How many of you have heard this?
My sister/cousin/lover was a vegan/vegetarian but they needed to start eating meat again because they got really sick. They really wanted to be a vegan/vegetarian but their doctor/mum/life coach said they needed it to be healthy…
If you live off carbohydrates and fake meats you will certainly be an unhealthy vego or vegan and your stint at eating this type of diet is going to be a short one. Unfortunately this story gives people the idea that it’s impossible to be a healthy vegan or vegetarian which is a real shame because it couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you are considering going vegan or vegetarian, struggling to be a healthy vegetarian or vegan or simply want to include more plant based foods in your diet, here are a few tips:
1) Start cooking – While there are restaurants which are more suitable to vegos and vegans (read this post), your options are limited if you are eating out. Start cooking your own food and by cooking I mean cooking – not heating up. Sure you can live off veggie sausages for a while but even the most basic eater is going to get bored and you’ll undoubtedly end up sick too.
2) Plan ahead – Vego and vegan food is more fiddly than cooking a steak. Unfortunately that’s something you’ll have to get over if you want to be a healthy vego or vegan. Plan your meals each week according to what you have going on in your life. Home late on Thursdays? Can you make more food on Wednesday so you have something left over for Thursday dinner?
3) Find others who cook food you find appealing and start trying out their recipes. The Veggie Mama has amazing vegetarian (and some vegan recipes) and Scandi Foodie has delicious vegan and sugar free recipes (and gorgeous photos too!)
4) You can’t just give up meat, not replace it with anything and expect to be okay. If you are giving up something you need to replace it with something better, like beans, legumes, pulses, nuts and lots of veggies! Especially green leafy vegies. Most people vego or not don’t eat enough veggies, so whether or not you want to make the transition, consider adding more veggies to your diet.
5) Buy a juicer. It’s a super easy and quick snack full of vitamins, perfect for when you are in a hurry.
6) Buy a blender. Smoothies are the best breakfast, just like a juice they are easy to make and you can throw in lots of nutrient rich foods like raw cacao powder, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, bananas or avocados.
7) Visit a naturopath or nutritionist who specialises in vegan and vegetarian diets. Fellow blogger Nadine from Nadine Lee Nutrition is a great choice!
8) Start slow. You don’t need to go full throttle over night, that might work for some but if you get overwhelmed and can’t think of what to eat for Tuesday’s dinner you might become disheartened and stop altogether. Start by giving up one food at a time, include more of the above mentioned foods into your diet and ease into becoming a vegetarian or vegan.
Questions: What are your tips for being a healthy vego or vegan? Where you ever a unhealthy vego or vegan? I definitely was! Read about it here.