Raw Vegan or Vegan ???

Raw Vegan: Eats anything that doesn’t come from an animal, or contain things that have come from an animal AND hasn’t been heated above 42 degrees Celsius.Practically this includes all plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds and legumes) as they occur in nature, and any combination of them. They can be cut, diced, blended, frozen, juiced, dehydrated, fermented or combined in any way you can think of, so long as they aren’t heated above 42 degrees Celsius. Proponents of a raw food diet claim that there are many benefits to eating raw foods, including weight loss, more energy, clear skin, improved digestion and improved overall health. The raw diet has seen an increase in popularity in recent years with raw food restaurants open in most major cities

Vegan: Vegan is very similar to raw vegan, in that you still do not consume dairy and animal products.  Processed foods are a kept at a minimum or not at all for both. The one main difference with Vegan is basically the fact that you eat cooked food.

The lifestyle ethics are the same for both. Which means neither raw vegans or regular vegans wear or use anything that came from an animal (leather, wool, silk, down, suede) or was tested on animals (personal and household cleaning products, cosmetics and beauty products etc). It’s just what you put in your mouth that differs. So, a whole food plant-based diet also is focused on eating whole fruits and vegetables, consuming lots of whole grains for health reasons. The two of them also include minimally processed food like fermented foods such as miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

VEGAN FOOD GROUPS

Vegetables Group

Do you have ANY idea just how good veggies are for you? They’re one of the most important foods you can eat. They are low-calorie and full of nutrients that your body needs daily.

Fortified Soymilk or Nut milk Group

This is the Vegan Calcium group. As long as you’re eating a well-balanced diet, it’s difficult to NOT get the calcium you need. There are many other foods that provide Calcium as well.

Beans, Bean Alternates, Nuts & Seeds Group

  Vegans get plenty of protein from other sources other than meat. Beans are just a common staple for Vegans to go to for protein. Many other foods have protein as well.

 

Whole Grains, Breads, Rice, Pasta, Cereals Group

You’ll find many good whole grains to consume. Just remember to find out hoow many servings of whole grains you should eat on a daily basis, a list of grains for you to discover, and how to select, clean, soak, cook and flavor your grains to perfection.

 

Fruit Group

Learn which fruits MUST BE organic and which can be conventional. Also learn how to select and clean your fruit, fruit “Flavor Matches”, and nutritional information too.

 

Omegas, B12 and D Group

There are some very important nutrients we need to be sure to supplement with and you can learn about these in my such as omega 3’s and B12. We need to make sure we don’t leave out any important vitamins and nutrients when becoming Vegan.

 

Water!

Glass of waterLast but certainly not least is WATER!

Concerns about Becoming a Vegan

Vegan diets, when planned properly, are healthy and can even lower the risk of certain diseases, according to the American Dietetic Association. They can be appropriate for individuals in all stages of life, including infancy, childhood, pregnancy and lactation. It is important to note, however, that there is a risk of being deficient in certain nutrients if the vegan diet is not carefully planned. People who adhere to strict vegan diets are at risk for less than adequate intakes of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, zinc, iodine and vitamins D and B-12.

Because animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, fish and fowl are among the best sources of protein, vegans can sometimes lack sufficient protein in their diets. The American Dietetic Association, however, believes that protein requirements can be met if a variety of plant proteins are consumed, such as peas, beans, ect.

Though vegan diets can lack sufficient amounts of omega-3 due to the restriction of omega-3-rich foods, including eggs, fish and other seafood. The omega-3 fatty acids found in animal sources can also be found in  plant foods rich in omega-3, such as flaxseed. Vegans can purchase soy milk and breakfast bars fortified with DHA, as well as DHA supplements. Sources containing DHA are sufficient for vegan diets.

Vitamin D is important for bone health, and low levels have been linked to reduced bone mass. Sunlight exposure is best source of vitamin D. Many people vegan or not lack vitamin D.  People who do not get regular sun exposure need to consume dietary vitamin D through either fortified foods or supplements, since vitamin D occurs naturally in very few foods. Vegan sources of vitamin D that are often fortified include soy milk, rice milk and orange juice.

Lack of vitamin B-12 is one of the biggest concerns with vegan diets, especially because vegan diets do not have it. Severe B-12 deficiencies can result in both anemia and dementia, notes Harvard Medical School. So, if you’re a vegan, be sure to consume B-12 fortified foods such as soy and rice beverages and breakfast cereals, or supplements.

In conclusion, a vegan diet, is like every other diet. It needs to be carefully planned out. We are not free to just eat whatever we please and be healthy. Vegan diets are and can be a successful way to have good lasting health.

Vegan Delights

Ingredients

1 cup roasted coconut

1 cup pitted dates

1 tbs. olive oil

1 cup vegan chocolate

 

Directions:

  1. Pulse together dates, coconut and oil until a ball forms.
  2. Form cookies and use a straw to poke holes in the middle.
  3. Put the cookies on wax paper.
  4. Place in the freezer for 2hrs.
  5. Melt the chocolate after the 2hrs, and dip the cookies in it.
  6. Place on wax paper.
  7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy

Vitamin Supplements vs. Actual Food

Vitamins and minerals in supplements are synthetic forms of the nutrients. The word “synthetic” doesn’t necessarily mean inferior, however. Even those supplements that claim to have “natural” ingredients contain some synthetic ingredients. Therefore, if a pill contained only natural ingredients, it would be huge.

It is generally best to get your vitamins (as well as minerals) naturally from foods or, in the case of vitamin D, controlled sun exposure.  For example, recent research on the mineral calcium suggests that it is safest to get your calcium from foods that are naturally rich in calcium than from supplements.

Exceptions to the “foods are better” rule are two B vitamins. Ten to thirty percent of older people don’t properly digest and absorb natural vitamin B-12 from foods, so it is recommended to get B-12 from a supplement if you are over age 50.

Supplements aren’t intended to substitute for food. They can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Whole foods offer three main benefits over dietary supplements:

  • Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs.
  • Essential fiber. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provide dietary fiber. As part of a healthy diet, fiber can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also help manage constipation.
  • Protective substances. Many whole foods are also good sources of antioxidants — substances that slow down a natural process leading to cell and tissue damage. It isn’t clear that antioxidant supplements offer the same benefits as antioxidants in food. Some high-dose antioxidant supplements have been associated with health risks.

source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/supplements/art-20044894

 

Kids and Nutrition

As a parent one the most important duties we have to our children is to make sure they receive adequate nutrition from the foods they eat. Nutrition is essential for kids because proper nutrition helps prevent illness and disease, and affects their growth, development and learning. Eating the right food promotes a better quality of life because when kids feel good physically, they’re able to take part in the activities they enjoy. They are able to learn and have better mental clarity.

Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. We need to educate our children and ourselves about proper nutrition.

  • Protein. Choose seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Fruits. Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruits — rather than fruit juice.
  • Vegetables. Serve a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried vegetables. Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas
  • Grains. Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice.
  • Dairy. Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese

Limit your child’s calories from:

  • Added sugar. Limit added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit and milk, are not added sugars.
  • Saturated and trans fats. Limit saturated fats

 

SWITCH TO A PLANT BASED WAY OF LIFE

1. Learn More

Read and watch everything you can about eating vegan. Talk to vegans you know about how they transitioned, what challenges they had and how they overcame them, and what things they love most about their vegan lifestyle. Support yourself with knowledge—it works!

A recent survey of nearly 8,000 vegans found that more than 40 percent were inspired to go vegan after watching an educational video or movie, nearly 30 percent were motivated by an article, book or song lyric, and another 25 percent were encouraged to become vegan by a conversation with another person.

2. Veganize Your Current Meals

Choose some of your favorite meals that you cook on a regular basis for lunch or dinner, and then veganize them. A hamburger can become a grilled or sautéed portobello mushroom smothered with sautéed tomatoes and onions. You’ll be surprised at how easily you can make your most familiar meals vegan.

3. Find New Vegan Recipes

Make a habit of leisurely checking out vegan recipe sites once a week or so when you have some free time. That way, you’ll expand your awareness about the infinite variety of vegan dishes that exist, you’ll identify some favorite, go-to sites for mealtime inspiration, and you’ll train your brain to think vegan when it comes to food.

4. Keep a Stash

It’s a good idea to keep a stash of your favorite healthy snacks in your desk or the refrigerator at work, in your car, or in your purse or bag. These can include fruit, nuts, popcorn, baked chips and more. You’ll find they come in handy during those times when there’s no other vegan food available.

6. Enjoy the Transition

Celebrate the fact that you’re taking this life-changing step toward eating healthier. That alone is a tremendous achievement.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/world-vegan-day-6-tips-switching-plant-based-diet-n676281

Nutrition

Sample label for Macaroni and Cheese

Source: https://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm#see1