Want a bootylicious bod like Beyonce? Get some top tips on how to successfully take on the 22 Day Vegan challenge!
Following news that Beyonce’s dramatic weight loss can be attributed to a 22-day vegan challenge she completed in the run up to Christmas, temporary veganism, also known asflexitarianism, is gaining popularity if the response to Beyonce’s second meat-free plan is anything to go by.
While there are many health benefits associated with a balanced vegan diet, nutritionist and Vitasoy brand ambassador Zoe Bingley-Pullin warns: “People are cutting out entire food groups without considering the nutritional impact and turning to not-so-healthy, processed alternatives.”
Zoe shares her top tips to make it easy for you to follow in Beyonce’s footsteps – and hopefully her enviable figure!
Tip one: Find a protein replacement
One of the main concerns new vegans face is whether they will have enough protein in their diet. Fear not! There are plenty of vegan protein sources available including lentils,quinoa and soy. Unlike many plant foods, soy contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for growth, development and repair. Drinking two glasses of calcium fortified soymilk each day for example, can provide up to a third of your recommended daily intake of quality protein with the bonus of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Zinc is another nutrient vegans often miss out on. Eat plenty of ginger, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, wheat germ, spinach or adzuki beans for your daily fix.
Tip two: Don’t rely on junk food
Just because french fries, doughnuts and veggie burgers are vegan, it doesn’t mean you should rely on these for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Incorporate wholefoods into your diet like whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit and nuts. These will provide all the vitamins and antioxidants your body needs. You might want to consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement though, as it is essential for maintaining healthy blood cells and found in highest levels in animal products.
Tip three: Be adventurous
Try to avoid overly processed meat alternatives. They rely heavily on unhealthy chemicals to mimic the taste and texture of meat. Be creative, research different vegan recipes and keep things interesting by adding rich, complex flavours to your meals in the form of different spices, fresh herbs, seeds and olives. If you can, cook a bit extra and freeze it for future meals so you’re not tempted by fast food and overly processed options.
Tip four: Get resourceful
If you’re lacking inspiration, get resourceful. There are endless websites, blogs, Twitter handles and cookbooks dedicated to veganism, providing advice and recipe ideas. Australian vegan blogger Veggieful has heaps of great ideas to keep vegan eating interesting.
Tip five: Accept your cravings
With any new eating plan, you will have cravings at first. This is absolutely normal. They should pass within a few days as you get used to new flavours and types of food. As well as staying mentally motivated, make it easy by choosing a date you are going to turn vegan and avoid temptation by getting rid of any remaining meat, dairy and eggs in your fridge and cupboards. Create a meal plan for the duration and populate it with different recipes, ensuring you’ve factored in lots of tasty snacks. Based on your meal plan, write a shopping list and make sure you’re stocked up and ready to go. It’s also helpful to know which cafés andrestaurants in your local area are vegan friendly. Websites like HappyCow.net will help you locate them.
For more on Zoe, click here.