First, the fantastic 7-day vegan guide…
Quite possibly everything you need to know to go vegan healthfully; check out all their links as well: http://7dayvegan.com
Now the basics – What’s in my pantry & fridge right now?
In random order…most things are preferred organic non-GMO:
- Superfirm tofu (soy should always be organic non-GMO!)
- Peanut butter (the natural kind you have to stir – arm workout lol)
- Sprouted whole-grain bread
- Quinoa (always rinse it through sieve)
- Soy milk (unsweetened organic, fortified with calcium, D2, etc.)**
- Blackstrap molasses*
- Whole grain cereal (few varieties, some with flax, all lower carb/sugar)
- Sunflower seeds
- Yellow mangoes
- Lemons (for juice for cooking & dressings, etc.)
- Flaxseed meal (important for Omega-3 fat)**
- Corn tortillas
- Low-sodium vegetable juice
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Blueberries (frozen, less pricey that way, for smoothies)
- Bananas (used frozen for smoothies also)
- Nutritional yeast (tablespoon a day in food)
- Black bean soup
*Blackstrap molasses can be as cheap as $7 for a month’s supply. It’s great because it’s all the nutrition stripped away from sugar, and it has a moderate glycemic index of 55 compared to table sugar at 80, and blackstrap molasses is a great source of iron, calcium and potassium. A tablespoon or two a day is good. (Another way to up your iron is to cook using a cast iron pan.)
**Update 11/22/14: I get unsweetened flax milk sometimes instead of soy, so don’t have to use extra flaxseed meal for omega 3.
I left out oil, condiments & stuff, who needs to see that, lol, although cold-pressed vegetable oils high in monounsaturated fat are preferred, and coconut oil is touted by many…I just get whatever looks good, usually olive or sunflower oil. A bit of fat with your greens helps absorb the vitamin K1 & K2…important.
I use fairly regularly: B12, & kelp tabs for extra iodine because I like soy, and occasionally when needed: vegan D3 from lichen, zinc, C.
Now, what I ate today…
Just to show how easy a healthy vegan diet can be, everything I need is here:
Breakfast: big honking bowl of whole-grain cereal with soy milk & blackstrap molasses (I’m obsessed with my cereal) and 8oz. veggie juice
Lunch: 2 pieces sprouted bread with avocado & mustard, 3 T. sunflower seeds, and 1 organic mango
Dinner: Quinoa, Kale & Carrot pilaf (ginormous serving) and banana & soy smoothie (using unsweetened soy milk)
Snack: 4 fig bars (cookies) from health-nut store’s bin (occasional treat)
(and of course fluids like iced water and coffee & tea sweetened with Stevia, no sugar)
The yadda yadda on it all…
So there; lots of food and nutrition and only 1800 calories, plenty of protein (importantly lysine) too. I took a chewable vitamin C and a kelp tab today, C to help absorb iron, and kelp for iodine because I ate more than one serving of soy and soy is said to possibly deplete our iodine. I’ll take B12 tomorrow as I take 500 mcg every other day, and I also take D3 (1000 IU) on days I don’t get much sunshine, and 20 mg. of zinc when I haven’t eaten enough in general.
This is all just the way I’ve worked things out to keep it easy to follow and healthy. The only supplement pill really essential is B12 because we don’t like to eat dirt which is where B12 comes from (healthy soil that is). The few other supplements are for extra protection and because I tend to calorie restrict because I’ve always gained weight easily and I want to stay the size I am, medium. I could eliminate all except for the B12 and possibly the kelp/iodine because of the soy thing. I consider the flaxseed meal and nutritional yeast as foods more than supplements. And what’s in my fortified soy milk is also extra so I take that into consideration when taking other supplements. Jeez I can blither, but I hope it’s all helpful.
So see, it’s quite easy once you get the hang of things, and no more costly than any other diet…no fancy highfalutin foods here, that’s for sure, mostly just basic stuff from the amazing Earth. Although some, like fresh organic blueberries, can be expensive, so I get frozen regular ones even though they may have pesticide residue.
So if you eat this way, concentrating on fresh whole unprocessed, nutritionally potent foods, you’ll be very healthy, of course not including anything you’re allergic to or can’t tolerate.
Handy shopper’s guide:
Here’s a helpful reference for what foods are best to buy organic according to pesticide content; i.e., apples (at top = worst) should always be organic and avocados (at bottom = best) are fine conventionally grown: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php#
Of course, this is only my non-professional advice going by what works for me. I heed the advice of people I see as wise, compassionate and healthy, such as the good people behind the linked article at top. (Also, see disclaimer below.)
Here’s hoping this helps people on their way to going vegan so we can get those godawful slaughterhouses shut down one by one until there are none. On top of that, we can stop chopping down rain forests to graze animals or grow cheap GMO soy & corn for them, and stop polluting the environment with waste from animal farms, and stop abusing antibiotics to combat filth diseases and promote unnatural growth of the animals, and stop wasting precious water and resources to “grow animals” to overfeed the affluent while millions of people around the world go hungry.
Then there are the innocent animals in Hell, of course…each and every one matters.
Happy compassionate eating and living to all, in good health…
This article provides information that should not take the place of professional advice. I am not a nutrition or health professional but am sharing what I’ve learned through experience and from what I trust are good sources in regard to my own nutrition. If you have concerns, I encourage you to talk to a (vegan friendly) registered dietitian or other trusted professional about your dietary needs.