A Very, Very Veganuary

We were coming back from our ten-day RV camping vacation and I was crying at the gas pump. I couldn’t control my sobs as I inserted my American Express again and again and thought how are we paying seven dollars and eighty cents a gallon for gasoline? Is it laced with gold for fuck’s sake? No, I don’t want a receipt. Why would I want to remember this moment? I just spent more on gasoline to fill up our RV than I did to pay for my car registration this year! To fill up my tank in my twelve-gallon Subaru costs me almost as much as paying my monthly cell phone bill. How are we living in a world so outrageously expensive? Well, I’ll tell you, folks. This is Joe Biden’s America and if you don’t like it, buy a Tesla. Oh wait, you can’t afford a Tesla? Then I guess your other option is to stop eating meat. The west wasn’t won on salad, but this isn’t the world John Wayne rode into on horseback. Cancel culture and all those woke millennials are the new trends. If you can’t afford a nice ribeye steak for a Friday night dinner let me tell you how to cook up some delicious dal. Yes, that is lentils and yes, they can be delicious in this budget-friendly world of ours.

Here in the year 2023, we can afford to put gas in our twenty-year-old motorhome or we can afford meat. That’s it. Those are the two options. And we are filled with the wanderlust to explore this great country of ours so travel it is! This is life as 2023 dawns and for our family, that means living a vegetarian lifestyle in January 2023. We are very blessed to keep chugging along on family holidays in our twenty-year-old very well-preserved motorhome but gas is so expensive as we plan those summertime trips to Canada eh. We have to pinch pennies somewhere and for our family, we are going to see how much money we can save by being vegetarians for a month.

Veganuary Auld Lang Syne

As a hiking guide, a vegan diet gives me so much energy to snowshoe!

Obviously, there are some awesome health benefits to being vegetarian for a month (or a lifetime) So many farm-raised animal foods are chock full of hormones. So many women have so many hormonal issues and a lifetime of consuming animals chock full of hormones can definitely contribute to that. Am I a dietician? No, I’m just a hiking guide who watches way too much Fox News and is pretty damn pissed about what all these vaccines have done to my forty-year-old body. For my personal lifestyle here in 2023 switching things up to a more plant-based diet is a great way to reset my diet as 2023 dawns anew.

I have many friends who swear they have so much more natural energy when they stop consuming animal products. I’m hoping to find that natural energy boost as I spend my January days out trekking trails, snowshoeing past Big Bear Lake’s wild burros and leading outdoor adventurers into the snowy vast wilderness. A vegetarian lifestyle is also great for heart health as you are digesting way less saturated fat. These snowy January mornings I try to start my morning with a fresh squeezed grapefruit ginger juice or maybe a banana almond butter smoothie.

Vegan Pea Curry? Yes please!

Everyone in our household received smart watches for Christmas this past December and tracking our steps every day and watching our heart rate and seeing how hard it really is to get into fat-burning mood has us all thinking deeply about our health as 2023 dawns. A vegetarian diet over time is supposed to reduce the risk of cancer. If you have lady parts like me, a vegan diet is supposed to greatly reduce your chances of contracting female-specific cancers.

A healthier diet of whole grains, legumes and nuts is just a healthier overall lifestyle and this can lower your chances to contract diabetes. I don’t know why Veganuary is not something that is embraced in the United States. Eating more kale in the month of January? Stepping on a treadmill a few times a week? Sure, Americans can handle that but giving up those Big Macs at Micky D’s? But if you travel across the pond, Londoners embrace the idea of Veganuary every Jan first.

Veganuary in the U.K.

I love London. I love pub hops and I love pub life. I love how everyone in the UK decides to be a vegetarian for the first month of January and then goes back to having fish and chips at the pub on February 1st.
The UK lifestyle is a lifestyle for me. Part of that is because I love their cold and rainy weather and I’m kind of obsessed with Marks and Spencers. And part of that is because I think beans on toast is a fine breakfast. Veganuary became a thing in the UK in 2014 and millions of brits stop eating meat or animal products each January. If you have ever had a terrible British burger basted with ale you probably wouldn’t have a hard time being vegan in the UK for a month either. Every pub in London offers a Veganuary menu and it definitely makes it easier to eat out when you can order an impossibly delicious Beet Burger or a Black Bean Burger at a nice pub.

According to a random article I found in the Guardian from last January, a third of all Brits have considered going vegan. The British people are obviously way more aware of what all those farting cows are doing to our planet than we Americans are. According to PBS cow gas contributes to 14.5 percent of greenhouse gases! Now, don’t you feel better stirring up a delicious Pumpkin Dal instead of a grilled ribeye steak?

Veg breakfasts so tasty you won’t miss bacon!

Acting like a Californian, not a vegan in London 20 years ago.
  • Beans on toast with a fried egg, some grilled tomatoes and grilled mushrooms are a great and healthy English breakfast if you too are going vegetarian on January first. This is the kind of pub breakfast you would find from Cambridge to Mildenhall. Just skip the terrible English sausage and let me tell you the English version of sausage is rubbish anyways.
  • One thing I love about travels to India, there is nothing wrong with having curry for breakfast! My all-time favorite Indian breakfast dish is chole (Garbonzo beans) and puris. Spoiler alert, puris are deep-fried leavened bread so not exactly the healthiest option but at least it’s not bacon!
  • You had me at kale pancakes. Who doesn’t love pancakes? These are made even more healthy and delicious with the addition of high-fiber kale.

    Follow me into Veganuary!

Vegan salad. It’s what’s for lunch!

If you didn’t have enough kale for breakfast, you can always have kale for lunch this Veganuary! When you live a month of vegetarianism that means a lot of veggies. I basically add kale or spinach to everything! I do really love this vegan salad, chock with kale, walnuts, chickpeas and cucumbers. January may be dawning but this is one of my favorite refreshing summertime salads as well.

One part of succeeding at being vegan or vegetarian in Veganuary is finding good snacking foods for when you are out and about and not at home. I like to carry a bag of nuts with me everywhere I go. I’m basically a squirrel this Veganuary. I also have a few vegan restaurants I love here in southern California if I do happen to be out and about and want to get lunch with friends. I love Active Culture in Laguna Beach or The Stand in Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach has a lot of great vegan choices! Healthy grocery chains like Sprouts and Whole Foods are also great choices to pick up a premade vegan salad this Veganuary. I love Whole Foods’ kale salad with cranberries; So fresh and delicious!

It’s dinner time; No you still can’t have bacon until February!

Dal is one of our go-to easy vegetarian dinners in our household. You can easily make any of my favorite dals vegan by substituting coconut oil for the ghee. I personally love this Pumpkin Dal. We grow so many pumpkins in our garden that are ripe every fall. I bake and freeze all that pumpkin meat to throw in curries, stews and dal. Our freezer may just be stocked full of homegrown pumpkins come this winter!

Living your life as a vegan or vegetarian can be hard for people who spent their entire life throwing grass-fed beef or chicken stock into basically every dinner. And how can I go a full month without inhaling crispy bacon or a six-dollar Costco rotisserie chicken? A refreshing keto rose helps me forget I didn’t have any meat products another day in January.

Will our family stay vegetarians into 2023 and past Veganuary? Check out future blogs to see!


  1. Gail

    You’re so right, fuel prices are through the roof and I don’t buy steak now because it’s got so expensive. I eat a lot of vegan food but can’t get my husband to go there. You’ve got the right idea, prioritising your travels over meat. Thanks for linking.

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