One of the newest and most popular trends in natural living family in the past few years, plant based diet transformation, has stirred up quite the discussion amongst health professionals.
A vegan diet is one that requires you to strip all and any animal products from your diet. This means no meat, dairy, eggs, or animal flavors of any kind. This also means avoiding the use of any animal based products such as leather items such as furniture, shoes, etc. Pretty much anything that is made from animal products.
Starting a vegan diet, or plant based diet transformation, for many people can be a challenge ‒ not because there are no food choices, but because it is unknown and new territory that many people have never been taught about.
If you’ve been wondering how you could get started with a plant based diet transformation, here is an easy guide to help you.
Step 1: Load Up on Fruits and Veggies
Most people start a vegan diet by looking at the “meat alternatives” section to find the foods that will give them a similar taste to the meat they gave up. However, if you are going to be successful in your new diet, it’s important to load up on fruit and veggies in natural living family.
Fruits and vegetables serve as a major source of nutrients on a vegan diet. They provide your body with vitamins, minerals, and a good source of carbohydrates so it is key to get as many of these in the diet as possible.
Keeping in mind that many vegetables are not very calorically dense, try to eat foods that are dark green, such as spinach, broccoli, and other leafy greens as these will contain a good source of calories and important nutrients.
Step 2: Understand that Grains are Good for You
In natural living family many are still afraid of carbohydrates, but on a plant based diet transformation, much of your caloric value during the day will come from grains such as quinoa, rice, and oats.
These grains will provide your body with a steady source of complex carbohydrates. They also contain a wide spectrum of amino acids (the building blocks of protein), vitamins, and minerals.
Most importantly, whole grains are a very good source of fiber, which will help to keep you regular, reduce inflammation, and be a great tool for weight management.
Step 3: Beans and Nuts for Protein
Although a focus on protein intake in a plant based diet transformation is not as essential as getting the right carbohydrates, it’s still important to ensure that you’re getting 1g/kg of body mass per day.
This can be done through beans and nuts in natural living family. Many beans are, in fact, just as protein dense as meats. Black beans, for instance, contain just as much leucine as beef, and lentils contain just as much protein per gram as most fish.
Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are a great additional source of protein, fiber, and micronutrients.
They will also serve as the main source of dietary fat, as a vegan diet will work best when you keep your fat intake to 20% or lower of your daily calories.
Always Eat Fresh
The most important thing to consider on a plant based diet transformation, especially a vegan diet, is to eat a complete spectrum of food and always eat fresh.
In other words, just because dairy free Oreos are vegan doesn’t mean you should eat the entire box or eat them at all at that. Natural family living means eating foods that are naturally occurring and G-D made, not man made.
On a plant based diet transformation, fruit and vegetables should be your main source of calories and the bulk of your diet should be from the food you can cook yourself. Eating out a lot from restaurants can cause problems because the foods tend to be high fat, high sugar, or high sodium to make the food taste good. If the food tastes good, they sell more food, so it is not always about the health of the food.
Long-standing research shows that a vegan diet is not just healthier for you, but it lowers your risk for heart disease, cancer, and obesity. It can even be a very effective tool for performance as an athlete.
So, when going vegan, just stay on track, eat fresh, and don’t stress when you go to a restaurant ‒ there are always vegetable options. Typically, ethnic restaurants have a greater selection of plant-based options, however more and more plant-based diet transformation places are opening up such as juice bars, vegan restaurants, as well as many natural living family restaurants. If you need help with starting a vegan diet, feel free to contact our functional nutritionist today.