Plant based diets have increased in popularity and there’s no doubt that eating more veggies improves our health. Becoming vegan or vegetarian can come with concerns including calorie, protein and calcium intake. It’s important that you don’t deprive yourself of nutrients when making the change.
Firstly, take your time and prepare yourself. Try to go vegetarian – where you can consume dairy and eggs, before going vegan. My Glow Guides have both options for you. You could also try ‘Meatless Mondays’, be plant based until supper or vegan challenges where you go meat free for a month – the choice is yours.
Before transitioning, stock up on vegan and vegetarian recipes, that way you will have a variety of meals to start with to keep things interesting. Good options are chickpea burgers, salads, falafel, curries, soups, fresh juice (like the Hulk Juice) and smoothies – all available in my Vegan and Vegetarian eBooks.
Newbies to plant based diets must ensure they get enough Vitamin B, through supplementation and eating seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds etc.) dark and leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach etc.) and fruits (citrus fruits, avocados, bananas). Vegetarians can include eggs/product from animals excluding meat. Get protein from vegan protein powder, spirulina, quinoa, oat milk, oats, brown rice, basmati rice, chia seeds, nut butters, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Lentils are also an amazing option (contains 18g of protein per cup). Beans and chickpeas contain about 15g per cup (cooked). Green peas – contains about nine grams of protein per cup – which is actually a bit more protein than a cup of milk.
The challenge with vegan options is that they’re NOT complete protein sources whereas meat sources are.
You can, however, make your plant sources complete by combining two or more of the above options in one dish.
Remember that calcium is not just in milk! As a vegan you can get calcium from broccoli, edamame, white beans, tofu, figs, kale, and oranges. Sardines and salmon are good options if you’re a vegetarian eating seafood.
Lastly, ensure that your body is getting the nutrients and protein it needs by filling your plate with foods from each colour of the rainbow.
See my Hot Chic Cauli Curry Recipe from the Vegan Glow:
10ml cooking oil
65ml chopped onion
5ml ginger and garlic paste
5ml mustard seeds
10ml cumin powder
1-2 green/red chilli chopped fine 500ml baby spinach
400g cooked/canned chickpeas 7ml salt
40ml chopped coriander
1. Heat oil in medium size pot and add the onion and allow to brown slightly before adding the ginger/garlic paste and mustard seeds- stir and reduce heat.
2. While stirring add the powder spices and about 200ml grated tomatoes and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the chopped chilli, chopped spinach and chickpeas, season with salt and cover the pot and allow it to simmer on low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
4. Remove from heat garnish with the chopped coriander and serve with cauliflower rice.
I hope your new plant-based diet is fruitful – pun intended LOL