Feeling low and struggling when starting on a plant based diet??
I don’t know about you but I really have started to feel that the vegetarian and vegan revolution has really started to gain such momentum this past year. Over the past 3 years I have gradually been weaning myself off meat. The main reason was because I became more and more aware of the mistreatment of animals in many establishments and also because of environmental issues. Social media has also played a big impact showing me the benefits of cutting meat out of my diet. That said, I wish all these annoying celebrities telling me they’re vegan whilst probably having a personal chef cooking them amazing meal, would just go an DO ONE! (Do One = go away - but you probably know a better term!!). Anyway, I am still learning how my body is reacting to this change. I do not need Justin Beiber telling me that he's vegan!!
Brush your hair Beiber!!
I decided last month to eat a mostly plant-based diet avoiding all meat but still eat fish. To be honest I haven’t missed meat all that much but there are things that I have noticed that have changed within me. I used to absolutely love revising a restaurant menu before I went out. Now I’m kinda like “meh”. I’ve stopped being excited about going to a restaurant and eating something I’m really craving. I also feel a little flat and down. Maybe that’s because I’ve cut massively down on alcohol.
Wow, January really does suck when you think about it!
So, I thought to take a look into what I was actually eating and using an app to count my calories. I quite like the thought of calorie counting because it means I can eat what I want. Well I thought so. It turns out that due to the change in diet I was eating on average 10% of protein. My goal is 40% daily. I was mostly eating toast because I didn’t have the knowledge of recipes without meat. Also, who doesn’t love toast???
I realized that maybe the tiredness, the craving carbs, the overall lack of healthy hair and nails could be due to my diet. OK it might be a little early to say if it is that because it’s only coming to the start of February. That said, I want to make sure that I’m in the right possible way to be able to continue this way of eating for a long time to come.
Protein is such an essential part of our DNA and helps burn calories fills up for longer, curbs cravings, feeds muscles and transports vitamins and electrolytes. There is no reason for me to go without when so many animals are able to survive from plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrains and veggies. I guess it’s just knowing what is protein and what I like. And no, don’t worry I’m not going on the protein shakes, I don’t do enough exercise or training to go down that route!
So, here are my top 3 interesting high protein plant foods that I’m going to work on having a lot more of and hopefully can help me with the no-meat diet. By adding these I should be able to build up my daily protein and feel better within myself.
Edame peas (great for snacks!):
A cup (155 grams) of cooked edamame provides around 18.5 grams of protein. So many vegetarians and vegans eat soy-based products to help with their protein intake.
A few benefits associated with Edame peas: There are studies that have stated that they lower cholesterol levels, they don’t raise sugar levels (great for diabetics), they reduce the risk of breast & prostate cancer, and alleviate menopausal symptoms. This could be why Asian women are less likely to experience hot flushes, mood swings and sweating during their menopause. So annoying! They can’t have it all they’re already skinny and beautiful.
18 grams of protein per cooked cup lentils. Lentils also contain good amount of iron which often vegetarians and vegans lack. They also have high levels of fibre, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Fiber is good for your heart, helps keep you full and can keep your weight in check.
The benefits though not confirmed are that they can help lower the risk of heart disease, they have a load of health-promoting polyphenols and may reduce several heart disease risk factors. Polyphenols are thought to reduce inflammation, which is the root cause of many chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease .
I have always hated tofu then I went to a veggie restaurant and found out that I really don’t mind it at all. That said I don’t get excited and start thinking “Oooooooh I could really do with some tofu like right NOW!!”. So, I have got to learn how to make it without it looking and tasting like sponge on my plate. I am adamant that I am going to check up on some cool recipes and try them out!
Here are some benefits: they are high in protein, calcium, and iron while low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. In addition to this, it also contains magnesium, copper, zinc, vitamin B1 and all nine essential amino acids. It has been said to reduce risk from some cancers, heart disease and diabetes. Bla Bla Bla.
After writing this I still am not convinced about the tofu but I’m going to give it a try. Look at this pretty picture. Urgh still can’t believe I’ve turned into a wannabe tofu eater. I so didn't see this coming!!!
Mantra: Must. Think. About. The. Animals. Urgh.