Tag: vegan food

    What Is a Vegan Diet? Basics, Ethics, and Foods List

    What Is a Vegan Diet Basics, Ethics, and Foods List

    A vegan diet, or veganism, tends to omit animal products for ethical, health, or environmental reasons.

    Once considered a niche diet, veganism has gone mainstream — so much so that the number of people following a vegan diet has increased by 350% in the last decade, according to research from the U.K.

    By definition, veganism is a way of living in which people exclude, as much as possible, all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty.

    At first glance, a vegan diet may seem complicated or overly restrictive. Many of my clients who are considering switching over to a vegan diet are initially worried about finding suitable vegan alternatives to their favorite meals.

    Yet, most find that once they get a few basics down, the transition is less difficult than they initially expected.

    As someone enjoying a plant-based diet myself, I’ve noticed more and more vegan options appearing on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus in the past couple of years.

    I’ve even recently come across a vegan version of pastel de nata, one of my all-time favorite desserts.

    In this https://thevegangarden.com/‘s article, I’ll outline what veganism is and share a few basics about foods to eat and avoid on a vegan diet.

    What Is a Vegan Diet Basics, Ethics, and Foods List

    What is veganism?

    According to the Vegan Society, the term “vegan” was coined back in 1944 by a small group of vegetarians who broke away from the Leicester Vegetarian Society in England to form the Vegan Society.

    In addition to refraining from eating meat, they chose not to consume dairy, eggs, or any other products of animal origin.

    The term “vegan” was chosen from the combination of the first and last letters of “vegetarian.” By 1949, the first definition of veganism had been born. It has changed slightly over the years to become what it is known as today.

    According to the latest definition from the Vegan Society, veganism is “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purposes.”

    Many people use the term “vegan” to refer exclusively to diet. However, by this latest definition, veganism extends beyond eating a plant-based diet.

    Those who identify as vegans typically aim to exclude animal exploitation or cruelty in all aspects of their lives, including the clothes they wear, the cosmetics they use, and the leisure activities they take part in.

    As a result, many vegans avoid purchasing wool coats, leather furniture, or down pillows and comforters. They may also opt to visit animal sanctuaries instead of going to zoos, the circus, or animal petting farms.

    Why do people go vegan?

    People generally choose to avoid animal products for one or more of the following reasons.


    Ethical vegans strongly believe that all creatures have a right to life and freedom.

    They view all animals as conscious beings that, just like humans, wish to avoid pain and suffering.

    Because of this, ethical vegans are opposed to killing an animal in order to eat its flesh or wear its fur or skin.

    Vegans are also opposed to the psychological and physical stress that animals may endure as a result of modern farming practices — for instance, the small pens or cages that animals typically live in and rarely leave between their birth and slaughter.

    However, for ethical vegans, this sentiment extends beyond the cruelty of modern farming practices.

    That’s because vegans are opposed to consuming products that heavily rely on the killing of other animals — especially because alternatives are available.

    This includes the slaughter of calves that are considered surplus in the dairy industry, or the culling of 1-day-old male chicks that is common in egg production.

    Moreover, ethical vegans generally believe that animals’ milk, eggs, honey, silk, and wool are not for humans to exploit, regardless of the living conditions afforded to the exploited animals.

    This is why ethical vegans remain opposed to drinking an animal’s milk, eating its eggs, or wearing its wool, even in cases where the animals are free-roaming or pasture-fed.


    Some people choose a vegan diet for its potential health benefits.

    Diets high in meat — especially red meat — have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

    On the other hand, plant-based diets have been linked to a lower risk of developing or prematurely dying from these diseases.

    Lowering your intake of animal products in favor of more plant-based options may also improve your digestion and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

    A vegan diet can also help minimize the side effects linked to the antibiotics and hormones used in modern animal agriculture.

    Finally, vegan diets appear to be especially effective at helping people lose unwanted weight. Several studies link a vegan diet to a lower likelihood of obesity.

    However, if you’re on a vegan diet, you may consume less of certain nutrients. That’s why planning is especially important.

    Consider speaking with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or registered dietitian, to plan a vegan diet that will help you get the nutrients you need.

    Vegan diets tend to be low in these nutrients:

    • vitamin B12
    • vitamin D
    • calcium
    • zinc
    • iodine
    • selenium

    People on vegan diets sometimes take supplements to provide nutrients they may not get enough of in their diet.


    People may also choose to avoid animal products in an attempt to limit their environmental impact.

    According to recent data, animal agriculture heavily contributes to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGEs), which cause climate change.

    Meat eaters are thought to be responsible for 2–2.5 times more GHGEs than people following a vegan diet. This number is based on self-reported dietary patterns in the U.K.

    Ruminant animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats, appear to emit the largest amount of greenhouse gases per gram of protein they deliver. Therefore, diets that reduce or totally eliminate dairy also produce significantly fewer GHGEs.

    One study suggests that a vegetarian diet produces 33% fewer GHGEs than a meat-containing standard American diet offering the same amount of calories.

    A vegan diet has an even smaller environmental impact, producing about 53% fewer GHGEs than a calorie-matched meat-containing diet.

    A large proportion of the plant protein currently being produced is used to feed animals rather than humans. Because of this, production of an animal-heavy diet requires use of more of the earth’s resources than production of a plant-based diet.

    For instance, producing animal protein requires 6–17 times more land than the same amount of soybean protein.

    Animal protein also requires, on average, 2–3 times more water, depending on factors such as the season and annual fluctuations in rainfall.

    Because of all of these factors, experts estimate that, if nothing changes, our food system will likely exceed our planet’s resources by the year 2050. Switching over to a vegan diet may be one way to delay this outcome.

    Types of veganism

    It’s important to note that vegan doesn’t necessarily equal healthy.

    The quality of a vegan diet depends on the foods that make it up. Thus, some vegan diets can have many health benefits, while others may not be beneficial for your health.

    Here are a few subcategories of vegan diet that I’ve come across in my clinical practice over the last couple of years:

    • Dietary vegans. Often used interchangeably with “plant-based eaters,” this term refers to those who avoid animal products in their diet but continue to use them in other products, such as clothing and cosmetics.
    • Whole-food vegans. These individuals favor a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
    • Junk-food” vegans. Some people rely heavily on processed vegan foods such as vegan meats, fries, frozen dinners, and desserts, including Oreo cookies and nondairy ice cream.
    • Raw-food vegans. This group eats only foods that are raw or cooked at temperatures below 118°F (48°C).
    • Low fat raw-food vegans. Also known as fruitarians, this subset limits high fat foods such as nuts, avocados, and coconuts, instead relying mainly on fruit. They may occasionally eat small amounts of other plants.

    Whole-food vegan diets tend to offer excellent health benefits. If you’re interested in trying a vegan diet, consider speaking with a healthcare professional to find the right diet for you.

    What do vegans eat?

    Here are some essential foods people on a vegan diet tend to eat and avoid.

    Foods that vegans eat

    Avoiding animal products doesn’t restrict you to eating salads and tofu alone. There’s a wide variety of delicious foods you can eat on a vegan diet.

    Here are a few ideas:

    • Beans, peas, and lentils: such as red, brown, or green lentils; chickpeas; split peas; black-eyed peas; black beans; white beans; and kidney beans
    • Soy products: such as fortified soy milk, soybeans, and products made from them, such as tofu, tempeh, and natto
    • Nuts: such as peanuts, almonds, cashews, and their butters
    • Seeds: such as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and their butters, as well as flaxseed, hemp seeds, and chia seeds
    • Whole grains: such as quinoa, whole wheat, whole oats, and whole grain brown or wild rice, as well as products made from these foods, such as whole grain bread, crackers, and pasta
    • Starchy vegetables: such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, beets, and turnips
    • Nonstarchy vegetables: such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, radishes, and leafy greens; these may be raw, frozen, canned, dried, or pureed
    • Fruit: such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, mango, pineapple, oranges, and tangerines; these may be purchased fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or pureed
    • Other plant-based foods: such as algae, nutritional yeast, fortified plant milks and yogurts, and maple syrup

    There’s a good chance that many of the dishes you currently enjoy either already are vegan or can be made vegan with a few simple adjustments.

    For instance, you can swap meat-based main dishes for meals containing beans, peas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, or seeds.

    What’s more, you can replace dairy products with plant milks, scrambled eggs with scrambled tofu, honey with plant-based sweeteners like molasses or maple syrup, and raw eggs with flaxseed or chia seeds.

    You can also choose from the ever-growing selection of ready-made vegan products, including vegan meats, vegan cheeses, and vegan desserts.

    Just keep in mind that these may be highly processed. So while they are fine to eat in moderation, they should not make up the bulk of a healthy vegan diet.

    Foods that vegans avoid

    Vegans avoid all foods of animal origin. These include:

    • Meat and fish: such as beef, chicken, duck, fish, and shellfish
    • Eggs: whole eggs and foods that contain them, such as bakery products
    • Dairy: milk, cheese, butter, and cream, as well as foods made using these ingredients
    • Other animal-derived ingredients: such as honey, albumin, casein, carmine, gelatin, pepsin, shellac, isinglass, and whey

    Checking food labels is generally the best way to determine whether a food contains animal-derived ingredients. Many vegan foods are now also labeled as such, making it easier to recognize them when you’re shopping.

    The bottom line

    Vegans tend to avoid animal products for ethical, health, or environmental reasons or a combination of the three.

    On a vegan diet, you’ll likely find yourself replacing meat, eggs, and dairy with an abundance of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fortified products made from these foods.

    Transitioning to a vegan diet is easier than most people think. That said, it does require a little additional nutrition knowledge.

    So if you’re interested in making the switch, consider seeking advice from a registered dietitian specializing in plant-based diets to make sure you’ve got your basics covered.

    Depending on your knowledge, budget, and culinary skills, you may also want to consider taking certain supplements to ensure you’re providing your body with all the nutrients it needs.

    Why do a Juice Cleanse?

    Why do a Juice Cleanse

    Why do a Juice Cleanse – A juice cleanse provides a detox for the whole body and a variety of benefits! It is helpful in increasing good bacteria in the gut and allows your digestion to reset. Based on a study done at UCLA, they found that a three-day juice cleanse increases nitric oxide in the body (which promotes healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure). Most pressed juices provide significant amounts of nutrients and enzymes that improve energy after the first cup.

    Why do a Juice Cleanse?

    If you want to pair your juice cleanse with additional food, including a plant based diet in your meal plans aids in reducing IBS and allergens. Implementing a juice cleanse in a healthy nutrients packed diet helps control cravings and provides an energizing boost throughout the day! Juice cleanses are not only used to aid in weight loss, they are helpful if you are wanting to detoxify your liver, kidney, digestion, etc. Including spices such as ginger and turmeric in your meals and juices helps reduce inflammation, swelling and provides natural supplements for detoxification.

    Juice cleanses made from all-natural raw foods allows you to retain all healthy nutrients such as B vitamins and anti-inflammatory enzymes. It also aids in There are a variety of options at The Vegan Garden for juice cleanses including 5 day cleanse, three day cleanse and a plant-based meal plan that includes juices in the plan.

    Overall, there are many benefits to doing a juice cleanse to reset and help detoxify the body of harmful bacteria in the gut, liver and kidneys. The Vegan Garden https://thevegangarden.com/ offers a variety of organic nutrient-rich options that can be paired with a juice cleanse for a healthy diet!

    The Best Gifts for “The Vegan” in Your Life

    The Best Gifts for The Vegan in Your Life

    Need some holiday inspiration for gifts this season?! Check out https://thevegangarden.com/ in the links below to see our vegan gift guide for some vegan and all-natural product ideas!

    The Best Gifts for The Vegan in Your Life

    1. Kinder Box: A monthly subscription box that consists of a variety of vegan and cruelty free products! The boxes consist of two full size products and Kinder donates a portion of the funds to animal rights and environmental charities.
    2. Pura Botanica: Eco-friendly candles that are hand poured made with soy wax! The packaging is biodegradable and free of paraffins, pesticides and herbicides. These candles come in a variety of scents including: Chai, Rose, Mint and Citrus.
    3. Vegan Handbags: Looking for a fashionable gift to exchange this holiday season? The search is over Sole Society offers a wide variety of vegan leather bags that are perfect for this season!
    4. Vegan Makeup: if you were needing guidance in the vegan makeup world, look not further! There are plenty of brands who have transitioned their products to be cruelty-free and contain no animal byproducts. Some of the brands include: Cover FX, Kat Von D Beauty, Elf Cosmetics and so many more!
    5. Tokibox: this monthly subscription box contains a vegan friendly products! Including vegan snacks, cruelty-free beauty supplies, vegan lifestyle tools and so much more!
    6. The Vegan Garden: What better way to show Christmas cheer than giving the gift of nutrition to friends and family?! We have a surplus of vegan meal prep options that you can sign up for monthly or a one time purchase! We also offer gift cards so your loved one can choose what delicious meal they want on their own!

    Healthy Milk Alternatives

    Healthy Milk Alternatives

    Plant based milks! Everyone has a favorite and they are quickly gaining popularity even in the non-vegan world. Approximately 65% of adults are considered lactose intolerant. Many more experience digestive distress upon consuming dairy products. Of course, anyone practicing a vegan lifestyle does not consume dairy products. The majority of adults are seeking an alternative milk in order to indulge in delicious creamy desserts, enjoy a bowl of cereal, or grab their favorite coffee shop drink without the high percentage of fat that dairy milk contains. Plant-based milks are the perfect solution!

    The most popular plant-based milks are almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and pea (yes, pea) milk. Each one is unique in its own way, and understanding the differences can help you to pick which is the best substitute for your diet. For instance, if you’re looking for healthy alternatives, it’s important to know that many of the popular brands can have added sugars and ingredients you do not need. The best way to pick a healthy, plant-based milk is to choose one with the least ingredients and look for the words “unsweetened” or “0g sugar added.”

    Healthy Milk Alternatives

    • Almond milk is one of the most popular milk alternatives. Made from blending almonds and water together, it is easy to make at home. Many store bought brands also include emulsifiers and fortifying nutrients as well as countless flavors. Almond milk is one of the thinner plant-based milks, so not the best for creamier dishes and carries a nutty flavor wherever it is used. Almond milk is good for baking, cereal, smoothies, and coffee.

    • Soy milk is made from pressing cooked ground soybeans. It is thick and creamy and feels more like dairy milk. While it is one of the most naturally nutritious alternatives, many people choose not to use it because it contains phytoestrogens. Studies are inconclusive as to whether or not the phytoestrogens affect hormone balance, but many people steer clear as there are milk alternatives that do not contain the plant compound. Those who do use soy milk enjoy it as an alternative to everything dairy milk can do, as it holds together in much the same way and naturally has one of the highest protein counts of the plant based milks. It works well in cooking, baking, coffee, cereal, smoothies, and anything else you can imagine.

    • Coconut milk is a great option for anyone who has an aversion or allergy to nuts. Made from water and coconut cream, some brands can taste tropical, and, well…coconutty. It can also have a more subtle taste than other alternatives. It is creamy and comes in full fat and reduced fat options. The naturally sweet taste of coconut milk makes it perfect for an ice cream base, coffee “cream,” smoothies, and canned coconut milk is also a great base for soups. Many recipes call for canned coconut milk which has a consistency close to condensed milk, so be aware that the carton coconut milk may not be what you need in those situations.

    • Oat milk is made from blending oats with water and straining so it is another easy one to make at home. It is thicker than almond milk and naturally sweet from the sugars in the oats. Oat milk doesn’t have an overpowering taste like almond or coconut milk, so it is a nice addition for both baking and heartier recipes like vegan mac n “cheese” or sauces. It’s becoming wildly popular as the go-to alternative milk in coffee shops. Pro tip: when baking, use a little less than you would if you were using cow milk because oat milk is starchier and may affect the texture of whatever you are baking.

    • Pea milk is a newcomer to the plant based milks but is rising in popularity. It is as creamy as soy milk with fewer calories, and a milder taste than almond milk. It is made from pea protein isolate, water, and other emulsifiers such as sunflower oil, and guar and gellan gums. Pea protein is quickly becoming a favorite for a vegan source of energy and pea milk is no different. One serving can pack a whopping 8 grams of protein, compared to the 7 grams soy milk contains. When cooking and baking with pea milk, note that it has a much lower fat content than cow milk, so you may need to add in a plant based fat to maintain the same texture.

    Plant based milks are growing and developing quickly as people are realizing the benefits compared to more traditional milks. With so many options and additional flavors, they can meet any need in the kitchen of https://thevegangarden.com/ and can help you to maintain a healthy diet without sacrificing food options or taste.

    How Vegan Food Helps Your Immune System

    How Vegan Food Helps Your Immune System

    These days, we are all looking for ways to stay healthy and shield ourselves from illness. The most powerful way to be in tip-top, virus-fighting shape is to nourish your body with foods that boost your immune system. The stronger your immune system, the better your chances of avoiding infection or fighting off illness with only mild symptoms. Following a vegan meal plan, like any of our Vegan Garden Meal Packages, is an active way to make sure you are getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy!

    Fruits and vegetables are simply bursting with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are truly irreplaceable in strengthening your immune system. Orange veggies such as pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes contain a powerful nutrient called carotenoids that aid in the production of infection-fighting cells in our bodies. Cruciferous veggies are high in calcium and zinc, so they are great for your bones as well as for boosting immunity! Zinc is crucial in fighting illness and is also found in pumpkin seeds, lentils, tofu, and whole meal pasta.
    Lemons, strawberries, and oranges are packed with vitamin C, which we all know bolsters immune function. But you can also get that powerful vitamin from cruciferous vegetables, bell peppers, and tomatoes!

    How Vegan Food Helps Your Immune System

    And then there is garlic. Ah, garlic. Add a little or a lot to your dish to transform not only flavor but also your immune system! Garlic stimulates and activates your white blood cells, supercharging their powers and keeping you safe and healthy. It also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to fight both infection and inflammation in your body.
    Of course, we can’t forget to talk about protein! Protein is vital for a robust immune system and some of the best protein sources such as nuts, lentils, and seeds are also full of many other essential vitamins and minerals.

    In these overwhelming times, who has time to think about which foods are best and prepare nutritious meals? Let us do all the hard prep work! Check out our meal plans and packages created in https://thevegangarden.com/ by our chefs with only the best ingredients just for you. We cook and clean and all you have to do is enjoy your fresh, healthy, delicious, guilt-free cuisine and know you are keeping your body healthy and strong!

    Self Care Tips During Shelter in Place

    Self Care Tips During Shelter in Place

    Let’s talk about self-care. The world is constantly changing right before our eyes. We are battling issues we never imagined. Our lives and personal routines are shaken up. It is now more important than ever to stay on top of your self-care! Here are five very important ways to take care of yourself during this scary and stressful time.

    Self Care Tips During Shelter in Place

    1. Move Your Body
    Limited social gathering and shopping opportunities along with Stay Home orders are causing us to reside indoors, often sitting around. We are all more sedentary than we are used to. It is vital to get up and move multiple times a day. Go for a walk. Work at the computer standing up. Explore Youtube for an at-home workout. Turn on some music and just DANCE! Not only will you get the blood pumping, but you will also feel more motivated and happier once you get those endorphins going.

    2. Stay In Touch
    We are a social species. We thrive on the energy and interaction of those around us. Fortunately, it has never been easier to electronically communicate with other people. Check-in on your friends. Schedule up regular video chats. Set alarms on your phone to text or call 5 people per week. You will feel connected and rid yourself of the lonely feeling that comes from social distancing.

    3. Eat Healthily
    We tend to have two responses when stressed: eat all the things, or eat nothing. Neither of these is good for your body or your mental health. It is vital to fuel your body and mind with regular, healthy meals and snacks. The Vegan Garden healthy meal delivery service makes this a breeze! You don’t have to worry about shopping, cooking, or cleaning. We prepare everything organically and all you have to do is heat and eat! Check out https://thevegangarden.com/ for our multiple packages and plans to find the right one for you. Also, be sure you are drinking enough water! A water bottle with time markers is a great way to motivate yourself to drink more.

    4. Routine
    Having a structure to your day is the difference between feeling lost and feeling in control. When we are home more often, we tend to let routine fly out the window and let stress and loneliness take over. Find a good morning and night routine that you stick to at least during the week. Providing yourself with a sense of stability is essential in this time of uncertainty. Get up and take a shower and get dress. Don’t stay in your pj’s all day every day. Set aside time to read every day. Start a new skincare routine. Clean up your space at the end of every day. Trust me, waking up to a clean home is one of the best ways to feel on top of things.

    5. Hobbies
    You always said you would start if you had more time. Well, guess what, here it is! Spending some energy and time on a new hobby will make you feel good and relieve stress! Work on your baking skills, start painting, learn a new language. Buy yourself that thing you’ve been admiring