Day one of the new you starts today: Veganuary is a life changing experience and we hope you are as excited as us to get started. Here at Apteekki, most of us have been following a vegan or plant-based diet for quite some time, and nearly all of us started with a Veganuary and have never looked back. Every year, when it comes around again, we all get a bit nostalgic about what it was like that first month of eating and drinking cruelty free, the mistakes we made (we all do it - so don't be hard on yourself) and how much easier it gets to eat plant-based each year with the ever-growing understanding of the benefits of a plantbased diet, and the availability of vegan options in the shops.
So this year, a few of us are trying to get back to our roots - so to speak - and reverting back to our healthy, wholefoods diet plan, in an effort to drop a few pounds, and get the optimum nutrition we can this month (instead of reaching for the vegan junk food options).
Our diet plans and recipes have been devised based on the latest scientific studies and research into nutrition and diet. Our plan is based primarily on wholefoods, and even if you aren’t following this alone (and supplementing with the odd Gregg's vegan sausage roll), or Co-op Custard doughnut), this plan is the absolute best way to ensure that you are getting all of the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that you need on a daily basis while you are following an wntirely plant-based or vegan diet.
Use our plan as your basic guide to what you need to fuel, feed and heal your body as your starting point. It is built around the power of 3 just to make things easier to remember. There’s no calorie counting, nutrient tracking or portion control beyond a standard cup (approx. 8oz) and all of our recipes used in shop, that will be used in our Veganuary workshops, and that we will pop up here for you to follow are built around that same cup too. So long as you vary what you are eating each and every day, that will be all you need to feel great!
*This plan is designed for women. Men may need to follow a 4 cup plan.
APTEEKKI HEALTHY, WHOLEFOOD VEGANUARY DIET
These portions are a minimum. You MUST have 3 portions of each of these a day, but no one ever got fat or died from eating too much cucumber, so fill your boots from this section. Try and include vegetables at breakfast time (yes, really), and in every other meal - at the very least - half of your plate should come from this section.
3 PORTIONS OF LEAFY GREENS
(Spinach, kale, all kinds of lettuce, radicchio, rocket, watercress, bok choy, collard greens (one serving of collard greens contains more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk), mustard greens, swiss chard, rainbow chard, cabbage, broccoli, dandelion, cavollo nero, turnip greens, chicory, endive, nettle)
3 PORTIONS OF ANY OTHER VEG
All other vegetables are included here, and a “portion which counts to your 10 a day” is less than you probably imagine: 3 florets of cauliflower, 1 sweet potato, 1 large salad tomato, 4 slices of cooked beetroot, etc.
These portions are exact. Don’t go over them or under them, especially if you are following this plan as a weight loss Veganuary. Your aim is to match these portions each day. Food combining is important for health when following a plant-based diet. Protein - which you will get asked about during Veganuary at some point by some unknowing fool- we actually need less of than we think (35g a day is plenty for an average person), but complete protein such as that found from animal sources can only be achieved when we combine our grain, legume and vegetable proteins to ensure we get all the essential amino acids that our bodies don't produce on their own but need.
3 PINTS OF WATER
(Aim to drink a pint of water every 4 hours during the day)
3 PORTIONS OF FRUIT
(This is not unlimited due to the high sugar content of fruit. However, they are still vital for our health. You should be eating a variety each day – one banana, half a cup of berries and a citrus fruit for example. Dried fruit can substitute one portion.)
3 x HALF CUP PORTIONS OF COOKED WHOLE GRAINS
(These three portions should be spread out throughout the day to avoid blood sugar spikes. A portion is half a cup of cooked grains, not raw, so remember that grains expand on cooking: rolled oats, brown rice, wild rice, black rice, quinoa, freekeh, buckwheat, bulgar wheat, barley, wholewheat couscous, amaranth, spelt, corn, wholewheat dried pasta, millet, teff, sorghum)
(1 slice/small roll/wrap of wholewheat, high fibre, sourdough or rye bread can be included here to replace one half cup of grains, but keep this swap limited to 3/4 times a week)
3 x HALF CUP PORTIONS OF LEGUMES or TEMPEH
(Legumes- chickpeas, all colour lentils, kidney beans, black beans, butterbeans, lima beans, split peas, cannellini beans, green peas, pinto beans, borlotti beans, broad beans, adzuki beans, mung bean, bean sprouts, peanuts, tigernuts)
(Tempeh is a fantastic source of vegan protein. Made from non-GMO fermented soybeans, it is great in a stir fry, smothered in spices and grilled, or used as a replacement for meat in most recipes)
3 CUPS OF GREEN or HERBAL TEA
(Matcha, sencha, or any green herbal infusion)
3 LEVEL TABLESPOONS OF OMEGA SEEDS
(FLAX SEED (grind or blend flax to ensure absorption of omega fatty acids), CHIA SEED, HEMP SEED)
HALF A CUP OF NUTS AND SEEDS
(Vary these each day or make up a mixed bag as each nut has their own unique properties and nutritional makeup. Each week try and include walnuts, brazils, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, sesame seeds (a calcium powerhouse), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds) (Peanuts are not actually nuts and shouldn’t be included here (see legumes)) (Pure nut butters – 100% nut – can be included here – 2 heaped tablespoons replaces half a cup)
HALF A SMALL AVOCADO
(Avocado benefits include a healthier heart; lower blood pressure; protection against cancer; better skin and hair; diabetes prevention; arthritis treatment; as a constipation remedy; guarding against birth defects; improving your nutrient intake; and helping you lose weight without feeling hungry. That’s why we include this every day)
(Use carefully each day for a variety of health benefits: herbs, spices, superfood powders, seaweed sheets, nutritional yeast, etc.)
Any questions, then please just comment. Happy eating!
The Apteekki Team x