A Vegan and plant-based diet for beginners can be a tasteful challenge to take up, especially with the food industry slowly adapting to the ingredients.
Moreover, it is a healthy, resourceful diet format, which is good for you, and the environment. Of course, going vegan is not a day’s work.
You shall need to assess and evaluate the steps that you take for adapting to the vegan lifestyle. And it is not just food, but also your behavior towards it. Here we try to bring a vegan beginner guide to cover the facts and starting steps for setting off your vegan journey.
You can check out this article “Why you should opt for Vegan And Plant-Based Diet?” in our vegan series to understand the basics of vegan and plant-based nutrition.
What are the basic changes required in food?
In the initial stages of vegan dieting, it is crucial to research the sources of protein you shall need when leaving meat items.
Protein is a nutrient which your body requires as it helps in cell repair, growth, through amino acid breakdown. The vegan beginner guide suggests the following changes in your protein sources
Dairy Milk if Off the Table
Once you go vegan, dairy products no longer need to be a part of your daily consumption.
Of course, plant and seed-based milk sources are the next big thing in the vegan consumer market. And these would include:
Almond Milk: Its unsaturated fat content makes it a healthy alternative to cow’s milk.
Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is usually an important addition to various soups and puddings. It is thick in texture, rich in flavor and nutrients, and can add a dash of flavor to your vegan curries.
Oat Milk: This is low-fat milk that can help you ingest proper amounts of dietary fiber and anti-oxidants. Moreover, studies show that oats milk is great for lowering and balancing out cholesterol in your body.
Vegan Cheese Substitutes that Help
While leaving out cheese is a challenge for most, the substitute for it can make up for the taste and even add more nutritional benefits.
Tofu: Soy protein or Tofu contain casein that helps it provide a cheesy texture.
Flour: Bechamel is a common method of creating that rich, creamy-rich sauce texture for pasta, pizza, and more. You can, of course, opt for a vegan milk substitute instead of dairy milk for the recipe!
Are Vegan Options Available All Over the World?
Vegan and plant-based diet options are available all around the world, but the quality, pricing, and ingredients can have variations.
Japan, for example, has a variety of vegetables, tofu, and mouthwatering soy milk desserts.
However, when it comes to vegan-exclusive eateries, there might only be a handful. Of course, Japanese cuisine allows for home-cooking perfectly delicious vegan meals for your daily needs.
India, while you might come across a plethora of vegetables, plant or seed-based milk sources might become a challenge. Moreover, tofu tempeh and various other vegan exclusive ingredients are yet to hit the market.
And as a US citizen or a residing member, you can purchase all kinds of vegan food items in pre-packaged or frozen states. You shall also find a vegan-exclusive cafe at every corner of the country.
What to Do When Meat Cravings Hit?
As a beginner vegan, fresh out of the meat-based diets, cravings for chicken, meat, eggs, and fish are common occurrences. Hence, one of the most effective ways to change food habits would be to start slow.
Try to incorporate vegan ingredients into regular diets, and then progress into adding meat-based ingredients into vegan meals. This way, you can treat your favorite salami as just a flavor enhancer, instead of the main show on the plate.
Of course, if a fast food advertisement made you want to grab a bite, here are a few substitutes that can help with the cravings as a part of the vegan beginner guide:-
- Tempeh: Made from fermented whole soybeans, it is rich in vitamins and protein, and fiber.
- Tofu: Tofu is coagulated soy milk, hence comes in a silky and smooth texture. It is rich in calcium, vitamin b12, and iron.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms have a smoother and meatier flavor than the ones above. Moreover, its earthy taste, alongside rich umami, makes it the perfect ingredient for grilling, frying, boiling, or even as a garnish.
Are there any Vegan-Exclusive Workouts?
Vegan nutrition calls for specialized workouts that are fit to help the body digest and receive nutrients from the healthy meals.
Here are a few workout tips that can fir the body’s energy requirements pre-and post-workout.
Low-Intensity Workouts Over HIIT
High-intensity interval training or HIIT requires proper exorbitant amounts of energy. Meaning, meat-intensive diets, and dairy-rich products might be in requirement.
Hence, low-intensity workouts such as Hatha yoga, swimming, and light striding can help retain proper energy as well as exercise the body for optimum fitness.
Additionally, substantial pre-and post-workout meals are essentials to re-energize the body.
When it comes to a vegan and plant-based diet regime, you can always begin on a steady route towards a complete platter makeover.