Nourishing Veganuary Guide by Nutritional Therapist Amelia Freer
Amelia Freer is a Nutritional Therapist renowned for providing expert advice on healthy eating and sharing delicious recipe content. Working alongside Whole Foods Market, she has curated a guide of top tips to keep you going in Veganuary and shared her advice on how to enjoy a nourishing and balanced plant-based diet.
1. Have some plant-based protein at every meal:
Proteins are essential for growth and repair in our bodies. Good sources of plant-based proteins include pulses, lentils, beans, hummus, nuts, seeds, tempeh, tofu and peas. Aim for one portion at each of your 3 meals and try to vary them as much as possible. Whole Foods Market stock lots of delicious organic, fresh and pre-made options such as curried tempeh from Plant Power Foods.
2. Include some Omega-3 fats:
They are essential fats - we need to get them from our food as our body cannot make them. They can be found in the form of ALA from various nuts and seeds (especially walnuts, soaked chia seeds, hazelnuts and pecans) as well as rapeseed oil. A good quality, low sugar granola such as the Raw Gorilla berry granola is a good way to incorporate at breakfast, otherwise sprinkle nuts and seeds on top of salads or soups or a drizzle of olive oil.
3. Focus on whole foods:
Being vegan does not necessarily guarantee a balanced diet overall. While it's great to eat more plants, try (where possible) to focus on eating mostly whole and minimally processed foods. Fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts & seeds, wholegrains and healthy oils are examples of naturally vegan whole foods. Of course, we all need shortcuts if we are time poor so the pre-made meals from Natural Ketosis are great quick and easy options. The jackfruit tagine and mushroom curry recipes contain ingredients that you would find in most households.
4. Consider vitamin D:
Here in the UK, we are unable to make Vitamin D from the sun in January. The Department of Health therefore recommends that all adults consider supplementing with vitamin D over the winter months (Oct-Mar). Vegan vitamin D supplements are available so ask your local pharmacist or a nutrition professional if you're not sure which one to take. Some mushrooms are now UV-treated before being sold, making them a potentially useful source of plant-based vitamin D too.
5. Read the label:
When looking for meat and dairy replacements, do read the labels carefully as not all of them are necessarily healthy or even vegan. It is very easy to eat a highly processed and refined, sugar-heavy plant-based diet. Where possible, go for the most natural products possible, such as The Meatless Farm mince or Plant Base Cheese no cheese sauce.
6. Be kind to yourself:
While I wholeheartedly support #veganuary as it encourages us to eat more plants, try new ideas and consider the environmental impact of our shopping habits, it's OK if we're not perfect too. Please be kind to yourself and listen to your own body as you move through this month.