Things to keep in mind when eating vegan

Today, we present her 10 tips for an optimal vegan diet.

How to start a Vegan Diet ? Modified and not replaced

The word “vegan” is already somewhat suboptimal, as it only describes what is omitted, namely animal products. But it doesn’t say much more about the diet. Many make the mistake of not really changing their diet, but only replacing animal products. So, of course, the health potential of a plant-based diet cannot be fully developed. Plus, it can get boring very quickly.

That’s why it’s so important to approach the change in diet with an open mind and some curiosity?

There are over 40,000 different edible plants on this planet. Of course, we may not like all of them. And it makes perfect sense to start with the ones that grow in your area. But, if you approach a diet change the right way, I can promise you: For every product you cut out, you add at least two new ones. Think of it as a kind of culinary journey, gradually expanding your range of healthy, delicious plant-based foods and meals.

Learn more about nutrients

No diet by itself meets your nutritional needs, not the mixed diet, not the vegan diet. In the end, it always depends on the exact composition of the menu.

In order to adopt a diet that fundamentally meets our needs, we need to know what nutrients are potentially essential, what foods contain them, and how I can consistently meet my needs in my daily life.

In the vegan diet, the following nutrients are among the potentially critical elements: protein, DHA&EPA, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and iodine. This may seem like a lot at first, but that doesn’t mean it’s very difficult to cover, just that you need to keep an eye on it. Most of those listed here apply to mixed foodies as well. The only difference is that they aren’t constantly being told to watch their nutrients. Vegans are often better off precisely because they actively address these issues.

How to start a Vegan Diet: Blood test

Why do we still need to have blood tests when we are eating well? The main reason is that it is not only the amount of nutrients ingested that determines what is ultimately available to my cells, but also the complex processes of our digestion and metabolism.

For example, even people who eat a mixed diet can be deficient in vitamin B12 despite eating a lot of meat, because this vitamin is not absorbed properly. Blood tests to prevent nutrient deficiencies and associated diseases are therefore not limited to vegans. Unfortunately, the symptoms are usually so diffuse that we don’t attribute them to a nutrient deficiency or really notice them until a deficiency is already evident. This is really not something to joke about. So it’s best to check the most important values once a year and you’ll be safe.

How to start a Vegan Diet: The right complements

Don’t worry: just because you’re on a vegan diet doesn’t mean you have to fill your entire medicine cabinet with pills and powders. The blood tests we just mentioned serve as the best basis for determining the right supplements and their dosage. The basic rule of thumb for supplements is: as much as necessary, as little as possible. Priority should always be given to the coverage of nutrients by our diet. Some supplements can also be harmful if taken in too high a dose and it is not a case of “the more the merrier”. This is why I always advise my clients to take only targeted supplements.

How to start a Vegan Diet: Increase portion size

Good news: vegans tend to be able to eat MORE. Woohoo, because plant-based foods tend to have fewer calories than animal-based products. Therefore, portion sizes can and should be increased a bit in order to eat the same amount of calories. This may be a bit unusual at first, and the gastrointestinal tract also needs to get used to the larger volume and fiber. For many people, the result is that they simply do not consume enough energy in general and feel tired.

Eat very little processed food

When faced with a supermarket shelf labeled “vegan,” it’s easy to get the impression that a vegan diet means eating soy cutlets and lupine nuggets. It’s a real shame that the real staples of the vegan diet don’t usually carry a “vegan” label. I recommend the 80/20 rule here: as long as 80% of your diet is as minimally processed as possible, there’s still room for 20% of all industrially processed products, such as schnitzels, cookies, gravy, and other vegetarian prepared foods. After all, if you want to test what the products are made of and support the development of plant-based alternatives.

To stick with it, consider preparing your weekday meals on the weekend and put them in Lunch Boxes. On our website, you will find a wide selection of Lunch Boxes suitable for all tastes and ages.

Don’t leave out any food groups

So what are the basic foods of a vegan diet? There are basically five plant-based food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. And to eat enough to meet your needs, it’s important to really include all the food groups in your diet. Often, it’s not because you don’t know that certain groups are important or because you’re afraid that a certain group is less healthy. This is probably due to the many extreme vegan diets that demonize certain foods or entire groups. In my eyes, a very dangerous development.

Plan ahead

As easy as it has become to eat vegan in our big cities, it can still be a challenge at times, especially in rural areas. I can speak from my own experience. Also at work, not all canteens offer healthy vegan alternatives. So depending on your living and working situation, it makes a lot of sense to plan your meals in advance. Bringing your own food is also good for your wallet. So consider getting a Lunch Box, it will help you keep a healthy vegan diet.

Get connected!

Especially as a newbie to veganism, you can quickly feel like an outsider if you don’t have any like-minded people. Especially when family, friends, and colleagues react less positively to the change in diet, it can be a real challenge. Many then go back to throwing everything away because they have too much headwind. But there is also good news: you are not alone and up to 200 new vegans are joining the ranks every day in France. Thanks to social networks, it’s easier than ever for us to connect with like-minded people, whether on Instagram or in Facebook groups. There are many ways to find your allies. Take the plunge, it’s worth it!

How to start a Vegan Diet: Take your time

Many people put pressure on themselves at first to change everything overnight. While I support your decision to go vegan, I think it’s perfectly fine for everyone to do it at their own pace. There’s no need to feel bad if something didn’t work out or if you had to make another exception after all. Every step counts!

I hope these tips have helped you and that you now know what to look for in a plant-based diet.

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