Just like yoga for health or yoga for yoga's sake, going vegan is more of a lifestyle change than just another weight loss fad. Sure, being a vegan is good for the planet- like... really good (Studies have shown that adopting a vegan diet could improve the effects of climate change to our planet), but vegans are generally slimmer, healthier and plant based diets have also been known to protect against cancer, obesity, and heart disease.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that adopting a vegetarian diet, gives “many health benefits because of its higher content of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and many phytochemicals”.
It’s Easy to Stay Excited About Taking the Plunge and Going Vegan!
Just like yoga for health, how do you go about adopting and sticking with a vegan diet plan? Like anytime that you choose to adopt something new, there are a few easy tips at your disposal that can help you in the long run. From shopping to getting excited about acai bowls and chickpea salads, there’s a whole new world of healthy vegan options available to you. So, if you’re looking to lose weight or improve your health, it’s not hard with these simple steps.
Have An Open Mind
You already know the reasons why you want to go on a vegan diet plan. But, completely changing your lifestyle might put a few things on your plate that you haven’t tried before. On one hand, it’ll be interesting as you introduce new recipes and foods into your diet. But, if you feel overwhelmed when radishes, acai, hemp seeds, and jicama land on your plate, just remember that trying doesn’t mean that you have to stick with them.
If you don’t like one vegetable, you can faze them out. Did you know that there are more than nine other darky leafy greens to choose from instead of the fan favorite kale?
Stick With Whole Foods
There’s a wide range of fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. And, there are just as many processed plant-based foods from burgers and cheeses to cookies and candy, too. So, be careful. When starting a vegan diet plan, try to avoid the latter. When you do pick up a box of cookies or cereals read the label. If you recognize the ingredients as a food that grows, it’s a go. If you’re unsure of what isolates, gums, pectins, and artificial flavors are, it’s probably best to leave them on the shelf.
Plan Easy Meals & Snacks
Find a few quick and easy recipes online. Try a homemade granola or open-toast recipe for breakfast. Choose fruit smoothies, hummus and veggies, or no-bake date cookie recipes for snacks. For dinner, whip up a fifteen minute bean burger. And, always have a few “one-pot wonders” or quick salads that you can put together fast.
By planning ahead, you’ll avoid processed vegan foods that aren’t as healthy as you think. And, in the end going on a plant based diet will make you feel the way it should- better!
You’ve heard the saying, “Shop along the outside of the grocery store and avoid the inner isles.” It’s sound advice to ensure that you’re buying fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy plant foods (such as nuts and beans). At the same time you’re avoiding the isles stuffed with cookies, chips, and processed vegan foods. This shopping tip will ensure that more than half of the items in your grocery cart are plant based, so that you’re shopping for a healthy vegan diet. But, of course who could resist a cookie or two or even Daiya cheese.
Get Your Protein
Protein keeps you feeling full longer and is the building block of a strong and lean body. According to The Institute of Medicine the average adult needs 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. As a rule of thumb, try to have a protein source with every meal. There are a lot of vegan proteins sources to choose from - lentils, chickpeas, black beans, tempeh, tofu, hemp seeds, almonds, cashews, spirulina, quinoa, and sprouted grains. The list can go on and on.
Don’t Forget About Healthy Fats
Nuts like cashews and pistachios not only have a high protein and fiber content, but they’re also high in healthy fats. Chia and hemp seeds are two that you can sprinkle onto yogurts or salads for a healthy dose of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Coconuts and avocadoes are also two other high fat sources that protect the heart and boost your metabolism. It proves that vegan fat sources allow you to have your cake and eat it too.