20 Ways To Thrive On A Vegan Diet

I’m not personally vegan, but I respect anyone who chooses to be. I see many vegans in my clinic and I’m passionate about helping them – as well as vegetarians – to eat a well-balanced diet. It can be challenging to consume all the right nutrients when certain food groups are missing. Some vegans find they feel fatigued, which often means there is a nutrient deficiency in their diet. It’s important to tune into your body, recognise your symptoms and alter your diet if you’re not feeling your best. Here are my top 20 nutrition tips for maintaining a healthy, balanced vegan diet.

 

My nutrition advice for vegans:

  1. Add lemon to your mornings: Start your day with warm lemon water or a shot of apple cider vinegar. This helps to stimulate the gastric juices and aids digestion.
  2. Eat regularly: Enjoy six small meals throughout the day to stabilise your blood sugar levels. If you’re struggling for ideas, check out the Daily Meal Plan in our app.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drink two litres of water each day to keep your digestive tract healthy.
  4. Carry healthy snacks: Take some nutritious options with you throughout the day. Some good options are nuts, seeds, fruit or vegan bars.
  5. Eat lots of greens: Cook some veggies in a pan with a little water and tamari, and add lots of baby spinach. This is a fab nutrient-dense side.
  6. Don’t be scared of carbs: Enjoy potatoes and sweet potatoes in moderation.
  7. Up your vitamin B12 intake: Include more sea vegetables such as nori, soy, tempeh (one to two times each week) and dried shitake mushrooms
  8. Increase zinc intake: Eat nuts, dark leafy greens, beans, grains, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Sprinkle seeds onto your oatmeal and salads.
  9. Up your iron levels: Eat dark leafy greens like spinach, plus lentils, tahini, nuts, and blackstrap molasses.
  10. Get your protein: Each day, consume a combination of protein-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, quinoa, broccoli, avocado and rice/pea protein powder are all good sources.
  11. Prep your food: batches of staples in advance, like rice and quinoa. That way, you’ll always have something on hand when you’re tired or lazy.
  12. Make smoothies: Incorporate smoothies and juices into your diet for an extra protein and nutrient hit.
  13. Use protein powder: Find a good-quality vegan protein powder and throw it into your smoothies.
  14. Use spices wisely: To add extra flavour to your meals, add a combination of spices such as cinnamon, curry powder and cumin. This is a healthier alternative to sauces which can contain gelatin and other animal-derived thickeners and flavourings.
  15. Enjoy flaxseed oil: Drizzle it over your salads for its essential fatty acids. This will help to make your hair shiny and your skin glow.
  16. Watch your oil intake: Rather than cooking all your veggies in oil, steam them and add spices for flavour. Oil is good for you in moderation, but you definitely don’t need it at every meal.
  17. Prep your beans and grains: Ensure you wash your beans, lentils, chickpeas and quinoa before you eat them. The foamy stuff is what causes gas and tummy discomfort.
  18. Avoid the refined starches: This includes white bread, white rice, bagels, cereals and pasta. It’s easy to fall into the trap of eating bread at every meal, so choose gluten-free grains instead. See the shopping list in the JSHealth App for more tips.
  19. Consume soy moderately: Be careful not to have too much soy, as it’s in a lot of vegan replacements. If you’re a coffee drinker, coconut milk is a great alternative for soy.
  20. Experiment and get creative: That’s half the fun of being vegan. Try tahini, soba noodles and miso paste. Ensure you’re enjoying plenty of whole foods and limit your intake of processed foods.

 

Vegan staple foods

  1. Avocado
  2. Chickpeas
  3. Hummus
  4. Tahini
  5. Almond and peanut butter
  6. Fruit
  7. Sweet potato and white potato
  8. Zucchini
  9. Broccoli
  10. Cauliflower
  11. Brussels sprouts
  12. Eggplant
  13. Baby spinach
  14. Quinoa
  15. Soba noodles

 

I have plenty of delicious, nutritious recipes the JSHealth App. You can download the app on iTunes for less than $3 a week and we also offer a free 7-day trial.

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