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Seeking Jess Vegan Tips

5 Tips To Help You Transform into Veganism

5 Tips To Help You Transform Into Veganism

Lately I have been receiving a lot of messages from non-vegans that they are scared to even try to being vegan as it seems so complicated and they have no idea how to start and what to do.

I completely understand you. It might seem a little overwhelming at first. But trust me, it is easier than you think. I have been there too and so have most vegans. Just a couple of years ago I would always say that I could never be vegan, as I couldn’t imagine living without meat or dairy.

Well, I guess you know the rest of the story.

Becoming vegan has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. That’s why I would like to share these 5 tips with you that could most likely help you in your transition. Also, you can always reach out to me for questions or support. I am more than happy to help.

#1 Check out your local supermarkets for vegan options

One thing I always enjoying doing when I am travelling is to check the local supermarkets for vegan options. I was honestly surprised when I found so many different vegan options in a mini-shop in a very small town in Poland. That’s why I love telling other people to just take some time and do the same. I am sure you will be surprised! You might find some great milk alternatives or vegan meat substitutes!

#2 Don’t overcomplicate it. Start by substituting one thing at a time.

One thing I hear a lot is that people don’t know where and how to start being vegan. But the secret is to not overcomplicate it. Have a look at what you usually eat and change it up. So for example, if you used to put cheese and ham on your sandwich, start using vegan cheese and vegan dip, hummus or avocado. It is as simple as that! If you used to love burgers, choose the vegan patty instead. We live in 2019 now where brands like Beyond Meat have created patties that taste just like meat. There are literally no more excuses!

#3 Connect with other vegans and ask for tips

Most vegans on the Internet are happy to connect with others and share their own experience in their transition into Veganism. Now, when it is so easy to slide into other people’s DMs, do it! Don’t be scared. You might even make some friends!

#4 Don’t be scared to try new things

When I hear people telling me that they have never tried vegan food, I highly doubt it. Most of us have had fries with ketchup, chips or bananas, right? Also, a lot of people can not even imagine living without cheese or meat. But you know what I think is really cool? Our taste buds can adapt super quickly. The life cycle of our taste buds is somewhere between 10 days to two weeks. If you are not used to eating a lot of vegetables or fruit and you start incorporating those into your diet, they might not taste great in the beginning. But with time, due to our taste buds adapting, these foods can start being really tasty.

Also go check out if there are some vegan places near you and google some cool vegan recipes. There is an overflow of delicious vegan recipes online!

#5 Don’t try to be perfect. Every small change and action counts!

I like to say that perfection is the enemy of progress. When I first became vegan and made a mistake by accident (ate something non-vegan) I felt super bad and like I failed all the way. But with time I also started realising that it is part of the journey, as I am only human and it is completely okay to not be perfect. What counts is the thought, the small change and the actions you do every day. Even if it is only something small, you are still doing more than most people.

I really hope that these tips will help you in one way or the other.

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Seeking Jess Vegan Travel

Top 8 Vegan Spots in Hamburg

One of my favourite things to do is to explore vegan restaurants in different cities. And man, I wasn’t disappointed of what Hamburg had to offer.

Happen Pappen

We loved this place the first time, so we decided to go a second time. They have an inside and outside area and this place seemed crowded at all times

The menu during lunch is different to the one in the evening, as they offer sandwiches and a variety of different dishes during midday and burgers and burger bowls during the evening. Personally I preferred the burger bowl over the lunch we had.

The only downside at this place is the fact that you have to wait quite long (30-45 minutes) for the food. But the quality and taste make up for it.

Location: pretty central, in Karolinenviertel, between St.Pauli and Sternschanze

Price: average

Atmosphere: casual, just to eat, not really to stay longer and have drinks; self service

Vegan Vincent

Looking for some amazing vegan fast food? Even if you are meat eater, this is a place you have to try! We tried the Veganizer (My favourite), the Big Veganski, The Beyond Burger, Kebab Fries (My second favourite), Curry Wurst and Sweet Potato Fries. The taste is very fast foodie, but definitely worth it if you are craving some convenience food.

Location: Europa Passage, very central

Atmosphere: In a food court of a shopping center

Price: very good and fair for what you get

Otto’s Burger

A burger place with an extensive menu of non vegan burgers. We ordered the only vegan burger on the menu and we had the Beyond Meat Burger Patty instead of the original one. As a side dish we chose the sweet potato fries. I must say that it was definitely really good! I personally just really love the beyond meat burger patty. It is great to see that more and more places are offering it as an option.

Location: Chain, many different locations around town, we were at the one at Schanze

Atmosphere: very cozy, seems like a good place to stay in the evening and have drinks

Price: average, a little pricier with beyond meat patty

Fried Club at Bidges & Sons

Great spot for convenience food, so don’t expect to find anything “healthy”. We ordered the Beyond Bidges Burger and the Golden Nuggets. The Burger was definitely one of the best vegan burgers I have had so far (also beyond meat patty). The taste of the nuggets was very close to the original chicken nuggets.

Location: Reeperbahn/ St.Pauli

Atmosphere: dark(ish), great to stay after lunch or dinner and enjoy some drinks, has a terrace as well

Price: Fair

Golden Temple Teehaus

As we felt like having something light to eat after a whole day of travelling we decided to try this place and we were not disappointed. My boyfriend ordered a vegan/thai dish. And I must say that this dish was the best Indian dish I have tried outside India. I had a huge green salad, which was light but delicious! I’d also suggest going there for breakfast as the menu looks super yummy!

Location: Between Sternschanze and Rotherbaum

Atmosphere: great chilled atmosphere, to also come and work

Price: fair

Nord Coast Coffee Roastery

Definitely a great spot for coffee lovers and a great snack! We ordered two chai lattes and a vegan waffle. And I was in vegan waffle heaven. Definitely worth trying both, the food and the coffee they have there! Also, because the location is great!

Location: close to the harbour, pretty central

Atmosphere: great smell of coffee, perfect for coffee lovers, very relaxing

Price: fair

Boussi Falafel

Definitely one of the best falafels I ever had! The only downside was that I asked for a falafel salad and I would have loved more fresh veggies. But nevertheless, the falafel itself was amazeballs.

Location: Europa Passage, very central

Atmosphere: It is in the food court of a shopping center, and I guess everyone knows this kind of “atmosphere”.

Price: fair

Eisbande

OH MY VEGAN HEAVEN! I don’t know where to start. But this ice cream was by far the best vegan ice cream I have ever had in my life!

My boyfriend and me had no choice but to try all of the different flavours. My favourite is definitely “Schniggers”, but we also tried vanilla, salty peanut and banana, salty caramel, manner waffle, yoghurt, mousse au chocolate, coconut and mango and we also tried the soft ice.

Extra plus: they have wooden spoons instead of plastic!

Location: Schanze

Atmosphere: great place to get ice cream to go

Price: very fair

Generally, I have to say that I was surprised by how many vegan restaurants Hamburg had to offer and how many restaurants offer a variety of vegan options. I am sure that in the future there will be many more!

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

10 Ways To Consume Less Sugar

Everyone loves the taste of something sweet, which in most cases is caused by added sugar.

First of all, let’s answer the question: What is sugar?

Sugar is a carbohydrate. Glucose is the most common carbohydrate and the most important and quickest source of energy.

Refined sugar in processed foods is the bad one as it has no vital substances or fiber. It has literally no use for the functions of our body. Overconsumption of sugar can be linked to several diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

I personally try to limit my consumption of sugar as much as I can, but I do like to indulge in sweets once in a while.

A few other things that have helped me reduce my sugar consumption are:

  1. Substitute sugar with dried fruit like dates, dried figs and raisins
  2. Spice things up with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  3. Substitute overripe bananas (e.g. add to oatmeal or as sweetener in many recipes)
  4. Try to not consume anything sweet for 2 weeks, your taste buds will adapt very quickly and you will crave it less
  5. Use dark chocolate or cocoa powder
  6. Drink herbal teas with a lot of flavour (especially fruit)
  7. Make healthy vegan desserts out of raw ingredients
  8. Try to eat more nuts (fat content can reduce sugar craving)
  9. Try to eat more fruit and don’t be scared of the sugar in it (check blogpost)
  10. Swap out the soda for flavoured water (cold water with orange, lemon, cucumber, strawberry slices)

Lastly, I would say that you should always make sure to check food labels, as there is sugar in almost anything! Check out this blogpost for the different names sugar can have.

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition

Is Oil Healthy, and if So, Which One?

Is Oil Healthy and if So, Which One?

Fat make up one of the three macronutrients. While there is a lot of opinions on the internet about how much fat we should be consuming, most organisations recommend the fat content not to exceed the amount of 30% of a diet. And this is mainly healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds. Oils should only make a small part of it, due to the fact that oil are very high in calories (9kcal/g) and low in their energy density.

There are some nutritional benefits such as vitamin A, D, E & K, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats.

Most of us like oil due to its taste and aromas. And let’s be honest, oils make so many things taste better.

But first let’s answer the question: What are vegetable oils?

Vegetable oils are the isolated fat component and thus an extract of a high fat plant such as seeds or nuts. In this process the fat component is extracted and only a minimal part of the valuable ingredients is kept as most of the nutrients are lost. The energy value of the extracted oil is also much higher compared to the actual nut or seeds. That’s why daily consumption should be kept to a minimum. Usually oils are liquid at 20°C and fats are solid.

Which oils are the healthiest and best for cooking?

Firstly, it depends on the quality of oils:

  • Cold pressed virgin oils: can contain more valuable nutrients compared to refined oils
  • Organic oils: low pesticide content, which is better for us as a consumer and for the environment
  • Type of fat: Saturated fat (coconut oil) – not the healthiest; monounsaturated fat (olive oil) – little healthier due to oxidation stability; polyunsaturated fat (essential) – need to consume through food, not that stable, but are the healthiest

Which oils have a high smoking point?

A high smoking point means that these oils can be heated very high. These oils are coconut oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil and soybean oil.

What oil is best for salad dressings?

The best choice would be oils with polyunsaturated fatty acids such as flax oil, hemp oil or walnut (these should not be heated).

What can I do with olive oil?

You can moderately heat olive oil or also use it for salad dressings.

What else should you know?

You have to keep in mind that generally, speaking from a nutritional point of view, oils have less positive value than the product it has been extracted of. Hence, it is always better to use the food item in its whole form (flax seeds over flaxseed oil).

In case you have an underlying disease (such as cardiovascular disease), it would make sense to completely stay away from any type of oil.

Generally I would say that I personally try to avoid cooking with oil as much as I can, as I do not see that much nutritional value in it and I prefer the whole food over the refined one. But I try not to avoid it any cost, as for example most restaurants add oils to their dishes.

Categories
Seeking Jess Vegan Facts Vegan Nutrition

Is Veganism The Secret To Longevity?

When it comes to the term “healthy diet”, I feel like every single person is having their own opinion about that. That’s why it is difficult to generalise this term and say that a specific diet, such as for example the vegan diet, is the healthiest.

If you have been vegan for a while now, like me, you also know that you can eat only junk food and still be vegan. So, is a vegan diet still the healthiest? I don’t think so.

I personally believe that it is up to everyone to understand what is healthiest for them and make sure that we have an understanding about how our body works.

I personally find it super interesting to have a look at how our diet has evolved. When we do so, we can see that our diet has changed a lot. If we go a little further, we can also see that diets differs from region to region.

There is one specific region that has caught not only my attention, but also the attention of many others. Why? Because these people are known to have lived a long life, some of them becoming 100 years or older.

What place am I speaking about?

It is Okinawa.

Okinawa is located in the south of Japan.

The most interesting part is that we might be able to see a link between nutrition and why these people have lived there for so long. There are 50 people to 100,000 people in Okinawa that are 100 years or older. When compared to Germany it is only 17 to 100,000 people. In year 2000 women could live up to 86 years and men to 78 years.

When we look at the typical western diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer or coronary heart diseases, the numbers are very low. These people are also known to work out a lot and be very active. Of course, one argument could be that these people are just very lucky to have good genes. But another thing we could do is to have a look at their diet.

So how does the diet of the people in Okinawa look like?

  1. It is mostly plant-based. A big part of their diet is made out of sweet potatoes.
  2. They eat only until they are 80% full, which means that they don’t overeat.
  3. They see food as a medicine. They are conscious about what type of food they put into their bodies.
  4. Their sugar and fat intake is very low.
  5. Their protein intake is very low. Most of the protein comes from soy products, such as tofu or miso soups.
  6. They eat a lot of vitamin C, vitamin E, folate and vitamin B6.
  7. They get vitamin D through sunlight exposure.
  8. Their drinking water is very rich in calcium.
  9. They consume a lot of potassium, while their sodium intake is low.
  10. Their consumption of saturated fat is very low.
  11. They consume a lot of complex carbohydrates (low glycemic index).
  12. They consume a lot of herbs & spices.
  13. Meat is consumed only once a month.
  14. Alcohol consumption is very limited.
  15. Fish consumption is eaten but not regularly.

So generally we can say that the food that the people of Okinawa eat is very low in energy but very high in their nutritional value. Vegetables have very low calories, of which you can eat a lot of while getting in a lot of amazing nutrients. And because of their calorie restriction they live by, the older generation is not overweight and lives longer.

Unfortunately these are all facts that have been measured before the 1960s. Now, a lot of things have changed not only in Japan but in the world in general. People are now starting to gain weight in Okinawa and people do not live as long anymore. They do not move that much and they now consume a lot of meat, fish, white rice and bread.

As mentioned before, their longevity might have been due to their genes. But when we take a closer look on how the diet has shifted and what is currently happening over there, we might be able to see a correlation between diet and longevity.

Now it is up to you to decide what you want to believe.

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Interview Personal Seeking Jess

Leaving home to live the dream – Interview with Martin Mezei

I am so excited I got to interview this super cool guy! Martin has left home and moved to Barcelona to live his dream. Personally, I love to read these kind of stories as it inspires and motivates me to get out there and just go for what is important to me!

Please introduce yourself. When did you come to Barcelona? Why?

My name is Martin Mezei, I’m a Yoga Teacher, Event Organizer and Life Coach.

I was born in Budapest, Hungary but raised around the globe. I came to Barcelona to live my dream of being the highest version of myself, and help others live a more fulfilling life.

Do Yoga and Veganism go hand in hand?

Yes and No, depending on your interpretation.

Yoga, outside of the physical postures which are so popular today, is actually a practice of becoming one with the divine energy within us. This same energy, the same soul is within all sentient beings.

For that reason, one major focus in Yoga is “Ahimsa” which means “non-violence”.

Ahimsa is interpreted different ways. It’s the reason why most Yogis are vegetarians, because they wouldn’t want an animal killed to have a meal.

To me personally, it makes sense to live life doing the least harm to other living beings possible. This, in a modern context equals Veganism, as all industrially produced animal products cause suffering.

However, ancient Yogis were lacto-vegetarian, and consumed plenty of milk products. This was before industrialisation of course, when cows didn’t have to suffer to provide milk to humans with whom they lived in harmony with as sacred animals.

Why Yoga? How long have you been doing it for?

Yoga, as a system, is as old as humankind itself, hence we still use the Sanskrit words to describe many concepts, to keep its tradition alive in the most respectful way possible.

You can find drawings of people in Yoga postures from ancient South American Civilizations, Ancient Egypt, and of course the Indush Valley. It is a technology/tool to disassociate from your ego and physical self and get closer to your higher, spiritual self. The fact that such a things exists fascinated my from the start, when I got into it 5 years ago.

The word Yoga means unity, and refers to the act of becoming one with “Atman” the supersoul, or the energy of love and creation encompassing everything around us.

I’m still into the same things as I was before I started Yoga: martial arts, working out, eating well, and blasting Hip Hop Music. 🙂 The way I evolved has not changed my interests, maybe I’m less interested in buying and having stuff, and more interested in experiencing life itself.

I recently visited India and as you have told me you have been there as well. What did you do there?

I have been to Rishikesh to get my Yoga Teacher certification and learn from my Guru, Yogi Chandrakant Ji.

I chose to go there to get out of my comfort zone, deepen my practice and discover a new culture.

I have been to one of your events. It has been an absolutely incredible experience. Tell us more about your events. Who are they for?

Thank you, that means a lot. My events are a way for people to connect over mindfulness, movement, music, relaxing spaces and inspiring talks.

It’s for anyone that wants to discover ways of getting high on life and having real, profound connections with others. You don’t have to drink alcohol or abuse any substances to have fun and meet people, like we do when we go out to bars or clubbing.

Our default state is happiness, and my experiences are here to remind people of that. We have just gotten approved on AirBnB experiences and will be much more accessible for travelers, which I’m very excited about.

Do you have tips for anyone who wants to do you yoga or is just starting out?

Start simple, and be aware of the power of the tool you’re using.

3 steps to experience Yoga in its essence is to do Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breathing) followed my Dhyana (meditation)

I recommend doing Sun Salutatiosn for a start “Surya Namaskar”, and a simple breathing exercise like Nadi Sodhana (Alternate Nose Breathing)

A few rounds of Sun Salutations and 2 minutes of Pranayama, with meditation in the end is a life changing daily practice already.

By doing this practice on your own or with a teacher a few times, you will understand why Yoga is still so popular and relevant after thousands of years.

The rest will come. There is so much to learn about each aspect of Yoga, that is truly a lifelong journey.

Best of luck, Namaste and lots of love!

Now, I hope you learned something from this amazing interview. I surely did! Let me know what you think.

Find Martin on Instagram

Join his community on Facebook

With love,

Jessx

Categories
Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

Is Sugar In Fruit Bad For Us?

Is sugar in fruit bad for us?

I hear so many people saying that the sugar in fruit can make you gain weight.

For that matter it is important to mention that sugar does not always equal sugar and that there are different types of it.

Generally, a high consumption of sugar is associated with several diseases. Most of us know that sugary candy bars and chocolate are not part of a healthy diet.

It is important to know that sugars belong to carbohydrates and the carbohydrate glucose is the most important and quickest source of energy.

But which sugar are we talking about? As you probably already know, the refined sugar in processed foods is the bad one as it has no vital substances or fiber. It has literally no use for the functions of our body.

So the sugar that can be used as a source of energy are the complex carbohydrates. The less processed the food, the better. These kind of foods are whole grains, potatoes, legumes and vegetables. You do not have to worry about the sugar in these kind of foods. 

The sugar that you have to worry about is the hidden sugar in processed foods, which are added in order to make the products taste better.

Some examples of foods with hidden sugar are: soft drinks, baked goods, sandwich spreads, some plant milks, ketchup, salad dressings, foods in cans, cereal or cereal bars, ready-made meals, sauces, plant based yogurts, fruit juice, nut butters, dried fruit, coffee drinks, bottled tea, protein powder, tomato sauce, energy bars, instant oatmeal, packaged fruits, etc.

One thing we also have to remember is that sugar has many different names on labels. Make sure to have a lookout at these names:

  • words ending with “ose”: fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, glucose, lactose, galactose
  • everything with syrup: high fructos corn syrup (HFCS), agave syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, malt syrup, rice syrup,
  • everything with “sugar”
  • fruit juice
  • apple sweetener,
  • dextrin,
  • fruit extract,
  • fruit puree,
  • fruit powder,
  • concentrated fruit juice
  • barley malt
  • wheat dextrin
  • honey
So now back to the main question if sugar in fruit is bad for us

Studies show that the sugar in fruit does not have the same negative effects on our body as the refined sugars.

Fruit is rich in secondary phytonutrients, fiber, micronutrients, it has anti- inflammatory effects, it improves artery function and it has the possibility to reduce the risk of cancer. Due to the high water content in fruit, sugar is not as concentrated and therefore make fruit a very healthy food.

The World Health Organization suggest a consumption of minimum 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per day.

To summarise, we can say that we should not be scared of the sugar in fruit. I personally eat fruit in abundance as it makes me feel great. And I as I have a sweet tooth, fruits are the best type of treat for me.

What is your favourite fruit?

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Vegan Nutrition

Omega 3 On A Vegan Diet – What Do You Have To Know?

Omega 3 On Vegan Diet

There is a common misconception that it is difficult to get enough Omega 3 on a vegan diet. Most people believe that the number one source of Omega 3 is fish.

Let’s see why Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for our body, why the believe of fish being the only Omega 3 source is not true and how we can ensure an adequate Omega 3 consumption on a vegan diet.

 

Function

Omega 3 fatty acids are, as mentioned above, essential for our body, which means that our body can not synthesize this nutrient itself and it needs to be supplied from the outside.

Omega 3 has many functions in our organism:

  • important component of the human cell membrane
  • highly concentrated in the brain and nerve cells (especially DHA)
  • plays an important role in the development of retina and brain in the growth phase

There are two types of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) & DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

EPA & DHA, which is mostly found in animal products, is the direct form of Omega 3, whereas ALA (mostly found in plant products) is the indirect from.

Our body can only make use of EPA & DHA. Therefore, when plant products are consumed, our body first needs to convert ALA into EPA & DHA.

 

Omega 3 fatty acids & Omega 6 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) have anti-inflammatory potential. It expands our blood vessels and thus can lower or balance blood pressure. It harmonizes the blood lipid image and has positive effects on the cardiovascular system and rheumatic diseases.

Omega 6 fatty acids, on the other hand, can promote inflammatory processes.

Omega 6 in animal products have arachidonic acid, plant products have linoleic acids, which have to be converted to arachidonic acid in the body.

Both conversions, ALA into EPA or DHA and linoleic acid into arachidonic acid use the same enzymes. That means that they are both “competing” for the same enzyme.

It matters how much of Omega 3 and Omega 6 is consumed, as even a small imbalance can have certain effects.

An optimal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 would be 5:1 (the smaller the better)

Good plant sources of Omega 3 are:

  • flax seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • chia seeds
  • walnuts
  • and all of the related oils 

(Note: All these foods also have Omega 6, but with a good ratio to Omega 3)

High concentrations of Omega 6 can be found in sunflower seeds and oil, pumpkin seeds and oil, most nuts (almonds, brazil buts, peanuts and hazelnuts) and plant oils such as wheat germ, thistle, corn germ, sesame and soybean oil).

Micro algae and linseed oil can be good sources of Omega 3 as they have DHA and EPA (this is where fish get their O3 from).

As a summary, vegans should not be too worried about not getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids, when a whole food plant based diet is followed and the above mentioned foods are incorporated regularly into the diet. Important to remember is that omega-3 fatty acids should be balanced with the amount of omega-6 fatty acids consumed through diet to counteract inflammatory processes in the body.

 

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Vegan Facts Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

Cow’s Milk vs. Plant Milk (Nutrients, Environment, Animals)

Cow’s Milk vs. Plant Milk

What are the differences of cow’s milk vs. plant milk? As plant milk is starting to become more popular all over the world, the demand of cow’s milk is decreasing. People are slowly starting to understand that cow’s milk might not be the best for health, the environment and the animals.

Dairy products can be associated with some health problems. Milk is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, of which both have the possibility to increase the risk of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer. Also, dairy products contain hormones, pesticides and puss.

At the same time consumers might be afraid that by cutting out dairy, they might be missing some important nutrients such as calcium and vitamin b2. Let’s have a look at these nutrients in cow’s milk vs. plant milk.

Nutrients

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, which is important for calcium balance, bone metabolism and the immune system.

Cow’s milk does contain vitamin D, but the amount is usually very small.

Plant milk only contains vitamin D, if it has been fortified. Generally, it is safer to rely on enough sunlight during summer days and vitamin D supplements in order to get an adequate amount of vitamin D. 

Calcium

As everyone knows, calcium is important for strong bones and teeth.

Calcium is generally lower in plant milks, but many companies fortify their plant milks with it.

Great plant sources of calcium are: kale, broccoli, pak choi, wild herbs, dried fruit, nuts, almonds, seeds and pseudo-grains (like amaranth) and some legumes (like tofu, soya beans, lupin, black beans, white beans, red beans).

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Yes, cow’s milk does contain vitamin B2, but so do kale, mushrooms, asparagus, almonds, nutritional yeast, avocado and wild rice

In comparison: cow’s milk has 180µg per 100g, kale 182µg per 100g, mushrooms 389µg per 100g and broccoli 177µg per 100g.

Whole grains and legumes can also be a good source of vitamin B2.

Iron

Iron is known to be a critical nutrient in the vegan diet, but also for women in general. Iron is an important component of red blood cells, which carry oxygen from your lungs to your whole body.

I personally think it’s super cool that there is more iron in plant milk than there is in cow’s milk. In comparison there is about 60µg in 100g of cow’s milk while there can be around 570µg in 100g of soy milk.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for brain function, nerve tissue health and the production of red blood cells.

Conventional plant milks are sometimes fortified with vitamin B12, though it is not the best source of vitamin B12. It is always recommended to supplement vitamin B12.

In addition to that, many people have a lactose intolerance, which can lead to diarrhoea, bloating and severe stomach cramps.

Environment

Many think that soy products are responsible for deforestation. Most soybeans, which are used for soy milk, usually come from France, Italy, Canada and West Europe.

98% of all soy that is being grown worldwide is used for animal food. Only 2% is being used for products, which we consume (most producers put the place of production on their packaging).

Soy beans that are used for animal food usually come from Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and the US, where rainforests are being destroyed for this reason.

Two research groups from Sweden have analysed the life cycle of soy and oat milk vs. cow’s milk. 

This is what they have found out:

When it comes to land consumption, soy milk and oat milk use 39% and 21% respectively, compared to cow’s milk with 100%. Both plant milks also create less greenhouse gases (cow’s milk: 100%, soy milk: 24%, oat milk: 31%).

UNESCO-IHE analysed the water usage of soy milk and burgers as well as cow’s milk and beef burgers. The results are crazy! While it takes 158 litres of water to get a 150g soy burger, it takes 2350 litres (!!!!!) of water to get get a 150g beef burger. It takes 296 litres of water to get 1 litre of soy milk, while for 1 litre of cow’s milk, it takes 1050 litres of water. 

Animals

Not only does it seem that the consumption of plant milk has a lot of benefits for our health and the environment, but it seems like it has a lot of benefits for the animals, too.

A cow, just like any other mammal (including us humans) produces milk only when pregnant. A dairy cow needs to constantly produce milk. For this reason cows are being forcibly inseminated every year. After the cow gives birth to her baby, both, mother and calf are being separated within hours or minutes, which is very traumatic for both parts. The cow will be inseminated again, six to eight weeks after giving birth.

While female cows all face the same destiny and become a dairy cow, male calves are being sold to fattening farms, where they spend a few weeks gaining weight, until they are being sent to slaughter.

A life span of a cow is between 18 and 22 years. In the dairy and slaughter industry most of these animals die way before. A dairy cow, when no longer able to produce milk, will be slaughtered at the age of 4.5 to 6 years.

Nowadays there are so many choices and brands. More and more stores offer soy, oat, almond, cashew, hazelnut, coconut, rice, hemp and macadamia milk.

I personally love coconut and oat milk. Which is your favourite plant milk?

With love,

Jess x

Sources:
ProVeg (2018). Treatment of cows in the dairy industry.
Ecodemy (2019). Pflanzenmilch – der Siegeszug einer Milch, die eigentlich gar nicht so heißen darf
Categories
Vegan Nutrition

Is A Vegan Diet Healthy?

Is a vegan diet healthy?

Before becoming vegan myself, I remember thinking that all vegans ate were salads and vegetables. I had no clue. And I realised that today a lot of non-vegans still think the same way.

When I turned vegan in December 2017, I realised it was not at all the case. I actually couldn’t believe the amount of vegan options I could find everywhere, from vegan burgers, to pizzas, to doughnuts to ice cream. There was literally a vegan substitute for everything. I remember being so excited, that I started eating it all, regularly. I really felt like I wanted to try all of the different vegan options that existed on the market.

With time I started feeling really unwell in my body. Not only did I gain unhealthy weight, due to the amount of sugar and added fat I was eating, but I also felt really tired and without energy. I started questioning if the vegan diet was really for me. I couldn’t believe it. All of the vegans online were promoting all of the health benefits of a vegan diet and how amazing it has made them feel.

I realised that it doesn’t matter if you follow a vegan or omnivore diet. If your diet contains a lot of processed carbs, added sugar and unhealthy fat, you will be generally unhealthy and not feel great.

And so I turned it around. I wanted to become the healthiest I have every been. And I can proudly say my diet has never been healthier! The secret?

A whole food plant based diet!

This means that the focus of the diet is on unprocessed and real food.

What does this mean?

It is pretty simple! Just focus on covering these important food groups:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains (Brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread,…)
  • Legumes (Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas,…)
  • Healthy Fats, such as Nuts, Seeds and Avocados

As you can see, vegetables and fruits should make up the base of our diet, followed my unrefined whole grains, legumes and high-fat whole foods.

The moment I have focused on these 5 food groups and have started cooking it all from scratch, I saw significant changes to my body, mood and energy. I have never felt better!

And don’t understand me wrong, I still do like to eat mock-meats or vegan ice cream. I just make it an exception and don’t make it the staple of my diet anymore, as I used to.

To make things easier, I like to stock up on staples such as whole grains and legumes, and I also like to precook my meals or make sure I always have a big pot of rice, lentils, beans, in my fridge. So all I have to do is add in some vegetables and healthy fats and I am good to go.

Don’t overcomplicate it. It is really so much simpler than most of us might think!

 

With love,

Jess x