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David Hopkins

Vegan Diet Basics

It is possible—and even fun—to go vegan.

In a previous post, I wrote about how to get started with a plant-based diet, but what if you want to take the plunge and try a vegan diet? It’s probably important to first understand the difference between plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan diets. With plant-based diets, you might not cut out meat entirely. You could still eat fish, lean meat and low-fat dairy, and the smallest portions of red meat. As a vegetarian, you don’t eat meat of any kind. However, you may still consume some animal products such as dairy foods and eggs. To quote Phoebe from the TV show Friends: “No food with a face.” Vegans do not eat products of animal origins. No dairy, no eggs, and obviously no meat.

The more restrictive the diet, the more planning needs to happen to be successful with the diet. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to enjoy being a vegan and maintain the diet. 

Sandy Clubb, a Saladmaster Dealer for Cookware Health Clubb Inc, had this to say:Transforming to a whole food plant based diet and lifestyle literally saved my life! The power of food still astounds me to this day, and how inexpensive and delicious it can be as well. So I just feel good for the planet too!”

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has a downloadable 16-page Vegetarian Starter Kit, which is an incredible resource, including information on how to cook without eggs and dairy in plant-based diets. Saladmaster partners with PCRM by hosting Food for Life classes to educate the public on the healing power of food and how to put good dietary practices into action. Contact your local Saladmaster Dealer to find out when the next Food for Life cooking class will take place.

Here are some basics to a vegan diet. As with any major change in diet or health routine, it’s always best to check with your doctor or a licensed nutritionist. 

Give it a week

The website 7-Day Vegan has set up a quick-start guide for trying out veganism. It’s an opportunity to set your goals, focus your intentions, and give it a go. Their philosophy is rooted in the idea that “being vegan isn’t a sacrifice — it’s lots of fun!”

It’s also good to briefly experiment with a vegan diet—to see how you’re feeling with the process—so you can make any necessary changes, if certain aspects don’t work for you. But if you’re feeling good and you have more energy, this could be a sign that a vegan diet has been helpful.

Know your foods

OrdinaryVegan.net feature a useful food pyramid on its site, which will give you a good idea of what food you can eat. The base of the pyramid is fruits of all types (3-4 servings daily) and vegetables of all types, with the recommendation to eat as many different colors as possible, such as this perfect salad featured on our blog. Moving up the pyramid you’ll want to eat leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and kale. Also, you can include legumes like beans, peas, lentils, and seeds. At the top of this pyramid is high-fat whole foods like avocados, nuts, and dairy substitutes. However, the Ordinary Vegan recommends that you don’t overdo it.

So much about vegetarianism and veganism is simply becoming more aware of what you eat and where your food comes from.

Make your food taste good

It’s hard to commit to anything if you don’t enjoy it. The Saladmaster cooking method helps maintain the vitamins and nutrients in your food. But it also means that you can taste a difference. Vegetables that are well prepared—without unnecessary oil or water, and cooked at lower temperatures—tend to retain their flavor.

The Saladmaster Food Processor may also help you embrace a vegan diet. It’s easy to use. Having it on your kitchen counter may encourage you to shop for whole vegetables in the produce section of the grocery store, instead of going for the frozen, bagged easy alternative. Usually, you will save money shopping in the produce section (more food for your dollar), and it’s fun to use.

Do you have any tips on how to make a vegan diet successful? Tell us about them on Facebook. Make sure to follow us and use the #Saladmaster hashtag, so we can see it and respond.

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