Trying A Vegan Diet – What Do I Eat?

In the last week, we have heard again that even small amounts of red meat can increase our cancer risk. It is said that we should limit intake to 50 grams a week. Anything more than this increases our risk of early death.

So if it is considered “safe” to only eat this amount, then surely we are better to cut it out completely and follow a plant-based diet! If we do take this route to a healthy lifestyle, then how can I exercise, lose fat and build muscle?

The following are tips and ideas I have picked up following @thevegan_coach on Instagram. This will give you a little taster of what to do but I would highly recommend following him, for lots of free and helpful ideas. You can even contact and work with him.

I have to start by pointing out that following a vegan diet doesn’t mean you will lose fat. There aren’t magic foods that cause fat loss. It’s a myth! You have to follow a realistic eating program, eat the right foods, eat a balanced diet and exercise in the right way. There are no quick fixes. I have never been a fan of fad diets, they just don’t work.

In addition to eating the rights foods, it is important to:

1. Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night.
2. Cut out alcohol, this will help in so many ways, not least it will enable you to get the quality sleep.
3. Exercise regularly and get the balance between cardio and weights right. Even use yoga as a form of exercise to help you.
4. Drink lots of water. You should be aiming for at least 3 litres a day!

Getting Protein on a Vegan Diet

The key on a vegan diet is to eat at least 80% whole foods and ensure you get good plant protein. It is another myth that we need animal protein, quite simply we don’t.  

But where do we get this plant protein from? Well, some good examples are:

1. Soy.

2. Beans (all varieties, including baked beans).

3. Chia.

4. Nuts.

5. Lentils.

6. Quinoa.

7. Buckwheat.

8. Tofu.

9. Chickpeas.

This is not an exhaustive list but gives you a good start of where to look. You will also benefit from healthy fats from things like nuts.

A word of warning in relation to mock meats. Some are highly processed, for example, Quorn, whereas others such as Jackfruit, are less processed and have real nutrients. 

Vegan Breakfast Ideas

A good way to start the day is to eat scrambled tofu, instead of eggs. There are plenty of recipes for this online and don’t be afraid to experiment. You can also make healthy breakfast fruit smoothies and include a milk alternative. My particular favourite is oat milk (and it has the added advantage of being better for the environment than nut and soya based milks).

Supplements on a Vegan Diet

There are some supplements that are worth considering as well when following a vegan diet. The three key ones are:

1.  Omega 3.

2. Vitamin D ( particularly in winter).

3. Vitamin B12.

We have also said before about the bad effect alcohol has, particular for the “Midsters”. If you want to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle, then best to avoid or completely cut it out.

By Paul Baynham

Credit given and noted to The Vegan Coach on Instagram. For more details, tips and recipes, please follow on Instagram. 


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