When I started down my path to health and wellness, I found myself faced with many questions; and I wished that I had an expert to field my, many, questions. When I thought back on this time I was lead to create The Experts Series; an interview series with expert in various fields of holistic health and nutrition.
First up, Candice Schreiber from The Healthy Herbivore blog; she is a plant based nutrition consultant, opinionated writer, product reviewer and in my opinion, an amazing resource on the subject of veganism. Candice graciously participated in the series; and I know that many, including myself, will get a whole lot out of her answers!
Vitality Guide: You are an advocate for the vegan lifestyle, what are your tips for those looking to ease into a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle?
Candice Schreiber: A vegan lifestyle encompasses quite a bit of change so let’s look at each aspect. For food I will say, in my Utopia, no one eats animal based foods but I realize this can be a huge and intimidating leap for most people! Even I myself did not drop all animal based foods right away. So my tip for those looking to ease into it is to start with baby steps. Start phasing things out by swapping animal based for plant based. Instead of dairy milk try almond milk. Go meatless one to three days per week. Start using ground chia instead of eggs for baking. Experiment with vegetarian and vegan recipes. Slow and steady wins the race!
In addition to obvious part of changing your diet, veganism also advocates animal welfare. What this means is ensuring that the clothes that you wear or the makeup that you use does not contain animal products, was not tested on animals, etc. Again making a large leap can seem like a daunting task so phasing out is an option. For instance, when my Maybelline mascara ran out instead of buying the same brand I did my research and bought cruelty free mascara.
Making a lifestyle change is big but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I say go one step at time, do your research, and become an informed consumer.
Vitality Guide: There are many people that say veganism contributes to a lack in protein; what foods do you consider staples in your kitchen that ensure you are getting enough protein into your daily diet?
Candice Schreiber: There are many sources of protein in the vegan diet! In fact virtually all foods contain protein we are just conditioned to think quality sources of protein are animal based foods. Having said that here are staples I keep in my kitchen that are sources of complete protein (containing all essential amino acids):
- red lentils
- hemp seeds
- chia seeds
- For protein powder I am a big fan of Vega’s Whole Food Smoothie Infusion.
Vitality Guide: How long have you been a vegan; and what changes have you noticed within your body?
Candice Schreiber: I’ve been vegan for 9 months. What I’ve noticed is that over the last nine months I sleep better, I don’t have breakouts, I am less bloated, I have energy all day, and I never feel weighed down. The one really big thing I’ve noticed is my hair and nails grow like crazy!
Vitality Guide: What is one thing that you do every day that contributes to your health?
Candice Schreiber: Aside from filling my body with delicious and nutritious foods, I meditate and do yoga. The mind and body are intimately connected. For overall optimal health I think it’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body!