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Happy Veganuary 2023!

Veganuary has become a popular alternative name for the month of January, where people give up meat and dairy products for the first month of the year to promote health and wellness. Although I am vegan every month for the animals, I am always encouraging my friends and family to try vegan-friendly options (not all the time, but every now and again)!

What is a vegan, you may be wondering? Vegan simply means a meal that was prepared without the use of any animals or animal by-products. Stricter vegans may include the use of honey or cross-contamination as no-go's, too. For the longest time I called myself a vegetarian that doesn't eat eggs or milk- and was shocked a few year ago to learn the term vegan meant exactly that!

Think about it- it's not healthy to eat meat and dairy at every meal anyways. I'm sure you've tried chips & salsa, a PB&J sandwich, plain spaghetti, or even Oreos- vegan things you didn't even know were vegan.

The demand for vegan-friendly foods has skyrocketed over the past few years, and companies are responding. Last year, Chipotle debuted their Plant Based Chorizo, KFC debuted their Beyond Ch'kn Nuggets, Coldstone debuted their new Silk Chocolate Ice Cream- and that's just the tip of the ice-burg. Not only are you promoting your own health by eating a vegan meal- but you are also helping raise awareness and demand for these vegan options!

J.K. Rowling even approved Universal Studio's vegan-friendly serving of butterbeer at their US locations in 2022! The butterbeer itself has always been vegan, but now they can leave off the milk-foam topping on classic and frozen drinks options. This is HUGE!!!

If the Beyond Orange Ch'kn at Panda Express, the largest Asian fast food chain in America, wasn't popular, they wouldn't have put it on the menu at all 2,300 storefront locations. This was a huge win for the vegan community in 2022! Starbucks hasn't quite gotten around to a vegan-friendly pumpkin spice recipe yet, but they debuted their Apple Crip Oat Milk AND Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Lattes this past year!

I'm a sucker for things with fun names- like when I participate in Dry July (giving up alcohol for the month of July to promote wellness). Have you ever trie Veganuary yourself? What are your thoughts?

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