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Many people go plant-based without truly learning about how to create a sustainable lifestyle eating only plants.
It’s something that greatly concerns me as we cannot feed millions of people with plants if they are practically starving due to lack of nutritional knowledge.
I am not a doctor so I will not tell you what to eat and how to do it, but I will share my best tips with you on how to get enough calories eating plant-based. It definitely took hours of reading and listening to a variety of doctors and scientists to figure out my ideal diet and calorie intake.
You will have to find what works for you by yourself, but one thing I can do is share my experience.
Before we continue, I do want to share a few books with you that have given me so much information about plant-based nutrition. I wrote a much longer post about continuing our education after going vegan in this post here.
A few books you might want to check out as you transition:
- Proteinaholic by Dr Garth Davis.
- How Not To Die by Dr Michael Greger.
- My Beef With Meat by Rip Esselstyn.
- Vegan’s Daily Companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. (Read my review of the book here.)
I suggest you invest an hour a week reading, listening and watching doctors who are looking at science to share what the best diet for Homo sapiens is.
There are never enough sources to have at hand to learn from. Just because you finished your school, doesn’t mean you finished learning about the world.
The reason why my plant-based diet is going so well and why I am never hungry is because I made the necessary changes once I changed my diet. I did what was necessary in order to live this beautiful life until the day I die.
So how to get enough calories eating plant-based? Here is how I do it:
- I snack on food all the time.
While it’s true that I am constantly eating due to my high level of anxiety, I also eat because I want to get the necessary calories every day.
Here is the trick, though.
My snacks are super healthy and cheap. I don’t feast on chocolate and candy; my snacks are cucumbers, mushrooms and apples.
If you happen to be like me and your anxiety gets the best of you, then snack throughout the day but commit to only eating vegetables and fruit.
I’m not here to talk about eating disorders and whether or not eating your feelings away can be justified. All I want is for you to get your required calorie intake and do it on your own terms – even if that means eating every hour.
Of course, if you eat enough for breakfast, lunch and dinner that won’t be a problem, but some of us prefer smaller meals often throughout the day.
- My plate is always full of carbs.
Pasta and macaroni just might be my middle name because they are on my plate every single day.
Carbohydrates give you energy and if you are only eating low-calorie foods you will be feeling tired all the time. Many people go back to consuming animal products simply because they don’t know how to meet their daily suggested calorie intake on a plant-based diet.
Eat plenty of potatoes and rice as they are very healthy for you and won’t leave your stomach feeling empty after a meal.
If you are looking for recipes make sure to check out my Pinterest board here.
- Starving is never on my schedule.
There was a time when I attended events or seminars and had to starve for the whole day because all they had to eat were animal products.
After a handful of times when my stomach was screaming for food, I decided to make a stop to this madness and prepare snacks in advance, or buy a bag of nuts, or you know just look for nearby places that sell food.
Use Google Maps to check for food stores in the area and if you cannot find any, prepare a meal in advance that you can take with you.
My favorite things to carry in my bag are bananas, nuts, or a sandwich with tofu and tomatoes. That way my stomach is happy and so am I.
- I ask if they can veganize a meal.
This tip I got from my father as he is the one that eats at restaurants when out with friends.
I have never heard him say that he was unable to get a cook to prepare a plant-based lunch or dinner. He always asks the waiter for options and if there aren’t any, he suggests how to veganize a meal.
This does take a bit of courage but when you are hungry you do what you have to do. Think of it like that: If more of us ask for plant-based options, the more chances of them adding a few to the menu.
I hope that you take these tips into consideration as you transition to this compassionate lifestyle.
Remember, a plant-based diet is not about starving, constricting calories or being afraid of what you put into your mouth. It’s whatever you make out of it, so make it good.
Even if you aren’t vegan you are encouraged to eat enough calories and get the necessary nutrients, so this is nothing new.
Although veganism is not about health, I do believe it is crucial we take care of it as we are the face of this movement. After all, when someone sees us they can either be inspired or concerned.
We represent veganism, no matter how we feel about it. So take care of your health and make sure your plant-based diet does not sabotage your vegan lifestyle.
There are so many resources out there for you to learn from that using excuses is just not an option anymore. You must take responsibility for how this journey turns out because if you fail at learning, you fail at staying plant-based long-term.