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8 Vegan Eating Tips for Omnivores

8 Vegan Eating Tips for Omnivores

So things are getting interesting in the vegan world these days. The three biggies in “Gourmet World” — taste, texture, and presentation — are changing the landscape of healthy eating. You may be surprised to find out what you’re missing!

First, let’s make sure we are all on the same “foodie” page and define exactly what today’s vegan actually eats and does not eat. Here is the dictionary definition of vegan: “a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal food or dairy products; also: one who abstains from using animal products (as leather).” Since we are only delving into food options today, we will leave the other vegan lifestyle choices out of this article.

After speaking with the people who are actually creating all those delicious desserts and entrées for their vegan clients, the trend seems to be all about finding substitute ingredients and developing the skill to rework the recipes — intensifying the flavors, ensuring the textures are pleasing, and using elements that have color and form pleasing to the eye.

So here are our eight vegan eating tips for omnivores.

1. Consider becoming “vegish.”

Actually, you’re already a bit “vegish” if you are eating some vegetables and salads. List all the vegetables you like, then the ones you don’t like, then the ones you have yet to like or not like. Maybe you need to explore how they are prepared, whether they are organic (which usually tastes better), and most importantly, how they are seasoned.

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Here are some other eating lifestyles for you to check out. Just find the one(s) that suit you:

  • Flexitarians eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eat meat. Many people who call themselves “flexitarian” or “semi-vegetarian” have given up red meat for health reasons, while others have done so for environmental reasons and only eat free-range or organic animals and animal products.
  • Pescetarians are chiefly vegetarians; however, they also eat fish.
  • Vegish is an otherwise vegan who still eats fish.
  • Vegetarians don’t eat meat or fish; however, they do eat animal byproducts such as milk and eggs.
  • Vegans eat no meat, fish, or animal byproducts.

2. Enjoy cooking more of your meals at home.

Start slowly by planning one dinner meal every week that explores a new vegan menu item. Meatless Monday is one way you can get started. Check out who has signed up here.

meatless monday

    Meatless Monday is not a new idea. During World War I, the U.S. Food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to aid the war effort. “Food Will Win the War,” the government proclaimed, and “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” were introduced to encourage Americans to do their part. The result was overwhelming; more than 13 million families signed a pledge to observe the national meatless and wheatless conservation days.

    If you want to try some morning meals, check out some of our Lifehack authors’ posts. Helena Negru has gathered 20 vegan breakfasts full of protein and Tegan Jones has 10 more breakfasts, meals, and snacks. She also found 20 more to consider! 

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    3. Host a vegish-based dinner party potluck.

    Ask your friends if they are interested in trying new dishes and make this a party project. Forward this article to them and see what happens. Go ahead and put some burgers on the grill and maybe even grill some veggies while you’re at it. Just have fun doing it!

    4. Frequent restaurants with vegan menu items.

    See what the pros are cooking! Some of our most successful home recipes are inspired by entrées we try at the fine restaurants we frequent. Even if you don’t order a vegan selection, ask how it is prepared and you just might get inspired!

    Here are the top 10 vegan entrées from “The Oregonian.”

    And here are the six vegan dishes from “America’s Best Vegetarian Restaurant Recipes.” Look for things like that the next time you are out dining or better yet, go ahead and try one at home!

    5. Do the math.

    Will adding some tastier vegan dishes to your diet save you money and extend your life expectancy? Probably, but you need to check your grocery shopping habits and see if you are paying for convenience at the expense of nutrition and taste. 

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    6. Know your veggies.

    Look for local veggies that are organic and really fresh. There are more and more small farming operations that specialize in high-quality produce free from pesticides and added chemicals that taste better and are better for you. Here are 10 vegetables you could be eating that, if seasoned to your taste and prepared for freshness, could add some variety to your diet.

    Look for world veggies at specialty markets. Here, in a very entertaining slide show, are 14 vegetables from around the world that you may not have heard of. The truth is, the world is full of edible, healthy and flavorful roots, stems and leaves, the vast majority of which you’ve probably never tasted. In the spirit of culinary adventure, we hope this list will prompt you to titillate your palate with something new. Try replacing those carrots, potatoes, lettuce or celery with one of these exotic vegetables — that is, if you can find them.

    7. Use fresh herbs.

    Fresh tarragon and dill, grown naturally right in your own garden or indoor window garden, will add incredible flavor to carrots, green beans, pea pods, and your own favorite vegetable. Make sure you cook your veggies just enough to be tender and flavorful.

    image024dill

      8. Know your sugars (and other sweeteners).

      White sugar, (a big sweetener in our foods) is processed with bone char. While there are many sugar substitutes available (six are approved by the FDA), I will not be covering them in this article. Below you will find some other common sweeteners. And don’t forget: honey is an animal product!

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      sugars

        Agave Nectar | Maple Syrup | Miel de Agave (article) | Truvia  | Molasses | Sorghum Syrup | Turbinado Sugar (brown sugar) | Sucanat (whole cane sugar) | Sugar Alcohol |

        Your body works very hard for you by taking what you eat and converting it to energy. Make sure you know what’s going on inside of you by doing your homework. Keep up with your health by checking in on the websites listed below.

        | How your liver works | How your intestines work | Digestion | Nutrition Data | Sugar & the brain |

        Maybe looking into the “vegish’ eating lifestyle will be more tasty, more nutritious, and even more inexpensive than what you are currently eating. Believe me, your body will thank you and your quality of living could very well improve.

        Bon Appetit!

        Featured photo credit: Chocolate Vegan Brownie/Jois de Vegan/Carolyn Busse-photographer via media.lifehack.org

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        Last Updated on July 23, 2019

        13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

        13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

        Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie, can you help me fix my fear?”

        Why is this so critically important to you?

        The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life, it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

        Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share with you 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

        1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

        Right now around the world, people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

        When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear, like so many other emotions, can mean so many different things to so many different people:

        • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
        • The man facing the judge.
        • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
        • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr. Smith.”
        • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
        • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

        These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

        Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car, or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

        Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

        2. Accept Your Fear

        Firstly, if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However, it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

        We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

        And here’s what can be done.

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        3. Get Some Perspective

        I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

        And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

        That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

        We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

        So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

        • Are you really at risk?
        • Will this kill you?
        • Which leads us on to..
        • If the worst was to happen, what would it be?

        4. Hold a Hand

        As a coach, it is my job to hold someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

        Like the child petrified of the thunder storm, or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

        We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

        Ask yourself:

        • If the worst were to happen, what would that be?
        • Could that really happen?
        • If the worst did happen, how would you recover?
        • If the worst were to happen, what would you need to do next?

        By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through its wily evil ways and move forward.

        5. Know Whose Hand You Hold, Either Physically or Emotionally

        This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

        Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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        The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

        It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right, I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

        For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people, we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

        Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

        6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

        I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

        Not everyone was looking for greatness, however, they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

        Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in World War II. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards, how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind, he was free.

        Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

        Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

        Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

        7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

        Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

        I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music, hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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        It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded me that nothing stays the same and I can find a way.

        One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

        Did that moment fix the disaster that my client’s life felt? No. However, it gave them a moment of calm, and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

        It may feel like madness to do something you love, however, it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

        8. Assume the Worst

        If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

        Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed? Think about what age it may have made them feel?Think about how they feel about champagne? What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

        And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

        When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

        Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

        9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now

        If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

        Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

        Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head, convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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        10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

        One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

        11. Go with Fear

        When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

        I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past, that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

        Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

        One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before, I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

        However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

        We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

        12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

        And in that client’s words, “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

        The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

        What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

        13. Own Your Fear

        Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

        We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article, you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right! I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

        You can’t help but feel good when you see that, can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

        More Resources About Fighting Fear

        Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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