If you’ve been on one of our yoga retreats, you’ve probably heard that switching to a plant-based diet will bring some wonderful benefits to your health. You’ll have a lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of cancer. You’ll also be helping the planet, as the meat industry contributes a lot of pollution to the environment. If you’ve decided to stop eating meat, you may be wondering whether a vegetarian or a vegan diet would be best for you. Both diets eliminate meat, but while vegans avoid animal products altogether, vegetarians will eat non-meat animal products like dairy and eggs. Are you struggling with your choice? The factors listed below may help you decide.
Ah, yes. The “how do you get your protein?” question. Be prepared to answer this one over and over again. The truth is that you can find a lot of vegan sources of protein. Tofu, beans, broccoli, nuts, and seeds provide plenty of protein, just to name a few options. However, your body will have to adjust to getting your protein from a different source than the one it’s used to. Consider whether or not you’ll want to add eggs and dairy as a major source of your protein. If so, a vegetarian diet may be right for you. If not, consider going vegan.
Next, think about your current eating habits. Are you a picky eater? Do you need a lot of options? When you eliminate a major food source, you need to think about how well your palate can handle limitations. If you’re sensitive to texture, for instance, you may be severely limiting your available food options. However, if you’re fine with trying a lot of new foods, veganism can be a great choice. If you’ll need a few more options, try vegetarianism instead. If you want to go vegan but are nervous about the limitations, you can always start with a vegetarian diet and gradually move into a vegan one.
Finally, consider which diet fits best within your lifestyle. For example, if you eat at restaurants often, you may have an easier time finding vegetarian options than you will finding vegan options. Do you like to make your own snacks? You’ll have lots of opportunities to get adventurous with vegan treats.
You might want to consider adding supplements to your diet; with the changes to your diet at first, its good to know you have the back up of a great A-Z whole food supplement. Likewise its a great idea to consider probiotics from food sources or look into probiotics for vegans as a supplement to ensure your gut is happy and healthy. This will lead to a healthy inflammation response in your body, and improved immunity over time.
If you’re ready to take your health to the next level, why not take your new vegetarian or vegan lifestyle on a yoga retreat? Azulfit offers tranquil retreats in beautiful locations to help you deepen your practice. Many of our retreats include delicious vegetarian and vegan meals. Check out some of our yoga retreats today, and you may find the inspiration that you need to revitalize your health.
And if you’re still trying to make up your mind, here is a vegan/ vegetarian recipe for a Lentil Dahl to try out!
Lentils are a good source of protein, help our digestive and heart health, and also lower cholesterol. Lentils are rich in minerals, protein, and fiber but are low in calories and fat. So they have the added benefit of helping you feel full and satisfied whilst being low in calories.
Puy dahl (Lentil Dahl)
- 300g puy lentils
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 5cm ginger, grated
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp garam masala spice mix
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 5 curry leaves
- 700ml water
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- Wash the lentils under running water and soak in plenty of water for approximately 3 hours or overnight.
- Fry the onion in oil until translucent, add the garlic, ginger, and spices and cook for a minute, stirring.
- Drain the lentils and add to the pot, along with the water, sea salt, and curry leaves. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cover. Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
- For a creamier consistency, take 250ml of the mix aside and blend. Add to the dahl and stir to mix.
- Garnish with coriander if desired.
- Serve with a whole grain and lots of vegetables.