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4 Easy Tips to Stay Motivated in a Vegan Diet

4 Easy Tips to Stay Motivated in a Vegan Diet

Deciding to go vegan is always the easiest part, but when it comes to action, changing your diet can become a little frustrating. This is because, in most places of the world, food represents a strong part of culture; we gather with friends and family to share food. When these meetings are — for example — barbecues, it might be overwhelming to think about how to keep eating vegan

As with any other lifestyle change, going vegan involves habits and consistency; even if it sounds hard it can be easy if you have the right reasons and resources to stay motivated. So don’t get discouraged, and don’t be hard on yourself for failing in the attempt. Here are some easy ways I found that helped me, and other people, to stay motivated while avoiding animal foods:

Artur Rutkowsk
    1. Be informed

    “Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.”

    Rather than discouraging or having negative opinions about your lifestyle, most people will be interested in your decision. It’s incredible to have enough information to share and teach others about the benefits of being vegan.

    Passion and inspiration are contagious; so talking about health improvements, the environment, or compassion to others in a positive way can help them understand the reasons of why you want to go vegan, and can convince them that you know how and why you want to do this.

    2. Understand the difference between “can” and “want”

    This one is basic. You know it’s not that you can’t eat animals because actually you can, you just don’t want to. It’s a choice you are making for yourself, not a punishment. So the way you express it has a huge impact on your mindset. It feels way more powerful to say “I don’t eat bacon” rather than “I can’t eat bacon,” which sounds like a negative restriction rather than something you are consciously choosing not to do because of its benefits.

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      3. Clean your Kitchen

      Unless you have incredible self control, this is a key action when going vegan: if you clear your cupboard of non-vegan junk food, or just non-vegan food, you can’t fail feeling tempted. It’s easier to make better choices.

      If you live with your family, partner, or others who are not vegan, try to separate your ingredients from their non-vegan food, so you can always know what are you choosing and which side of the cupboard you should be looking at. Once you have been on track with veganism for a while you won’t have this dilemma anymore.

      4. Stay Inspired

      “Motivation is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets.”

      And so it works with inspiration: surround yourself with people who motivate you. If you don’t know any other vegans then try finding new recipes, blogs, or YouTube videos, or following people in social media who are experiencing a vegan lifestyle. This way every time you go to instagram or Facebook, and you see a picture of a vegan meal or quote, you instantly feel inspired!

      fully raw Kristina

        Motivation may be different for each person, so I think the most important thing for going vegan, and keeping yourself motivated towards this lifestyle, is to simply understand why is it important for you, why is it that you want to make this change. It might be living a healthier life, reducing water waste, ending animal abuse or all of the above. As long as you are sure and convinced about your decision, it’s difficult to be persuaded otherwise.

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        Challenge yourself, and don’t be hard on yourself if you fail at some point. Remember that it’s a decision that involves change and making new habits, so instead of feeling down because you have failed before, see this lifestyle change as a personal growth opportunity to work on your goals and habits.

        Featured photo credit: Sven Scheuermeier via unsplash.com

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        Last Updated on July 28, 2020

        14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

        14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

        Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

        What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

        The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

        Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

        It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

        Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

        In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

        Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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        Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

        1. Quinoa

        GI: 53

        Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

        2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

        GI: 50

        Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

        3. Corn on the Cob

        GI: 48

        Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

        4. Bananas

        GI: 47

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        Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

        They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

        5. Bran Cereal

        GI: 43

        Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

        6. Natural Muesli

        GI: 40

        Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

        7. Apples

        GI: 40

        Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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        8. Apricots

        GI: 30

        Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

        Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

        9. Kidney Beans

        GI: 29

        Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

        10. Barley

        GI: 22

        Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

        Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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        11. Raw Nuts

        GI: 20

        Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

        12. Carrots

        GI: 16

        Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

        13. Greek Yogurt

        GI: 12

        Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

        14. Hummus

        GI: 6

        When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

        Bottom Line

        If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

        More Tips on Eating Healthy

        Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

        Reference

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