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.

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 Spinach and Artichoke Dip

INGREDIENTS

  • 1¼ cups unsweetened, unflavored plant milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose or oat flour
  • 1 cup of vegan mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups finely chopped spinach (fresh, or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped (1½ cups)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the plant milk, flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens to a spreadable consistency. Add in Mozzarella and continue to stir until it melts evenly.
  2. Add the spinach and artichoke hearts. Mix well, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes more, until the spinach has wilted. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the sauce gets too thick.
  3. Let the dip cool completely.
  4. Serve the dip warm or cold with the baguette, tortilla chips, or pita chips.

 

 

Vegan Applesauce Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax seed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup organic canola oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. LIne a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the spelt flour, almond meal, sugar, ground flax seed, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.
  3. Add the applesauce, oil, and almond milk and stir until combined.
  4. Fill the muffin cups two thirds full.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

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!

Vegan Almost Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup oat oats
  • 2 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or panko crumbs
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Almond milk (to dip)

Directions:

1 Place chickpeas and oats in blender with a little water from the can and pulse

2 Remove from the blender and add seasonings

3 Mix and form balls or nuggets.

4 Dip nuggets into bread crumbs, then milk, then back into bread crumbs.

5 Continue until all nuggets are breaded.

6 Place nuggets in a heated skillet with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil

7 Cook until crispy on one side and then flip to make crispy on the other side.

8 Serve with ketchup or any type of sauce and a salad on the side.

9 Enjoy

 

 

Popular Vegan Substitutes

Dairy

Alternative milks: Almond, soy, rice or hemp milk.

Buttery spread: Look for non-hydrogenated versions, like Earth Balance.

Dairy-free cheese: Daiya melts

Cream cheese: Tofutti cream cheese.

Sour cream: Tofutti.

Soy yogurt: Good for probiotics.

Protein

Tofurkey: If you can’t live without a “roast.”

Field Roast products: Grain-based faux meat products, not too processed and unusually tasty.

Tofu: Silken for smoothies and puddings; medium or firm for cooking.

Tempeh: Soybean-based meat substitute.

Seitan: Meat substitute made from wheat gluten; great texture, great protein.

Frozen vegetable burgers: Making your own is better, but these are convenient in a pinch.

Edamame: Fresh (frozen) soy beans are a great high-protein snack or side.

Beans: Dried and home-cooked are cheap and the healthiest

Condiments

Mayonnaise: Vegenaise tastes most like traditional mayo, Spectrum is a bit sweeter.

Bragg Liquid Aminos: Liquid protein concentrate, delicious soy-sauce taste.

Sriracha: Or other favorite hot sauces.

Harissa: Tunisian hot pepper paste makes anything taste good.

Tahini: Sesame paste can be used as a condiment or in preparing Middle Eastern recipes.

Kimchi: Great source of probiotics if you don’t like soy yogurt.

Sauerkraut: A surprising source of health benefits.

Source: https://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/vegan-grocery-list-top-50-staples-for-a-meat-free-diet

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.