Considering a meal plan for VEGANuary?
Here are some plant-based eating tips!
Our Podder™ Marcus welcomes you to Veganuary with vegan meal recipes and what to consider when incorporating plant-based eating into your life.
What is Veganuary?
At this time of year, many people out there may be considering new year’s resolutions or setting their goals for the year. For some, they may be considering making some changes to their diets. If you want to give a plant-based diet a go, you can start off by doing VEGANUARY (eating vegan throughout January) which is now a thing!
Why some people choose a plant-based diet
As a person with type 1 diabetes I’m used to being asked a lot of questions. But the thing I get asked the most questions about, is around the fact that I am a vegan.
I can tell you when I became vegan because, as with so many things these days, it was after listening to a podcast. An interview with an American footballer called David Carter known as the 300lb vegan (that’s about 21 stone or 133kgs depending on your geographical location and your age, I guess).
That was June 2015.
The question I get asked most is did I adopt a vegan diet to help my diabetes.
I went vegan as I wanted to see if it would help me become a better runner after the 300lb vegan described the benefits he’d experienced including quicker recovery from training.
Most people expect the reason to go vegan to be environmental or on moral grounds. Although I started out with more of a selfish reason (to try and be a better runner), after fully immersing myself in a vegan world I do also now appreciate the impact that changing to a vegan diet has on the environment and animal welfare.
Plant-based diets and Diabetes
Eating a vegan diet doesn’t directly help my diabetes: carbs are still just carbs. Where it does help, I believe, is with overall health. I feel much more energetic and my cholesterol has reduced. I feel like I can train more regularly as I seem to recover more quickly. My experience of eating vegan has been incredible.
Things to consider before starting a plant-based diet with Diabetes
It can be daunting suddenly excluding foods from your diet and not know what to eat. Flip that around and think about all the foods you are including. Expand your fruit and vegetable intake, experiment with some alternatives, use more beans and lentils. There are some recipes attached to this blog to give you some ideas.
Eating out can be hit and miss but more and more restaurants and cafes are now offering more and more vegan choice. Dairy alternatives for coffee and vegan cakes are as common as the non-vegan choices and some of the more exclusive restaurants are offering broader vegan menus rather than just one option.
There are so many free online resources and recipes to support you in your vegan journey it won’t take you long.
Whatever your reason may be for reading this blog- whether you want to go fully vegan, do Veganuary or just introduce more plant-based meals through the week, I hope you find what works for you!
*Please discuss your individual nutritional needs with a Healthcare Professional.
Mexican rice casserole
“The simplest one pot mid-week meal!”
- 1 pack of vegan mince
- 1 tub fresh salsa
- 1 packet taco mix
- 1 cup tinned or frozen sweet corn
- 1 tin black beans
- 1 cup basmati rice
- To serve avocado/sliced tomatoes/vegan Greek yogurt flavoured with paprika/tortillas- all optional
- Fry the mince in an oven proof lidded pan.
- Sprinkle over the taco mix and fry for a few further minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water and scale off the bottom of the pan.
- Mix in the salsa.
- Mix in the drained beans.
- Mix in the sweet corn.
- Mix in the rice. I usually soak my rice for a little while before using.
- Put the lid on the pan and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
Serve with your choice of toppings or none!
Ps This is also great in taco shells with lettuce and guacamole!
- Olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 tin cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
- 1 tin cannellini beans
- 1 tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
- 1 tin black beans
- 1 tin butter beans
- Liquid smoke
- Chipotle paste
- Finely chop the onion and fry in olive oil.
- Add all the tinned tomatoes and beans to the pan.
- Add 2 tsps of liquid smoke and 2 tsps of chipotle.
- Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes,
- Add more liquid smoke and/or chipotle depending on your tastes and the strengths of chilli in the paste and your requirements.
- Serve in jacket potatoes or on toast or great on its on with crusty bread.