Veganism has gained increasing popularity in recent years, and more and more people are making the switch to an animal-free diet or at least incorporating more vegan products into their lifestyles.
Some are motivated by health concerns, while others want to lessen their environmental impact, but all are finding that cutting out animal products from their diets helps them become more conscious of the food they’re eating, even if they don’t go all the way vegan.
But how do you incorporate vegan products into your diet without sticking to boring recipes that just substitute soy protein for meat? Here are a few tips to make your life as a part-time veggie eater easier.
1. Make Vegetables the Stars of Your Meals
Vegetables with their variety of colours, textures and flavours are a great addition to every meal. Steamed veggies can be as simple or complex as you want them to be just make sure that they’re prepared with love and care. On top of being flavorful, colourful, and nutritious, most vegetables are also low in calories, so they won’t fill you up too much if your goal is weight loss.
Further, boasting numerous vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, there isn’t much veggie-based food that isn’t healthy—the trick is incorporating them into meals in which they’ll taste great! The best way to do that? Learn to make vegetable stocks with any leftover veggie trimmings!
2. Indulge Yourself in a Variety of Vegan Foods
There is no shortage of vegan products out there these days, from vegan cheeses to vegan meats and everything in between. But just because you’re trying to include more plant-based products doesn’t mean you have to stick with packaged items that are low on flavour; instead, learn how to create your own homemade recipes!
Everything from coconut whipped cream (made from real coconuts!) to cashew cheese and even vegan ice cream can be prepared using common ingredients and store-bought foods like unsweetened soy beverage, vanilla extract and agave nectar.
3. Choose Whole Grains
Despite what you may have heard, grains are actually pretty good for you. Research has shown that eating whole grains—especially breakfast cereals like oatmeal and quinoa—can lower your risk of heart disease and help prevent some forms of cancer. Further, processed foods often contain hidden sugars and saturated fats that can cause your cravings to skyrocket, so it’s best to avoid them as much as possible.
Instead, choose complex carbs like brown rice or whole-wheat bread; not only will they provide a steady supply of energy, but also high levels of fibre that can help aid digestion! If a craving hits, however, opt for something low-fat like air-popped popcorn (with added nutritional yeast!) over a candy bar.
4. Fish-Free Omega-3s
If you’re giving up meat, it’s important to make sure you replace your protein intake with something else. Fortunately, there are many natural sources of protein that can be added to your diet without contributing much (if any) saturated fat or cholesterol.
One such food is flax seeds, high in omega-3 fatty acids that can lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease; adding them to smoothies or just sprinkling them on salads will ensure that you get enough nutrients while also reducing inflammation—and they taste great too!
Hemp seed hearts and chia seeds are also excellent sources of vegetarian omega-3 fatty acids that can be used like nuts or tossed into salads as a tasty topping.
5. Give Smoothies a Try
Nothing says healthy like smoothies. And with more and more healthy eating trends out there, it’s not surprising that smoothie bars are now everywhere you look!
The great thing about smoothies is that they provide a quick and easy way to incorporate multiple servings of fruit and vegetables into your diet; just be sure to watch your portions, so you don’t fill up too much.
Also, remember that smoothies can contain added sugars from syrups or added milk products, so keep an eye on what goes into them.
These are some of my tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle with vegan products. I hope you found them useful and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.