5 Tips To Staying A Healthy Vegan

It would be really easy for me to write an entire post on the health benefits of veganism, but there are better places for that info than here at Stay Vegan.  What I am going to do though, is give you five quick and easy tips to keep the healthy train a rollin'.
  1. Eat the rainbow.  I know that sounds silly, but an easy way to make sure that you are eating a balanced diet is to make sure that you are eating a colorful diet.  No, I don't mean Skittles.  Eating the rainbow ensures that you're eating a large variety of fruits and veggies.  If you notice that your meals over the last few days have been predominantly green and red, throw in some squash or blueberries to mix it up.
  2. Eat soy in moderation.  There are vegan substitutes for most animal foods and the majority of them are soy-based.  It's really easy for us to base our diets around pseudo meat and dairy, but the health benefits of soy are lost in over-consumption.  Eating too much soy can lead to health problems.  
  3. Grow the rainbow.  Working in the garden leads to added exercise and free vitamin D.  Spending time cultivating fruits and vegetables also helps you to be aware of the seasonality of food and proud of your job well done.  Veggies from your garden taste better than they do from the store.  This also allows you to grow the variety of food you need for your vegan diet.
  4. Eat more raw food.  Fruits and veggies lose some of their nutrients when cooked.  The only way to keep these valuable nutrients in is to eat them raw.  The Big Raw Vegan Blog has tons of recipes and tips for eating more raw food.
  5. Vegan doesn't mean healthy.  With the fact that Oreo's and Skittles don't contain animal products (except for sugar, maybe) is making its way on to vegan message boards all over the web, the options for us to eat more junk food are becoming well known.  This is great for animals, but crappy for us (who want to stay healthy).  Everything is good in moderation, but keep in mind that just because you could, doesn't mean you should.  Bake some cookies or eat a banana instead.
This is obviously not an all-encompassing list, but the things that I do.  What are your easy tips for a healthy vegan lifestyle?

Stay Vegan!

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NYCrochet said...

The exception to the raw rule is carrots, which have tough cell walls that are able to release more nutrients when cooked.

Amanda said...

One thing I am learning is to question what I'm told by those 'in the know' in the mainstream. After years of being indoctrinated with the 'eat lean chicken and drink lots of milk' hogwash, I am now listening very carefully to *all* dietary advice. And if it doesn't sound right or feel right to me instinctively, I toss it out. So I guess that's my tip! Eating as you describe above resonates with me on a rational and emotional level, so thanks for such a great post!

Amanda said...

Mine would be "don't worry about the protein!" It's really so crazy that so many people (non-vegan mainly!) worry about getting enough protein in when most Americans eat way more than what is needed. So when we switch to vegan, many of us assume this is going to be a problem and replace our daily protein abundance with an abundance of vegan faux meats, etc. Once I stopped worrying about the protein, my diet got a lot healthier, I felt better and more fruits and veggies replaced the spot the extra protein occupied!

Hello Veggie said...

I love this post! Eat the rainbow...haha, I love it. So important. All are great tips and ideas. Props Veggie!

Anonymous said...

I thought Skittles had gelatin in them (in the US at least) and carmine (everywhere)? And Oreos can have milk products in them, seems to vary depending on location.

/nitpick :p

Jay said...

skittles have shellac?

anyway, number 2 is very true... and i would encourage people to try LENTILS as a source of protein. there are so many kinds out there, so there's bound to be a kind you enjoy. in particular, he following do not need soaking:

mung dal (mung bean lentils), green lentils, red split lentils... a good low fat alternative to nuts, and complete protein when consumed with rice

buy them at indian grocery stores, you will find 1kg of lentils for around $2... bargain!

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