The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

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beforewisdom
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The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#1 Postby beforewisdom » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:24 am

This is pretty cool as it boils everything down to an easy list, it is written by vegan who is an RD


From: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

It’s easy to have a healthy vegan diet when you build habits around seven simple guidelines.

1. Eat legumes. They’re packed with protein, with the bonus of a big dose of fiber. (No protein-rich animal food can claim that!). Choose three servings of these foods—which include cooked beans, peas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, soymilk, veggie meats, peanuts and peanut butter—every day. Keep it simple if you don’t have time to soak and cook beans (or if you don’t like beans that much). Meals that include a serving of legumes include a PB&J sandwich; baked potato topped with homemade tofu sour cream; hummus wrap; instant cup of lentil soup; veggie burger; or cereal with soymilk.

2. Pile your plate with fruits and veggies, and vary your choices. Vegans are ahead of the game here, since they tend to eat more of these foods than omnivores. Variety is important, though, because different fruits and vegetables have different benefits. Those that are high in vitamin C (citrus fruits, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts) will give iron absorption a big boost, so try to include one of these foods at every meal. Some leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard are among the world’s best sources of potassium, which is good for your bones and blood pressure. Other green leafies—collards and kale—are packed with calcium. And, of course, all of those deep orange vegetables like squash and carrots are important for vitamin A.

3. Get enough calcium. It’s not the end-all and be-all of bone health, but calcium does matter and it’s an area where some vegans fall short. Best sources for vegans are fortified juices and plant milks, calcium-set tofu, kale and collards. But you can get smaller amounts of calcium from figs, oranges, broccoli, and cabbage, too.

4. Choose whole grains. Every single bite of grain you eat doesn’t have to be unprocessed. If you enjoy crusty French bread with soups and salads, or regular pasta in your lasagna, that’s fine. Vegans get plenty of fiber after all. But whole grains have other benefits and nutrients besides fiber, so aim for the unrefined choices most of the time.

5. Be smart about fats. Limiting fatty foods is good, but avoiding them completely isn’t. Some high fat foods like nuts and seeds contribute important nutrients to vegan diets. Nuts are also linked to lower heart disease risk and are helpful in the control of diabetes. Added fats are okay, too, when used in small amounts to enhance texture and flavor of foods. Meals that are swimming in fat aren’t such a good idea, but a drizzle of olive or organic canola oil on salads and roasted vegetables is absolutely fine in the context of a healthy vegan diet. Be sure to include small amounts of ground flaxseed, chia seeds, or walnuts to meet needs for the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.

6. Don’t shun supplements. All vegans need vitamin B12 supplements (or fortified foods.) And many vegans opt for supplements of the omega-3 fats DHA and EPA (although the jury is out on whether they are beneficial). Other supplements depend on your diet and lifestyle. If you use iodized salt, you’re covered for iodine. If not, it’s a good idea to take a supplement. (Iodine content of plants depends on where they are grown and many people, including meat eaters, fall short on this nutrient.) And vegans get vitamin D from the same places as omnivores—from sunshine or fortified foods. If you don’t get much time in the sun, especially during the winter, opt for a vitamin D supplement.

7. Be flexible and have fun with your vegan diet. Vegans are automatically off to a good start with food choices. Diets built around plant foods are free of cholesterol, low in saturated fat and high in fiber. There are still plenty of junk-food choices for vegans, though. Needless to say, your diet won’t be healthy if it’s packed with potato chips and Oreo cookies. But it’s not an all-or-nothing kind of thing. Processed foods like veggie meats and cheeses can make it easier to stick to your healthy vegan diet, and so can the occasional treat.


Virginia Messina, The Vegan RD
Ginny is a dietitian specializing in vegan nutrition and the co-author of Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet. Ginny was a dietetics instructor at Central Michigan University and a dietitian for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and is a former co-author of the American Dietetic Association’s position on vegetarian diets. She writes about a variety of issues related to health and animal rights on her blog TheVeganRD and as the National Vegan Examiner at Examiner.com.

"The plural of anecdote is not data." (Roger Brinner)

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#2 Postby I_love_my_ducatis » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:27 pm

I think number 7 is really important, just because it's a vegan cinnamon roll, doesn't mean it's healthier.

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#3 Postby Synny667 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:38 pm

Yeah but Jen that vegan cinnamon roll sure does taste mighty good!!! Oh yeah I had one for breakfast hahaha
I do because I can. I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn't.

I don't make excuses... I make results

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#4 Postby I_love_my_ducatis » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:04 am

Synny,
I'm the guilty of the guilty with sweets, I've been weaning myself off the sugar fix for the past year. For me it's the biggest weakness and the hardest habit to break. I'd always associated cupcakes and brownies as a reward. I had to push the "reset" button and now can qualify an orange, dark chocolate or peanut butter as a treat. I always had the idea that I could gorge on cookies and then just work it off, but you get that yucky sugar low (and I couldn't stop eating them until the bag was gone).
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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#5 Postby Synny667 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:43 am

My cinnamon roll was a treat cause they only make them once a week and it is a 27 mile drive to get it lol. Only time I crave sweets is around that time of month if I dont kill my spicy craving first. But as of today I say so long to my cinnamon roll for 3 months.....
I do because I can. I can because I want to. I want to because you said I couldn't.

I don't make excuses... I make results

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#6 Postby lohungfong » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:24 pm

thanks for these tips.

About eating whole grain, I can tell you I feel so much better after eating whole grain than if I eat processed white pastas, I can feel it right away...

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#7 Postby stcalico » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:50 pm

Thanks for the tips. Just getting started (long time vegetarian and few weeks vegan now) so this should help. Makes sense and is simple and to the point - not overly complicated and overwhelming like some of the stuff I've been reading... so thanks for that.

Honestly, so far I'm not finding eating Vegan very enjoyable ... I suspect that is a side effect of giving up my cheese 'crack'. But on a positive note I have lost 3 pounds already. And I'm not planning to give up any time soon.
If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse.

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#8 Postby Ojibwa » Sat May 26, 2012 4:57 pm

I know what you mean about the cheese -- it is very hard to give up, and the fake cheeses are pretty lame, especially if you want them melted. Veggie slices aren't too bad, but they don't melt well. I'm finding eating vegan VERY enjoyable because I love to cook and I've been experimenting with all kinds of ethnic recipes. Americans eat tons of meat, but most of the rest of the world doesn't. Try Indian, Israeli, and Moroccan recipes, and learn to use spices and herbs.

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#9 Postby BlueRose » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:53 am

stcalico wrote:Thanks for the tips. Just getting started (long time vegetarian and few weeks vegan now) so this should help. Makes sense and is simple and to the point - not overly complicated and overwhelming like some of the stuff I've been reading... so thanks for that.

Honestly, so far I'm not finding eating Vegan very enjoyable ... I suspect that is a side effect of giving up my cheese 'crack'. But on a positive note I have lost 3 pounds already. And I'm not planning to give up any time soon.


I too was addicted to dairy, and even when it was destroying my digestive system I had a hard time quitting. Try weaning yourself off with vegan cheeses, both processed and recipes. They're awesome. :)
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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#10 Postby BlueRose » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:59 am

Ojibwa wrote:I know what you mean about the cheese -- it is very hard to give up, and the fake cheeses are pretty lame, especially if you want them melted. Veggie slices aren't too bad, but they don't melt well. I'm finding eating vegan VERY enjoyable because I love to cook and I've been experimenting with all kinds of ethnic recipes. Americans eat tons of meat, but most of the rest of the world doesn't. Try Indian, Israeli, and Moroccan recipes, and learn to use spices and herbs.


One word: Daiya.

Is it very healthy? No. But it's tasty as fuck. <3
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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#11 Postby bryce523@yahoo.com » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:36 am

A very good site to check out with some good info would be http://bodybuildingvegetarians.wordpress.com/

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#12 Postby veganjason » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:24 pm

This is a great article. Virginia Messina wrote a great book (co-authored by Jack Norris from Vegan Outreach) called Vegan For Life that is an amazing resource for all vegans. I highly recommend it. One thing I really liked about the book is that it's very recent, so it addresses lots of current issues. There's even a whole chapter dedicated to soy and whether or not it's (as) bad for you as some are currently saying.

Linkage: http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Life-Everyt ... n+for+life

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#13 Postby KarakD. » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:20 am

I shun man made supplements like the plague & never ever take them.
Try adding
Quinoa -protein content is very high (18%)
Amaranth & Buckwheat http://www.aaoobfoods.com/graininfo.htm
Pine Nuts:
iron, 8 percent; magnesium, 20 percent; phosphorus, 16 percent; potassium, 4 percent; zinc, 12 percent; copper 20 percent; manganese, 120 percent; thiamine, 6 percent; riboflavin, 4 percent; niacin, 6 percent; folate, 4 percent; choline, 4 percent; vitamin E, 15 percent.

All are excellent for the body

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#14 Postby C.O. » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:06 pm

Great post, reminds me I need to start taking vitamin B supplements again, I was but I haven't been lately. Yum I want a cinnamon roll now...haha

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Re: The 7 Habits Of Healthy Vegans

#15 Postby ryansmith » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:46 am

Loved the 3 point. From today i am going to consume more of this stuff. :D


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