Kicking off the new year with a bold, grand declaration of self-improvement is par for the course. Whether it’s exercising more, drinking less, learning a new skill or saving money, the unwavering commitment and sense of pride felt on January 1st tends not to be so unwavering come, say, the middle of the month.

undefined

Culminating in ‘Blue Monday’ (i.e. this coming Monday), it’s that dreaded time of year when all your hopes and dreams come crashing down, the rose-tinted glasses are thrown aside and the gloomiest, most depressing day of the year looks set to flush your ambitions down the can. And making the switch to veganism just might be the hardest of mountains to climb.

Gloomy I know, though the horizon doesn’t have to be so bleak. There’s a different path. The following tips may just be what your sad January ears need to hear and we hope it gives you the tiny boost you need to persevere.

Stop being so hard on yourself

Guide to VeganuaryWhile there’s only so much cringy fridge magnet wisdom a girl can withstand while scrolling through some health nuts’ posts of 6am yoga classes and superfood acai bowls, sometimes these unnaturally cheerful influencers have got a point. Flick past the new age hippie mantras and you’ll find a hidden, kind of sweet, message nestled in between – stop being so hard on yourself.

The pressures and strictures of modern life get on top of everyone and, unbelievable as it may seem, this includes the seemingly perfect Insta-famous. Don’t crawl under the covers after having a cheeky sip of coffee with cow’s milk, just get back on track when you’re good and ready. Indulged in some cheesy chips at the end of a tipsy night out? Join the pack. If you lapse occasionally, who cares?!

Be realistic

Bruncher's Guide to VeganuaryAre you surrounded by meat-worshipping carnivores? Your family refuse to set aside a nut roast for your fine self while they baste some poor turkey? You have a choice here: either be the awkward pariah who brings their own Tupperware full of quinoa to the party or you’re going to have to bail from these social gatherings every now and again. Get used to feeling like the odd one out.

Make life easier for yourself

Bruncher's Guide to VeganuarySet aside time at the beginning of each week to make ahead your meals. Buy in all the ingredients you’ll need, cook in batches and figure out a time when you tend to have the most energy and basic wherewithal to organise your life.

Should that time never come, sack it all off and spoil yourself to a lovely meal out. Who even cooks at home these days anyway, you Luddites.

Think of the great things you can have, not the great things you can’t have

 

Bruncher's Guide to VeganuaryNew ingredients that I’d barely considered before are now a shining beacon of hope across a swirling sea of tasteless tofu. I’ve used more maple syrup in the past couple of weeks (in brownies, on cereal etc.) than I’ve used in a lifetime and now I could happily mainline it directly into my system.

Rather than cry over spilled (pasteurised) milk, think of all the lovely alternatives you can try out. Rustle up a new meal and dig deep in the recipe book. All cuisines lend themselves to meat-free reworkings of classic dishes and you’ll be continually surprised at just what is available at your fingertips.

The end is nigh

Bruncher's Guide to VeganuaryWith less than two weeks until February, there really is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s time to start deciding where to go from here; whether you’re fully committing to veganism on a permanent basis, fancy attempting vegetarianism or just plan on cutting back on your meat intake, start making preparations (and make sure you’ve given yourself a window of TLC and feasting to reward your hard work).

Put some gratitude in your attitude

In an act of self-flagellation after tucking into a sly hungover Full English, I rewatched some of the animal docs that piqued my interest in Veganuary in the first place. Cowspiracy, Food Inc., etc. – the options are endless and while injecting yourself with some misplaced Catholic guilt isn’t the answer to most problems, it may spark a fire under your caboose and remind you what this strife has all been about.

Accept defeat where necessary

Bruncher's Guide to VeganuaryBy this point it’s probably getting harder to claim jackfruit ‘tastes just like pork. Seriously, it does! TRY IT IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME!’ with any degree of conviction. The hummus you just bought out of desperation at the service station is less a taste of the Mediterranean and more like dragging your tongue across a salt gritter. Parts of going vegan, as with anything, are just plain hard. But it’s fine to complain, in fact it’s your God-given right. So throw that gritty, nutty lump of nothingness they call falafel at the wall if you have to. Life is hard and then you die.

There ya have it. Reasons to be cheerful may have felt in short supply, but Bruncher is here to guide you back from the cliff and into the warm embrace of sanctimonious achievement with a heavy dose of tough love.