Being a healthy vegan takes a lot more work (& money). To be healthy you need to make sure you’re eating a wide range of grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds every day… And even then you’ll probably need to eat fortified foods and/ or take supplements to make sure you’re getting a few essential nutrients (such as vitamin B12 & the essential fatty acids found in omega 3’s) which are difficult to find in large quantities in plant based foods.
These nutrients are important. B12 helps in red blood cell formation & nerve tissue function. Long term deficiencies lead to permanent brain damage. Omega 3 fatty acids seem to help reduce inflammation in the body (such as heart disease, arthritis and cancer) as well as playing a vital role in cognition and behavior.
So a wide plant based diet that is supported by fortified foods & suppliments isn’t a nice to have. It’s essential to staying healthy and sharp over your entire life.
I’m very cool with this. I love to cook. I love to eat plants. I do not like to eat animal products. So I take the time (& money) to eat flax & chia seeds throughout the day for my omega 3 intake. I munch on Brazil nuts for selenium. And I make sure I eat a wide array of green leafy plants, grains, legumes, veggies, fruits, seeds and nuts every day to make sure I get enough calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin D and riboflavin…
You get the idea.
I also take a multivitamin and eat fortified foods (like nutritional yeast, cereal & almond milk).
Just in case I missed something.
But the kids? Well quite frankly I don’t want to impose a strict vegan diet on them. I’d rather they become adventurous & healthy eaters – able to enjoy a wide range of food in any company or place.
I don’t want them to grow up thinking that they need to take a multivitamin and 2 omega gummies a day in order to be healthy.
So I’ll cook fish twice a week for the kids (but I’m still having beans and rice!).
Tonight for the kids I sliced up sweet potato, parsnip and purple potatoes into ‘fries’, placed them on a baking tray and coated them with canola oil. I also washed, trimmed and oiled some broccoli rabe and placed it on the same sheet. Then it was just a case of adding some frozen salmon fillets (skin side up) on the baking tray and roasting the pans for 20 minutes in a 400F oven.
For my meal I used some of Rancho Gordo’s amazing yellow eyed beans. I soaked the beans overnight and then cooked them for an hour with half an onion, 1 stalk of celery, a carrot, as well as some garlic and bay leaves. Once the beans came off the heat I let them soak in their cooking water as they cooled.
While the beans were cooling I cooked an onion, 3 celery stalks, a couple of carrots and 6 cloves of garlic in a little canola oil over medium heat. I then added a tin of crushed tomatoes and the beans (including the cooking water). After adding some dried rosemary, red chili flakes & salt I gently simmered the soup for about 10 minutes.
The beans were amazing – and I was so excited that I didn’t have to add chili sauce in afterwards (as I usually do because I keep hot spices to a minimum when cooking for the kids) that I think we’ll up fish dinners for the kids to three times a week 😉.
#vegan #mindfuleating #wholefood #pescatarin