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Embracing Plant-Based Living this Veganuary and Beyond

Discover the Lasting Rewards of Plant-Based Living Beyond Veganuary: Health, Environment, and Inspiration.

Veganuary, a movement that begins each January, encourages people to try a plant-based diet for the month and beyond. Even though February is right around the corner — it’s never too late to explore the benefits of plant-based eating. 

Incorporating Veganuary’s philosophy is a rewarding journey towards a health-conscious, environmentally-friendly lifestyle for the whole year. It’s about making informed choices that bring about meaningful change, while diving into the rich array of meat-free culinary options.This path leads to a deeper appreciation of how these choices profoundly affect our health, the planet, and our ethical awareness.

Health Benefits: A Core Aspect of Veganuary

Numerous studies and sources have highlighted the health benefits of a plant-based diet. For instance, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes that plant-based diets, even if temporary, are associated with lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. 

In the past two decades, the North American obesity epidemic and rising cancer rates among people under 50 have led to a surge in documentaries exploring these issues. Titles like “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” “The Game Changers,” and more recently “You Are What You Eat: The Twin Experiment,” and “Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones” have delved deep into these subjects. The findings are often startling yet hopeful, suggesting a diet higher in vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruit—much like the diets eaten by residents in the blue zones—are preferable, as diets heavy in red meat, sugar, processed foods, salt, and alcohol are linked to cancer. 

The vegan movement has also seen a boost in popularity from celebrities using their influence for advocacy. Icons like Bryan Adams, Natalie Portman, and Pamela Anderson have not only adopted vegan lifestyles but also visibly thrive on them. Pamela Anderson, for instance, has recently donned a radiantly fresh look (which we’re loving), epitomising the glow that comes from within, a testament to the lifestyle’s benefits.


The Impact of Veganuary: A Ripple Effect

The influence of Veganuary can’t be overstated. It’s a movement that has reached over 155 million people through its social media channels internationally. Participation is global, with individuals from nearly every country taking part. This level of engagement is a clear indicator of the initiative’s widespread appeal and the curiosity it has sparked across diverse cultures.

In terms of environmental impact, the shift to a plant-based diet for Veganuary participants is significant. For every one million participants who choose vegan for 31 days, the positive impacts include saving 6.2 million litres of water and sparing 3.4 million animals from a lifetime of suffering, according to The Vegan Society’s calculator.

The plant-based revolution is not just taking hold; it’s thriving. Recent data paints a picture of a world eager for meatless options. In 2022 alone, retailers and consumers saw a staggering 230% increase in plant-based food sales leading up to Christmas. It’s clear the appetite for vegan options is robust and growing.

In the ever-evolving food industry, more than 1,610 new vegan products and menus were introduced in 2023, with mainstream chains like Burger King and McDonald’s joining the green wave. But it’s not just the fast-food joints embracing this shift. The culinary scene for plant-based dining in British Columbia is as dynamic and eclectic as the province itself. 

In Kelowna, ‘Frankie We Salute You‘ offers a menu packed with fresh, innovative dishes perfect for a casual yet standout meal. Penticton’s ‘Still Food Bistro‘ transforms familiar favourites into delightful creations. 

In Vancouver, ‘Chickpea‘ is the go-to spot for plant-forward, Mediterranean flavour-packed meals in a trendy, inviting atmosphere, and for those seeking a fine-dining experience ‘The Acorn‘ artfully crafts exquisite vegan dishes and was even featured in the prestigious 2023 Michelin guide. 

Nelson’s ‘Sprout’ serves up classic vegan dishes such as Cauliflower Wings and Falafel Wraps. Each eatery provides a unique taste experience, contributing to BC’s exciting and ever-growing plant-based food scene. And this is just a small appetiser of the dozens of vegan and vegetarian restaurants that can be found around the province. 


The Global Landscape of Plant-Based Progress and Options

The global vegan food industry is on an impressive trajectory, with projections estimating its worth to exceed $91 billion by 2027. This surge is attributed to a rising consumer demand for products that offer benefits beyond nutrition, including the potential for reducing zoonotic diseases and a lighter ecological footprint.

Nature’s Fare Markets are at the forefront, offering an extensive selection of plant-based products that make transitioning to a diet free from or reduced in animal products as simple as it is satisfying. 

Some of our staple products you can always find in our pantry and fridge are Tofurky plant based sausages, Oome smoked tofu, and Stella’s Perogies (in vegan cheddar) and Strawberry Yoggu, and of course we need to indulge in Free2b Sunflower Butter Sun Cups, Nature’s Finest Sugarless Fruit Bears, and Siete Churro Grain Free Cinnamon chips now and again.

Additionally, within all seven of their stores, you’ll discover a convenient bistro section stocked with a wide array of fresh, premade vegan meal options, snacks, smoothies, and baked goods (we live on their pre-made salads for lunch).

From fresh organic produce to vegan-friendly staples, Nature’s Fare is committed to providing high-quality, sustainable options for every palate.

Starting Your Plant-Forward Journey: Practical Tips

Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains into your meals in a practical and delicious way means you’ll be more committed to following this lifestyle long-term, and so following plant-based chefs that serve up easy-to-follow recipes is a great start. 

Erin Ireland, Vancouver resident and mastermind behind To Die For Banana Bread (which truly lives up to its name) as well as the owner of To Live For Bakery, has an Instagram full of simple dishes that anyone with any level of cooking experience can make. 

Kayla Dawn, creator of The Veg Burger and a grazing box and spreads business (The Roasted Chickpea), is another account that offers a feast of inspiration for everyday plant-forward meals.  

Nature’s Fare Markets  is of course another great resource to find recipes. We love the Tofu Cashew Lettuce Wraps, Truffle & Pesto Artichoke Barbari, and Raspberry Habanero “Meatballs”—so good. 

This is just a small sampling of the abundant resources you can find online, making plant-based living both accessible and enjoyable.

Embracing a Healthier Future

With the vast array of health benefits, the undeniable environmental advantages, and the ever-increasing access to plant-based products, Veganuary is shaping up to be more than just a month-long pledge every year—it’s a sustainable lifestyle that’s here to stay. As environmentally conscious grocers such as Nature’s Fare Markets continue to advocate for this green revolution, it will just continue to be easier to make plant-based choices and a shift to a healthier diet.


Created by BCLiving in partnership with Nature’s Fare Markets