How To Stick To A Strict Vegan Diet?

sustain-vegan-diet-748

So what is a vegan?

This may seem like an obvious question, but the definition can vary.

The dictionary definition of a vegan is: a person who does not eat or use animal products.

This includes:

-Meat -Fish -Eggs -Milk -Honey -Leather

Why do people go vegan?

The reasons for choosing to ‘go vegan’ are varied. For some the choice to stop eating animal derived products is ethical, whereas others may make the switch for health reasons. Some people may also choose to adopt a dairy-free or vegetarian diet for similar reasons, but would not necessarily class themselves as vegan.

What do I need to know about following a vegan diet?

Turning vegan can be a big change for many people, and can be thought of as more of a lifestyle change than, say turning vegetarian, or giving up dairy.  Here are some of the things you should be mindful of when adopting a vegan diet.

  • Check Ingredients

Whilst you may not have checked ingredients on all of your food in the past, it is essential to do this as a vegan. Many food products you may have not considered non-vegan do have milk, and/ or egg listed as ingredients. For example, some of your favourite breads, pastries and cakes will probably contain some milk, butter or egg.

Supermarkets are getting better at labelling their food vegan, but as not all do.

You will also need to consider other ingredients not labelled as an animal derivative. For instance most of us know that gelatin, used in sweets and medicines, is derived from animals, but products such as orange juice and beer can also be filtered using animal products such as fish. Doing some internet research will give you a better insight into what is, and what definitely ISN’T vegan friendly.

Many protein powders you may use for your workout include whey, casein and lactose, which are all derived from milk. Thankfully, there are many products out there that do the same thing but are completely vegan, such as PRO-V GAIN™ protein.

  • Think about your protein sources

Since a large part of protein your diet may have come from meat, dairy and eggs, it is important to replace these with high protein vegan foods.

Beans, nuts, seeds and pulses are your wonder foods as a vegan. They provide you with slow release energy and protein that you need throughout your day, especially when exercising.

-Adding nuts or seeds, and dried fruit to your porridge or granola at breakfast time will give you a good kick start. Opting for soya milk with your cereal will give you the highest amount of protein out of the substitute milks.

-Make sure your lunch and dinner have plenty of pulses and beans like lentils, quinoa, chickpeas and tofu. This is going to have the best chance of managing those afternoon munchies. Add leafy greens such as spinach, squash and broccoli that are high in protein and iron. Using oils such as walnut, flaxseed, hemp and rapeseed are great as healthy fats for regeneration and repair.

-Prepare yourself high protein snacks for pre and post workout. Good examples include edamame beans, dried chickpeas, or homemade energy bites (make with lentils, chickpeas, nuts, chocolate- whatever you fancy!) If you haven’t got time for home bakes then this is the ideal time to refuel with PRO-V GAIN.

  • Remember Iron and B-12

These are two of the vitamins that you mainly get from meat or animal products, so you need to remember to replace them in a vegan diet. We actually absorb different types of iron from meat, and non-meat, but provided we absorb enough from non-meat sources our body is still able to absorb the iron it needs.

Iron is pretty straightforward to include in your diet- vegan favourites chickpeas, lentils and quinoa contain a high levels of iron, as do vegetables such as chard and legumes. You can also get fortified cereals, and milk alternatives which have both iron and vitamin B-12 added.

It is also important to consider vitamin C which helps our bodies absorb Iron. Vitamin C can be found in high quantities in citrus fruits and peppers.

You may also consider taking iron and B-12 supplements, alongside including the foods above, to ensure that you’re getting enough of the good stuff.

  • Keep Your Diet Varied and Interesting    

There is a greater selection for vegans in supermarkets than ever before. The answer to maintaining your vegan diet is to find what YOU ENJOY .

For example, there are so many milk alternatives on the market now – hemp, soya, almond, rice, oat, cashew, - if you don’t like one then try the other!

Adopting a vegan diet is a good opportunity to get more creative with your cooking. Rather than trying to replicate meat recipes with vegan substitutes ( which might leave you disappointed and yearning for the ‘real thing’), experiment with vegetables, grains, beans and pulses you’ve never considered before.

Preparation is key to achieving a good balanced diet. Whilst high street cafes and supermarkets are making improvements in on-the-go vegan options, it can be easy to get ‘caught short’ with limited options for food-on-the-go. Make sure you always have energy fuelling snacks with you such as homemade energy balls, nuts, bananas, or dark chocolate.

Vitamins!

Finally – if your body is struggling with the transition, or you feel that you may be lacking in any essential vitamins, minerals or proteins, then taking daily vitamin supplements may be the ideal solution to make sure your body is getting everything it needs.

sustain-vegan-diet-748

Related Articles
cms_page_view