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It is important when changing diet that you provide the body with all the essential nutrients it needs, which all can be found from a plant based diet. Key things to remember when choosing a meat free diet; 1. Increase almond uptake to maintain calcium 2. Increase Iron from foods, spinach can be a good example 3. Maintain complete amino acids you get from meat, can be found in quinoa, buckwheat and chia seeds. 4. Invest in a Vegan protein powder if you are training and need to hit a set protein gram a day 5. Variety is key, replace meat with natural sources of protein such as chickpeas, beans and Tofu. There are so many great tofu recipes out there and taste really good. 6. Avoid meat replacements such as Quorn, or frozen pre-made burgers, they can taste good but are artificially created and not good on the body. Burgers are very easy to make and recipes are a plenty.
In my experience exclusion diets help to narrow down certain habits or foods to which might be causing those nasty symptoms to arise in the gut. When my gut decided to flare up I tried for around a year to exclude different foods, calculate what I ate and keep a diary of the types of food I was eating. Here's a snapshot of what I did.First removed Gluten and Dairy for 5-7 days to try and settle my gut down from being inflamed. Then only placed dairy back into the diet being careful not over do it. After doing this for 3 weeks I still had issues and decided again to reset the gut for 5 days then exclude dairy. However I still had problems and decided to eliminate high Fod-map vegetables and fruits, which tend to ferment in the gut. These included, apples, broccoli, cauliflower and bananas. This had some success and I was feeling better so I carried this on for a period of time but noticed I would have flare ups as set times and that was post workout. So after doing some research I found that Whey protein was causing my issues and being a dairy product this made a lot of sense to me. Hence my need to switch to a vegan protein.So in my experience this was my trigger and since then and with a steady back up of healthy gut bacteria I have had no issues and continue to enjoy a symptom free gut.I have to throw a disclaimer in here and say that a visit to your doctor is always advised prior to completing an exclusion diet and I would recommend you ask for help on the types of foods and timelines your excluding foods from your diet.This process worked for me and I'm a huge advocate, but it doesn't always tell the full story as stress is a huge factor behind leaky gut, and excluding foods only stops the symptoms.Please throw me a comment for any advice or guidance.
It's easy in life to get bogged down with what is good and what is bad for you! But what does that really mean, and how to even begin to find out which foods are which. I have long been trying to see food instead of how it makes me feel and more about its benefit to my body both nutritionally, and it's affects on my energy levels. For me this slight change has allowed me to make smarter choices when making a meal plan or finding a post workout meal. It brings awareness into how the food is benefiting the body and what affect that will have on me in my life. It's very important to try and move away from labeling something as good and bad as this can lead you to develop a negative mindset towards food, and the secret to a successful diet plan is to remain positive as best you can. If we see the nutritional benefits of each key groups of food we can then apply this base to create multiple different meal options but keeping that essential groups of core principles. let's take an example of this. Knowing what our wholegrain carbohydrate options are such as Couscous, Quinoa, Rice and Spelt. We can base our meals around them and chop and change dependent on weather, meal times and exercise requirements. So what this does is avoid the common stance which is Carbs are bad for me so I'm going to cut them out, which in reality is going to leave you tired, frustrated and ready to quit. I have to admit bringing awareness to different calorie amounts and how this affects our digestion can take time to develop. But if you read labels, ask for help and even use Pintrest which I have to say gives me a lot of meal ideas. You will soon be a master manipulator of food groups and have the knowledge to manage your diet effectively. Key points is to stay positive, take time to plan what you eat and if your stuck don't be afraid to ask for help!!
Why am I sitting here typing this story? Well, for me my transition from a fully fledged meat eater to a vegan started in January 1st 2016. However you could say that starting a daily routine of meditation each day has opened my eyes and mind into how we as humans are affecting the world around us. I became very aware of my impact upon animals and how my choices dictated others livelihoods and methods of treating animals. So after a Christmas period I made a vow to stop eating meat and to buy sustainable animal products such as free range and organic. I can safley say I have never had any health problems or even issues choosing what food to eat, I am lucky enough to have a strong support network who understand my choice and are willing to adapt. In particular my wife Laura has been amazing in finding meals for us both to eat and accepting my change in lifestyle and fully supporting me not just with consent but with action, and that is so important to me. My past experience working in personal training, teaching and running a sports therapy business have enabled me to plan and prepare my meals correctly not just to avoid meat but to ensure my meals are just as nutritionally beneficial for me. Such as when cutting meat out finding good alternative protein sources is incredibly important and also replacing vitamins such as Iron, Zinc and Magnesium. My hope is that anyone who is facing a decision to either stop eating meat has that support network I have had and that I can provide some of the nutritional know-how when it comes to getting the body what it needs. Through my blog and member area I want to help you make that decision to improve your happiness and well-being in a supportive and healthy manner. Sign up to our Free trial member area on the sign up page to receive advice and guidance on IBS and vegan nutrition to improve your health. Please comment if you have any questions we will respond!!
On a rainy day, take some time to relax and enjoy some time to yourself. Why not try meditation to calm anxiety and improve well being. I love this mediation I have linked too, it really takes you away from the day to day grind. Sit in a comfy chair, eyes closed and relax. http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/85/talk/37775/ Love to know how you get on!!
Hey, thought I would share a few of my favorite products that I use to strengthen and help reduce gut inflammation. Mainly focused on increasing health gut bacteria, increasing fiber and reducing lactose.Lactose free- Alpro Almond Yogurt- I find this in most big supermarkets and has higher protein count than the natural version and includes healthy gut bacteria. Almond Milk- I find this tastier than Soya milk and the un-sweetend version doesn't have any nasty sugar or sweeteners added in.Whole Earth Almond Butter- Again almond keeps popping up but the main reason is that it's high in calcium and can rival any cows milk on the amount contained. Also the Waitrose avacado butter is cheap and tastes pretty good. Coconut cream- this one is my personal favorite as I started using cream in my coffee to reduce the amount of lactose in comparison to milk so this has a similar consistency. Bit like Marmite this one try and see. Fiber Boosting- Organic Cocoa Powder- I buy this and the next from bulk powders I find they are the cheapest and really good quality. Very high in fiber but also in protein, add to water or a shake, plus really tasty too. Also can now get it at Aldi. Baboa Powder- Originates from Ethiopia, and is a tree seed ground down, not the best tasting but very high in fiber and once in a shake can't taste it. Rice or pea Protein- I personally buy a 1kg pouch of Vegan protein from revolution foods and has a good amino acid chain and is not whey protein so no lactose. Which for me was the reason for a lot of my gut issues. We have a discount code on our member area check it out. All of these are my personal favorites give them a go and see what you think, try alternatives if you want a balanced opinion and always shop around there are different pricing at each supermarkets. Love to get some feedback on some of these products!!
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