There is nothing more rewarding than leading a healthy lifestyle. You feel stronger, confident, healthier and happier, it is for these reasons that many individuals seek the help of professional nutritionists, gym instructors, and lifestyle coaches.
Although these are all important, one of the ways you can increase your chances of becoming healthy is by going on a vegan diet.
Vegan diets are meal recipes that are void of any animal products, like meat, cheese, and also dairy products. Vegan diets typically include vegetables, fruits, fibre and whole grains.
The following is a basic 4-week plan, that will help you on your journey to physical and mental health.
Week One: This is the first week and usually the hardest, your body is about to experience a lot of changes it’s not used to. Your body will be detoxified of all the animal products it’s used to. Supplement animal-based protein with plant-based sources like seeds, nuts, and beans.
Breakfast Idea: Cinnamon Apple Oats
1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
2/3 cup apple juice concentrate
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins or currants (optional)
Combine oats, apple juice concentrate, water, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in raisins or currants, if using. Let stand 3 minutes before serving.
Week Two: The detoxification process continues. Supplement all meat products with other alternatives like tofu and tempeh. These are the best choices as they are low in cholesterol, fat and are mild on the arteries.
Lunch idea- Ginger Noodles
1 8-ounce package soba noodles
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped, including tops
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Cook noodles in boiling water according to package directions. When tender, drain and rinse. Mix vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, jalapeno pepper, green onions, and cilantro, if using, then pour over cooked noodles and toss to mix.
Week Three: Do away with sugar and foods with a lot of sugars. This week your body is reacting to the detoxification process and requires sugar. Opt for healthy sources like carrot sticks, soy chips, apples, almonds, and nuts. You can also snack on vegetables as well.
Dinner Idea: Homemade, Veggie-Full Ground “Meat”
1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and washed, broken into florets (about 1 pound/450 g after trimming)
2 cups (250 g) raw walnut halves
2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1tsp (5 ml) garlic powder
1/4 tsp (1 ml) dried sage
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) smoked paprika
1 tsp (5 ml) liquid smoke
1/2-3/4 tsp (2.5-3.5 ml) fine sea salt, to taste
2 Tbsp (30 ml) Bragg’s liquid aminos, soy sauce, or tamari (omit for an entirely soy-free “meat”)
Instead of buying a packaged meat alternative, try making your own faux ground beef out of plant foods like walnuts, cauliflower, and olive oil. The recipe calls for soy sauce, but you can omit for a soy-free “fake meat” to put in lasagna.
Week Four: By the final week, your body is adjusted properly and it’s easy for you to prepare different recipes.
Dessert idea: Chocolate Mousse
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup nondairy milk, such as soy milk or rice milk
Place chocolate chips and nondairy milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Let sit for 2 minutes. Drain excess water from the tofu.
Place tofu, vanilla, and chocolate chip/nondairy milk mixture in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer into small individual serving dishes and chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator or 30 minutes in the freezer. Serve topped with strawberries and garnished with mint, if using.
Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, leftover Chocolate Mousse will keep for up to 3 days.
Variation: Add a chopped banana to the blender or food processor when you process the tofu and chocolate together.
Your meals do not necessarily have to change, just a little substitution.
For instance, instead of eating regular bacon with eggs for breakfast, you can substitute with veggie bacon.
Lunch can be lentil soup filled with fresh vegetables and beans, or a veggie burger for burger lovers.
Dinner can be stir-fry vegetable pasta, with tomato juice.
There are so many accessible recipes online, and in cookbooks that could make the process easier.
Going vegan is not only important (even though it is effective) for losing weight, but also for leading a healthier and happier life.