Are you interested in transitioning to a vegan diet? Firstly. You need to understand know that veganism is not limited to just food but is a lifestyle. Veganism is a lifestyle that shuns all animal cruelty and exploitation which means excluding anything that is a byproduct from animals such as food, clothing, beauty products, and so on. When you talk about a vegan diet, there is so much to learn and change, just like any other diet. From the Zone diet to the Ketogenic diet, veganism is on the rise and gaining popularity even among athletes. Many athletes avoid meat and are going vegan, this page shows 10 NFL players who are vegan and joining the latest trend.
What is Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is where a person eliminates all animal-based products such as meat, eggs, cheese, and even honey. Vegans mostly focus on plant-based food such which typically includes fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts whole grains, and so on. People decide to opt for a vegan diet for various reasons which can be ethical or even religious principles. While some are against the cruelty of animals and others to decrease the ecological footprint on this earth.
Now that you have been planning to switch from your regular omnivore routine, it might seem a bit daunting at first. But a vegan diet offers many health benefits that can help improve your mood, reduce chronic health conditions and even help maintain a healthy weight. It even helps in promoting a healthy gut and build a healthy immune system, which makes sense during this pandemic. This guide will help any vegan beginners start out on the right foot!
- Start Slow
If you are used to having animal products in your diet, it may seem a bit difficult to get on the vegan bandwagon. The key is to slowly begin incorporating a vegan diet by making it feel like a natural progression. Begin by changing your meals one at a time for example swapping your regular cow’s milk with soy milk or switch meat with beans. Remember, keep your meals simple and transition gradually by reducing your animal products in your routines. Make sure that you feel energized and satisfied or else slowly increase the intake of your vegan food.
2. Don’t imitate your favorite meals
Transitioning can be stressful and often difficult when you are not used to a vegan diet. While it may seem like a good idea to substitute your beef burger for a bean-based burger, it will rather make the process more challenging. The reason is very simple, it won’t taste the same as you would want it to and you may end up struggling to find a satisfying meal. Instead, look for plant-based meals that are vegan and satisfying. You can start off with oatmeal and fruits, peanut butter and banana sandwich, and so on. Find new recipes and vegan foods that you might like and get creative.
3. Know what to do eat
In order to have a successful and well-balanced vegan diet, you need to stock up your fridge with all the vegan essential foods. Maintaining a supply of fresh produce if you aren’t going to the supermarket every day is important. You can consider buying plenty of fruits and vegetables which are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and fiber which are necessary for your body to grow and function. Legumes, nuts, tofu and tempeh, and grains are other foods you can add to your grocery list. Look out for vegan food that has a longer shelf life or you can consider freezing food at its peak of ripple so that it holds its nutritional integrity.
4. Nutritional-rich vegan meals
As much as vegan diets have their benefits, it also has an increased risk of several nutritional deficiencies. This is because animal products are rich in nutrients such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, and so on which lack in plant-based foods. Protein, in particular, is an important macronutrient that is needed in building muscles, skin, hair, blood, and other tissue in the body. Adding high sources of protein to your diets such as beans, seeds, legumes, or vegetables like spinach, cabbage, leafy greens, all help in balancing the protein in your body. They also help in providing zinc and iron to your body. You can include a variety of fortified nutritional foods so that you ensure you meet all the nutritional needs. Vitamin B12 and Vitamin can be found in fortified foods such as cereals, nutritional yeast, and plant-based milk.
5. Speak to a dietician
When creating your meals, make sure that you have a variety of foods and colour in your meals that helps in balancing nutrition for your body. With a rainbow of fruits and vegetables along with plant-based proteins, you can create a well-balanced diet. If you are lost in the world of vegan foods and don’t know what works best for you, consider speaking to a dietician. They will direct you to the right food and even help in creating a meal plan for weeks or months. This way, you will receive all the nutritional values so that maximum benefits can be achieved.
Vegan cooking may be a little different than what you’re used to, but eventually, you will discover your favorite vegan cooking tricks.