorian baronial exterior is so very Scottish Highlands. Everything on the food and drink menu is 100% free of fish (did you know most winemakers use isinglass, as in dried fish swim bladders as a filter for clarification purposes?) and fowl etc.

Use your search engine of choice to find other hotels worldwide. The selection surely would have risen more were it not for the COVID-19 outbreak. But perhaps your preferred destination hasn’t caught up with the zeitgeist yet. No fear, you will still be able to find vegan-friendly options.

Try vegan restaurants for Veganuary
Vegan food is culinary art at its most cutting edge

One of the positive benefits of the pandemic has been more clearly-defined buffets. Gone are the days when fellow guests could messily cross-contaminate the offerings by haphazardly adding egg to the beetroot, say, or clumsily spilling cheese all over the pasta. Stricter controls mean you request hotel staff to serve you what you want, lessening the risk of careless spooning.

Tip 2: Research Places to Eat Out On Your Travels

Even if your accommodation isn’t particularly plant-based in its offerings, there will invariably be a more sympathetic restaurant nearby. Consult the Tripadvisor-like Happy Cow which collates user reviews once you have a destination in mind. The site includes opening hours and pricing ratings exclusively for vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

One doesn’t always choose where one goes. Perhaps you are traveling for business and there aren’t many vegan places nearby. There is a solution. You can always ask a chef to substitute an ingredient for another to ensure a dish is plant-based. If you do this ahead of time, it’s more likely to be guaranteed.

One of my happiest memories was spreading almogrote (spicy cheese paste) onto bread sat on a stool in Bar Sonia, Chipude, La Gomera. At the time, I was a vegetarian. Imagine my delight when the chef at Silken Saaj Las Palmas’ in-house Goa Gastrobar, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria promised to make me a vegan version of this Canarian classic on my return (sadly the COVID-19 outbreak has scuppered my going back so far).

The Goa Gastrobar
All the colors of the Silken Saaj Las Palmas’ Goa Gastrobar

Tip 3: Don’t Blindly Trust in a Menu Whether Home or Away

Restaurant menus have come a long way. Many now list ingredients accompanied by allergy warnings. However, eateries are not legally obliged to do so, which means some menus are more comprehensive than others.

Beware of false friends on the language front. A sandwich vegetal, a popular Spanish bar snack, isn’t a vegetable sandwich but a salad one, which usually goes heavy on the egg, mayo, and tuna. Ask for this “sin atun, huevo, y mayonesa” to avoid any eggy/fishy mishaps.

What appears vegan isn’t necessarily so. On a press trip to cover a Champions’ League football game in Porto, for example, I converted a typical kidney bean and rice side dish into a main. Of course, I only ate it after I had the kitchen confirm to me they cooked the rice in a vegetable stock.

Tip 4: Prepare to Stay Vegan

I acclimatized quite easily to becoming a vegan in my teens. That was mainly because I had turned vegetarian at seven. Although I preferred the taste of cheese and eggs to fish and meat, I failed to experience hunger pangs for post-dessert Stilton or omelette or suffered withdrawal symptoms.

What I would recommend is that you pack some miniaturized staples in your luggage. I’m one of Telegraph Travel’s Canary Islands hotel reviewers and I’m always shown around the hotel by a member of staff. However, I like to talk to guests independently. This helps me get a wider picture of the establishment. I remember doing so at the Sheraton in Fuerteventura. There, a couple of Brits enthused about the manager sourcing Marmite for them.

The Sheraton Fuerteventura, a vegan-friendly hotel.
The grand new Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort

You expect that attention to detail in service at such a classy hotel. However, my advice would be to bring your own. If you forget your mineral and vitamin supplements, be advised that outside the UK they tend to be sold in chemists (pharmacies, for our American readers) rather than supermarkets.

Tip 5: Rise Above the Critics

Social media brings out the worst in people. It’s like one long bridge where a legion of trolls regularly accosts a trail of billy goats gruff. And if you’re vegan, you can expect to receive ire from the haters.

Newbie vegans and those celebrating Veganuary can take comfort from occupying the moral high ground. If humans continue to follow an omnivore diet, it’s goodbye Planet Earth. Chopping down rainforests to create more land for pasture just isn’t sustainable in the long term nor is the overuse of resources such as light and water.

The Good Food Institute’s Executive Director Bruce Friedrich gave an excellent TED Talk about how the world’s continuing yearning for meaty flavours ultimately spells extinction of the human race. Unless plant-based meat is developed to more closely resemble the taste and texture of animal-sourced protein or research into cell-based meat (grown artificially in a lab) creates an affordable and authentic alternative. As a new vegan, you are creating demand which will result in supply and a happier, healthier Planet Earth.

Hit up local vegan restaurants for Veganuary
Love burgers, love lasagna? Try the vegan versions!

 

The Beginning of Veganuary

Veganuary only started in 2014. It’s definitely raised consciousness around the world. As different cultures embrace the concept of veganism and adapt traditional recipes into cruelty-free versions.

I wish it had existed in the early 1990s when I was studying in the Czech Republic. I left the UK as a vegetarian and came back a meat eater, such was the paucity of flesh-free dishes on the East European country restaurant’s menus. Interestingly, Eastern Europe has become a vegan hot spot with Poland’s Krakow firmly established as one of the world’s premier plant-based cities.

Delicious vegan food waits during Veganuary
Can I get flowers on that?

Veganuary is more than a fad and it provides the building blocks for a new you. It’s a transformational process which sees you swap contributing to the mean practices of the slaughterhouse/dairy farm to achieving a lean physique. As longtime followers of a plant-based diet, we encourage you to stay the course, and once you’ve managed 31 days, well what’s 31 years? Together, if we all pull in the right direction, we can do this.

Eating Vegan While Traveling

 

Eating Vegan While TravelingYou must think eating vegan while traveling is impossible. Or if you don’t, you must be here looking for some tips. Well, tuck yourselves in, because I have some advice in the form of cute little stories from my experiences abroad.

Now, I’ve been vegan for over two years and traveling helped solidify why I’m fighting for animal lives more than anything else. Explaining your position to strangers in foreign countries and having the look of understanding cross their face is super satisfying. It’s one thing to convince your family to go vegan, which is a feat in and of itself, but it’s another to convince a stranger who lives in a culture different from your own.

Ask for Local Advice When Eating Vegan While Traveling

It might seem tricky to be a vegan on the road, but fortunately, most airlines offer vegetarian (or sometimes even vegan) alternatives. On my British Airways flight to London, before realizing that they had a vegan food option, I had to get a little creative. My friend, who is a vegetarian, got served the veggie meal, which came with a salad and an oat bar. Luckily, she offered me both, and the flight attendant offered me another pair of the two as well. So, I ended up getting a pretty decent salad and two oat bars for dinner. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Don’t Worry, Plan Ahead

When you finally arrive at your foreign country with a budget to eat out, just be careful which restaurants you choose. Most places have vegan/vegetarian restaurants, even if they’re not explicitly labeled as such. Do a quick Google search on the Wi-Fi and choose the place that sounds most appealing to you. When I was traveling in Maui, we ended up going to a Thai restaurant during our first day. Thank goodness most Asian food places offer at least vegetarian meals. I was fortunate to have a hostess who understood what veganism was and guided me to a delicious Massaman Curry. If you’re not so lucky, don’t worry, just tell them you’re vegetarian with a dairy allergy. They’ll get you something vegan, or close to it (just watch for the eggs).

Vegan While Traveling

On the Go When I Am Hungry

Most of the time, when I’m traveling on a low budget, I go to a local grocery store. When I went to Denmark last summer, I arrived severely underprepared, with no plan besides hanging out with my friend (it was a wild time). I barely brought enough money to last me the two days I was staying. When it came to food, I just ended up going to the cheap grocery store and buying bunches of bananas. I would shove those into my backpack and that was my sustenance for the day, no joke. Honestly, it ended up being really convenient and gave me a lot of mobility.

Vegan pizza

Hostel Kitchen

But, if you’re not in the mood for bananas, you can always buy raw ingredients to cook in your hostel kitchen or Airbnb. I’ve made some bomb tofu dishes in hostel kitchens for hella cheap. And even if the store labels are in a foreign language, grocery stores tend to fall under similar organized structures, so don’t worry about getting lost. Thanks to modern day conveniences, eating vegan while traveling has never been easier.

Snacks and Water Are a Must

Vegan food Traveling

Consider if you’re going to be spending long days out exploring the cities in which you are traveling. If so, it’s crucial to bring snacks and water to keep your energy up. This applies to everyone, not just vegans. When I was out on day trips to places outside of Seoul, I would make sure to go to the convenience store and stock up on snacks before I left. There were always fruits available, as well as other snacks and goodies I could bring with me. It just took reading the ingredients and asking the store workers questions and boom, I had amazing vegan snacks I could take with me while I traveled.

It Is Not Impossible to be a Traveling Vegan

Traveling vegan adds another fun level to my adventures. It’s not even close to impossible and I would encourage all of you to follow that path if you so desire. There’s something really encouraging about being able to maintain your lifestyle choices while you travel.

Don’t let travel inhibit you, let it empower you.

 

Do it for the animals,

Zoe