Guidelines For Going Vegetarian
Planning to go for an all veggie diet? If you have been hooked onto the appeal of the vegan trend lately, then you are not alone. More and more people are engaging into healthier lifestyles and eating clean, whole, plant-based foods. In this day and age, it has become trendy to be healthy – and that’s a good thing. After all, with all the stress that we all have to deal with in our daily lives from the traffic going to and from work, the daily office grind, and the threat of impending deadlines and quotas to be met, you do need to keep fit and healthy or else your body’s systems could break down resulting in hospital bills and more sources of stress.
With that said, while a vegetarian diet can indeed be healthy, it is important to keep watch of your daily nutritional needs so that you don’t eat yourself to the grave. Because you will not be consuming meat and/or animal-based products (depending on how strict your vegetarian diet will be. Some vegans even shun cheese, butter, milk and other animal-based products completely), you need to be able to find an alternative source for the proteins that you would normally acquire from these animal-based foods with some vegan-friendly source. If you are at a loss as to how this can be done, then keep reading, because we have some recommendations for helping you achieve that well-balanced vegan diet.
In a vegetarian diet, you don’t have to limit yourself to just apples, oranges, grapes and veggies such as potatoes, carrots and tomatoes. There are many more plant-based food sources that you should be looking into such as grains, beans, nuts and if you’re not that strict about it, include some dairy products as well for the added protein.
The Right Portions
Personalizing the food that you take in as a vegan is a good way to ensure that you have a balanced diet that is just right for you. If you try to be all mathematical about it and refer to all the different guides out there based on your age, height, weight, sex, etc. you may very come up with a well-balanced diet, but just how practical is it really to run through all these numbers on a daily basis? Unless you plan to become some kind of glorified food accountant, going by numbers isn’t exactly the best plan of action. So how do you do it?
Simple, there are ways to get the roughly correct measurements for you just by using some of your body parts. So let’s get started.
First of all, you will need some carbs, which you can get from grains, pasta, rice and of course, the ever-popular potato. Do remember not to peel your potatoes and wash the skin but keep it on when you cook to maximize the amount of nutrients that you get. In any case, for carbs, you should include at least a fistful at every meal – and this means your fist and not someone else’s.
Secondly, some plant proteins are in order. A serving of rice and any type of beans will actually form one complete protein. Other plant-based sources of protein include tofu and pulses. Include a portion the size of the palm of your hand with each meal.
Third, nuts and seeds add some much-needed micronutrients to your diet. Include at least a handful at each meal.
To supplement your meal with additional protein and micronutrients, peanut butter and other plant-based spreads work very well. Include a portion about the size of the tip of your thumb.
Finally, you can add some desserts such as brownies every now and then but not at every meal. Take in no more than the size of 2 of your fingers.
Snack items like cheese, popcorn, and rice crisps may also be taken on occasion, but try to keep things in moderation and don’t exceed more than two handfuls of these when you do have them.