A VEGAN DIET PLAN:
NEED TO KNOW
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
PREPARATION FOR A VEGAN DIET PLAN
A FEW TIPS FOR MAKING THE TRANSITION TO A VEGAN DIET PLAN:
- Start by adding more plant-based food to your diet, while simultaneously cutting out a few animal products.
- Make conscious decisions to choose something plant based. If you're going for a snack, pick a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or a baggie of cut vegetables.
- Make vegetables the star of your meal. Instead of planning around meat, choose a vegetable you want to base your meal around. Think veggie tacos, cauliflower steaks, quinoa burgers. Want some recipes? Here's a good place to start.
- Find vegan communities on social media. Shaka counsels prospective or new vegans to surround yourself with people you’re looking up to in the vegan community, either on social or friends. See the messages every day to keep your mind going in that direction.
PREPARING THE PANTRY FOR YOUR VEGAN DIET PLAN
You just might be surprised how many foods contain animal byproducts. We’re not just talking beef, pork, and chicken. Dairy is a big hurdle for many vegans (more on that later), along with honey, eggs, seafood, and even some food additives. For some vegans, it’s an all or nothing change. For others, like Shaka, there are some exceptions.
FOOD REPLACEMENTS FOR A VEGAN DIET PLAN
FOOD REPLACEMENTS FOR A VEGAN DIET PLAN
When it comes to cooking, vegans often find substitutes for necessary ingredients. Grocery stores have a lot of options—often labeled “green food”—for vegans. There are things like vegan cheese, plant based milks, and egg replacers.
VEGAN EGG REPLACEMENTS
Speaking of eggs, Shaka had a few tips. One of his favorite replacements is flaxseed. To replace one egg, he uses 1 teaspoon of flaxseed mixed with 2 teaspoons of water. He also suggested aquafaba — the water from chickpeas — to make meringue. Bananas are also a good option, as they work for flavor and consistency in a lot of recipes.
VEGAN MEAT REPLACEMENTS
- Coconut oil is great to bake with. Olive oil has less flavor, so think about what you’re cooking before you make a choice on oils.
- Earth Balance is Shaka’s preferred butter replacement, but he also recommends partially air-frying in order to reduce oils.
- Different types of flour. Shaka recommends experimenting, as each type of flour has its benefits. If you’re also gluten free (Shaka himself is 90% gluten-free), there are many different options.
SUPPLEMENTATION FOR YOUR VEGAN DIET PLAN
If you have a truly balanced vegan diet plan, you might not need supplements. But, be sure to consult with your doctor, and have labs done regularly to be sure you’re not deficient in certain areas. There are dozens of fabulous supplements out there to assist you as you search for your best self.
LAKANTO PRODUCTS SHAKA LOVES AS A VEGAN
When you’re transitioning to a vegan diet plan, you might feel like you can’t have some of the things you’ve loved for so long. Lakanto keeps the vegan lifestyle in mind when we develop products—making sure our baked goods still work perfect without eggs, and being mindful of ingredients that would disqualify our products for vegan diet plans.
GROCERY SHOPPING FOR YOUR NEW VEGAN DIET PLAN
Grocery stores are more vegan-friendly than you think. Not just because there are vegan substitutes, but also because there are so many plant-based options, even in chain stores. Here are a couple of tips for groceries:
- Outside aisles tend to be your best bet. Produce sections are generally found towards one end of the store, where refrigeration is possible.
- Look for one ingredient foods, also called whole foods.
- Take advantage of the substitutes.
- Limit processed foods.
- Check out dairy alternatives. They’re often in the same refrigerated section as dairy.
- Pantry items like dried and canned legumes, spices, nuts, etc. are good to keep on hand.
- Don’t forget frozen fruits and veggies!
DINING AND SOCIALIZING AS A VEGAN
EARLY BENEFITS OF ADOPTING A VEGAN DIET PLAN
When he gave up dairy, Shaka says his energy went through the roof.
Feeling less bloated for fitness activities and competitions and overall feeling more lean and strong.
Shaka noted a decrease in that lethargic feeling and increased clarity of mind and thoughts.
By cutting heavy and unhealthy foods from his diet, Shaka found his cravings actually stopped.
Shaka noted as a vegan, he stayed closer to competition shape, cutting his prep time down to about a week.
VEGANISM FOR THE LONG HAUL
There are incredible long-term benefits to veganism. Here are a few we’ve found in our research and our conversation with Shaka:
This was one of the main attractions for Shaka, as he looked at people who were vegan at the age of 80 and those who were not and saw a huge difference. You look and feel younger, longer, he says.
PREVENTS HEART DISEASE
Fresh fruit, vegetables, and legumes have all been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. So, making these the foundation of your diet can only do good. As a shout out for vegans in particular, they were found to have up to a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
This also lowers your risk of heart disease, but it’s a benefit in and of itself.already in-line with a vegan diet.
REDUCE PAIN FROM ARTHRITIS
Those who eat vegan show improvement in pain, swelling, and stiffness in the morning than those who ate animal based products.
PROTECTION AGAINST SOME CANCERS
Several studies show that the vegan diet can help lower the risk of prostate, breast, and colon cancers.
Eating more fruit and veggies increases antioxidants which adds to longevity and reduces inflammation.
LOWER BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Vegans are 50-78% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. They are also more in control of their blood sugar levels, which can help prevent other medical issues from developing.
MORE EFFICIENT USE OF NUTRIENTS
Studies have shown that our bodies adapt to how much iron we have in our diets, and lowering our intake makes our bodies use it more efficiently.orning than those who ate animal based products.
FOOD AS MEDICINE
We loved this mantra from Shaka, who says that “when you’re thinking more about what food you’re eating, you’ll make a better choice.” As we age, what we put in our bodies matters even more.
FASTER RECOVERY TIME
Because you’re fueling your body with good food, you’ll recover from injury or stress faster. Shaka noticed this as he was training; he could push himself harder while adhering to a vegan diet, but recover faster.
FINAL TIPS FOR HOW TO GO VEGAN
CUT OUT YOUR FAVORITES SLOWLY
Maybe allow dairy once a week for a while.
FIND IMPORTANT SUBSTITUTES QUICKLY
Start figuring out how to incorporate them into your diet right away, so you don’t miss out on favorite recipes.
GO BIG ON THE PLANT-BASED FOODS
THAT YOU ALREADY LOVE
You might be surprised how much you’re already in-line with a vegan diet.
REMEMBER YOUR SPICES
Many non vegan cultural foods we are attached to actually have the flavors we remember as a result of the plant based spices they were seasoned with - these flavors are still available to you.
SHAKA SMITH'S BEST TIPS FOR HOW TO GO VEGAN
- DO YOUR RESEARCH
Give yourself a couple of hours to research what you can eat, what you can’t, and what your local grocery stores have.
- MEET YOURSELF WHERE YOU'RE AT
What does going vegan look like for YOU? What if you could? Would it look like an overnight change? A few months? A few years? Be honest with what you can do.
- GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
You’re going to make mistakes. Worry about the long term, and when you do make mistakes, “Remember the next moment is another opportunity to make a different choice.”
Remember that going vegan might not be easy, but it can be an incredible, life-changing choice. With role models like Shaka, and the availability of vegan communities on social media, you can face this challenge with a team right beside you. Taking your health into your own hands will improve your life in ways you never imagined.
At Lakanto, we're on a mission to help you discover your chi—which could include a variety of health and wellness goals that help you better align your mind, body, and soul. We believe that having sweetness in your life is a part of discovering your chi, and our products offer a clean, pure sweetness, thanks to monk fruit and quality, vegan-friendly ingredients.
ABOUT SHAKA SMITH