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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Recipes Vegan Tips

Recipe: Quick Tofu & Broccoli (VEGAN)

This Quick Vegan Tofu & Broccoli Recipe is what you have been missing your whole life. Trust me 🙂

Honestly, I don’t think I have ever cooked something so quick with so little effort. And it just tasted bomb. Like seriously. I didn’t want the meal to end.

Portions: 2-3

This meal has 9.1g of protein and 60g of carbs. It’s also high in iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate.

Quick Vegan Tofu & Broccoli Recipe:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of bulgur
  • 2 tsp oil (preferably sunflower)
  • 3 gloves of garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 cups tofu
  • 3 cups broccoli
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • salt & pepper for taste
  • siracha for taste

Preparation:

  • cook up 1 cup of bulgur with 2 cups of water and add 1 tbs of vegetable broth
  • heat up some oil in a pot, add the garlic and onion and let cook for 2-3 minutes
  • mix up 1/2 cup of vegetable broth mixed with water, soy sauce and mustard
  • add tofu and broccoli to the pan and pour over with mixture
  • let cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat
  • add salt and pepper for taste
  • serve and add siracha for taste

If you would like to see the whole macro- & micronutrient count, make sure to check out cronometer.com.

Enjoy 🙂 

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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

Iron A Vegan Diet and Food Combinations

Iron A Vegan Diet & Food Combinations

Iron is seen as one of the critical nutrients on the vegan diet as well as on an omnivore diet worldwide. Generally, it is possible to cover iron needs with a plant based diet, if the food intake is optimally combined. It is also important to mention that some have higher iron needs such as pregnant women, breastfeed women, children and teenagers.

What do we need iron for?

Iron is needed for the transportation of oxygen in our blood, as iron makes up the biggest part of haemoglobin. In the muscles iron has the role to store oxygen. It is also important for energy production as well as the creation of transmitters in the body.

When there is a lack of iron in our body, iron reservoirs are activated. If the reservoirs are not enough, the resorption of the iron increases through nutrition.

A lack of iron can lead to a decreased physical capacity and disturb thermoregulation. A chronically low intake of iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.

Bioavailability of iron

Iron is available in both, animal and plant products. It depends on the type of iron if it is well or less well absorbed.

In our body we have the bivalent iron, also called heme-iron. Because of our similarity to animals, this type of iron can also be found in animal products.

Plant products on the other hand have trivalent iron, also called non-heme iron. Trivalent iron tends to form complexes whilst the solubility is very low, even at a pH of> 5. Therefore, it is less well absorbed by the body than divalent iron. In addition to that, it can interact with other food components or be influenced both positively and negatively in the absorption process.

The bioavailability of heme-iron is 15-35%, whereas for non-heme iron it is 2-20%.

How To Increase Iron Resorption

Adding Vitamin C, fruit acids, organic acids and sulfur-containing amino acids to meals can increase iron resorption. Especially Vitamin C can increase resorption by 3 to 4 times.

Some compounds such as oxalates, phytates, tannines and other polyphenols can inhibit iron absorption. Phytates in legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains create complexes with minerals such as iron, calcium and zinc, which inhibit resorption. Soaking, fermentation and sprouting can reduce the amount of phytates.

Lack of Iron

As mentioned before, a lack of iron can lead to anaemia. If there is a lack of iron diagnosed, supplements can be taken when consulted with a doctor. It is not recommended to take supplements when no diagnose has been made.

Plant Sources Of Iron

  • Legumes: lentils, beans, chickpeas, tofu
  • Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, sesame (tahini), flax seeds, pistachios, sunflower seeds
  • Whole grains and pseudo cereal: amaranth, quinoa, millet, oats, spelt, brown rice
  • Vegetables: raw fennel, purslane, endive, lamb’s lettuce, cooked salsify, rocket, zucchini
  • Dried fruit: peach, apricot, banana, dates

Generally it is again important to highlight that iron is not only critical for vegans or vegetarians but also for omnivores. Therefore, it is important to smartly combine food.

Some examples:

  • Hummus with bell pepper sticks
  • Orange juice and oatmeal
  • Fermented soy products such as miso or tempeh
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Lentils and tomato sauce
  • Dark chocolate and strawberries
  • Tofu, Broccoli & Tahini

I hope that this article could help you understand the importance of iron for our body and on a vegan diet in general. If there are more questions, feel free to reach out to me at any time.

If you are not sure about how much iron you are getting into your diet, you can always track it using cronomenter.com. I personally really enjoy it, as it really helps me understand what I need to eat in order to hi my targets.

With love,

Jess

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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

Vegan Recipe: One Pot Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Vegan Recipe: One Pot Mexican Quinoa Bowl

This vegan meal has been one of the yummiest I have ever made (my boyfriend approved). And the best thing about it? It is super quick and easy because it honestly doesn’t need a lot of cooking experience. I mean, who doesn’t love these kind of meals where you can just throw everything together?

In addition to that, it has some super healthy ingredients such as quinoa (more to its health benefits by simplyquinoa) and beans (also high in protein and super nutrient dense).

Honestly, don’t miss out on this recipe! It is also great for bulk meals as it can be easily stored in the fridge for a few days.

Vegan Recipe: One Pot Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Portions:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cans canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 bell peppers (colours up to you)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Can of Kidney Beans
  • 1 Can of Corn
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Heat up some oil in a pot, add the red onion and let it cook for around 2-3 minutes
  • Add the garlic and bell peppers and let cook for around 3-4 minutes
  • Add all of the other ingredients, except for the lime, let it cook with the lid on for around 20-25 minutes, make sure to check regularly
  • Lastly, add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with some avocado and/or cherry tomatoes

Serve and enjoy!

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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

Vegan Recipe: Chickpea & Lentil Salad

Vegan Recipe: Chickpea & Lentil Salad

Are you looking for a quick, nutritious vegan meal that is high in protein? Then you are right here. I prepared this salad for a vegan dinner party and it literally look me 10 minutes to make!

And the best part of it? You are having legumes, which are one of the healthiest foods out there!

Why are legumes great?

As mentioned above, legumes are a great source of vegan protein

They are also:

  • high in fiber
  • complex carbohydrates, which means they will keep you fuller for longer, providing you with energy
  • high in B-vitamins
  • high in iron, calcium, phosphorous, zinc and magnesium
  • good source of folate
  • low in saturated fat and have no cholesterol

These are the macronutrients you will get through this meal:

  • Protein: 67.2g
  • Net Carbs: 136.2g
  • Fat: 28.5g

Total Calories: ~ 1255 kcal

If you would like to get a better into depth info about the macro- & micronutrients of this vegan chickpea & lentil salad, make sure to check out cronometer.com

Recipe: Vegan Chickpea & Lentil Salad

Portions: 2

What you will need:

  • 2 handful of parsley
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1/3 cup cucumber
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/3 red onion
  • 2 tbsps mustard
  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup tomatoes
  • 1 full red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper
  • juice from 1/2 half lemon 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

Preparation:

  • cook lentils and chickpeas or rinse cooked ones with water
  • cut up vegetables and place everything in a bowl with the chickpeas and lentils
  • add hummus, mustard, olive oil, lemon and salt & pepper to taste

And lastly, serve and enjoy!

With love,

Jess x

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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

How To Make The Perfect Buddha Bowl

How To Make The Perfect Buddha Bowl

If you are new into a plant based diet or you just really like nurturing yourself with the best whole foods, this post is perfect for you.

I am literally obsessed with buddha bowls! A buddha bowl is usually vegan/vegetarian and it is a combination of many different food items put together and served cold. Sounds like the perfect lunch or dinner during a hot summer, right?

So now the big question:

How To Make The Perfect Buddha Bowl?

1. Add your base

A perfect base are complex carbohydrates or whole grains. These are one of the healthiest foods and should be a staple in a whole food plant based diet. Whole grains are packed with fiber, proteins, B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

Great whole grains as a base are:

  • Amaranth
  • Brown (or white) rice
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat

2. Add your green base

Greens are full of vitamins and minerals, are high in water content and low in calories.

These are some greenst that are perfect for your buddha bowl:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach (Iron, Calcium and Vitamin A)
  • Kale (Calcium, Vitamin K)
  • Rocket (Vitamin A, Vitamin K)
  • Bok Choy (Vitamin A, Vitamin C)

3. Add your protein

It is important to start with the fact that we don’t need as much protein as most of us believe. All we need is for the protein to make up 10% – 25% of our diet, which can be easily achieved by adding beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds into our diet.

Add these vegan proteins to your buddha bowl:

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Falafel
  • Beans
  • Hummus
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils

4. Add your healthy fats

Whole healthy fats are so important to add to our diet regularly. If you follow a plant based/vegan diet, make sure to get a high amount of Omega 3 into your diet, which you can get through Chia, Hemp or Flax Seeds as well as Walnuts.

Add these healthy fats to your buddha bowl:

  • Avocado
  • Flax Seeds
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Hemp Seeds

5. Add your veggies

This is definitely my favourite part when putting together a buddha bowl. Add all of your favourite vegetables!

Some veggies I personally love to add are:

  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets

6. Add your dressing

And to perfectly round your buddha bowl up, you should not forget the perfect dressing. I personally like to keep it simple by adding a few of those:

  • Tahini
  • Lemon
  • Soy Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Vegan Mayo
  • Peanut Butter Sauce
  • Mustard
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

I really hope I could make this summer a little bit tastier for you by sharing this quick how to make a buddha bowl recipe.

With love,

Jess x

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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

The Vegan Diet: Best Nutrition Guide & Critical Nutrients

The Vegan Diet: Best Nutrition Guide & Critical Nutrients

Recently I have released two podcast episodes covering exactly this topic. As there is a lot of information covered in both episodes (#5 & #6), I decided that I am going to give you a small summary and share a few tips with you, so you can make sure you are getting all of the essential nutrients in your diet.

In case you would like to listen to the podcast episodes first, you can do so here (also available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher):

Generally, I always advocate for a whole food plant based diet, as I believe it to be the healthiest. A whole food plant based diet is made up of 5 main food groups which are: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and nuts & seeds.

I personally follow the 80-20 rule. This means that 80% of the time I eat a whole food plant based diet and the other 20% I like to indulge in vegan junk food like ice cream, pizza, burgers, etc.

If you are currently transitioning into veganism or you are already vegan, it is important to make regular blood checks. If it you are low on some nutrient, it is advised to work closely with your doctor or nutritionist. And in addition to that, work on an adequate meal plan and/or supplementation.

And now let’s have a look at the Nutrition Guide for a Vegan Diet and the list of nutrients that might be critical on a vegan/plant based diet and what to do:

Omega 3

Omega 3 on a vegan diet

Iron

iron on a vegan diet

Vitamin D

vitamin d on a vegan diet

Iodine

iodine on a vegan diet

B12

Calcium

B2

Selenium

I hope this information could help you in some kind of way. You can always reach out to me at any time if you need more help or advice. I love connecting with every single one of you.

With love,

Jess x

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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

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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

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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

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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