Turning vegetarian or vegan is much more than a trend and a diet. It may not be as simple as just removing a few things from your diet, but it's much easier than you may imagine. Turning towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle can be greatly beneficial for your overall wellbeing as well as the planet.
Just over 8 years ago, I woke up one morning and decided that I didn't want to eat meat anymore, a couple of months later I had my last meal with fish and nearly a month after that, I watched Cowspiracy, highly recommended by the way, and decided I wanted to quit dairy as well.
Each time I decided to make a change I spent days researching online and in books about what the average human needs in terms of vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc. With every thing I removed from my diet I would try to introduce something new and by paying attention to how my body reacted I managed to create a diet that not only made me feel good emotionally but also kept my body fit and healthy.
Here I offer a practical guide to a plant-based diet based on my own research and beliefs. It presents an overview of the basic nutrients that the average human needs and where to find them as well as a few brief recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
By no means does this guide represent the full spectrum of a well balanced and healthy diet.
The 2 most important factors of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle are:
1. A continuous research on what is actually healthy and good for you.
2. Listening and paying very close attention to what your body needs and how it reacts.
Veggies: Spinach, kale, peas, mushrooms, sprouts, asparagus and corn.
Fruit: Dried apricots, raisins, dates, raspberries, currants and grapefruit.
Legumes: Lupin, soya beans, tempeh, mung beans, lentils and split peas.
Veggies: Artichokes, peas, okra, brussel sprouts, turnips and squash.
Fruit: Berries, avocados, coconut, figs.
Legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, lentils.
Calcium: Kale, broccoli, bok choy, okra, watercress.
Iron: Tomatoes, chards, collard greens, prunes, oatmeal, brown rice, lima beans, tofu.
Phosphorus: Falafel, mung beans, yellow beans, quinoa, oats.
Zinc: oranges, tofu, tempeh
Iodine: Lettuce (most types), aubergines, courgettes.
Omega-3: Walnuts, flaxseeds, spirulina, winter squash.
B12: Plant-based milks fortified with b12, tofu, tempeh, nutritional yeast.
Vitamin D: Sunlight, oranges, mushrooms.
Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds are great sources of pretty much everything you need.
Especially at the beginning of switching to a plant-based diet I would recommend that you take a B12 supplements as it's quite hard to get enough of it from just veggies, legumes and nuts.
Quick & Easy Recipes
2 slices of toast with mixed nut or peanut butter, sliced banana and cinammon + ginger lemon tea
Our Super Nutty Granola or other sugar-free cereal with plant-based milk of your choice
A handfull of nuts, some fresh fruit and/or fresh orange juice.
Our Protein Packed Spread on some wholemeal bread or crackers
Coconut, frozen mango, flaxseeds and oats smoothie
Overnight Oats with a cup of your favourite tea
One of our Super Power Smoothies
Mixed legume salad with corn, red pepper, fresh herbs, sesame seeds, chilli flakes and a ginger, lime, orange, olive oil dressing
Roasted beetroots. Sprinkle with favourite spices, salt pepper and olive oil, close separately in tin foil and roast in 200c for 45 mins or so.
Our favourite Roasted Pumpkin & coconut soup
Mixed green leafy salad, with chickpeas, orange segments, apple and flaxseeds. Tahini, orange, lemon, coriander, olive oil dressing, sprinkle with crushed walnuts and almonds.
Cooked wild greens or chards with salt lemon and olive oil.
Seasonal roasted veg marinated in cumin, coriander, pepper and olive oil, with a tahini, orange, lemon, and fresh coriander dressing.
Boiled broccoli, cauliflower or courgettes served with lemon salt and olive oil.
Vegan protein bars or balls.
Nuts, dried fruits and dates
Fresh fruit salad
In order to get the most out of the food you eat, I believe it is vital to eat local and seasonal veg and where possible organic. It is much healthier and safe as well as environmentally more sustainable to purchase and consume fresh goods from local, organic farmers markets.
Did we miss anything?
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Love & Joy,