food, Uncategorized

Veganism For Beginners: A Healthy Balance

Most people care a great deal about the environment and our impact on it and how our actions will affect not only future generations of humans but animals and the ecosystem.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my contribution (or lack thereof) to this cause and have been deciding (for awhile) to immerse myself in veganism not only as a fad but as a lifestyle.

As a total beginner vegan, I naturally didn’t know where to start. I had heard all the regular things such as not eating meat, animal by-products such dairy and eggs or anything with a face basically but I lacked knowledge from a nutritional perspective. For example, how would I account for protein and other nutritional necessities in my food choices? Luckily, in my search I found some information that a beginner vegan can incorporate into their normal routines to better transition into a lifestyle.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF VEGANS

First is the kinds of vegans out there. This may seem a bit complicated and advanced for beginners (such as myself) but I thought highlighting the different eating habits was important  to show variety and that one way isn’t always the ONLY way for everyone.

Healthline lists the different kinds of vegans as follows:

  • Whole-food vegan diet: A diet based on a wide variety of whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Raw-food vegan diet: A vegan diet based on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds or plant foods cooked at temperatures below 118°F (48°C)
  • 80/10/10: The 80/10/10 diet is a raw-food vegan diet that limits fat-rich plants such as nuts and avocados and relies mainly on raw fruits and soft greens instead. Also referred to as the low-fat, raw-food vegan diet or fruitarian diet.
  • The starch solution: A low-fat, high-carb vegan diet similar to the 80/10/10 but that focuses on cooked starches like potatoes, rice and corn instead of fruit.
  • Raw till 4: A low-fat vegan diet inspired by the 80/10/10 and starch solution. Raw foods are consumed until 4 p.m., with the option of a cooked plant-based meal for dinner.
  • The thrive diet: The thrive diet is a raw-food vegan diet. Followers eat plant-based, whole foods that are raw or minimally cooked at low temperatures.
  • Junk-food vegan diet: A vegan diet lacking in whole plant foods that relies heavily on mock meats and cheeses, fries, vegan desserts and other heavily processed vegan foods.

BALANCED NUTRITION

Having a balanced vegan diet is important to being healthy so it’s important to eat those veggies rich in vitamins and minerals. Foods such as:

  • broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
  • dark, leafy greens, such as spinach and kale
  • squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, and pumpkin
  • snap peas, green beans, bell peppers, and asparagus, cabbage

These foods are rich in vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and potassium as well as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, calcium and fiber. Carrots are  also rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and K.  To get vitamin D; look into fortified non-dairy milk sources such as almond or soy as well as some fortified orange juices.

Eating whole grains are a good source of fiber and a great way to feel full longer. Swap refined grains (white bread) for ones such as whole grain breads, brown rice and quinoa.

Follow the link to a great resource which lists some healthy tips to use to start eating a vegan diet here.

For the ever elusive protein sources, soy based foods are a good sources such as tempeh, edamame, chickpeas and lentils. Beans, quinoa, tofu, nuts and seeds are also a good source. It’s important to note that most women need 46 grams of protein daily and men 56 grams. These foods are a great way to meet that daily value.

In veganism it can sometimes feel like choices are limited however that’s not the case. There are a variety of foods and recipes out there as well as restaurant options to keep most people eating something new. However not all vegan recipes are created equal so be mindful about what you eat, not just because it has a vegan sticker on it. Moderation is also important to a healthy balanced lifestyle.

You can also find out more about some easy recipes from Joedi Grabham’s blog where she lists some of her favorite instagram foodies (for pancake day) and how they share their lifestyle while gaining tips on some mouthwatering recipes.

Instagram Healthy Foodies

Also Find out how to stay fit during the year in a previous post:

Stay fit these simple ways

 

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