Vegan Diet For Beginners

Fresh plant based foods. Vibrant colours. Includes avocado, tomatoes, chickpeas, cabbage, sweet potato.

Are you interested in learning more about the vegan diet? There will always be a divided opinion on what people agree is best as people have their own beliefs and ideals for choosing the lifestyle they lead.

If you want to know more about The ‘Vegan Diet For Beginners’ keep reading for advice including my vegan starter kit that will help ease you into vegan life. As it takes into consideration healthy balanced food choices and flags up how to combat vitamin deficiencies.

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What Is A Healthy Diet? 

A healthy diet provides essential vitamins and nutrients to maintain overall health and wellbeing. Healthy diets may consist of fruit, vegetables, pulses, wholegrains, lean meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese. It is all about balance by consuming a variety of different food groups at the right quantities.

There are varying factors that might affect the type of diet each person will require and these should be taken into consideration. Age, sex, nutrient deficiencies and underlying health conditions all play a part. A healthy diet plays an important role in minimising disease and other illnesses.

Before making any dietary changes you may wish to consult your doctor. The advice in this article is for information purposes only if in doubt seek medical advice. 

Why Choose A Plant Based Diet?

I educate myself around my lifestyle choices and decide for myself what I think is best. There are many different types of diet and there is no one size fits all. For an example there are Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians, Ovo Vegetarians and Vegans to name a few.

There are also the nutritional needs of of the individual to consider.

Four of the main reasons that people chose to become vegan 

  1. Wanting to put a stop to all forms of animal suffering and cruelty
  2. Religious Beliefs
  3. Caring for the environment and wanting to reduce the negative effects of climate change
  4. To improve health and nutrition

Vegan Tool Kit

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Healthy Vegan Diet Choices

Plant Based Proteins

We need proteins to help us grow as they build muscle because they help repair and heal wounds and reduce inflammation within the body. Proteins also help improve bone health which reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis as you age and helps to boost your immune system which reduces the risk of infections entering the body.

Proteins help you feel fuller for longer and they also help with fat burning as they fuel energy which is why they are so good while working out. They naturally help lower cholesterol levels. 10-35% of your overall calorie intake should come from protein. 

Fit Lady doing sit ups in her workout gear. Keeping fit with a balanced healthy lifestyle.
Vegan Essentials DescriptionPrice


LOOV Organic Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Nooch, Toasted, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Good Source of B-Vitamins, 227 Grams, No Added Vitamins, No Added Sugar, Resealable Bag
👍 NON-FORTIFIED RICHNESS: Organic yeast flakes are rich in B complex vitamins, high in Folate and Pantothenic acid + a good source of umami flavour.

👍 CHEESY NOTES: LOOV’s light beige, organic, inactive yeast flakes have nice texture and a mild, savoury, toasted and cheesy taste.
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Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder – 600g (40 Servings) – Plant Based Protein Powders – Sprouted Rice, Seeds & Pea Protein Powder – Low Calorie, High Protein Powders – Complete Nutrition Shake – Alpha Foods
✦ 👍PLANT PROTEIN: Plant-derived proteins from a range of superfoods including sprouted peas, soybeans, brown rice, sunflower seeds, flax seeds & pumpkin seeds.

✦ 👍Vanilla Vegan Protein is low calorie, low carb, and offers high protein levels as each 15g serving offers 11g of protein, only 1.8g carbs, and <1g fat at only 54 calories!

✦ 👍NATURALLY DELICIOUS: Vanilla beans, blueberries or cacao beans.

Combined with creamy coconut milk powder and a dash of the finest Ceylon cinnamon for a heavenly creamy texture.
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Vegan (ish): 100 simple, budget recipes that don’t cost the earth Paperback
Advice from the author;

‘My theory is, if all of us adopted a few more plant-based meals into our diets on a weekly basis, not only would our food bills go down, but so would our environmental impact.’
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  • Baked Beans 
  • Tofu
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans 
  • Black Beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Potatoes
  • Dark Leafy Veg
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Chia Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Peanut Butter 
  • Brown Rice
  • Wholegrain Pasta

Calcium

This is needed for healthy bones and teeth. There has been research indicating that vegans have a lower intake of Calcium and Vitamin D compared to non- vegans, however this can be supplemented.

  • Green Leafy Veg
  • Dried Fruit – Apricots & Dates are best
  • Brown Bread 
  • Almonds

Vitamin A

We require Vitamin A for eyesight, healthy immune function, growth & development and to help our internal organs function properly. It is also important for healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

  • Cooked Spinach
  • Carrots (containing beta-carotene) 
  • Butternut Squash
  • Turnips
  • Kale
  • Sweet Potato
  • Red Bell Pepper – Raw

Carbohydrates

It is better to consume your intake from complex (high fibre carbs) These are found in whole grain products and legumes. Carbs will give you energy and they support physical activity. 

  • Wholewheat Pasta 
  • Wholegrain Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Bread
  • Wholegrain Cereal
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Berries

Dairy Swaps

Being vegan means that you you will need to substitute dairy products, for instance when replacing cows you can use either Soy Milk, Cashew Milk, Oat Milk or Rice Milk. Personally I prefer soy milk as this is one of the healthier options and doesnt affect blood sugar levels. Almond Milk may contain honey so would not be classed as vegan. 

Healthy Fats 

We need healthy fats to help the body absorb fat soluble vitamins. A deficiency could lead to hair loss and a weak immune system. 

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Avocados
  • Coconut Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Avoid Vitamin Deficiencies 

Vitamin D  

Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate within our bodies. This is important for healthy bones and teeth. A lack of Vitamin D can cause fatigue, muscle pain and weakness and can lead to more serious conditions over time. If you consume a well balanced diet with varied vitamins this will prevent Nutritional deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is common with a Vegan diet so please bare this in mind or supplement. 

  • Fortified Spreads – Flora 
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified Cereals – Kellogg’s Special K, Multigrain Cheerio’s & Quaker Oats (If you add nuts or seeds to your cereal it will increase the absorption and uptake levels of Vitamin D faster)

Omega 3 

Omega 3 is important for heart and brain function.

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Edamame
  • Green Leafy Veg & Beans (smaller quantity contained)

Zinc 

Zinc is essential because it helps your immune system to function and is especially important for pregnant women and growing children. 

  • Chickpeas
  • Quinoa
  • Black Beans
  • Oats
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cashews
  • Lentils

Iron 

Iron provides energy and focus. Low levels could cause anaemia especially during menstruation as this depletes iron stores. 

  • Broccoli
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Kale
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Pine Nuts
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Chia Seeds
  • Apricots 

Vitamin B12

When we are running low on Vitamin B12 it could cause extreme tiredness, depression, problems with memory, weight loss and fatigue.

  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Marmite
  • Fortified Soy & Almond Milk
  • Fortified Cereal 

Feel The Benefits 

If you are looking to switch over to a vegan diet purely for the health benefits it is worth knowing that a Vegan diet supports a healthy immune system due to the vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants found within a plant based diet. 

  1. A healthier heart 
  2. Lower inflammation levels
  3.  Lower blood pressure levels
  4.  Improvement to mental health – Diet rich in Antioxidants shown to be protective against depression
  5. Diabetes Prevention
  6. May help you live longer
  7. Can improve cholesterol
  8. Good for your brain
  9. Reduction of cognitive impairment
  10. Improves Mental Health
A love heart shaped bowl of heart healthy strawberries. They are good for  healthy immune system.

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