Five years ago, many Canadians would have rolled their eyes at the thought of striking all animal products from their diet. Saying goodbye to pizza loaded with mozzarella cheese, creamy milkshakes, and eggs served sunny-side up wouldn’t have been imaginable.
Fast-forward to 2020, and many people are pledging to become vegans for the month of January (aka Veganuary) and depending on how it goes, the rest of the year. But it’s not just the world’s largest vegan movement that’s inspiring us to succeed — we’re more conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies than ever before, and suddenly, products made using antibiotics and hormones don’t seem so appetizing.
Veganism isn’t a fad. It’s a health-conscious move, and like anything, it takes a little getting used to. Nobody wants to feel sluggish in the process of becoming a vegan, so we’ve rounded up some tips to help you transition smoothly, with a focus on the biggest meals of the day.
Boost your breakfast
It’s a common misconception that turning vegan limits your protein intake. But that’s not the case — you can easily shake up your morning routine with a delicious breakfast that is packed with plenty of nutrients and plant-based protein. Try adding hemp seeds, almonds, or even tofu to any of your favourite recipes. A little protein boost will give you the energy you need to take on the day, whatever it may bring.
Granola is a popular morning option for a reason. One single serving provides you with fibre, healthy fats, omega-3s, whole grains, and plant-based protein. Nature’s Path granola is wholesome, nutrient-dense, non-GMO, vegan, and made with organic ingredients. Yes, it’s a staple for breakfast, but it’s also a healthy snack (right out of the box), or a crunchy addition to all kinds of sweet and savoury recipes — suitable for any meal of the day.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Get inventive with lunch
As with any diet, it’s important for vegans to eat a variety of healthy nutrient-rich foods. When you’re easing into the new diet, it’s especially important to ensure you’re getting enough essential vitamins and fibre from the food you eat. Quick tip: the more colourful the produce, the better.
For instance, red tomatoes are packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to heart health; bananas are a great source of potassium and may help prevent digestive issues; meanwhile, whole grains such as quinoa and oats are a great source of carbohydrates and protein. Additionally, whole grains are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and B vitamins which help the body release energy from protein, fat, and carbs.
For a delicious vegan lunch, prepare salads (drizzled with homemade dressing) and soups topped with anything from toasted pumpkin seeds to shaved almonds.
Try these scrumptious options:
- Avocado salad with tempeh and orange maple dijon salad dressing
- Hemp Hearts Granola and pecan sweet potato hash
- Super seed almond butter and banana or jam sandwiches
Don’t skimp on dinner
When the workday wraps up, we all want to chow down on something tasty that’s going to fill us up. This is also the mentality to have as you ease into a vegan diet. Remember, becoming a vegan doesn’t imply eating less — it’s about eating smarter.
One thing to remember? Make sure your body gets sufficient fish-free omega-3 fatty acids. The same goes for iron, which many people get from red meat. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, beans, lentils, and mushrooms are rich in iron, so you still have plenty of combinations for a hearty vegan dinner.
Food for thought (and dinner):
- Pumpkin and kale steel cut oats
- Pulled jackfruit with crunchy slaw
- Chickpea sauté with Qi’a hot oats
Always, we repeat, always, leave room for dessert. Switching to a vegan diet doesn’t mean you have to give up sweet treats (who would want to do that?), it just gives you more of an incentive to try new things.
You can start with these options:
- S’mores clusters
- Blueberry granola streusel bars
- Strawberry rhubarb vegan ice cream with granola crunch
Now that you’ve got the tools needed to ease into veganism, you might even convince your friends to join you soon!
Maintaining a vegan diet involves consciously choosing food that’s better for your body, and better for the planet. It’s about eating food that’s ethically-made so you know where each item is coming from — and Nature’s Path granola fits into this category. After all, the brand has been a pioneer in the organic food movement for over 30 years.
Looking for more inspiration to enhance your vegan snack and meal game? Visit Nature’s Path now for more recipes and to unlock the potential of plant-based proteins.