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SURVIVING VEGANUARY

Surviving Veganuary 2020

We are well underway into the new year, schools are in session, most of us are back to work dreading the packed trains and congested roads in the morning. Already nearing the halfway point for the first month, I’m sure many of you have come to realise that your new plant – based lifestyle isn’t as hard as you may have first thought. However, tackling those mischievous cravings for a simple yet so delightful cheese toastie could end in crumbs… So to help you march your way to the end of January here are our top tips for getting you there!

 

Planning + Preparation

Just like with the majority of things in life, having a plan and being prepared for what is to come will increase chances of success (By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail). So set a little time aside and figure out what you will be eating over the next week. Stock your fridge and cupboards so that you already have the ingredients to cook your meals. We all have those times in the day where we might be at home and start to feel peckish, so not quite hungry enough for a full meal but enough so that it bothers you to get up and look for something to eat. Having plenty of vegan friendly snacks available at home will stop you from giving in – The same goes for when you’re at work! Prep meals and bring vegan friendly snacks.

 

Focus On What You Can Eat

A great place to start when trying a vegan diet is to attempt replicating the foods you already love by substituting out what isn’t vegan friendly. Veganism, especially over the last few years, has gained a huge amount of popularity, making it easier than ever to find meat and dairy alternatives, allowing you to focus on the things you really enjoy about veganism and so block out your old cravings for foods like eggs, meat and dairy.

 

Do your Research

It’s important to educate yourself on the reasons for switching to a vegan lifestyle as it gives a real purpose for why you’ve decided to change. There are plenty of documentaries out there now, such as: ‘The Game Changers’, ‘What The Health’, ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘Forks Over Knives’ all of which are on Netflix. However, remember that these shows have a bias (that may not be evidence based) so doing your own independent research is best, to decide of being vegan is for you, or just something you want to try more of in the future. Having a ‘why’ or a purposeful reason for doing something will reinforce your resolve, making your decision to be vegan more important than that cheese toastie you were craving.

 

 Experiment!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking, there’s just so much variety! Have fun experimenting with different recipes and explore cuisines you’ve never had. Keep it varied and make sure to include Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins (The 3 macronutrients) as well as your Vitamins and Minerals (Micronutrients). Where there’s variety you will be sure to get all your needed Macro and Micronutrients. A few to be considered a concern when referring to a vegan diet are Protein, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12. However, there are vegan protein powders and multivitamin tablets that are widely available. Other sources of protein are soya, tofu, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils and quinoa. Variety in what you eat is so important as you want to consume as many nutrients as possible.

 

Let Bygones be Bygones

It’s alright if you make a mistake along the way so try not to dwell on it if you do! Substituting such a large proportion of your diet from foods you have been eating for years to foods you may have never eaten before is a drastic change in lifestyle, so you can’t expect it to go perfectly – especially if it’s your first try. The important thing is to not give up, keep going and try to do better next time. We believe in you!

Veganuary will be over before you know it, follow our top tips to survive the rest of the month and finish strong, Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IS BEING VEGAN HEALTHIER??

The push for us to eat less meat is growing, and many have opted for a plant-based life.

For some its ethical, for others it’s a way to spend less, for others it’s a belief that being a vegan or veggie is healthier.

 

BUT IS IT?

 

I think you need to do your research if you’re going to cut out all animal protein and opt for plants only. If you’re vegan and all you eat is fast food, highly processed fake meat, minimal veg and poor-quality fats then your health isn’t probably going to be great.

Not all veggie or vegan food is created equal, many of the foods can contain loads of preservatives, bad fats and fillers that can make you feel worse and aren’t good for your health (the same is true for all processed food products).

On the other hand, if you know what plant-based foods contain the proteins you need, if you eat a variety of fruit and veg, good quality fats and organic soy products you will probably be much healthier overall.

The same goes for meat eaters – eating meat won’t make you unhealthy but if your diet is highly processed, low in fruit and veg and quality fats then yes it can lead to that.

 

You can have the same healthy approach to nutrition whether you’re a meat or a plant eater. Eat real food, eat as much unprocessed food as possible and eat a variety.

I think you can be healthy eating meat or eating plants.

Food is your first medicine, the food choices you make today will have an impact on your health, skin, weight gain/loss, mood and energy levels. So be smart and nourish your body with quality over quantity.

 

Find a great cookbook, vegan or otherwise; and go shopping to make healthy meals not just for convenience.

Make a plan around what you want to eat; and keep it simple.

 

This post isn’t pro vegan or pro meat – it’s pro health.

 

Have a think about how healthy what you eat is?

Could it be better?

What changes do you need to make?

Are you switching to vegan just to be healthier?

Have you made a plan around how you will accomplish this without meat?

 

Don’t blindly do something without first doing some of your own research.

 

Just something to think about.

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NUTRITION TIPS

FITNESS HUB 21 NUTRITION TIPS

 

FOOD CHOICES
Vary fruits, vegetables, fats and protein sources to expose your body to as many nutrients as possible
LOW GI FRUIT – 2-3 X A DAY MAXIMUM
Apples Plums Grapefruit
Cherries Prunes Peaches
Grapefruit Strawberries Coconut
Pears Blueberries Kiwi fruit
Raspberries Oranges
BREADS AND GRAINS – ELIMINATE WHERE POSSIBLE OR MAKE THE BEST CHOICES
Spelt or rye bread – for most its better to eat a couple of times a week
Brown, wild or red organic rice

Oats – soaked in water overnight and cooked in the morning

Buckwheat

Pearled Barley

Quinoa

FATS – use a variety to provide the body with more nutrients
Organic cold pressed Coconut oil – (good for high heat)
Organic cold pressed olive oil – sainsburys do a good one
Organic cold pressed hemp seed oil – Sainsburys (keep in the fridge)
Avocados
NUTS – SOAK IN WATER OVERNIGHT
Brazil Pecans Almonds
Hazelnuts Macadamias Walnuts
VEGETABLES – NOT LIMITED TO THESE, EAT A WIDE VARIETY
Asparagus Cucumber Celery Cauliflower
Beans Chard Carrot (raw) Broccoli
Chives Okra Eggplant Brussel sprouts
Garlic Olives Lettuce Kale
Leeks Spinach Fennel Mushrooms
Onion Artichoke Tomato Watercress
Peas Peppers Cabbage Rocket
Eat1.2-2g/kg a day, keep it varied and avoid any foods that bloats you or upsets your stomach
 

PROTEIN CHOICES – NOT LIMITED TO THESE, EAT A WIDE VARIETY
Chicken Beef Mince meat Eggs
White fish Lamb Gluten Free sausages Smoked salmon
Oily fish Prawns Turkey Halloumi
Feta Cottage cheese Shellfish Pork

 

LISAS TOP 10 RULES

 

  1. If you eat breakfast make sure its healthy – Lean protein, fruit and vegetables, maybe jumbo organic oats. E.g. 2 chicken thighs and 1 apple, 40g oats and 2 eggs, 2 egg omlette with mushrooms, tomato etc.

 

  1. Eat 2-4 meals a day spaced out (whatever number you desire)

 

 

  1. Eat a variety of vegetables, good fats and protein in each meal.

 

  1. Favour real carbs like grains, vegetables and fruits over refined and processed carbs.

 

  1. Eliminate or greatly reduce (1-2 times a week max) processed foods.

 

  1. Eliminate completely trans fats or hydrogenated fats from your diet (they are found in most processed cakes, biscuits and bars etc).

 

  1. Train 3-4 times a week (weights or intervals).

 

  1. Have a permissive meal 1-2 times a week – provided you are eating well. It will keep you sane.

 

  1. Work on ways to reduce stress levels – epsom salt baths, yoga, sauna etc

 

  1. Be in bed by 1030-11pm every day (8hrs sleep)

 

 

For maximum health I aim to eat more vegetables and fruit, increase my protein intake and choose better choices of carbs to help fuel my workouts

 

8 HEALTHY HABITS TO LIVE BY

 

  1. Plan your meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)

 

 

  1. Get good sleep (length, quality, routine)

 

 

  1. Think positive thoughts about yourself and how you look – replace the bad thoughts with good ones

 

  1. Say positive things to yourself – change your self talk, be grateful

 

 

  1. Improve your digestion – increase knowledge of how to improve it and small steps we can make to improve it

 

 

  1. Is your training where it should be – number of sessions a week, intensity, need to stretch, strengthen etc in order to be healthier and fitter

 

 

  1. Drink enough water – are you drinking too much alcohol, tea or coffee

 

 

  1. Have a social life and enjoy yourself – get a hobby, go out with friends, go for a walk etc