How To Stay Vegan

Most of us know someone that has tried a vegan or vegetarian diet but eventually ended up reverting back to eating meat. Perhaps they didn’t feel great on it, felt hungry too often, or had low energy.

*Student raises hand* “But, teacher, if being vegan is as great as you’ve been claiming, then why does this happen?!”

From what I’ve seen this is due to a few different things.
–>They were accidentally undereating
–>They were relyingΒ on processed carbs to fill them up
–>They were consuming too much vegan junk foods/faux meats (which are virtually void of nutrients)
–>They were not supplementing with vitamin B12

Let’s dive a little deeper and go over some solutions.

Accidentally undereating
When first adopting a vegan diet, especially a low-fat, plant-based one, many people make the mistake of just eating a bunch of salads with a small portion of rice or potatoes. As I mentioned in this post, most plant foods are less calorie dense than meat, dairy, and processed foods. This means not only can you get away with eating a larger volume of food but you really should in order to reach your daily energy needs. Being sure to eat enough food on a vegan diet will help you maintain your energy levels and feel your best. A good rule of thumb is to follow this plate formula. Fill at least half of your plate with non-starchy veggies, 1/4 of your plate with a whole starchy carb (potatoes or whole grains), and 1/4 of your plate with plant protein (beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh). This is a simple formula and can be varied to fit your needs and goals.

Filling up on too many processed carbs
You will not find me hating on carbs as long as they are whole and intact. Our bodies are made to run on glucose which primarily comes from carbs. The type of carbohydrate is important though in how our bodies are going to feel. Often people on a vegan diet will eat a lot of pasta and bread to replace meat and cheese. Things like pasta, bread, crackers, and chips are highly processed. The fiber has been stripped from them and they are often filled with added sugar and salt. On the other hand, if you are opting for whole carb sources like potatoes (all kinds), squash, fruit, lentils, beans, and whole grains in the form of brown rice, oats, quinoa, etc. you are going to feel much better. And your body is going to look a whole lot better. By consuming these types of carbs you are going to be loading your body up with fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins instead of unhealthy calories.

Choose whole foods vs. processed
I recommend this to any eater whether they are meat eaters or vegans. Processed foods are void of nutrients but generally loaded with sugars, chemicals, excess salt, and oils. Eat foods in a form that keeps their nutrients and health benefits intact. Choose a potato over a french fry and a french fry over a potato chip. When buying peanut butter choose one that has 2 or less ingredients-peanuts and maybe salt. Avoid any with added oils and sweeteners. Choose a whole fresh piece of fruit over dried and choose dried over fruit juice.

As for vegans and vegetarians, it’s fun and comforting to eat faux meats when you are first switching your diet. I get that. But make sure this habit doesn’t last because most faux meats are incredibly processed and unhealthy. Look at this ingredient list for a popular vegan sausage substitute:

Water, vital wheat gluten, organic tofu (water, organic soybeans, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride), non-GM expeller pressed canola oil, organic cane sugar, yeast extract, oat fiber, vegan natural flavors, non-GM corn starch, sea salt, potassium chloride, granulated garlic, calcium lactate from beets, onion powder, spices, citric acid, titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral)

Besides the tofu, water, and spices this is a pretty disappointing ingredient list. Save the faux meats for special occasions like a holiday or a fun meal out. There are some awesome recipes out there to make your own vegan sausage and burgers that use things like beans, veggies, and grains. By opting for those most of the time you will be saving money and making your health a priority.

Supplement with vitamin B12
Did you know vitamin B12 is not made by animals? It’s actually made by microbes that live in the soil and on plants. Those plants are then eaten by the animals that humans then eat and that’s how meat eaters get their B12. It is vital to supplement with B12 on a vegan or plant-based diet. The results of a B12 deficiency are devastating and include symptoms such as anemia, shortness of breath, fatigue, memory loss, paralysis, and blindness. Avoiding this is as easy as taking a supplement as little as once a week. Dr. Greger Β recommends that adults under age sixty-five take 2,500 mcg/week. A daily dose is 250 mcg. For those over 65, a dose of 1,000 mcg a day is optimal. B12 supplements are quite cheap and taking a B12 supplement is nonnegotiable if you are centering your diet around plant foods.

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Sour cream belongs on tacos in my opinion and this tofu sour cream is so easy to whip up and tastes kind of perfect as a sub for dairy sour cream. ...
Recipe: 
1 package of tofu (any will do - I usually buy firm)
~ 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
~ 1Tbsp Apple cider or red wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
1. Combine and blend all ingredients into a blender until smooth and creamy. 
NOTE: I like to start with about half of the lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and then blend, taste, and adjust flavors as I go until I get the right sour creamy flavor. 
2. Chill and enjoy!
  • Kinda diggin' this new almond milk sweetened with banana puree. It's like a grown up version of the Nesquik banana milk and I'm here for that.
  • HELLOOO EVERYONE!! πŸ’•
Dang, it's been awhile since I've posted consistently on here. I'd like to change that. To be honest, I struggle with allowing my true personality to show up on here which makes it difficult for me to want to be on here much. I sometimes worry about what others might think of the things I share so I end up not sharing anything! But I don't want to do that. I find joy in being able to help motivate and educate people on taking charge of their own health and eating their dang fruits and veggies. While I do that in my real day to day life, I'd like to bring that work on here a bit too because I generally enjoy the people I connect with on this platform. .
TL;DR - Hello again. Instagram is weird. But I like it anyway and plan to be better about posting consistently about plantbased eating and the evidence behind it and a little bit more about me. βœŒπŸ’œ
  • @thedomramirez and I had some fun making some banana sushi for dessert. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ Simply cover banana in nut butter and roll in toppings of choice.
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We are freezing some for those times we want a sweet snack.
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I bet these would be a lot of fun to make with kids, too.
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  • Wise words from Roots!
#Repost @rootszerowastemarket
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There's no room for single use! Literally, there's NO MORE ROOM on our planet for single use. .
If you have to take on packaging, make sure you are reusing those containers! Just because the product is gone doesn't mean the value is. You not only bought yourself food but also a re-usable container..so get your money's worth! .
Our recycling system is broken but you can be the solution...every day you #reuse and #refill. .
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#goingzerowaste #upcycle #reuserevolution #getyourmoneysworth #savethelandfill #savetheplanet #savetheoceans #refillrevolution #singleuse #consciousconsumer #getmoreforless #wasteless #livelighter #zerowastegoals #zerowaste #zerowastejourney #lovetheearth
  • No need to complicate healthy eating. Leftovers make lunches a snap. Today's lunch was a bowl of leftover steamed veggies and roasted potatoes with salsa on top. On the side, I had two seaweed brown rice cakes with mashed avocado, hummus, salsa, sauerkraut, and warmed refried beans from a can. Easy and ready in 5 minutes and full of fiber, protein, and micronutrients.
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