How to start a vegan diet :
When starting a vegan or vegetarian diet, there are many doubts about what to consume. It's supposed to be just removing the meat from the menu, but it's much more complex than that. There are many vitamins and minerals in meat and animal products that are predominant in this type of food and vegetable substitutions equivalent to these nutrients must then be made.
First we must understand the difference of the two diets. The vegetarian diet has a diet without the presence of meat but can still contain eggs or dairy products. The vegan is more a lifestyle than a diet, as in addition to food, it is also restricted to using animal products such as leather, silk, wool or cosmetics tested on animals such as makeup or shampoos. You should choose the strand to follow according to your beliefs, philosophy of life and what is most healthy and suitable for you.
Ideally, you should start by removing animal products once or twice a week, so it won't have such a big impact on your routine and it will be easier to adapt. Get organized and try new flavors and textures, explore different recipes and foods, and even venture into vegan restaurants. It is a mistake to think that vegan food has no flavor or is bland. In fact, there is a world of spices and preparations with incredible combinations that will surprise your taste buds. Tasty meals will make you adapt better to this new habit.
It is important to remember that this is an important decision for the body itself, so a healthy diet with low consumption of processed foods and a variety of options should be prioritized. Certain foods, even being vegan, are not healthy and should not be as present in a food routine as fried foods, soft drinks, frozen foods, sugary cookies and others
Where to buy vegan ingredients:
You may find that buying these ingredients are expensive and difficult to access but they are actually quite simple and you can find them in many markets. There are several options for all budgets and tastes, as well as practical options to make life easier for the consumer.
With the growing increase in vegan consumers, the demand for products only with vegetable ingredients has increased considerably, causing the market to develop more products with this proposal. The market is increasingly adapted to this public that are found in all social classes and that is why it is easy to find these foods in any supermarket, anywhere.
What to buy on the market:
With that in mind, we separated key ingredients to be included in the shopping list so that you can start this new lifestyle in a healthy way:
– A tip: First organize the week's recipes and then make the shopping list, so you'll know exactly what to buy and avoid wasting food and try to include at least one food of each item daily, mixing them or separating them by meal . There are recipes with the most varied combinations, sweet or savory, with surprising flavors.
– Here we suggest this combination to make the organization of meals more practical:
Shopping list for lunch and dinner:
Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas. They are the basis of a vegan diet as they contain most of the proteins that should be ingested daily. They have little carbohydrate in their composition, are rich in fiber and a source of iron. Iron should be an important nutrient to be planned in the diet as the vast majority of it is obtained through the consumption of meat.
Cereals: Rice, quinoa, oats, amaranth and millet. When combined with some legumes, they together provide all the essential amino acids necessary for the health of the body. Always prefer whole grains, as it is on the outside of the grain, which is removed during processing, that most of the nutrients are concentrated.
Vegetables: Broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cassava, chayote, corn, hearts of palm, green beans. It's always good to choose seasonal vegetables as they are not only cheaper, but also tastier and more nutritious.
Vegetables: Dark green leaves are a great replacement for animal sources of calcium such as kale, lettuce, chicory, arugula, mustard, watercress, endive, spinach.
They are known for their detox action, helping the liver function to eliminate toxins from the body. They contain potent antioxidants and phytochemicals that are essential for cardiovascular, cerebral and circulatory health.
Seasonings: Garlic, Onion, peppers, olives, ginger, pepper, saffron, paprika, parsley, chives, coriander, leeks, cloves, cinnamon .. Use and abuse the seasonings to give more flavor to the preparations.
List for breakfast and snacks:
Seeds: flaxseed, chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sesame, chestnuts, walnuts and almonds. These seeds are considered functional foods due to their large amount of nutrients, good fats, proteins and fiber. It is a great alternative to animal sources of omega 3, in addition to being full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory bioactives.
Chestnut or almond milk is a good alternative to replace cow's milk. There are also by-products such as chestnut curd, yoghurt, cheese and can easily be included in the shopping list to be used in recipes.
Fruits: Banana, strawberry, avocado, orange, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, coconut, grape … Give preference to seasonal fruits. Important sources of vitamin C, they help with the absorption of non-heme iron present in vegetables.
It's also worth investing in dried fruits, because when dehydrating them they concentrate the nutrients and make them much sweeter. It is very good combined with chestnuts or walnuts to serve as a snack or snack.
Pasta and flour: Bread, pasta, tapioca, sweet powder, sour powder, cornmeal, manioc flour. Pay attention when buying bread and pasta so that they do not have ingredients such as eggs and milk.
Ingredients for cooking : Coconut oil, olive oil, cocoa powder, soy or canola oil, coconut milk, tomato sauce, sugar, salt, cane syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, tahini, tofu, peanut butter, hummus , chocolate 70% vegan.
Remembering that the priority is always to use the least processed food possible, thus preserving its nutrients even more. Always look for the most natural ones, with less preservatives, flavors and colorings. There are several brands on the market with this proposal, with practical and healthy goods to make life easier for vegans.