Vegan diet plans abound with books, forums, and tips. You can find advice on recipes and even on general lifestyle to suit your preferred culinary choices. However, vegan diets are not new to the population. They have been with us for centuries and as a proof, we have various religions which have written commandments or recommendations on self-growth which often involve a vegan diet.
Vegan diets have started to be wrongly associated with a poor health or a skinny body. The truth is that if you decide to switch to a vegan diet you will lose weight at first. This is at least until you get accustomed to replacing your regular, animal-source, nutrients.
Start with the macronutrients
Macronutrients include fats, proteins and carbohydrates. These types of nutrients are essential to the body and you need them in order to maintain your health and weight.
Fat sources don`t need to come from animals. If you plan to follow a vegan diet you will need to find healthier fat sources in vegetables and fruits. Some of the healthiest fat sources include avocados and coconut oil. They have been recommended by nutritionists because of the high nutritional value and the health benefits to the body.
Vegan protein sources are an absolute must if you want to stay on a diet long-term. This is why so many people start losing weight as the body starts using the protein in the muscles for energy as you have no protein coming in from your foods. Some of the simplest yet good vegan protein sources are also cheaper to buy than meats.
A good source of protein can be found in almond milk and even in rice milk. These types of milk don`t have the high levels of protein as cow`s milk, but they still provide a quick source of fast-absorbing nutrients at any time. Beans are also a good protein source. You want to make sure you eat various types of beans, although darker beans are recommended due to the higher percentage of proteins. Another good source of proteins comes with lentils.
The good news is that, just as beans, lentils are versatile and can be used in many recipes. You can add lentils to your soups for a quick protein boost or include them in main dishes as sides with sauces. Quinoa and rice can also be good sources of proteins. There are so many types of rice to choose from that it is impossible to have the same type every week or more than 10 weeks. Make sure you make the most out of rice since you can easily combine it with lentils, beans and vegetables or a dish full of flavor and of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals or fibers.
As for carbohydrates, the options are really endless. Starting with rice which also comes with proteins and fibers you can choose from a vast selection of vegan-friendly carbs. Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources which can be used for carbohydrate nutrients. You can prepare sweet potatoes in the oven or make a mash with honey which will give you the energy needed for physical activities.
Oats are another great carbohydrates source. Oats are not acid and they are mild to the digestive system, this is why you can have them early in the morning. For a complete meal you can add almond milk and fruits to your oats. You can include fruits like berries, bananas or avocados which would easily take you to over 500 calories and nearly a quarter of the daily necessary for most adults.
You can also use low-fat yogurt as a source of carbohydrates and proteins. Some vegan yogurts include products made from soy and almonds and can be fast-digesting and are perfect after a long day or after a physical activity like running.
Typical day on a vegan diet plan
Once you have your macronutrients in place you can start planning your diet. The diets need to be simple so you can stay with it for longer and it needs to be balanced so you get enough foods to accomplish your daily targets.
Vegan breakfast ideas
For breakfast, you can have a combination of oats, fruits and vegan milk. As an alternative, you can try a smoothie with the same ingredients. You can even try the overnight oats which you need to keep refrigerated and you have them ready to go in the morning. This can also be a good method of saving time.
Vegan lunch ideas
Lunch is really up to you. There are so many foods you can prepare once you have a solid meal in your stomach. You can go light with either a lentil soup or a salad with chickpeas, tomatoes, humus, onions and olive oil. These meals are high in fiber, minerals, vitamins and protein so they can fuel your activities for the rest of the day.
Vegan dinner ideas
Dinner usually represents a large and complex meal for many people. This is neither good nor bad; it’s the actual foods which make the difference in the end. If you`re trying to lose weight you can limit carbohydrates at dinner time. Carbohydrates are however recommended for your body if you don`t want to lose weight. You can try making sweet potatoes with lentil or beans filling. If you`re looking to lose weight you can replace the potatoes with mushrooms or quinoa. For dinner, you can also cook pasta with a combination of pesto, olive oil, green olives, basil and cherry tomatoes for a complex meal rich in carbohydrates, fibers, minerals and healthy fats.
Don`t avoid fats
When you`re following a similar vegan diet plan you may want to ensure you get all the fats you can to keep your body going. No matter how many vegans try to tell you fats are not important, it just means they are not important for them. People with physical jobs are much less likely to go on a vegan diet because there are not fats to sustain their level of activity. Some people even prefer to eat a lot of meat to sustain muscle balance.
If you are planning a vegan diet you need the best sources of healthy fats. These can include dark chocolate, cocoa, nuts, seeds and olive oil. All of these sources have multiple benefits to the body as they can come with the Omega complex and also the healthy fats your body needs to fuel essential muscles and joints. Healthy fats also play a vital role in the hormonal balance; this is why so many endocrinologists recommend balanced diets which include these fats.
Vegan diets are not complicated if you know what to look for. There are so many great food sources these days that it has never been easier to go vegan. However, in order to keep your muscle toning, energy and strength you need to eat the right foods in the right amounts. So many people focus on the foods forgetting that the amounts should also be higher than with non-vegan diets as it may be necessary to cover more macronutrients such as proteins. A tip for a good vegan diet plan is to rotate your foods so you don`t eat the same things over and over and to balance the nutrients going into your body.