One thing that you need to forget about right now, is that your diet will be perfect when you first transition over to a plant-based lifestyle, unless you are being coached by a holistic health coach and nutritionist. I don't know anybody on a perfect Western diet either to be truthful, and this could be because I no longer consider meat and dairy to be a food group. This goes against everything that we have been taught from children, and when I first heard about it, I thought it was nonsense too. But the more I learnt, and am learning, the more I am certain that all of our nutrition can be obtained from plants and we can be in better health than ever before. It does take your body time to adjust to the changes, and it will take time for you to figure out what works for you.
On the weekend I attended a workshop at the Organic Food and Cafe in the Greens, given by Tatiana Abouassi and Maria Morales who are both holistic health coaches. It was a fabulous event and I learnt a lot. Here are the key points that I took home with me:
1) Eat natural. This means avoiding processed foods and refined sugar and gluten wherever possible.
2) Know your sources of nutrients.
3) Check the amounts of iron and protein that you are eating with your meals. Make sure that you are getting enough throughout your day (with your other nutrients of course)
4) Eyeball your plate, and as a general guide line, your plate should be 50% greens, 20% grains, and the remaining 30% split into beans, fruits and nuts.
5) Try eat your veggies raw over lunch and lightly steamed over dinner.
6) This one was a big one for me - you don't have to include everything into one day. Keep your meals diversified and change ingredients every 3-4 days to include all important foods. This way you will diversify your diet and cover the spectrum of vitamins and nutrients that you need. You will also keep your meals interesting by swopping your ingredients.
7) Make a meal prep time once or twice a week. Prepare your food by cooking/steaming/chopping ingredients and storing in glass containers in the fridge so that you can mix your meals easily and quickly. This is definitely more logical than cooking every night in my opinion, and means that I always have breakfast and lunch options without too much effort.
8) Always soak your nuts and lentils for better digestion.
9) Try to avoid eating out of plastic and tin cans (they have an inside coating of plastic inside too) as they leak into your food. Try store your food in glass jars.
Thank you to these lovely ladies for offering your time to build towards our vegan community. You can find Tatiana on instagram on @health_and_yum and Maria on @amaria.morales.
To our health and happiness,