veggies

Basic Nutritional Information

Nutrition

The key to a nutritional vegan diet is preparation and variety.

This includes fruit, vegetables, whole grain products, nuts and seeds, legumes and plenty of leafy greens.

These foods are the ‘cleanest’ food on the market available for vegans. There are still a wide range of meat alternatives/mock meat, non-dairy milks such as almond milk (my fav), soy milk, rice milk, soy based products including yoghurts, tofu, ice-creams, creams and cheeses, biscuits and chocolates – just to name a few. It’s all about opening your eyes to a new world of delicious cruelty free, readily available foods.  You’ll find you notice so many more things you never did before. Like Oreo’s can actually be vegan friendly, some supermarket brands have vegan chocolate biscuits, chocolate, peanut butter, rum balls, crackers etc.

I still try to prepare and cook my food myself and from wholesome foods. So for cheeses rather than buying the processed dairy free cheese I might make my own ‘cashew’ base cheese. Ice-cream – such an easy thing to make yourself I’ll even share a recipe with you that lets you make it in 5min in a zip lock bag (you’ll see!). There’s also tofu ice cream and banana ice cream, check out my recipe section for these :)

I’ll often say over and over again that it’s all about learning and trying new things. This is the journey I’ve taken and how I got to believe in being vegan and being who I am today.

Calories in Vs Calories Out

Some people tend to see calorie counting as obsessive, unhealthy and unnecessary…. Being mindful of your calorie consumption is absolutely necessary for any weight loss journey whether it’s losing body fat or gaining muscle. I’ve tried a range of different approaches to lose body fat and maintain muscle mass and in the end it all comes down to how many calories I am consuming and eating at a deficit if I am trying to lose body fat! Calorie counting doesn’t have to be scary – use it as a tool to know exactly what you are putting into your body and just how many macro nutrients you are having, our body requires a certain amount of protein fat and even carbs to maintain or lose weight (fat loss) and to build muscle.

What is Clean, Paleo Eating?

The general meaning of ‘clean eating’ is consuming food in its most natural state – or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and preparation. Leaving you feeling clean and lean, inside and out.

The Paleo diet, if you are unfamiliar, is an approach to eating that follows the presumed diet of “cavemen” (pre-agriculture). Following Paleo includes, vegetables, fruits, roots and nuts are allowed (Paleo foods) but all grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar and processed oils are not allowed. In short, the Paleo diet is essentially the newest form of Atkins–it is a high protein, low carb diet that causes ketosis.

A few important things to remember…

Drink at least two liters of water a day

Drink, Drink, Drink!!! Cannot stress enough how important it is for our body to have water. One of the golden rules – if you are exercising daily you should be drinking 2-3 litres.

Read your Labels

Clean foods really shouldn’t come in any packaging – and if they do READ YOUR LABELS. If there’s anything in there that you don’t know what it is let alone pronounce, chances are it’s a chemical or something not good for our bodies. Reading your labels is also very important when following a vegan diet and to understand exactly how much you are consuming of your carbs/protein/fats/sugars.

No Processed or Refined foods.

This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead, sweet potato or quinoa.

Stay away….

From anything that’s high in saturated and trans fats (remember we still need good fats for our body, but not these ones!) anything fried or high in sugar – I steer clear of sugar as much as I possibly can.

Choose organic whenever possible

If your budget limits you ensure you wash all your vegetables as much as you can, or remember the ‘dirty dozen’ and ‘clean 15′ rule:

Dirty Dozen:

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Peaches
  6. Spinach
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Nectarines- imported
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Potatoes
  11. Cherry Tomatoes
  12. Hot Peppers

Clean 15:

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Onions
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet Peas- frozen
  7. Papaya
  8. Mangos
  9. Asparagus
  10. Eggplant
  11. Kiwi
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Mushrooms

Consume healthy fats

Try to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, every day – Nuts, Avocado, Coconut Oil, Peanut Butter etc

Portion Sizes

Even though you may be eating ‘healthy’ ensure to not go overboard with your portion sizes. That’s where being mindful of how many calories you are consuming will come hand in hand with your portion sizes.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Eat produce that is seasonal and local. It is less taxing on your wallet and our environment.

Slow down and enjoy!

Never rush through your meals. Take time to chew your food that way you not only enjoy it but it’s easier for you to digest. Try chew 20 times before swallowing.

Preparation

Preparation is the key factor for me! From as simple as some almonds in your bag or a banana to me actually preparing food, putting it in a cooler bag and taking it with me to a friends/bbq/the movies/road trip, anywhere!