Chanelle is a Holistic Nutritionist, former athlete and passionate about health and wellness! On her blog she shares her knowledge and expertise with others, recently featuring Herbaland. In this blog, Chanelle sorts through common misconceptions around plant-based eating. You can check out the original post here or keep scrolling!
Plant Based Diet ~ Fad or Fact?
The word "diet" can mean many things to many people ... and may possibly even be a controversial word. I will fully admit I have used that term many times. According to the dictionary, there are two definitions of the word "diet":
1. "The kinds of food that a person, animal or community habitually eats"
2. "A special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons"
Food is health and wellness. We all need it to survive. Restrictions, based on our own individual concerns, may or may not be healthy, mentally or physically. The second definition above, I think, has some truth to it. I have been eating a plant based “diet” for about 6 months now as before this, I was eating a meat protein and low carb diet. I had entered a fitness/bikini competition, and the majority of my food was chicken, fish and eggs. After my show was over, I realized I was not in the best place physically, mentally or spiritually, therefore, I decided to make some changes.
As a holistic nutritionist, we understand that we will always keep learning what foods will have different benefits and how we all are so individual with our needs. I have never been against meat, dairy, carbs or fats. With that said, I think we should listen more to our own bodies and know where we feel our best. That may be eating meat for some, and sticking to a plant based lifestyle for others. I didn't change my eating habits because it was a "fad" or the new thing to try, it was just how my body was feeling. I also am really trying to tap into that “Intuitive” feeling in my head and my gut, and actually listen to it.
Here are some common questions that might come up about changing to a plant based lifestyle:
"Where and how do you get protein?" ...see below...
"Do you find it hard to eat out?" No
"Do you get sick of fruits and vegetables?" Never
"Isn't being vegan expensive?" It can be, but meat is expensive too.
"Can you lose or gain weight on a vegan diet?" Yes
These are all valid and great questions, and as a registered holistic nutritionist, I love these conversations. For me, Letting the stress of a “diet” label go, frees up so much room for creativity and joy in ones life. Below are a list of plant foods which carry an incredible amount of protein for their small size:
1. Hemp Hearts
These tiny little seeds contain as much protein as one large egg. Two table spoons have about 6g of protein. These are great for adding into smoothies, in salads or in baking.
Half a cup of lentils contain about 9g of protein and are also a very powerful food for diabetics. They have a positive effect on blood glucose levels, which makes them a great option not only for vegans and vegetarians but also those managing diabetes.
This amazing super food has 4g of protein in just one table spoon. Spirilina is also incredible for removing toxins and heavy metals from the body. You can use it in smoothies or smoothie bowls and doesn't have a powerful taste so is easy to hide with bananas, berries and other fruits if you wish.
One cup contains about 5g of protein. They are also very high in fibre and can be easily added to soups, stews or even just snacking on by themselves.
Putting restrictions on my own diet was creating unhealthy habits. I have now recognized that by just eating real whole foods and understanding their incredible benefits... I can have more fun in my life, and less stress about what I thought I should and shouldn’t be eating.
If you are interested in learning more about transitioning to a more plant based diet or have questions regarding whats best for you and your lifestyle, I would love to hear from you and work together on discovering how good your body is truly designed to feel.
Starting a plant based diet can also be challenging if you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals in right away. For a fun, tasty and sugar free way to get all those micronutrients into your daily diet, check them out!