(what not to eat instead of meat ↑)
January is the month of new beginnings, the month of change, the month to try something new and be the very best you!
Personally I think all the months are great for these things but popular media likes to shove the new year down our throats as a time for change…so be it. I like the idea of veganuary, promoting the idea that people give eliminating animal products from their diet a try. But as a holistic nutritionist I don’t love the VEGAN part of VEGANuary. I would prefer it was whole-food-plant-based-uary…but that just doesn’t have the same ring 😉
If you are considering giving veganuary a go I say GOOD FOR YOU! If I can be so bold as so offer some unsolicited advice stay clear of the vegan junk food. Give yourself 1 or 2 meals a week that you have a “meat replacement” like a veggie burger, chick’n strips or tofu bacon, just so you don’t feel completely lost or out of your comfort zone at meal times. Eating a meat based diet and then eliminating it entirely can be overwhelming in terms of planning and creativity. You want to set yourself up for success.
To feel the health benefits of a trial like veganuary you will need to focus on eating a VARIETY of whole foods – staying away from instant, processed or take-out foods. Fruits and vegetables will take up most of your plate but don’t forget whole grains, beans and lentils!
In most cases you will feel hungry more often than when you were eating meat and dairy – yes veganuary means not eating cheese! The proteins and fats that come from animal products are slower to breakdown in our bodies and take longer to digest keeping us feeling fuller longer, but also using more of our energy to break them down and transform them into usable energy. Often times this process takes so long that instead of turning all the fat we eat into energy it gets tired of waiting in line and just goes into storage 😦
So be prepared to snack often – keep the snacks healthy and include healthy fats like nuts and avocado. Some great snacking ideas are:
- chopped veggies dipped in hummus
- apple slices with peanut butter
- lentil or sweet potato crackers dipped in guacamole
- dried fruit and nut mix
Your body will take 3 or 4 weeks to transition from the way it is currently using the fuel you are providing to how it will use the new fuel – kind of amazing to me that our body can adjust so quickly after 20, 30, maybe 50 years of eating a certain way and in just a few short weeks it will begin to clean it self, heal and use the food more efficiently. Then you will start to feel the difference. The energy. The restful nights. The stability in mood. The clarity.
For plant based meal ideas check out my other blog posts by searching in the bar provided… or contact me and I’ll send you some of our family favourites 🙂