Hey love bugs and welcome back to Mindfully Miranda!
I felt compelled to write a blog post today, because I’ve recently made some nutrition changes into my daily round, and I thought it may be beneficial for my readers to learn a little bit more about the Health Nut behind the blog!
Over a week ago I decided to follow what my heart had been suggesting I do for a long time, and reinstate my former vegan diet. For those of you know don’t know, when I first begin my blog I followed a vegan diet for nearly 6 months. I did end up switching to a vegetarian diet as it was a more convenient option for my lifestyle, and have been following that up until just over two weeks ago.
I feel like this decision is entirely personal, as my heart is in it for the animals, and my body was craving the kind of foods I ate while vegan. After the holidays, I had gotten used to eating an abundance of dairy products and eggs, which both affected my skin (ie. lots of pimples) and my stomach (ie. tummy troubles) so I decided to omit these products from my diet and instead eat an abundance of nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
In no way am I writing this post to impose my beliefs on you, or shame/guilt someone for choosing to eat in a way that is different to me. We are all different, and we all thrive off of different things, and I respect that above all. I also respect creating a compassionate, open-minded community in which we can all recognize our unique ways, and acknowledge them with grace.
I want to share with you my experience, so I may perhaps inspire one of you to look into this lifestyle.
Even with just a week of eating this way, I have seen an improvement in my skin, less bloating (if any at all), and improved energy and satiatity levels. I ensure that I eat the most high-protein vegan options, such as quinoa, chick peas, dark leafy greens, chia seeds, and I supplement my protein-intake by drinking a Vegan Protein & Greens Smoothie every morning after my workout.
I truly believe that a vegan diet can support even the most active lifestyles, and help an individual to thrive in life, so long as the right nutrients and macros are consumed (which is totally easy and possible, and does not require strict tracking or measuring at all).
Our bodies are so in tune that they know exactly what we need, and so our cravings are a valuable tool to support ourselves with good, fulfilling food. If I find that I am craving some nuts before bed, I always trust myself and eat a handful, and so I feel no need to “track” what I eat, as I am focusing on my hunger levels, and consuming nutrients, not calories.
My Tips on How I Make This Work for Me:
Meal Prep – on a Sunday, I recommend making weekly batches of grains like quinoa, roasting some seasoned beans in the oven, cooking some marinated tofu up, and making vegan bliss balls/snack bites for the upcoming week. You are more likely to succeed if you have a variety of tasty options to turn towards when you are hungry. If you stock your fridge with healthy, delicious, plant-based vegan options, you are more likely to stick with it!
Eat Smart – This means counting nutrients, no calories, and listening to your body’s natural hunger cues, and feeding them with nutrient-dense foods. Make sure you eat a good breakfast filled with complex carbs, healthy fats and some antioxidant-rich extras, bring snacks with you (like dried fruit and nuts) during the day, and make sure you eat enough to both stay full, and have sustained energy.
Recreate – If indeed you are looking to incorporate a vegan diet into your lifestyle, I recommend creating a Pinterest account, as this is a wealth of information! Some very creative individuals have created a Vegan Community Pin Board that you can follow along for thousands of mouth-watering recipes. It’s all about substituting meat-based recipes for equally as delicious Vegan Recreations, like Vegan Shepard’s Pie, Vegan Chili, Vegan “Egg” Scrambles and Vegan Burgers, so that way you don’t feel deprived, rather you don’t even notice the difference!
Supplement – One thing that I do recommend on a vegan diet, is that you supplement in nutritional areas you may be worried about. It is common for many people to have deficiencies, not just vegans! So be informed as to if it would be beneficial for you to receive a B12 shot, or an Iron pill (even though your leafy greens are abundant in this), etc. I also recommend investing in a good-quality, nutrient-dense Protein Powder, such as Vega One, to include in your daily round as a means of sustaining your active, busy lifestyle. Going beyond the world of supplements, my best advice to you is to have a somewhat relaxed approach, and simply focus on including the most vibrant, colorful, whole-foods into your diet as possible. Think apples, broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach, cauliflower, beets, chia, flax and hemp seeds, matcha, goji berries, cacao, lentils, chickpeas, tempeh and similar vegan-staples. Think about filling in the “missing” areas of your diet with TONS of delicious plant-based goodies! It’s all about abundance, not lack, and focusing on counting colors, not calories.
Be Gentle – One of the key ways you can ensure that you will stick to your vegan lifestyle in the long run, is if you are gentle and forgiving with yourself during the process. Life is about the journey, not the destination, and as we are continually moving and evolving, we are also learning and growing in response. If you slip up, and eat a burger, it is most definitely not the end of the world, and perhaps you will realize that you would prefer to not completely abstain from meat. That is totally okay, I still support you and believe in your choices! What works for one person, may not work for everyone and that is a beautiful thing! All that matters is that you have an awareness of the motives behind following a vegan lifestyle, and that you set the intention in the first place! It’s about progress, not perfection, and if it takes going meal-by-meal, or a day at a time, trust in yourself and in that process. Believe in yourself, and don’t give up, even when you “slip up”, you’re not really “slipping up”, you’re a human and you are LIVING, and that’s a fabulous whirlwind of an experience that should be embraced!
Good luck my friends! Hope you all have a beautiful day! 🙂 <3
Wishing you above all Health & Happiness,