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Dr. Corinne: The Challenges of Going Vegan: You Can Do It!

Dr. Corinne Weaver : Jul 12, 2019  DrCorinneWeaver.com

It can feel challenging to transition to an unfamiliar diet, especially if you feel like so many foods will be off limits, but don't fret!

A few weeks ago, I saw a patient who decided to make some life changes after a heart attack. Some people don't get a second chance, unlike my father-in-law. He met with a functional cardiologist who told him to go vegan and to read the book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure. He went vegan and also reduced his stress levels at work. He told me he feels the best he has ever felt and has lost 30 pounds. (Image: Pixabay)

We don't live completely vegan every day, but we incorporate more veggies and fruits in our diet and we do 3 meatless days during the week. Reducing stress, in my opinion, is the best thing you can do for yourself along with getting more fiber in your diet with fruits and veggies.

Reasons why vegans quit meat

As you may have heard, there are dozens of reasons to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Here are a few vegans cite:

  • Plant-based diets decrease your risks of major diseases, such as diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Drinking water is being contaminated around the world by sewage and waste runoff from farms.
  • We're all becoming more resistant to antibiotics due to their heavy usage in farmed animals.
  • Close to 40% of the world's grain is being used to feed livestock – much of which is produced in countries where millions are dying from hunger.
  • Innocent creatures are suffering in horrendous living conditions before being needlessly killed.

Finding Vegan food

Unfortunately, most of the foods you buy won't have the word "Vegan" branded on it. That just means that you'll have to do a little more digging. Some of the foods you find are vegan might be surprising. For example, did you know that Oreos are vegan?!

Start by looking at the end of the ingredients list for the allergy information. It will plainly say, Contains milk, eggs, shellfish, etc.

Next look for animal by-products in the ingredients list, for example, albumen, bone char, butterfat, carmine, casein, gelatin, lactose, lard, l-cysteine, mono and diglycerides, shellac, vitamin D3, and whey powder. Find a thorough list here.

How to Make Vegan Versions of Your Favorite Foods

Making vegan versions of your favorite foods is easy thanks to all the food experimentation others have done! There are tons of ideas and options out there, but these are some of my favorite swaps:

Aquafaba - this stuff is the liquid found in cans of chickpeas, and it's full of protein and carbohydrates, which allow it to be whipped into stiff peaks. Use it in place of egg whites, read more about it here.

Butter - in baked goods, replace butter with sweet potatoes. Steamed or baked, sweet potatoes can provide the same moistness in a recipe. Another excellent replacement is coconut oil. You can spread it on muffins or toast, or use it in recipes.

Eggs - Combine one tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds with three tablespoons of warm water for every egg you need to replace. The naturally occurring polysaccharides in these seeds form a gel that can give structure to baked goods the same way eggs can.

Cream - Use coconut cream in place of regular heavy cream in soups and desserts. You can also beat it to make a dairy-free whipped cream!

Ice Cream - Blend frozen bananas as a base for DIY ice cream, add berries, cocoa powder, or eat it by itself!

Sour Cream - Silken tofu is virtually undetectable in dips, puddings, and desserts when it's substituted for sour cream.

Cheese - Sprinkle nutritional yeast on popcorn, salads, soups or anywhere else you might add a sprinkle of cheese. For cream cheese, puree cashews with water in a blender for use in sweet or savory dishes.

It can feel challenging to transition to an unfamiliar diet, especially if you feel like so many foods will be off limits, but don't fret! Help yourself out by scouting out restaurant menus, browsing through different aisles of grocery stores, and researching recipes for vegan options. Check out online vegan forums for tips on ordering at restaurants and check out local fresh markets and Whole Foods type stores for a plethora of vegan options. Once you start looking at what's available for a vegan diet, you'll be surprised by all the possibilities!

Resources

The vegan community is vocal, which is great for you. Read about important facts and educate yourself on veganism with books, documentaries, articles, and YouTube videos. Here are some resources to start you off:

How to transition to Veganism

We all get into the habit of eating the same variations of a dozen meals or so and can forget that there are billions of dishes and flavors out there! Veganism will challenge you to broaden your idea of how to put together a meal and urge you to experiment with different cuisines and global ingredients.

Ethiopian, South Indian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Korean, Southern Italian, and Burmese cuisines are all super vegan-friendly, start by exploring those.

One of the best ways to transition into a new diet is to have a few staple meal options on hand. These are great to turn to when you're lacking creativity. Whether it's rice and beans, veggie burgers, a simple stir fry, or just fresh fruits and veggies, make sure that you always have things on hand to grab when you're hungry. This will help you stay on track and avoid falling into old patterns.

Another key part of sticking to any diet is meal planning and meal prepping. Not only does this make it easier to grab food to go throughout your busy week, but you'll save money (and time) in the long run.

What to have on hand

Your basic meal prep components for a vegan diet should include: Grains and starches—brown/white rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash.

Vegetables Here's a list of vegetables to spark some inspiration.

Remember to experiment with roasting, grilling, steaming, and sautéing to find your favorite methods for preparation.

Fruits - Anything in the produce section is up for grabs. When you come back from the grocery store, immediately wash and display your fruits up front in your fridge or on your countertop in a bowl. If you grab something like a pineapple or watermelon, slice it up as soon as you can so that it's available for you to eat.

Other pantry items include beans, coconut milk, oils, herbs, and spices. Canned tomatoes, and other veggies should always be on hand. Always keep a stash of oils, nuts, and seed/nut butter.

Keep a diverse collection of spices—buy small amounts to save money and experiment to find what you like!

Discover your motivation and keep reminders of it close by to help you stay on track. Doing it to stay healthy? Sign up for email alerts from vegan influencers who will keep you up to date with the latest information and studies about the benefits of Veganism.

From bloggers and celebrities to chefs and health experts, there are tons of people who can provide insight and inspiration for you throughout your journey.

Some of the most popular accounts/people to follow include:

  • Minimalist Baker
  • Pure Vegan Food
  • Sweet Simple Vegan
  • The Little Plantation
  • Nom Yourself
  • Fully Raw Kristina
  • Deliciously Ella

When starting a new diet, most people get hung up on restrictions, instead of focusing on all the options that are left. If you were to stop eating all the non-vegan foods you were eating and stick to whatever remains, you might, in fact, feel restricted. So, don't think of it that way.

When you're starting out, bring a bunch of new foods into the house and incorporate them into your day. Roast a bunch of veggies, whip up a fruit salad, start blending smoothies for snacks throughout the day. Having these options on hand will make you feel like you have a plethora of food to choose from, instead of feeling like you have none at all.

The journey toward Veganism is different for everyone

I want to take time to remind you that the journey toward veganism is different for everyone.

Some people can cut out animal products overnight. Other people need a few weeks, months, or even years. If you're feeling that you're not progressing fast enough, don't beat yourself up about it. Any movement in the right direction is something you should be proud of. Whether you're starting with one vegan dinner per week or challenging yourself to a month of total veganism to test the waters, you're doing something beneficial.

Becoming vegan means creating a kitchen space that will encourage you to be creative and experiment with recipes in easy and efficient ways.

Best tools for your kitchen

Some of the best tools you can have are:

  • A blender and/or food processor for smoothies, soups, and purees.
  • High-quality knives—you'll be slicing through lots of fruits and veggies! The three you MUST have are a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife.
  • Containers for storing dry grains, pasta, lentils, beans, as well as prepared foods in the fridge. Invest in glass or other durable materials that will last you a while.

Not sure where to start or need further advice? It is important to start with a comprehensive blood analysis and hair tissue analysis to check on the body's foundation as a whole. This can help determine what you need to be consuming from a dietary and supplement standpoint from the list above. It can also help indicate if there is something you need to be avoiding. What has worked for someone you know, may be completely different than what will work for you. Contact us today to get started and improve your body safely and naturally.

My mission is to help you get healthier without needing more medications. Join here to get my FREE ebook and join the INNER Circle if you want accountability to take action for your health.

By joining this circle, you have the unique opportunity to ask questions and share personal experiences while engaging with like-minded individuals and gaining the support of health professionals who are experts in health and wellness.

I am looking forward to Showing Up more in your life and Serving you Better!! Don't forget to Listen to the No More Meds Podcast and join the No More Meds Movement with me. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

Keep Breathing,
Dr. Corinne Weaver 

Email: Dr@DrCorinneWeaver.com
Website: 
www.DrCorinneWeaver.com

Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.

Dr. Weaver was named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds. 

Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.







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