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Archive for category: Eating vegan

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Eating vegan, Part 2

In our last blog, we reviewed the vegan diet. If you haven’t, please check out this post to learn what veganism is and what some of the benefits are when you base your diet in plants.

Since veganism is a different approach, as you convert you’ll need to rethink where you get the building blocks of a healthy diet. While fiber may be easier to get when your diet is plant based, protein may not be! This is especially true if your dinner plate included a larger percentage of animal products like meat and dairy.

Vegans put their diet together in a different way.

Legumes like beans, lentils and peas are great options for protein, fiber, and minerals such as iron, folate, manganese, zinc, and others.

Nuts, nut butters and seeds are an important part of a vegan diet. Rich in protein, they also provide many of the same nutrients as legumes. In addition, they include selenium and vitamin E! Nuts and seeds are very versatile as they can be eaten on their own or used (with a little bit of extra work) in sauces or desserts and cheeses! Look for unbalanced unroasted nuts and seeds in order to get as much nutrition as possible.

Tofu and tempeh are sometimes included. These traditionally processed products are made from soybeans and are found in abundance in Asian diets. Tofu can be used sautéed in sauces, scrambled like eggs, or grilled! Tempeh (a fermented version) and can be used in many of the same ways. As a bonus, the fermentation may produce small amounts of vitamin B-12, traditionally hard to get in a vegan diet.

Plant milks and yogurts are also popular. Look for calcium fortified versions of these.

Seaweed is a tasty treat that also packs a nutritional punch! It provides DHA, an essential fatty acid with many benefits. Seaweed contains magnesium, riboflavin, manganese, potassium, iodine, and antioxidants! Since iodine is important but hard to get in a vegan diet, include at least 2-3 servings per week. Avoid eating too much at one time, especially if your seaweed is kelp (the highest in iodine).

Nutritional yeast is made from a deactivate strain of yeast. It’s usually found in yellow powder form or as flakes. One ounce contains about 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. In addition, it is commonly fortified with zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, and B vitamins (including B-12).

Fruits and vegetables can help you avoid vegan junk food. (Vegan junk food is highly processed and probably not healthy). You can create a vegan ice cream (for example) by blending a frozen banana until smooth and then perhaps adding additional toppings of flavors such as blueberries.

Eggplant and mushrooms provide meaty texture in vegetable form and work great on the grill! Jackfruit is also a wonderful meat substitute in savory dishes.

And, of course, cauliflower is being used more and more in many different ways, including pizza crusts! (If you buy commercially produced cauliflower pizza crusts, check the ingredients! Many include eggs and cheese.)

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Eating vegan

Veganism is a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. This includes food, clothing, or any other use (for example, testing cosmetic products).

A vegan diet is entirely plant-based, excluding all animal products. There are a variety of reasons people choose a vegan diet, ranging from political to health related.

There are many different types of vegan diets. Some that we at Herbs Can Cleanse believe to be more healthy choices include:

Whole-food vegan diet: A diet based on a wide variety of whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Raw-food vegan diet: A vegan diet based on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds or plant foods cooked at temperatures below 118°F (48°C) (1).

80/10/10: The 80/10/10 diet is a raw-food vegan diet that limits fat-rich plants such as nuts and avocados and relies mainly on raw fruits and soft greens instead. Also referred to as the low-fat, raw-food vegan diet or fruitarian diet.

Raw till 4: A low-fat vegan diet inspired by the 80/10/10 and starch solution. Raw foods are consumed until 4 p.m., with the option of a cooked plant-based meal for dinner.

The thrive diet: The thrive diet is a raw-food vegan diet. Followers eat plant-based, whole foods that are raw or minimally cooked at low temperatures.

Which might be right for you? Most start off slowly by, for example, eating vegan one or two days of the week, or even one or two meals a week! If you have a picky family, this provides an opportunity for your picky eaters to get used to the changes and gives you an opportunity to find things they like before you make a more complete change.

Eating vegan may help you maintain a healthy heart, lose weight, and help moderate blood sugar. Vegans find it easier to get many different nutrients (but, remember that there are certain nutrients such B-12). There is also evidence that shows eating vegan may be related to reduced incidence of certain cancers!

In our next blog, we’ll look at building blocks for a health vegan diet. Then, in part 3, we’ll present some easy-to-prepare vegan meals! As you change your diet, it’s important to support your body’s release of toxins by using products that help your body in its cleansing process. Visit HerbsCanCleanse.Com for quality supplements for just that purpose! Eating vegan Part 2

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Starting the shift toward eating a plant-based diet

Eating a plant-based dietplant-based-diet-starting-the-shift

 

More and more people are turning to plant foods to increase their health and avoid certain diseases and illnesses. You’ve probably heard of at least one celebrity who follows a variation of this diet! This means that more and more popular press will focus on plant-based foods and diets, more and more manufactures will try to support this trend to gain sales, and we (the consumer) will have easier access to quality foods!

But, once you decide to include more plants in your diet, how do you get started? It’s easy!

Here are some ideas.

First, focus on whole or minimally processed foods. This could mean something as simple as buying whole potatoes and prepare them yourself instead of getting the easy to prepare instant mashed potatoes! It takes only 5-10 minutes more to get the potatoes in the pot, and then the rest is easy. When you make them yourself, you control the amount of salt and fat you include. Instead of adding butter and cream to the potatoes, try boosting flavor with crushed garlic and a bit of parsley for color.

 

Or, if you already cook your own potatoes (for example) but you’re beginning to worry about the questionable nutritional value of the basic russet, you might shift to sweet potatoes instead! With their deep, rich color, sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene and fiber. They are in excellent next step in your plant-based diet journey.

 

Another idea to increase fiber and nutrition would be to replace rice with quinoa or riced cauliflower. If you tolerate them well, you might also replace (either completely or partially) white or brown rice with your favorite legume.

 

Second, shift the balance of what you put on your plate. Vegetables, grains, and legumes should occupy three-quarters of your plate. Follow your grandmother’s advice, and make sure you see lots of color variation in the foods you’re eating. If you still want to include meat, use it as a seasoning in cooking (for example a bit of pork belly in with the beans or chicken wings in a big pot of broth) rather than 8-10 ounces of steak on your dinner plate. If you want eggs and dairy, limit these foods to 1-2 times a week.

 

As you plan your meals for the week, think about these ideas! Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, choose one meal to focus on this week. How can you replace the animal products with satisfying, healthy plant-based foods? Enjoy being creative! In our next blog, we’ll start going meal by meal with some handy, tasty, and simple recipes and menu ideas.

 

In future blogs we’ll look at:

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