What is a plant based diet?
A plant based diet or lifestyle is a way of preparing and consuming meals that only contain Whole Foods. By eliminating toxins and dead foods (animal products, more on this below) we allow our bodies to heal naturally and thrive in an alkaline environment (more on alkaline here). Plants such as root vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and leafy greens are all alkaline or neutral on the pH scale. Our metabolism is sometimes referred to a fire because it involves a chemical reaction within our bodies that breaks down a solid mass. Simply put our metabolism is what converts food into energy. When we are consuming high vibrational living foods we are allowing our bodies to absorb those nutrients and minerals, convert them and release them back out. Taking in the good both physically and as it absorbs into our cells affecting our spiritual and mental health as well. How to adopt a plant based lifestyle here.
How do I get protein on a Plant Based diet?
Protein on a plant based is so much easier than people make it out to be. Protein is used in the body for growth and maintenance of muscle tissue, digestion, energy production, maintaining pH balance, and acting as messengers to deliver signals around the body. Tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and even vegetables contain CLEAN protein. By clean protein I mean they do not cause any harm to your body. Meat on the other hand can cause heart disease, high cholesterol, blood clots, arthritis, migraines, cancer you name it. The way our meat is manufactured and the antibiotics and living standards of the animals being butchered for our consumption is like eating out of a porta-potty. Complimentary proteins are important to note as well because not all plant based protein is complete- which is where the concern comes in. Proteins contain essential and non-essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks. There are 9 essential amino acids that we must obtain from food. In plant based foods some are missing one or more amino acids but another may contain the missing links. For example rice has protein but is not a complete protein because it lacks lysine. To compliment the missing link you can add beans to your diet which is high in lysine. You also do not need to consume the complimentary proteins in the same meal. As long as you are eating a variety of plant based protein you will meet your dietary requirements without even trying.
Some other examples of complimentary proteins:
Hummus and pita bread
Peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread
Tofu with quinoa
Tempeh with brown rice
Yogurt with almond granola
Salad with garbanzo beans and almonds
Beans and rice
What are alkaline foods?
Alkaline foods are either neutral or basic on the pH level. They have the power to strip the body from toxins and begin the healing process from the inside out due to their micronutrient and vitamin content. As I said above, acidic foods essentially strip the body from nutrients and minerals because it’s being rerouted and siphoning from another source. When we consume higher quality foods we are not siphoning but instead flooding our systems with what it needs. Think of your body as a diesel truck. Alkaline foods are the diesel you need to keep running. But once you put gasoline (acidic foods) into your truck it begins to break down. Alkaline foods include fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, leafy greens, natural fats, natural sugars, legumes, and starches.
What are acidic foods?
When foods are acidic they interrupt our bodies natural functions, cause blockages, and leave heavy residue. Since our bodies job is to survive it begins to take other routes to ensure it’s getting what it needs. This can lead to osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, migraines, acne, candida, bloating, and other diseases or illnesses because that organ now has to rely on a different route than it’s natural function. For example, when the body is highly acidic it begins to reach for calcium from your bones to buffer the acidic toxins causing osteoporosis. Acidic foods include meat, dairy, poultry, eggs, and alcohol.
Can I be vegan if I’m not a good cook?
Yes! You do not have to be a master chef to be vegan. Vegan foods are as simple if not easier to make than meat and cheese dishes.
Do you take any supplements?
I do take supplements but not for any other reason besides they give me a little boost. I know there is a lot of questioning of whether or not vegans get enough nutrients and minerals (iron deficiency and all that). After 4 years on a plant based diet I had my blood tested and I was in perfect condition if not better than I was before. I was not deficient in iron, protein, zinc, etc. SO wooohoo! Now the only supplements I take are vitamin B12 and Ora Organics beauty boosters. B12 is only food in animal products and nutritional yeast. Even people that eat meat can become deficient in B12. I use the B12 spray daily but you can also get a shot from the doctor. Multivitamins are common for people to take vegan or not because of the name- however most of them are just sugar filled gel bites. If you read the first ingredient it would most likely be some form of sugar. The Ora Organic supplements that I use contain no added sugars, fillers, soy, gluten, artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives! Check out Ora Organic here.
What are some sources of iron?
Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in the world. Iron should be consumed with vitamin C which aids with absorption. Teas and coffee may cause a blockage for iron absorption. Anemia or iron deficiency can cause shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness and low energy levels. It’s recommended for adults to have between 8.7mg-14.8mg a day. Plant sources of iron include beans, peas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, edamame (soy beans), pumpkin seeds, sesame, hemp seeds, tahini, flax seeds, chia seeds, cashews, almonds, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, and nut butters. Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collards, beets, potato skin, mushrooms, olives, and mulberries are also great sources.