24 Apr What is a healthy vegan diet? Insider tips
Vegan diets are healthy – but there’s a way to do it properly. You can’t just skip animal deprived ingredients and hope for the best. You will have to follow a whole-food plant based diet to get all the nutrients your body needs.
I have done a lot of online research on healthy vegan diets. It’s very straight forward, a healthy correct vegan diet includes: legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds everyday. If you consume these foods on a daily basis, you’re doing the vegan diet right, and you have nothing to worry about.
Dr. Collin Campbell – the co-author of the China Study, along many other doctors that specialize in nutrition, say that people that eat a healthy vegan diet are healthier than people that eat a “healthy” omnivore diet. The reason for this is that a whole-food plant based diet alkalines your body while animal proteins and fats make your body acid. If the PH of your body is too acid, your body becomes sick.
However you need to be aware of the fact that an unhealthy vegan diet can lack in nutrients, if you don’t eat enough of the right foods. Ideally each time that you eat, you should eat nutrient dense foods that are beneficial to your body, since you can only eat a certain amount of food a day. To have a balanced healthy vegan diet you should keep it simple: choose natural plant-based food over processed food as much as you can.
Processed food contains most of the time refined sugars, the wrong fats, food additives and way too much salt. All the things that make your body acid as well. Therefor you should keep processed food to a minimum. I’m talking about vegan cookies, chocolate, muesli bars, crackers but also meat and dairy replacers like soy burgers and vegan cheese. I eat all of the mentioned food above – I’m not going to lie, but I keep them for occasional consumption. I think it’s all about balance and food needs to be a pleasure as well. So, If I want to eat fries, I will eat them, but I’ll eat a greens and veggies on the side, to still get the right nutrients in my body.
When you go vegan, you will have to shift your mindset from an omnivore diet to a vegan diet. It’s simply not the same diet. You eat different food than before and you get your nutrients from other sources. It’s quite logical that you will need to change your old eating habits for new ones to take in all the nutrients you need. In omnivore diets meat, cheese and eggs are the center of a meal. You have to let go of this idea and be open to a different way of eating. The mistake that a lot of people make, is that they continue to eat as omnivores only they skip the animal products and they feel like they’re missing something in their meal. Which is true, they miss out on a lot of plant-based nutrients. The first step in getting into a vegan diet is to see vegetables, whole grains and beans as your main ingredients instead of a side dish. Play with it and see what works for you.
What works for me are the so-called buddha bowls. A buddha bowl is a nourishing bowl of macro and micro nutrients. It’s the best tip I can give you, on how to include all the foods you should eat on a daily basis into one meal. It’s so easy to make an it’s healthy and delicious. I often use a base of brown rice or quinoa – as my energy source. I always add some green leaves for iron, minerals and other vitamins. I add the vegetables that I feel like at that moment. For protein I add légumes and/or tofu or tempé. I often make a dressing with olive oil, balsamic, mustard and lemon. And sometimes I sprinkle some seeds and nuts on top for a crunchy bite full of nutrients. I mix cold, warm, raw, cooked and grilled ingredients with each other. Honestly noting is too crazy.The’re no rules, so you can’t go wrong!
If you need more ideas, or you want to see what a vegan diet looks like, you can check my 5 day vegan food diary, here. For one week I kept track of everything I ate. It might give you some vegan food inspiration.