Everybody has to meet their nutrient needs regardless on what diet they are on.To be vegan is not really a diet -its a lifestyle .
The information nowadays for planning healthy menus on the vegan diet could be overwhelming and tracking intake of individual nutrients can quickly become confusing. The key to a healthy balanced vegan diet is VARIETY . Simply variety is the spice of life and planning vegan menus is a breeze once you learn a simple guidelines and practice them.
You can get an abundance of all the essential nutrients -protein , calcium , zinc, iron ,selenium , iodine , vitamin B, Vitamin D, healthy fats, Vitamin A, Vitamin K -by sticking to a few simple tips . Currently most of the food guides are created to serve the meat and dairy industry so with an open mind you can create your own vegan nutrition guide.
There is a lot of available information and I am constantly learning and implementing food combinations and trying new things.
A few people have been a source of abundant inspiration to me -like Dr. Jack Norris, who has been vegan for over 20 years, Dr. Brian Clemens , Dr. Colin Campbell. Matthew Armstrong, Will Turner ,Colleen Patrick-Goudreau just to name few. Every person in the vegan community that I come across to gives me something and by that we can educate more people about the cruelty in factory farming, the money in clever marketing and the health myths surrounding the meat and dairy industry.
I want to thank each and every one. I believe, that once we realize how connected we are with each other and every living thing on this planet a lot of the suffering and the pain will vanish. Because you will start to see yourself in every living thing and you no longer tolerate pain or suffering.
So this is a simple vegan food guide, that is based on the variety of grains, legumes, nuts, fruits , vegetables.(One serving is half a cup).
The first group of foods contain whole grains and starchy vegetables
These foods are high in fiber and provide protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins.It is always choose a whole grains. This group also includes potatoes and sweet potatoes because their calorie content and nutrients are similar to those of grains.
Include 5 or more servings per day of calcium rich foods.
These are the most protein rich of all plant foods. Dr.Jack Norris recommend 3-4 servings of these foods every day . Generally those foods provide 7-8 grams protein. These foods are also sources of other nutrients like iron, zinc .
Include 3-4 or more servings per day.If you choose not to use legumes for your prime source of protein you need to replace them with other lysine rich foods.A serving of one cup of quinoa, 1/4 cup of pistachios or 1/2 cup of cashews. This is an addition to 5 servings of grains.
Soy foods are a special category of legumes. I personally have been avoiding them , simply because 85% of the soy on the planes is genetically modified and the side effects of it are still not fully researched. Never the less if your source of soy is organic and non GMO soy beans can provide you with an abundance of foods-tofu, soy milk, tempeh and veggie meats. I am still researching soy and I will be writhing a post regarding soy.
These foods are concentrated in calories and even a small serving can provide nutrients. Nuts and seeds are a great source of fats which your body needs.The general rule is that nuts contain a bit healthier fat , than seeds.
Include 1 to 2 servings per day. A serving is a 1/4 cup whole nuts or two table spoons seeds, or 2 spoons nut or seed butter.
Those are the most nutrient dense foods-they are the best sources of Vitamins C , K and A ,potassium, iron , foliate, sometimes calcium and contain thousands of plant chemicals that are linked to everything from reduced risk of heart disease to better eyesightA
ll vegetables are good for you, but leafy green vegetables like collards, kale, spinach and turnip greens are especially powerful.
Include 5 or more servings per day. A serving is 1/2 cup cooked vegetable, 1 cup raw vegetable or 1/2 cup vegetable juice.Always aim for a variety of leafy green and bright yellow and orange vegetables.
Fruits are good sources of Vitamin C and A, as well as certain minerals. Best way to consume them is in their fresh raw state -that is when they provide an abundance of nutrient.
Include 2 or more serving . A serving is 1 medium fresh fruit . 1/2 cup cooked fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice and a 1/4 cup of dried fruit.Include good sources of Vitamin C such as citrus fruit to increase absorption of iron .
I find it incredibly easy to plan and enjoy a healthy balanced vegan diet. My meals are incredibly tasty and full of flavour. Breakfast is normally a fruit salad or a smoothie. I have the smoothie packed with some of the most amazing foods on this planet like spirulina, maca powder, raw cacao nibs and hemp oil. That smoothie really gives us a boost . My lunch is normally a hummus with some kind of vegetables, mainly raw , sometimes in a salad dressed with some tahini(by the way tahini is another amazing food, which i would like to share with you on another post). And for dinner I would normally have some sort of curry, rice, potatoes or will just make a quick warm salad with beans or quinoa. Overall I am loving it .
I haven’t included vegan chocolate cake or fried potatoes in this guide. This doesn’t mean, that you can’t have them . Its just they are not essential, but are a wonderful treat when you feel like it. ;-).Remember keep your food choices rich and realistic. There is a reasonable way to keep the balance and enjoy your plant based lifestyle.
Sending Blessings and Love ♥
P.S This is part 2-day 17-(after 91 days) of Word press Challenge to make a post every day. There are 91 days left of 2012.