Veganuary Inspiration: Feel Healthier and Lighter This January, Meat-free!
Increasing your intake of plant based protein is not only good for overall health, it is also of benefit if you are trying to drop a few of those festive season pounds.
My recipes and healthy eating tips below are based on healthy plant based protein options and are suitable if you are following Veganuary.
Start Your Day Right
Start your day with a cleansing lemon or grapefruit blast to help kick start metabolism and to stimulate digestive function.
Have half a glass of warm filtered water with the juice of half a lemon or grapefruit: this is also alkalising and helps with fat metabolism too as it stimulates the liver and gallbladder into action. Drink 10 to 15 minutes before breakfast.
Do not skip breakfast - give your body nutrient density instead and this will help to boost your metabolic rate.
Skipping breakfast decreases metabolic rate and make it harder to lose weight. It also puts more pressure on the nervous system and will result in your body producing more adrenaline and cortisol and high levels of these two hormones make it harder for your body to metabolise fat and can lead to increased weight around the mid section.
I have found that consuming a fruit and vegetable smoothie is a great weight management tool that also provides you with an array of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other phytonutrients.
Use 50 per cent leafy greens and 50 per cent fruits - nuts and seeds can also be added to increase the protein content.
Try a couple of my favourites:
Morning Energy Smoothie:
Blast half an avocado or one small banana with 2 cups of spinach and 5 or 6 cashews.
Add a date for extra sweetness too if desired.
Add water or coconut water and blend.
This is nutrient dense and is packed full of fibre to a assist with regularity whilst it is also high in protein to help with satiety.
It is also high in essential fatty acids which are important for the health of hair, skin and nails.
You can add one serve of Sunwarrior Plant Based Protein Powder to help keep you fuller for longer - this will also increase fibre levels.
Banana and Berry Smoothie:
Blend 250 mls of Unsweetened Rice, Almond or Coconut Milk with one banana, a handful of berries and 7 or 8 almonds.
To increase the protein content and to aid satiety add 1 scoop of Sunwarrior Plant-based Protein.
This shake is a meal replacement : it is high in protein and amino acids and will keep you fuller for longer.
You should also try and have protein based meals and snacks.
Include healthy plant based protein options like tofu, tempeh, lentils, hummus, avocado, coconut yoghurt, nuts, seeds and beans.
Plant-based protein is the perfect fuel to help with weight loss, lean muscle formation and toning - and it keeps you feeling fuller for longer and helps with long term cardio vascular health.
When you combine plant based protein with high fibre vegetables you get the added bonus of extra satiety.
These plant based recipes are easy to prepare and provide a variety of different ingredients and variety is the key to increased nutrient intake.
Berry Chia Bowl:
Add one cup of fresh or frozen mixed berries and a couple of dessert spoons of coconut yoghurt and 5 or 6 Almonds.
Mix in one or two teaspoons of chia seeds to help with satiety and hair, skin and nail health.
Add a serving of Sunwarrior Protein Powder for extra satiety and mix or blend.
Berries are nutrient dense and help with both cognitive and immune function - the nuts provide some protein to help with fullness as do the chia seeds.
Serve in a small bowl.
Spiralise or thinly slice a small courgette and place in a heated pan and fry in olive or coconut oil for a minute.
Add a little garlic and a handful of basil and the juice of one lemon.
Top with pine nuts and with a little grated non dairy cheese if desired - add some chilli to help with thermogenesis.
Spinach and Asparagus Frittata
Vegan Egg Replacement
Spinach - handful
Sea or rock salt
Slice two asparagus stalks and add them into the bowl of the egg replacement once mixed.
Fry gently in olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea or rock salt.
The asparagus is diuretic and helps with cleansing .
The spinach is easy to digest and provides some muscle relaxing magnesium.
Cashew Nut with mixed Vegetable Stir Fry
Lightly fry in olive oil 2 cups mixed vegetables - courgette, mushrooms, carrots, green beans and one teaspoon of grated fresh ginger.
Add in a handful of cashew nuts when the vegetables are almost ready.
Also add sesame seeds and black pepper.
Best served with some rice noodles or brown rice and finished with a splash of soy sauce.
Tofu/Tempeh and Steamed Vegetables
Lightly fry some tofu or tempeh and serve with steamed greens of your choice.
Dress with olive oil and tamari plus almond slivers or pine nuts.
The greens help cleanse the colon, olive oil provides good omega fatty acids and nuts help cleanse the intestine whilst the tofu or tempeh provides the protein to help keep you felling fuller.
How to End Your Day
After dinner have a Dandelion Tea with 2 or 3 squares of dark vegan chocolate.
Dandelion’s bitter qualities aid liver function making it good for weight loss, fluid retention, bloating and skin conditions.
Dark vegan chocolate is also bitter and acts as a little treat.
Eating the right high protein snacks like an apple with some almonds, a vegetable and fruit juice combo or a healthy vegan food bar can boost and stabilise mood.
Healthy snacks can also help you to reduce your portion size at lunch and dinner as you won’t be feeling so hungry or hyperglycaemic.
If you are starving before meals you are more likely to eat bigger portions or grab an unhealthy sugary snack.
Rocket, chicory, endive, lemons and grapefruit are the perfect liver and gall bladder stimulators.
Dandelion tea or coffee after meals or before bed helps to reduce fluid retention and to help kick start the liver and gall bladder.
Herbal teas like spearmint or peppermint help with hydration and also help to support healthy digestive function.