A few years back I decided to go vegan…for a month.
I wanted to get rid of skin issues (probably candida overgrowth from eating too much processed stuff) and loose weight in a healthy way.
While on the diet, my skin improved and lost weight, but I had very low energy.
At the time I was cooking for a family that had a newborn and wanted to eat healthy. I would make fancy-schmancy food like teriyaki tofu, vegetable sushi, and curries (and eat it too!)
And, I would have to deliver the food through the windy canyons of Malibu.
Sometimes I didn’t know if it was the canyons or me, but I did feel a little light-headed. Not a good thing in a place where deer think they can cross the road.
I thought that was normal on a vegan diet, but it wasn’t until later that I realized I was doing it all wrong.
There is nothing wrong with the vegan diet. In fact, in can prevent or reverse disease. You can get the real facts from the scientists here.
So what was the problem?
I wasn’t eating enough.
After a month, I decided to eat meat. But, had I known that if I just ate more, I probably would have stayed with it longer.
After doing a bit of research, watching vegan vloggers, I realized just how much these perfect looking humans eat. They eat a ton!
Their pantries are full of calorie-boosters like hemp seeds, nuts, nutritional yeast, and they always eat a ton of starches like sweet potato and squash.
Now I understand what a vegan plate is supposed to look like.
Double or triple the amount of food you eat if you’re replacing meat in your meal.
The reason you have to eat so much more is that vegetables have a lower calorie density than butter, cheese, eggs, and meat. In other words, you need to eat more vegetables to get the same amount of calories.
The moral of the story here is if you eat vegetarian or vegan meals, make sure you’re eating enough.
Sometimes you feel like snacking on unhealthy stuff on these diets simply because you didn’t get enough calories and nutrients.
Here are some quick tips if you’re thinking about going 1%, 100% plant-based, or anything in between:
Load Up On The Heavy Hitters- whole grains, potatoes, pumpkin and legumes
On-The-Go- make sure you have seed butters, nuts, energy bars, or vegan bars and other leftovers so you don’t have to have processed stuff
Go Slowly, Make Food Swaps- use avocado instead of butter, tofu instead of chicken, and black bean burgers instead of beef. Then dates instead of white sugar, and choose whole grain pastas.
I’m still figuring out my place in the whole-food, plant-based realm so don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out. Eat things and see how you feel, then adjust. One-size does not fit all in this diet.
If you learn one thing from this message- just eat more vegetables. But, you already know that.
P.S. If you know someone into cooking classes, buy them as gifts this holiday season. Full schedule here.