Questions & Answers

Check below for common questions you might have on going vegan/ plant-based

What is a plant-based diet?

A plant-based diet is a diet that focuses on eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and excludes eating animal products and anything derived from an animal.

What is the difference between plant-based and a vegan diet?

A plant-based diet is a diet that focuses on eating fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and grains and reducing consumption of refined and processed foods.  A vegan diet can range from a whole food plant-based diet to a totally junk food laden diet. There are some super healthy vegans out there but there are also vegans out there living off vegan junk food, like oreos, french fries, vegan pizza, and overly processed fake meats.

What is a vegetarian?

A vegetarian does not eat meat, seafood, poultry but does eat animal by-products such as eggs, dairy, gelatin and honey.

Where do you get your protein?

We get our protein from plants! We don’t need near as much protein as we’ve been taught and it is so rare that someone is protein deficient in the developed world. Chickpeas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, nutritional yeast, fruits, nuts, veggies. Almost all of them contain protein! Just eat your whole foods and you will be good!  We are just regular active girls – we like runs, walks, mountain biking, occasional yoga, and HIIT workouts – so we are speaking from this point of view. 

If you’re interested in seeing the protein content of various foods, check out this link – https://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.php

Also, if you want to see how our epic athletic sister maintains her muscle mass on a plant-based diet, reach out to her on instagram @summerfunfitness_

If you are an athlete and want to get down to the deets on the whole protein thing check out this great article from Plant Proof: https://plantproof.com/how-much-protein-do-we-need/

Why do you eat so much fruit, I thought too much fruit was bad for you?

We’ve been here too. Thinking that fruit was the devil, that it was too much sugar. It’s a really sad time when you are afraid of fruit. Fruit is so good for you, it’s filled with tons of nutrients and minerals all wrapped up in a nice little package with the perfect amount of water and fiber! It’s so much different from consuming added sugar that’s been striped of all it’s fiber providing no nutritional value and causing blood sugar problems. 

Check out this article by by Simon Hill (of Plant Proof) to learn more on the topic.

There are people who live a thriving lifestyle getting most of their calories from fruit! Check out The Raw Advantage or Fully Raw Kristina

Anywho, we aren’t into fully raw ourseleves but we tend to eat a ton of fruit- especially for breakfasts and snacks! They are the easiest snack ever. Just grab and go!

Do you take any supplements?

We take an activated form of  B12 (methlycobalamin) from time to time. B-12 is one of the only things you can’t get from a plant-based diet but nutritional yeast is usually fortified with it so that’s one way to get it in without supplementing. 

We also take a wholefood nutraceutical containing 30+ fruit and vegetable concentrates! Despite years of plant-based eating and working with a naturopath the last bit of acne for Stormy would not leave!! Although she felt really healthy she knew something inside of her must have been a little off because she still had acne that wouldn’t budge.  Any how the wholefood supplement completely cleared her acne and even kept her skin clear while she was travelling. Usually while travelling her skin gets worse because of sporadic sleep schedule, a few more drinks than usual and eating a lot more oil and packaged food than usual.

On top of our plant-based diet it was the one little super power that finally cleared up Stormy’s skin issues and brought us so much energy! So we’re sticking with em’ . It’s amazing for making up for the days when we really aren’t eating as well as we think we are.  Email us if you’re interested 🙂 .

Are you hungry all the time?

No, we are not hungry all the time. We make sure to fill our meals with either starchy veggies (like potatoes, sweet potatoes), beans, or grains (rice, quinoa) to help keep us full. Or in the case of breakfast, with lots of fruit and bananas that are full of carbs! We do love eating large portions so we were stoked when we went to a plant-based diet low in fat and realized how much more food we could eat and stay the same size! We just eat till we are full, following the principles mentioned above, and never count calories. It’s all about focusing on foods that are going to nourish your body and provide you with fuel. WE <3 Plants 🙂

How do you eat so many beans? They hurt my stomach

Honestly, they hurt our stomach before too. We could only eat about ¼ cup of beans without getting gas and bloating. Now we can eat a whole can each. As you introduce more and more beans to your diet your body starts to get use to them! They digest a whole lot better if you’re not eating them with lots of fatty food. Everything seems to digest better if you aren’t digesting it with meat- even grains became easier for us to digest!

 

So just start slow, and slowly up your bean intake. Your body will start to make more of the enzymes to digest beans and eventually you will be able to eat more. Ohh and rinse your beans before you eat them too!

How do you get your B12?

Nutritional Yeast and a B12 supplement.

Should I go gluten free?

That’s up to you. If you are having serious digestive issues you can give it a go for a few months and see if you get some relief and then re-introduce it and see how your body reacts. It’s hard to test for gluten-intolerance at a health practitioner’s office and expensive to do so at a naturopaths. So I would say if those options aren’t for you try it out and go on how you feel. 

If you don’t seem to have any problems then lucky you! Go eat that nice piece of sourdough.

I don’t do well with restriction so I don’t think this diet/lifestyle is for me

We didn’t do well with restriction either. That’s partially why we failed every other fad/health diet out there. It felt so restrictive, but mostly because it kept out the carbs and our bodies were screaming for glucose. The body’s favourite source of fuel is glucose which is broken down from sugar/starch. All those restrictive diets were holding us back from what we really wanted, a nice easy source of glucose. So we fell off them every time and ate the carbs, usually unhealthy junk food carbs because well, we didn’t realize what it wanted- a nice ol’ apple or bowl of oats. We could only think WE WANT SUGAR- WHERE’S THE FRICKEN ICECREAM?!

 

The plant-based diet allows you to eat carbs in abundance in fruit, starchy veggies and whole grains. Your body stops sending out crazy signals for sugar and plant-based eating becomes easier to stick too. You start to get a different outlook on food, get creative and appreciate your brightly colored meals so much more. 

 

You honestly start eating more of a variety of foods than on your omnivore diet. It honestly became a diet of serious abundance in my mind! So many different plant-based things I would never have tried on my old diet. 

 

From two girls who madly lacked in will power and abiding to rules we’ve come a long way. It’s pretty cool too because once you see yourself succeeding in this diet your able to stretch your will power into other areas of your life and stop battling your inner self that keeps sabotaging you!  

Resource: https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/101/nutrition-basics/what-about-carbohydrates.aspx

What is a vegan?

‘VEGANISIM IS A WAY OF LIVING WHICH SEEKS TO EXCLUDE, AS FAR AS IS POSSIBLE AND PRACTICABLE, ALL FORMS OF EXPLOITATION OF, AND CRUELTY TO, ANIMALS FOR FOOD, CLOTHING OR ANY OTHER PURPOSE.’              –  The Vegan Society

A vegan will not eat meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy, or any sort of other animal products or animal derivative (i.e. gelatin) or by-product (i.e. honey). Vegans will not buy or use any products made with animal products or tested on animals. Ethics and politics involving animal rights are a big part of the vegan lifestyle.

Is there a difference between whole-food plant-based and plant-based?

As far as we can tell there is no real definition between the two out there. At least there is no real definition on the internet. However from the info we’ve gathered this is how we understand it:

 

WFPB– We consider a wholefood plant based diet to be one that focuses on fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds and grains in a form close to their natural state. This includes eating them cooked, baked, steamed, boiled and sauteed!  We also consider things like chickpea flour, oat flour, rice pastas, tofu, tempeh and nut butters to be part of whole-food plant based diet because while they have been processed it is quite minimal. Choosing to eat the whole food form like full nuts, and whole chickpeas and plain old rice and oats should frequent meals more often than the more processed form. A wholefood plant-based diet also focuses on avoiding added sugar, salt and oil. 

 

Plant-Based – Of course this contains everything in WFPB but also includes things like processed oils, sugar, and salt. Oils are not considered whole-food plant-based but they are considered to be plant-based because they are derived from plants. A lot of crackers, pre-packaged plant based foods, breads and healthier plant-based snacks have these things. Even plant-milk sometimes has oil added to it. So processed and packaged food can technically still be part of a plant-based diet as long as it does not have animal products.

 

We aim to follow a WFPB when we can but sometimes you wanna go out to eat, are craving treats, or travelling, or in a place with limited choices and you eat something less whole foodie. Also be gentle on yourself. If you’re eating a Standard Canadian Diet (or Standard American Diet) just focus on eating plant-based options and as time goes by and your cooking skills improve and cravings are reduced you’ll naturally find yourself eating more whole foods.  

What is a pescitarian?

A pescitarian does not eat meat our poultry but does eat seafood, eggs, dairy, honey and other animal by products.

Why don’t you use protein powders often?

We don’t use protein powders often because we get enough protein from the food we eat throughout the day. Fruits, veggies, beans, and grains have surprisingly more protein than you would think. We are active individuals but not dedicated to building muscle so we don’t see much need for it. We just see it as an extra thing to buy that we don’t need. Obviously everyone’s needs are different and I would suggest trying them out (if you want to) and seeing how you feel. 

 

Sometimes though, we use them to make our smoothies taste more like treats and it’s nice to have around the house for when you are running out of smoothie ingredients and you need something to add in to get you through the morning. Or like when you go to make a bowl of oats and you realize you’ve only left ¼ cup in the bag (for some dumb reason you did this, only to dissapoint yourself the next morning) and it’s not going to get you through the morning- so you add in a scoop.

Where do you get your omegas from?

We consume flax seed, hemp-seed and chia seeds to get most of our omegas! When our eating isn’t up to par, or we’re travelling or really busy we look to plant-based omega supplements. 

We take an amazing Omega Blend. It’s the only plant-based omega supplement in the world that has all 5 strands of essential fatty acids- Omega 3,4,5,7,9. Send us an email if you’re interested in learning more about it or want to order some 🙂.

Where do you get your iron?

Iron is in tons of fruits and veggies so it’s quite possible to meet your iron needs on a vegan diet. 

Check out this link for a list of iron amounts in fruits and veggies. 

There are some tricks to help your body absorb iron better.

The craziest one is don’t drink anything with tannins when eating foods full of iron because it stops the absorption. Think tea, coffee and red wine- don’t have them with iron rich foods! How ironic is that…..so many meat eaters have red wine with their steak and that stops iron absorption! 

Eating foods rich in vitamin C with your iron rich foods increases iron absorption by 5 times the amount! 

For more tips check here

Also, how cool is this iron fish! It’s a fish shaped piece of iron you use in your cooking and it leaches iron into the food. My friend boils it in water and then just drinks that water throughout the day. Plus they use a portion of the profits to bring Lucky Iron Fish to communities in need! 

I tried going vegan and I starved- help me!

Make sure you are eating enough food. Don’t survive off just salads- you will be so hungry and you will find yourself crashing and reaching for whatever food (and it will probably be junkfood/non vegan food) you can get your hands on in a desperate attempt to not feel starving!  

Eat lots of fruits, beans, and grains. If you’re eating a salad add in some quinoa, or some beans to bump up the calories so you can stay full! Don’t be afraid to eat more than one piece of fruit! Bananas are a great way to fill up when you feel like you’re starving. Always having cans of beans in your cupboard and some rice or quinoa cooked and ready to go will save you! Vermicelli noodles (rice noodles) are really good to have on hand too because you can prepare them so quickly if you don’t have any cooked grains on hand.  Buy a couple vegan bars and toss one in your bag or in your car incase you find yourself out of the house all day or at someone place for dinner where they have no vegan food. If you like to bake, look up a vegan granola bar recipe and make your own to take with you. At least you’ll have something to tide you over till you can get home, or the grocery store or somewhere where they have vegan food. EAT LOTS.

I have a hard time digesting grains, what should I do?

We found that once we cut the animal products and gluten out of our diet we could eat grains with no problem. Previous to this we could eat only tiny portions or we would get abdominal pain, bloating and gas. Maybe try cutting out animal products and see if your body starts digesting grains better. Start small and work your way up. If it’s not helping, consider trying to keep gluten out of your diet

Is eating plant-based expensive?

No, eating plant based can be quite inexpensive. Especially if you decide to go the whole-food plant based route and keep your fat intake low. 

 

Beans, rice, potatoes, oats- they are all really cheap. Shop around the store and eat whatever fruit and veg is cheapest at the time! If you have a Costco card, frozen fruit and veg are incredibly well priced there! The Super Store is also really cheap for stocking up on frozen fruit and veg (for Canadians). Those prices are always fluctuating and being aware of the price will help you pick what veggies fit your budget best at that time 🙂 . 

 

We used to be nut-o-holics and coconut-o-holics. Those things are expensive! We eat nuts still but in moderation so it’s way cheaper. Previously we were buying tons to make nut cheese cakes, and for snacks and for spreads. Don’t even get me started on the coconut butter and coconut oil. Those things are pricey and we use to down them! So happy we learned they weren’t helping our health issues!  Sooo anyhow yeah we have nuts and seeds but we sprinkle them on our salads, bowls and smoothies. We don’t down a $15 bag in one sitting. The most expensive things are oils, nuts and seeds and you need zero oil and small amounts of nuts and seeds! 

 

Ohhh and processed plant-based junk food is so expensive! So cut out that processed stuff and focus on real foods. Keep the ice cream, nut cheeses, and almond butters for special occasions :).  

more questions?

Contact me with any questions! No question is stupid! I am one of those people that asks 13 million questions 🙂

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MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

I am not a doctor or dietitian. The information on here is based on what worked for me. There is a lot of research out there on plant-based diets and the positive impact this diet has on health which really made me comfortable with my plant- based lifestyle choice! If you want to dive more into the science/evidence side of things check out our resources section.  Any statements made on these platforms are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult with your medical practitioner before making any changes to your current diet and lifestyle.

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