Need to switch to a healthy vegan diet? The first thing to remember is that tweaking your eating habits is tantamount to changing your lifestyle, and that takes time, patience, and dedication. Take it bit by bit, don’t force your body to get used to vegetables immediately, and keep these pointers in mind:
Choosing Your Vegetables
Every kind of vegetable in existences provides different health benefits. This means that simply increasing your vegetable intake can result in favorable health boosts.
There are some situations, however, where you might want to focus on particular vegetables, such as having particular diagnoses or while you’re raking prescription medication. And remember to always choose the right veggies for our goal: weight loss.
Dark green veggies – The darkest colored veggies are typically the most nutrient rich. Dark green vegetables include dark leafy green vegetables such as endive, escarole, spinach, and broccoli.
Orange veggies – There are only a few common orange vegetables compared to the other veggie groups, including carrots and pumpkins.
Dry beans, tofu, dry peas – Self-explanatory. Tofu-based foods that contain no other main ingredients can also provide the advantages of pure tofu.
Starchy veggies – Green peas, corn, and white potatoes. Avoid naturally occurring starch if you have blood glucose problems, as the starch can aggravate increases and decreases in blood sugar.
Everything else – All other veggies go in here, including zucchini, tomato, green cabbage celery, cucumbers, et al.
For general weight loss, you want to vary the veggies you eat. So while panning a healthy vegetarian diet, increase your vegetable intake and decrease your intake of everything else, and remember to pick and choose what vegetables go in which plate – breakfast, lunch, dinner – or in which day of the week.
Preparing Your Vegetables
Some vegetables can be eaten raw, some are best served cooked. You might notice that as your plate becomes more veggie and less of everything else, the ways you prepare the healthy stuff can get boring and routine.
The thing is, routine works great when you’re trying to get into a pattern – especially an eating pattern that you want to turn into a habit. However, we all know vegetables can be real bland and mixing up how to prepare them can help make the lifestyle-shifting easier. So here are some ideas aside from cooking your vegetables and eating them raw.
Use dehydrators – Dehydrators are kitchen appliances that emulate natural sun-drying. Using dehydrators give you two main health benefits:
- The process preserves the vegetables
- The process does not destroy the natural nutrients found in veggies the way cooking does
Furthermore, while dehydrators have a single main function – drying water content – there are a variety of vegetable preparation methods you can use with it. The levels of dehydration can also work to your advantage, as some veggies can be served only slightly dried, some crunchy.
Pickle your veggies – Pickling enhances the flavor of vegetables, and it likewise boosts certain nutrient content. Pickling also makes even the blandest vegetables ideal ready-to-eat side dishes if you can mix them up with natural flavor-boosters.
Try veggie chips – Ever tried banana chips? Fruits aren’t the only healthy food you can turn into delicious snacks – who hasn’t heard of potato chips, after all? It’s relatively simple to learn how to turn a variety of vegetables into chips, and some of them lend themselves well to the process, such as carrots.
Mixing it Up with Other Food Types
A healthy vegetarian diet plan is not complete without complementing food types, such as fruits. Fruits and veggies go extremely well together because they provide the essential vitamins and nutrients that the body needs. But if your situation (your job, a health condition, your stress levels, etc) require more energy-giving stuff like protein and carbohydrates, there are a few food types that go well with a healthy vegan diet.
Protein from fish – Fish are great sources of lean protein. Better yet, fish is considered separate from animal meat such as pork, beef, and poultry. So in essence, you’re still vegan. Furthermore, some fish like tuna also provide special oils like Omega-3.
Rice and bread – Rich in energy-giving carbohydrates, rice and bread also lend themselves well to food preparation with veggies. It may take some time to adjust to rice, however, if you’ve never really had an inkling to try it. Try mixing it up with sushi (fish and rice) and rice bowls (mostly veggies and spices mixed with rice).
Green tea – Aside from the numerous health benefits you can get from green tea, it is also proven to help in directly reducing your weight. Do not count on it alone, however, as the amount of weight you lose from just green tea is too small to be significant.
A healthy vegan diet is your first step towards weight loss and a generally healthier lifestyle. Keep these pointers in mind and you should be well on your way.