So, you have finally made the bold and health-conscious decision to go vegan! Whatever your reason, it can always be a challenge to make a lifestyle change, especially when it comes to nitpicking the food you can and can’t eat.
Veganism, refers to the lifestyle of not eating any foods or using any products that derive from animals. Implementing a new diet is all about breaking old habits and avoiding some old favourites, which can be tough. Therefore, in terms of eating habits, a good starting point would be to plan your ideal, everyday gluten free snack for each day of the week. When cravings come, just fight it by enjoying your snack on hand.
Luckily, if done in moderation, changing to a new lifestyle can be much easier than initially thought. Use our guideline as some motivation.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet
The stand-out benefit of going on a vegan diet is that it promotes weight-loss! At the same time, if you do it correctly and plan it efficiently, a vegan lifestyle can integrate foods that provide all the healthy nutrients your body needs. From fruits and vegetables to wholegrain carbohydrates, it is easier to be healthy and eat cleaner on a vegan diet.
Vegan diets also lower the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, and it reduces the risk of getting certain types of cancer, such as colon cancer. In part this may be because plant products produce compounds called phytochemicals that protect cells from damaging.
This diet-plan also helps you manage diabetes concerns more effectively, because the foods you eat contain high concentrations of fiber, antioxidants and minerals.
Gluten-Free Snacks to Consider
Before completely committing to a vegan lifestyle, you could consider enjoying appetisers that will prepare your taste buds for your change in diet. Some vegan snacks are a good start—who said snacks and treats can’t be healthy?
Let’s dig in to a range of food options that are able to whet your appetite:
- Dark chocolate integrated with other treats: Whether you incorporate sweet – but vegan—favourites with popcorn, peanuts or marshmallows, this snack will surely make you want more!
- Coconut: Coconut is a fancied flavourant that is sure to enhance any snack. Coconut also complements dark chocolate, as well as cocoa. This combination can form a slab of goodness.
- Coffee-esque delicacies: These combine salivating flavours such as coffee, vanilla or caramel. Imagine an edible Espresso, all the while being gluten-free, plant-based and inviting, of course!
- Cocktails re-imagined: Your favourite cocktails combining sweet alternatives, such as cranberries, lime or apple, can also be transformed into slices of edible treats.
- Sandwiches: Using gluten-free products such as cucumbers and hummus, a spread made from chickpeas and sesame seeds is sure to make for an interesting sandwich using whole grain bread.
- Oatmeal with a twist: Oats are naturally gluten-fee, so you can enjoy this treat at will with other “enhancements”, such as apples, walnuts or cinnamon.
- Plant-based jerky: Losing out on jerky, your formative favourite? Plant-based jerky products are becoming more readily available for this niche.
- Tortillas: You can also put your Mexican hat on and enjoy gluten-free tortillas made of gluten-free whole grains, such as brown rice, buckwheat or teff. The tortilla can then be tightly wrapped around fruits – such as fresh berries or diced apple – while using almond butter.
- Toast: Since bread is a staple in most countries, there’s no need to remove it from the menu just because you’re vegan. Simply make toast using gluten-free bread and then top it with heated navy beans, a drizzle of olive oil – or a sprinkle of salt and pepper and herbs – to elevate a simple snack into a satisfying one.
Going vegan doesn’t need to be one-dimensional! The market is filling with ingredients and alternatives that can elevate any meal plan into being ‘yummy’.
How to Get Started
Now that we’ve divulged the foods you can eat on a vegan diet, it is time for a proper eating plan.
Here is your first-three-day guide to give you an idea of how to get started. Adjust it to suit your preferences of course!
Breakfast: Vegan sandwich with lettuce, tomato, turmeric or tofu.
Lunch: A zucchini salad with peanut dressing.
Dinner: Red lentils and spinach over wholegrain rice.
Breakfast: Oats made with plant-milk, topped with fruits and nuts.
Lunch: Sandwiches with gluten-free fillings.
Dinner: Pasta with a bolognaise sauce. Spaghetti bolognaise anyone?
Breakfast: Smoothies made with fruits, such as mango, and spinach, while using plant-milk.
Lunch: Tofu and tomato sandwich.
Dinner: Vegan chili atop amaranth, a gluten-free grain.
See? This change in lifestyle can be a lot more flexible and interesting than you initially thought! That’s why you’ll see this diet in everything from meal delivery options to corporate hampers these days. So, stop missing out and make that healthy change to your life today.