A new study has established that “Veganism” is the most globally searched for diet on Google, followed by “Vegetarianism” (and then “Gluten-free diet”).
With all the hype surrounding a vegan way of eating, you may well be thinking that a vegan lifestyle is the most effective way to stay healthy and indeed may even be the best way to lose weight.
There’s certainly good research to suggest that vegan diets do have beneficial effects on long term health markers, including blood glucose levels and blood lipids, but when it comes to blood pressure, the evidence that a vegan diet alone, without calorie restriction, is inconclusive.
When it comes to the menopause, a 2018 study that surveyed perimenopausal women about the severity of their physical symptoms, found that vegans reported less bothersome symptoms than omnivores.
On a personal level, I’m in no doubt that eating more plant based is a significant factor in ensuring my energy levels, vitality and health in general. I can’t remember the last time I had a cold and despite being “of a certain age”, menopausal symptoms certainly haven’t warranted any replacement hormonal support. I feel good and I’m passionate about empowering you to take control of your health by adopting a more plant based way of eating.
However, if, like me, you’re not ready to ditch meat completely, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to give up meat fully to benefit from the health advantages of adopting a plant based or vegan diet. There are so many ways of making plant based work for you and going fully vegan is not always practical or healthy, let alone safe if not carefully considered.
I’ve created an online course
“Accidentally Vegan; a safe and easy way to transition to a plant based way of eating”.
You’ll find all the help and support you need to ensure you have a full understanding of exactly how to get started.
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Before you begin, here’s the one thing you must do…..
Ensure your mindset
There are 2 aspects here;
Firstly, calling yourself a vegan immediately means you are immediately forced to avoid meat and fish and indeed, any animal-derived foods. Eventually, this may well be the way of eating you choose to adopt, however at the outset, you may find it easier to call yourself vegetarian or plant based, which is a little more inclusive. In this way, a plant based approach can still include eggs and dairy occasionally and even fish and meat on rare occasions.
Secondly, once you’ve established a wish to reduce or avoid meat completely, one of the things I hear often is that you’ve given up meat and then have no idea what to eat. The problem with this mindset is that the focus is on what you’re giving up rather than what you can add.
TIP: Rather than “giving up” foods, a more positive plant based mindset will focus on adding, not only, more vegetables and fruits, but also more nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrain and even more herbal teas or water. The focus, therefore, shifts away from “reducing or avoiding meat” and allows you to be more open to making new choices and ensure you have enough to eat in a meal.
You’re much more likely to stay plant based for longer this way!
My 3 top tips to help you stay healthy as you move towards a more plant based way of eating:
Avoid “meat alternatives”
Adopting a plant based way of eating will mean that you will need to consider a new way of eating and therefore do not be tempted to eat in exactly the same way but replacing the meat element of your meal with a processed vegan alternative. Aside from being expensive, these foods are loaded with fillers, additives and salt and will invariably disappoint if you’re hankering after the original itself.
TIP: If you’re looking for convenient ready-made options, try more natural plant based cuisines like Indian, Mediterranean or Mexican food that offer plenty of legumes and vegetables as part of any meal.
Here’s an easy way to expand your foodie horizons and learn new cooking skills…The Cookaway! A full menu range of plant based recipe boxes with everything you need is delivered straight to your door. CLICK HERE
Change the way you shop
A new way of eating deserves a new way of shopping! It’s much easier to inspire new choices if you’re more willing to skip some aisles of the supermarket and head down some that are not so familiar. There’s no doubt that you should spend a good amount of time in the fresh vegetables and fruits section but also, don’t dismiss frozen foods as well as jars and tins. These are easy and convenient choices that will make putting a plant based meal together much easier.
TIP: Try to force yourself out of your food comfort zone and include new food each week. This can be as simple as a new vegetable or fruit or a different grain, such as quinoa or plant based protein like Tofu.
If you prefer to shop online, you’ll find many good quality health foods at reasonable prices here on BUYWHOLEFOODSONLINE
Keep it simple
Plant based eating doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. Rather than thinking about overhauling your whole diet as well as your cooking methods, eating plant based can simply be a case of assembling healthy plant based foods onto a plate; for example some roasted vegetables, salad and tinned beans, along with a simple balsamic and olive oil dressing.
TIP: Work on making small changes to your daily choices; for example, include more nuts alongside a piece of fruit as an afternoon snack. As you increase your food choices and confidence, try following new recipes that include new ingredients. You will learn how to cook differently and slowly, these foods will become a staple.