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Wellness Focus: Veganuary Tips & Tricks from Re:Store & Palm Greens

Eat Work Art has caught up with resident Megan, owner of Re:Store, and Kali and Memby, owners of Palm Greens, to find out their top tips for staying on track this Veganuary and beyond!

What are your top tips for maintaining veganism this January and beyond?

Palm Greens: Seek out the flavours you already enjoy. So if you like Thai food for example, try the vegan offerings at a restaurant or Thai recipes. I say this but also believe you should try new things, you might be surprised.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and work out what you like and don’t like. You need to find what makes eating plant based enjoyable for you, of course I would also recommend eating healthily and balanced but ultimately you’ll only keep at it if you’re enjoying it.

Re:Store: Get inspiration by following vegan bloggers, chefs etc. online so you can see the types of dishes they cook in their kitchens, or favourite places to eat out - my whole Instagram is just delicious looking plant-based food! Try not to see it as a limited diet, try looking at it as a challenge to find the alternative for all your favourite things.

We're so lucky that now there is almost an alternative for everything and some have really nailed it so you feel like you're having the same experience. The vegan burgers on the market now are very meat-like, small local Hackney vegan cheese makers are making very melty cheese - if you want some more advice on switches come into the store for a chat, we could talk all day on it!

A bowl of soup from Palm Greens

(Img: Palm Greens)

Favourite vegan treat/product right now?

Palm Greens: I (Kali) definitely have a savoury tooth and good cheese was always something I missed, but there’s so many great options now. At the moment I’m loving Honestly Tasty, particularly their truffle Shamembert and blue cheese. Plus of course I'm always a big fan of I Am Nut Okay.

Re:Store: It's hard to choose, but I can't stop putting I Am Nut OK vegan parmesan on everything, it's laced with truffle oil which makes it super indulgent and addictive!

What is the greatest benefit of living a vegan lifestyle for you?

Palm Greens: A little less guilt. There’s a lot to worry about these days, from an ethical standpoint I find the farming and animal agriculture industry pretty disturbing. While I haven’t eaten meat most of my life, I did always feel guilty about dairy and so on.

Health is also a big point, but for me personally I’ve been a private chef for many years specialising in health supportive cooking so I’ve always eaten very well. There is also a great and supportive vegan community in London which is really special to be a part of.

Re:Store: There's new innovations happening all the time at the moment which is pretty exciting, plus it's quite satisfying to know you are only putting plants in your body, as well as knowing you aren't doing harm to the planet or any animals.

Internal image of Re:store Hackney Downs Studios

(Img: Re:Store)

Why do you think ‘Veganuary’ is so worthwhile?

Palm Greens: It can help to make veganism more approachable to people. The collective aspect to it, you could do it with your partner or your friends. It’s not easy to just turn vegan overnight, but as a one month plan, that makes it more approachable to start. Similarly, Meatless Monday is a great way to start cutting down on meat. Once you become more comfortable with it, it becomes familiar, you'll become more confident and have more fun with it.

The fact ‘veganuary’ is so popular now also means there’s so many resources, recipes and inspiration put out there to help you on your journey. Restaurants and takeaways are also highlighting vegan dishes on their menus. So if you like eating out this is a good time to restaurant crawl your favourite places.

Re:Store: The science supports that eating a plant based diet is one the best ways we individually can help reduce our impact on the planet, and in lots of parts of the world meat and dairy are still being heavily consumed so it really does need everyone to contribute, even if that's in a small way. Making it a challenge for 1 month is a good way to get started, and you have the support of lots of other people doing it at the same time.

A close up of vegan food on a platter, Palm Greens

(Img: Palm Greens)

Any other tips for wellness/general wellbeing as we head into 2022?

Palm Greens: Eat seasonally and locally where possible. There’s a lot of affordable organic vegetable schemes to choose from now.

Layer nutrients into your food. I love to add seed mixes, nuts, pickles and ferments to dishes. For taste and texture but also for an added vitamin and mineral boost.

Eat colourful food, eat wholefoods where possible, like wholegrains, keep the skin on your vegetables where you can.

Fill your fridge/ freezer with dressings and sauces, cook things like grains and pulses in advance, (they’ll last for a few days in the fridge). So if you’re in a rush you’ll quickly be able to throw something together that’s flavoursome, filling and nutritious.

[You can now buy Palm Greens' signature dressings and oils here]

Re:Store: Last year was still a difficult year for lots of us so making sure you make time for yourself, whether that's a morning stretch, a lovely long bath or a walk - we all just need to be kind to ourselves and make time to rest.

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