Vegan by dictionary definition ‘a person who does not eat or use animal products’, this is a very simplistic definition, factually correct (obviously) but I think the true definition is a lot deeper and more meaningful.
Veganism has risen massively in the last 5 years, with people choosing to introduce it into their life with some fully embracing the vegan lifestyle and others choosing to go vegan one day a week with such movements as ‘Meat-free Mondays‘ . The vegan movement has been so powerful that it seems to have taken a fraction of the time for veganism to reach the same accessibility as vegetarianism with restaurants, supermarkets and clothing brands reacting to the movement and therefore making veganism more accessible to the masses.
There are many reasons people are choosing a vegan diet/lifestyle, the top 3 reasons (in no particular order) being Health, Animal Welfare and the Environment, for further information on the benefits of each of these here are links to Vegan Society website –
Health – https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/health
Animal Welfare – https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/why-go-vegan
Environment – https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/environment
Ensuring a balanced vegan diet is key to this lifestyle, most nutrients your body needs can be gained from a varied balanced vegan diet. The nutrients vegan diets can lack if they are not varied enough are calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Ensuring leafy green vegetables and pulses are included in your diet will help your body gain calcium and iron, for B12 you will need to look for fortified products such as breakfast cereals and unsweetened soya drinks.
For more information on a vegan diet head to the NHS live well eat well pages
With more and more recipes, meal ideas and vegan products accessible to us and the lifestyle here to stay are you interested in trying to introduce veganism into your life? Are you trying Veganuary this year? Do you try to have a meat-free day a week? We would love to hear your thoughts.
This is nothing new, but I hope some reminders and easy ideas that can be quickly and easily introduced into your working day that will make you feel better.
- Drink more water
How many cups of tea or coffee do you have a day?
Could you trade 1 or 2 of those cups for a glass of water?
Water in the human body is like oil in a car, it keeps everything moving.
The human body is made up of 60% water, but the brain its self is actually made up of about 73% water, so staying hydrated is key to helping think clearly and ensure the brain can function to the maximum capacity.
Don’t like water? Add fruit to help flavour the water or use a water infuser bottle; try summer berries, lemon, orange or mint and strawberry.
It’s about making a conscious effort to start with to then make it become a habit.
- Leave your desk
Who leaves their desk at lunchtime?
3 in 5 employees eat dinner at their desk and many employees only taking 15 minutes out of their entitled break. Take a break, by sitting at your desk to eat it only encourages you to continue working ‘I’ll just finish this’ or ‘I’ll just quickly look at that’. Give yourself a break, no more al-desko it’s time for al-fresco!
- Get some fresh air and/or sunshine
A lot of workplaces and offices can be stuffy or have air conditioning which can be dry and dehydrated; try getting out to for 5 minutes fresh air, it can feel amazing even when it is wet and cold.
Also getting out for a short 20-minute walk can help release endorphins the happy, feel-good hormone. That’s 10 minutes there and 10 minutes back from your desk or office, when you think of it like that it’s not far but it could make you feel a whole lot better.
Also when getting out and some fresh air it gets us into the sunshine/daylight, where it allows our bodies to absorb Vitamin D which helps strengthen bones, teeth and muscles, but it is also linked to topping up our immune system.
The word breakfast spells out its own meaning, Break Fast to break the fasting of overnight, the first meal of the day.
We always hear ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, but it really is.
Earlier we mentioned about water being the oil of the body well now let’s add some fuel. Food is what gives your body the power to function and it is key to do this first thing in the morning, get your body powered up for the rest of the day.
Do you ever notice if you skip breakfast your body starts craving sugar later in the day? It’s looking for fuel to sustain your energy.
- Try to eat smarter
Your body needs all sorts of nutrients to keep it functioning and the best way to do this is yet another cliché…Eat the Rainbow!
By eating lots of different coloured foods it means you are getting different nutrients in your diet, therefore feeding your body lots of vitamins and minerals it needs to help it function to best of its ability.
Also since we ‘eat with our eyes’ having colourful food on a plate makes it more attractive to eat, so try to get creative and colourful with your lunch.
4 of these tips could possibly be achieved in your lunch break; instead of eating at your desk why not go for a walk to a local shop (2 & 3), grab yourself something colourful to eat (5) and some water to drink (1). I wonder how you would feel if you start to make this your new lunchtime routine rather then staying at your desk?
As the saying goes, we should ‘eat the rainbow’, and fruit definitely qualifies with plenty of colourful options, each giving their own nutritional benefits. So which ones should we be eating for maximum nutrition?
As always a balanced approach is the best and having a good mixture of various fruits will help you all round. However, some fruits are especially good for us, or for helping us in different areas.
1. Peaches and nectarines: Packed with potassium
2. Pineapple: Powerful anti-inflammatory
3. Grapes: Heart healthy
4. Kiwi: Loaded with vitamins
5. Mangoes: Immunity boosters
6. Apples: Brain and heart healthy
7. Pomegranates: More antioxidants than red wine or green tea
8. Grapefruit: Vitamin C powerhouse
9. Bananas: Healthy on-the-go snack
10. Blueberries: Anti-aging powerhouses
Head over to Readers Digest to find out exactly what makes each of these fruits so great.