How To Thrive On A Vegan Diet

by Monica Stoutenborough

Ever considered eating all plant based foods? More and more wellknown people are now vegan; Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, even Mike Tyson! Sometimes when switching to a vegan diet, people find some struggles along the way that keep them from staying on the path. Below are some tips that can prevent stress and help you thrive with your new lifestyle.

  1. Eat a variety of colorful fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. The more variety the better. Make it a challenge to try at least one new food or ingredient every week. As the seasons change your options are almost endless!
  2. Eat your food as minimally processed as possible. Most Americans do not eat a significant amount of raw fruits and vegetables. Eat a large quantity of raw fruits and veggies, and some steamed vegetables and soups as well. Avoid fried foods that destroy nutrients and form cancer promoting compounds called acrylamides. If you try to live off of packaged cereal and crackers you are not giving yourself the phytochemicals and antioxidants needed to fight off disease and illness.
  3. When eating out call ahead to find out what healthy options they may have available or check the online menu. Most chefs are happy to accommodate special dietary requests, especially with advance notice. I often ask a chef to use water or broth to sauté my food instead of oil.
  4. Meet others in your community that can help support you on your path. In St Louis we are blessed to have several plant based communities such as the Arch Vegans and Raw Vegan Community on meetup.com. These groups are very welcoming and especially valuable if you are trying to do this alone.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up! So many people think that when they make a resolution they must follow it 100%, and one so-called slip-up results in quitting completely. Be kind to yourself and don’t think that one or two indulgences should derail all of your efforts.
  6. Take some vegan cooking classes, buy a cookbook, or get new recipes online that inspire you to stay interested. If you find a dish that you like, prepare it in bulk and so you can eat it for days. Over time you need to develop some quick go-to recipes, so you aren’t tempted to grab convenience processed foods.

Switching to this kind lifestyle is not only health promoting for yourself, but also all other living creatures on this planet. Know that you are part of a tremendous shift and movement to a kinder planet.

Monica Stoutenborough is a Certified Nutritional Education Trainer and Yoga Instructor. She offers yoga, meditation, nutrition & cooking classes at her business, PuraVegan Cafe & Yoga. In August she will offer a “Healthy Vegan 101” class that is lecture and food preparation on August 26. For more information please call 314-932-5144 or visit www.puravegan.com.