Being vegan is an idea I’ve toyed with a lot, so something like a challenge throughout World Vegan Month sounds ideal for someone like me.
I stopped smoking during a month challenge and never went back. Stop eating meat during a week challenge and never went back. What’s not to saying doing a months-long challenge can have a similar effect?
Many celebrities including Liam Hemsworth, J Lo, Brad Pitt and even Beyoncé credit their weight loss and healthy complexions to a vegan diet – so it’s something worth looking into if you’re wanting to improve your health.
There are many benefits, both inside and out, that you’ll feel from a vegan diet, so why not give it a go this November for World Vegan Month?
8 Tips to keep you healthy and happy during World Vegan Month:
Let your timeline motivate you!
Keep your motivation up during the month by following social media accounts that will encourage you to keep at your vegan diet. There are loads of Instagram accounts dedicated to vegan diets, as well as videos on YouTube showing you what vegans eat in a day.
Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfooduk.com explains that there are many more nutritious protein packed alternative to meats:
“Don’t rely on ‘fake meat’ soy- and gluten-based products; keep them for an occasional treat. Consume pulses every day! These include lentils, peas and all kinds of beans. These are packed with protein and complex carbohydrates”.
If you are worried about getting enough protein you can always add a vegan protein powder to your morning shake.
Going vegan can be the change you need to try out some new foods around the world. Thai and Middle Eastern restaurants will have plenty of vegan options to keep you satisfied.
When I became vegetarian, it motivated me to try loads of foods I hadn’t before!
Top up on Vitamin D
Cutting out protein can mean that you are missing out key nutrients that are vital for your general health and wellbeing.
Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist and author of ‘Natural Alternatives to Sugar’ says:
“Natural food sources of vitamin D are few. It is found in oily fish and eggs, and other sources would include fortified foods such as margarines and breakfast cereals. The advice now from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommends that adults and children take vitamin D every day especially over the winter. When selecting a supplement containing vitamin D, choose one where the form of vitamin D is D3. I would suggest trying NHP’s Vitamin D3 Support in a convenient, spray from (£10.97, www.naturalhealthpractice.com).”
Don’t overload on unhealthy carbs
Going vegan is not an excuse to eat loads of bowls of pasta! Make sure you fill out your meals with some healthy carbs, Shona says:
“Don’t eat lots of refined carbohydrates. Focus on varied wholefoods like quinoa, millet, rye, basmati rice, oats, and buckwheat.”
Get your Omegas
Cutting out meat and fish means you are also cutting out a great source of omegas, as Shona explains, you can get them from vegan-friendly foods:
“Our skin needs fat. It’s an essential element in retaining both the moisture and barrier function of the skin. Certain fats such as omega 3, 6 and 9 are of particular importance. Omega 6 (linoleic acid) fats are readily available in most nuts and seeds such as flax, hemp and evening primrose, while omega 9 (oleic acid) is best found in olive oil, avocados and almonds. Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) can be found in flaxseed, chia and avocado.”
Stock up on your vitamins!
Many people who stick to a plant-based diet are lacking in Vitamin B, in particular B12, which is great for keeping your energy up!
Shona says: “In general, if you eat dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, lentils and brown rice you will be getting B vitamins but the following foods are good sources for the individual B vitamins.”
“It is usually best to take B vitamins in a complex. This is because the B vitamins work in synergy with each other. If you take too much of one particular B vitamin it may put the others out of balance.”
Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at www.lilysoutternutrition.com, adds:
“With a zero meat policy, vegans and vegetarians are at risk of iron deficiency. Our richest and most bioavailable source of iron come from meat and fish. Whilst plant sources such as beans and green leafy veg do contain iron, the abundance and bioavailability is much lower. However if vegans and vegetarians supplement with vitamin C at each meal, this can help with absorption rate of iron from their food.”
Check your cupboards
If you decide to make your new found veganism more of a lifestyle rather than just a diet, make sure you check you bathroom cupboards!
It’s also important to educate yourself on what you can and cannot eat as there are loads of animal products hidden in foods that you wouldn’t expect!
Choose beauty products that don’t test on animals and use all natural products.
Using completely organic products might even improve your skin, as Sonja Dymalovski, skincare expert at What Skin Needs explains:
“Hydration is the key to young looking skin, and adding a serum to your night time routine is a great way to wake up with youthful glow. I would go for a serum with natural oils that have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties like Jojoba oil and Plantolin. Try Hydrating Facial Serum by What Skin Needs (www.whatskinneeds.co.uk, £17.99)”
Hope these tips help. Will you be joining in on World Vegan Month?