A vegan diet centers on eating more wholesome, plant-based foods and cutting out animal products like meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy, whether it’s for ethical, environmental, or health-related reasons.

The premise is to fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains should leave little space for less nutritious “food products.” Cutting out certain processed options, may make your diet lower in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar. Which will now help you lose weight.

Alternately, the potential downside applies when less nutritious, processed vegan products take the place of fruits and veggies. Those substitutes are often lower in protein and just as nutrient-poor as what you’re replacing in the first place. Eliminating animal products and ultimately eating mostly refined grains like white flour or rice won’t provide any health benefits either. But increases your potential to gain weight.

If done correctly, adopting a “part-time” vegan diet can increase the plant foods in your diet while decreasing animal products high in saturated fat. Emphasizing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes force you to rethink the way you fill your plate.

In turn, can help you lose Weight.

Why Should You Weightlift?

  1. To regulate insulin and lower inflammation. Along with keeping away chronic disease, strength training has you burning through glucose, which is good news for those grappling with Type 2 diabetes who consistently need to manage blood sugar levels.
  2. To improve posture, sleep, mood and energy levels. Besides the aesthetic, physiological and strength benefits, it affects just how we feel and how clearly we think. Weight training [has] proven to improve the quality of a person’s sleep.
  3. To protect your bones. Weight-bearing exercise and particularly strength training is thought to increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and breaks among older adults.
  4. To boost your balance. Of course, one major cause of bone breaks as we age is falling. Some of weightlifting’s benefit in protecting against osteoporosis may be improved strength and balance, resulting in fewer falls.
  5. To burn more calories. Simply having more muscle on your frame helps your body burn up extra calories — even when you’re sitting completely still.

How to Stay Fit at Home

  • Stay in the mood. Just wearing your workout clothes may motivate you to work harder even if you’re just doing chores around the house. Plus, you can get sweaty and you don’t have to worry about it. You’re always ready for a quick workout or walk whenever time allows.   Wearing your workout clothes is a reminder to get some kind of exercise in, no matter how short.
  • Take short fitness breaks when sitting. Whether you’re working on your computer or watching television, get up and move around for 5 to 10 minutes for every hour you sit. Pace around the room, or do 10-20     jumping jacks. It all counts!

  • Incorporate strength training all day long. Do pushups with one of your his kids on your back. Try lunges, squats and other exercises while cooking dinner.
  • Take short fitness breaks when sitting. Whether you’re working on your computer or watching television, get up and move around for 5 to 10 minutes for every hour you sit. Pace around the room, or do 10-20 jumping jacks while picking up toys or clothes.  It all counts! Don’t forget to use the stairs whenever possible

 

Diet and Nutrition for Women over 40..

Fish Intake

Heart disease risk is likely to rise after menopause, so you should try to eat at least two servings of fish per week (preferably those with healthy fats like salmon or trout).

Slim down

Slimming down not only reduces the risks of heart disease and breast cancer, both of which go up after menopause,  but new research shows that it may also help obese or overweight women cut down on hot flashes.

Take Care of Your Bones

Your calcium needs go up after age 50, from 1,000 milligrams per day to 1,200 mg.  Doctors believe with less estrogen on board, your bones don’t absorb calcium as well.
If you’re eating dairy, choose low-fat products. These have roughly the same amount of calcium as their full-fat counterparts, but with fewer calories.

Soy is Ok

Soy contains plant estrogens, so many women think it can increase their breast cancer risk. However, there is little data to support this. The misconception likely comes from studies of high-dose soy supplements, which may stimulate the growth of estrogen-sensitive tumors.
Soy foods like tofu, soy nuts, and soy milk may offer relief from mild hot flashes and are not thought to increase breast cancer risk. “Women in Japan have the highest soy intake and the lowest risk of breast cancer, but Japanese women who move to the U.S. and eat less soy have a higher risk,” says research.

Fiber is your friend

The days of gorging without gaining weight are over. And as your metabolism slows around age 40, eating fewer calories can boost health. But you should also make sure to get adequate fiber and fluids. Make sure the calories that you are decreasing come from things like sweets, but we keep those high-fiber foods in the diet, and we also make sure we meet our fluid needs. That’s really important. Make sure that our daily eating plan is packed full of nutrient-dense food, like lean protein, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy and whole grains.

 

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

Vegetarian and Vegan Kids

Your child has come to you and tells you they want to be a Vegetarian or a Vegan. What do you do? As a parent, we listen first.

  • Ask and let them explain why it is they want to change the diet
  • Talk about any concerns you may have as far as any vitamin deficiency they may incur and how they may have to take a multi-vitamin to substitute any missing nutrition (vitamins B12, iron, calcium, etc….)
  • Support them and let them know you appreciate their effort. Once a week cook a vegetarian/vegan meal for the entire family
  • Always have foods available for them to maintain their  food choices (fresh fruits and vegetables)
  • Allow them to find and cook their own vegetarian/vegan meals

Last but not least, always keep the doors of communication open and make sure you and them are educated about veganism and vegetarianism.

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