Many of you are looking for ways to increase your energy and vitality, eat healthier foods and do right by Mother Earth. Converting from a meat eater to a “Pescetarian” on a plant based diet has been a smoother run that I anticipated.
Pescetarianism is the practice of a diet that includes seafood and excludes other animals. The word is a blend of the Italian word for fish and the English word vegetarianism.
Yes, I have to admit the sweet smell of bacon and eggs still arouses my taste buds, but when it comes down to the moment of truth I simply cannot cheat on my new lifestyle. The thought of taking that bite makes me physically nauseous.
Having the right tools, resources and some education increase your odds of success. We are creatures of habit and who doesn’t like comfort food? I mean really, it is the easiest vice to indulge in 24/7. Here are 9 tips for a plant based diet from my journey with a focus on iron intake:
1. If it is delicious it doesn’t matter if it is vegetarian.
2. Get enough iron or you will pay the price.
3. How do you get enough iron you ask? Try spirulina, legumes, nuts, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, tomato sauce, swiss chard, blackstrap molasses & prune juice.
4. Eat Vitamin C with your iron intake and AVOID caffeine at those meals.
5. I am taking Vega All-in-One Nutritional Shake 4-6 times per week. A cup of unsweetened almond milk, a scoop of chocolate Vega powder, a couple of ice cubes and 1/2 a banana into the Vitamix! Quick, delicious and high in many nutrients including iron. **Note: this product does not require a blender for mixing.
6. Keep lots of fresh herbs and veggies in the house. You can spruce up your grain dishes with the herbs and the veggies are your new goto snack over crackers and baked goods. See Gorgeous Green Chutney recipe below!!!
7. I have said it before and it warrants repeating: invest in a good blender. We use our VitaMix every single day. It is powerful and makes delicious smoothies, soups, sauces and more. You can even buy a dry pitcher for making flours out of your grains and beans!! Very cool for those of you eating a gluten free diet!
8. Keep your cupboards, purse, car, desk stocked with your favourite snacks. Pack fresh veggies daily, bring a cool bag for your lunch so you can have raw food, leave Organic Nut bars, Vega Bars, Lara bars – whatever you love stashed around your life.
9. Dairy products do not contain iron, so typically vegans struggle less with this issue. They use different foods to replace “meat” where as dairy eating vegetarians lean heavily on cheese and dairy based sauces.
So here is a little recipe I have been using regularly. It is great with chickpea dishes like Falafel or Patties or Edamame Fritters. It is called Gorgeous Green Chutney.
My version is inspired by a recipe created by Megan Hanna. Not only is it gorgeous but it is delicious and invigorating to the senses. I put the ingredients in my VitaMix and pulse a few times and it is ready to serve! You can keep it the fridge, covered for several days. It is great tossed with some noodles or grains for a quick and easy meal on the fly!
1 cup of cilantro coursely chopped
1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
1 Red Delicious apple cut into chunks, use a Granny Smith for a tarter chutney!
1 jalapeńo, seeded & deveined (wash your hands before you touch your face!!! that advice is live & learn knowledge, lol)
1 medium tomatoe, chopped
2 tsp sugar or agave nectar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 small shallot finely diced
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) whole cumin seed
Bon appétit everyone!