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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

Top 3 Mistakes I Did When I Became Vegan (and you shouldn’t do)

These are the top 3 mistakes I did when I became vegan more than a year ago.

It was honestly the best decision I have ever made. I watched multiple documentaries on the health benefits and the aspect of animal agriculture. I knew there was no way of going back anymore. It was the best decision that was not only going to impact my health positively, but also have positive impacts on the environment. And most importantly I could help safe many animals and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

But coming back from a background with a disordered view on food (and health), I didn’t have a real plan on how to best approach a vegan diet. I have done some mistakes during my transition, from which I have learned from. I would like to share these mistakes with you, in case you are at the start of transitioning into veganism or you are considering it, which is already awesome!

 

#1 I believed everything I heard, read and saw

I became vegan, because of the internet. It showed me things I didn’t know about and it taught me a lot about myself as well, this I am grateful for.

At the same time, unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation out there and literally everyone can put up videos, which might show content showing and saying things that are not necessarily always correct.

One thing that has really given me a false image of veganism was people showing a very restricted diet, such as the fruitarian diet. Maybe for some people this will work, but for the average transitioning vegan, this is a very big shift, and can come with a lot of confusion as well as health issues, when not applied correctly.

And so this was me, I believed everything I saw, which confused me a lot.

 

#2 I overate. On everything

I believed everything influencers said. Such as: “eat as much as you want and loose weight”.

And because of this type of misinformation, I started consuming a lot more calories than my body actually needed, which also lead to a lot of digestive issues. Again, for people like me, coming from a distorted body image and an unhealthy mindset about food, these kind of statements can get very confusing.

At that time I was living in Barcelona, where vegan junk food is available every where. And here we are, I was over-excited and I started trying it all, from vegan burgers, to pizzas, to ice-creams and cakes. I forgot that these foods are full of sugars and added oils, something, I was avoiding before at any cost, as I was always very health cautious.

Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to consume these foods once in a while. But not to such an extent where you feel low on energy, you have digestive issues and you gain weight. And that was me. Even though I was working out every single day, I was gaining weight and I didn’t understand why.

As an upcoming vegan nutritionist, my main focus is on health, physically as well as mentally. As these 2 go hand in hand. It is also important to understand how we can fuel our body in order to feel like our best selfs. This includes indulging on convenient foods once in a while. As in the long run these foods will not make you feel good.

Also, I believe that mock meats and convenient foods are great for those of you who are currently transitioning into a vegan diet, as this will help you ease the process.

 

#3 I didn’t do enough research

There is never enough research you can do. And I think that this point ties in with my previous two points.

Before I went vegan I always considered my diet as healthy. You know, the lean chicken and eggs for protein kinda diet. Well, so by cutting out those animal foods, I was left with “almost nothing” and a little confused as what to eat. I always thought carbs are the enemy, as they can make you “gain weight”. So my diet consisted of almost no carbs at all (excluding fruit). And all of a sudden I am vegan, where there is carbs in everything.

So obviously I didn’t know enough research as to what I can substitute these foods with. I also didn’t know that carbs, the complex ones such as grains, beans, etc. do NOT make you fat. Grains should be a staple of your diet.

So I am sharing these things I did with you, as I would like your transitioning to be easier. With time I learned how tasteful, healthy and good vegan/plant based food is. Also, it is funny how I used to hate cooking. Since I am vegan though, I really enjoy it, as you can be really creative in the kitchen.

As a conclusion, it is important to find what is best for oneself, as every body is different and everyone reacts differently to each food. Therefore I can only suggest changing it up once in a while and seeing what works best.

In case of any questions or advice, you can always reach out to me.

With love,

Jess x

Categories
Vegan Nutrition

Vegan Grocery Shopping List – 10 Foods a Healthy Vegan Should Have at Home

I know that transitioning into a vegan diet is not easy. Even as a vegan it can get confusing on what to eat or what foods to buy. It took me a long time to figure it out myself. Since I started studying vegan nutrition, things got a little clearer and I couldn’t be happier to share my knowledge with you. My goal is to help every single one of you live a healthier and happier life.

The first step is to make sure that you have the right foods at home.

This grocery shopping list, which contains 10 food groups, will hopefully be of big help when doing your next vegan food shopping:

 

1)LEGUMES

Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, dips like bean dip or hummus, tofu and tempeh.  

Legumes are one of the healthiest foods!

Why?

It is:

  • loaded with fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients
  • packed with protein, iron, zinc, folate, potassium
  • naturally low in saturated fat and sodium
  • has no cholesterol
  • has the lowest glycemic index food out there

 

2) UNPROCESSED WHOLE GRAINS

Amaranth, barley, corn, spelt, wild rice, brown rice, oats, quinoa, wild rice, buckwheat, rye, bulgur, couscous, whole wheat pasta

What are the benefits?

  • high in fiber
  • high in vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants and phytochemicals
  • good source of vitamin E and B vitamins
  • good source of complex carbohydrates and protein

 

3)DARK LEAFY GREENS & CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES

Kale, mustard greens, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, romaine lettuce, etc.

You should consume these foods daily, as they are:

  • a good source of lutein and A,C and K vitamins
  • a good source of calcium
  • high in fiber
  • a good source of folate and minerals

 

5)OTHER VEGETABLES

Sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, artichokes, aubergine, asparagus, celery, fennel, mushrooms, peppers, beetroot, radish, squash, etc.

The list could go on and on. You will get the most health benefits by mixing it up and getting in as many different vegetables as possible into your diet.

 

6)BERRIES

Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji berries, açaí berries, cranberries, grapes, etc.

Berries can be considered a real superfood, as they are low in calories, high in anti-cancer and cardiovascular protective phytonutrients/antioxidants. Especially the blueberry is high in vitamin C and E, iron, manganese, copper and beta-carotine. 

 

7) OTHER FRUITS

Apples, bananas, mangos, kiwis, oranges, papayas, apricots, figs, pomelo, pineapple, pomegranate, peach, passionfruit, nectarine, watermelon, etc. 

I suggest buying seasonal fruit, as it is fresher, it tastes better and it is better for the environment and the economy.

 

8)OMEGA 3 SEEDS

hemp seeds, flax seeds and/or chia seeds

Only 2 types of fats are essential in our diet, which are Omega 3 and Omega 6

We do not have to worry much about Omega 6, because we naturally consume it in our daily diet. Actually most of us consume a high amount of these healthy fats.

A whole food plant based diet can help make sure to have a healthy balance between Omega 6 and Omega 3. The best ratio would be 5:1 (Omega 6: Omega 3), the lower the better.

 

9)NUTS

Walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, macadamia, cashew nuts, pistachios, peanuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, etc.

There is no reason to be scared of the healthy fats in nuts, as they come with a lot of health benefits, such as:

  • high in protein and fiber, which will help you feel satisfied and fuller for longer
  • contain nutrients such as vitamin E, potassium and magnesium

Nuts easily absorb pesticides. That’s why you should make sure to always buy organic.

Recommendation: a handful of nuts a day

 

10)SPICES

Turmeric, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, curry powder, etc.

Good spices do the trick and make a meal super delicious. That’s why you should always have some basics (the ones mentioned above) available in your kitchen.