A record 350,000 people have so far registered to take part in Veganuary. The challenge, which has been running since 2014, asks meat eaters, pescatarians and vegetarians to adopt a plant-based lifestyle for January.
Those who sign up are offered support, information about adopting a vegan lifestyle, and healthy recipes to follow throughout the month, as well as advice about how to continue the lifestyle changes once Veganuary is over.
Interest in veganism has been steadily increasing in the past few years, but 2020 has proven to be a huge year for the challenge, smashing 2019's record of 250,000 participants worldwide.
For those of you taking part in Veganuary in the UAE, here are some tips to help you through the month:
Do be adventurous with cooking. It's easy to be daunted by the idea of a vegan diet and stick to the same safe bets, but that will become boring pretty quickly and could lead you to crave some non-vegan foods. Follow vegan cooking accounts such as The Veg Space or Love and Lemons on Instagram for inspiration, and try out the recipes sent from the Veganuary campaign.
Don't beat yourself up if you slip up. Animal products are found in items you would never think to look and it is not always possible to check every single thing. Even seasoned vegans slip up sometimes, but if the intention to be vegan is there, you are already making a change.
Do plan ahead. If you are going out for food, check the menu online first to see if they have options to accommodate your diet. You should also prep your meals ahead of time so you always have something easy to grab in a hurry.
Don't focus on what you are missing. Try to think about all the health benefits you are getting from a plant-based diet, as well as the positive impact it is having on the environment.
Do try some of the vegan restaurants across the UAE. In Dubai, Folia at the Four Seasons Resort, Bloom Vegan Kitchen, Mylk Lab by Genki and Veganity are all delicious and have varied menus that offer something for everyone.