Is a Plant Based Diet Right for Everyone?
A plant based diet is free from animal products like milk, cheese, eggs, and meat.
Although this diet can be beneficial to some, it might not be right for everyone.
Make Sure You’re Getting Your Protein
There are great sources of plant-based proteins. However, if you’re not used to tracking your macros, plant-based proteins can be harder to seek out. Make sure you’re staying on top of your protein by incorporating plant based, high protein foods in your meals and snacks! I love hemp hearts and nutritional yeast.
Hemp hearts have a nutty flavour and can be added to salads, smoothies, or coconut yogurt. Three tablespoons of hemp hearts has 10g of protein!
Nutritional yeast is high in protein, with 9g of plant-based protein in just two tablespoons. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavour, making it an easy addition to sprinkle on pasta or salads. It also works well as an ingredient in plant-based “cheese” sauces. Well.ca loves it so much they even made a YouTube video all about it!
Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Calories
When cutting out animal products it’s important to be mindful that you continue to get enough calories! You can do this by reaching for a serving of protein and healthy fat with each meal.
Make Sure You’re Getting Your Nutrients
There are certain nutrients that are much more readily available to us through animal foods, like B12. If you’re interested in a plant-based vegan diet, I recommend speaking with a Registered Nutritionist to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to thrive!
Understand that Every Body is Different
This is my number one reason why a plant-based diet isn’t for everyone. Every body is different! Some people may thrive on a plant-based diet and others may not. It’s important to always listen to your body and do what feels right for you, while remembering there’s no one size fits all approach to health.
Don’t Assume All Vegan Products are ‘Healthier’
Often, when switching to a plant-based diet, people make the switch to specialty vegan products under the assumption that these products are by nature healthier – for example, swapping meat proteins for products like veggie burgers and nuggets. But this might not be the case, as many of these products are filled with nutrient void calories and lack fibre.
Making Small Changes
One of the best things we can all do for our health is to eat more plants! I like to focus on all plants, beyond just vegetables, like fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
Some ways to add more plants to your diet is by adding veggies to sauces and smoothies. When cooking a sauce, once it’s almost ready, try adding in a few handfuls of leafy greens, like kale or spinach. They shrink considerably, which allows you to get a lot in one serving without it being overwhelming, so you’ll be able to get lots in there!
Spinach and frozen cauliflower (steamed then frozen) are my favourite veggies to add to smoothies. Neither have much of a taste, and cauliflower adds a creamy consistency. Another idea is to add a green smoothie into your daily ritual!
Green Smoothie Recipe
- 1 handful spinach
- 1 handful ice
- 1 cup water or almond milk
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 apple
- Blend until smooth
I believe the best way to reach your nutrition goals is by focusing on what to eat, versus what to avoid, and on what makes YOU feel your best, rather than the latest trend.
Book an appointment with Aly to get started on your customized meal plan!
Aly is a Certified Nutrition Practitioner (CNP) who graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition and holds a BA from Western University. Aly’s warm and approachable demeanor empowers her clients to take control of their health. She uses a realistic approach, with an emphasis on balance and whole foods to personally address your nutrition needs. Aly believes that eating healthy isn’t about being perfect, it’s about having a plan you can stick to that gives you energy while allowing you to eat the foods you love. Aly believes that with the right tools and guidance you can make positive lifestyle changes to enjoy a happier and healthier life!