At Guiding Stars, we often talk about how the foods we eat impact our health. But what about our diet’s impact on the environment? The science is clear that plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets laden with animal products, but is that connection understood and valued by consumers enough to eat less meat?
To be honest, finding treats when you’re vegan is easier than you might imagine. Technically, Oreos are vegan. If your objective in choosing a more plant-forward diet, however, is in part to eat more produce and fewer processed foods, those technically vegan snack foods don’t need to be your first choice for satisfying your sweet tooth. Let’s look at a few tips for bringing the qualities of a lovely treat into a vegan dessert.
Several of the members of our team here at Guiding Stars, Joyce, Anissa, Karen, and Hilary, have either been vegan for years or are in the process of transitioning to a vegan diet. We’ve talked together about some of the challenges of the process, as well as tips and tricks for working through them and some of our favorite resources for learning vegan cooking.
When you’re looking to decrease the animal products in your diet, one of the first questions you might ask is, “How will I get enough protein?” Plant-based protein isn’t actually all that hard, but the question underneath that question is really often, “What can I replace meat with as a filling and satisfying entree?” The cheap, delicious, sustainable option that many people are less familiar with is lentils.
For all the benefits of the plant-based diet, and especially for those on a vegetarian diet, there is still one very important consideration, which is the lack of B12. Our bodies can’t produce B12, the essential, water-vitamin found mostly in meat and dairy foods, and therefore we must seek it in our diet. For those on a plant-only diet, there are many fortified foods and supplements available to help them meet their B12 needs. This raises the question as to how easy it is to become deficient in B12 and whether supplements and fortified foods are an adequate replacement.
Cheese is one of the things many people miss the flavor of when they’re trying to reduce the amount of animal products in their diet. Cheese is usually high in salt and saturated fat, so it’s a sensible thing to limit. It’s so flavorful that a little can go a long way, so it’s easy to enjoy in small quantities, but if you’re looking for plant-based alternatives altogether, let me introduce you to cashews and nutritional yeast.
Plant-based diets are a flexible way of eating that can be tailored to your individual preferences and lifestyle. It celebrates and emphasizes plant-based foods, but it isn’t limited to them. Here are my top 3 tips to pay attention to when starting to eat in a more plant-forward style.
Plant-based eating is getting its day in the sun for good reason: it’s good for the environment and good for us. Learning to eat fewer animal products can be a challenge, especially if you’re used to relying on butter and cheese for flavor. These dishes show you a sample of choices from breakfast to an after-dinner dessert that are fully vegan to get your mouthwatering and your creative juices flowing.