On Saturday 29 April Manchester celebrated ‘Go Vegan World’ and we decided to draft in Nuffield Health personal Trainer, Loren Webb, to offer her top tips on how to healthily and successfully adopt a vegan diet.
Loren claims a plant-based whole foods diet provides a plentiful amount of nutrients and vitamins optimal for both non-athletes and athletes to thrive. Loran also says being a vegan is also a better long-term, sustainable solution for our environment.
According to many medical authorities a vegan diet is now recognised as healthy; current research indicates that vegans typically benefit from having lower cholesterol, lower risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure compared to non-vegans.
Loren says: “The number one thing that I am asked is ‘where do you get your protein from?’ I asked this question too before I became vegan so I completely understand the hesitancies regarding nutritional deficiencies when cutting out meat and dairy.”
“Contrary to popular belief, plants are full of protein. All seeds (i.e. chia), legumes (i.e. lentils), grains (i.e. quinoa), beans, vegetables (i.e. spinach), nuts (i.e. peanut) and fruits (i.e. avacado) are good sources of protein. A protein deficiency is rare and usually occurs when a person is in a calorie deficit; simply put, if you do not consume enough food, you will not consume enough protein.”
Studies have highlighted a plant-based diet is usually lower in calories and lower in saturated fats than an animal-derived diet. Therefore vegan gym-goers or athlete’s priority should be to ensure that they are consuming enough calories for the energy they use in their workouts.
Loren advises people to focus on eating natural whole foods, and lots of it, and not to be concerned about protein intake as it will automatically take care of itself if you are eating enough of the foods mentioned above.
Loren’s typical day of eating would include something like:
Breakfast: Protein powder porridge with apple, banana and peanut butter
Snack: Spinach & blueberry smoothie (with almond milk and flaxseed)
Lunch: Tofu with tomato rice, kale, olives and peppers
Snack: Raspberries with soy yoghurt and maybe some oats
Dinner: Bean chilli with hummus, quinoa, sweet potato chips and green beans
Snack: 2 squares of dark chocolate (85%)
Italian restaurant Prezzo and Panasian restaurant Wagamama offer a variety of vegan options on both menus. Prezzo offer a number of dishes including a vegan sharing board, Penne Arrabbiata, Spiced Butternut Squash and Rosemary Soup and Bruschetta. Wagamama offers Yasai Steamed Gyoza, Wok Fried Greens and Yasai Itame.
For more information or to book Loren for a PT session please contact the Nuffield team.