For many, the decision to become vegan is driven by animal rights while for others health is the deciding factor. But whatever the reason, many look at veganism and have their doubts. How could a meal plan revolving around vegetables and all natural foods possibly fulfill your nutritious needs?
Karena Thek Lineback, President of Pilates Teck Inc., author of “OsteoPilates”, and host of “Today’s Woman” on KHTS AM 1220, believes veganism is the key to a healthy body and has provided tips to becoming a successful, smart, and healthy vegan.
Lineback’s first tip to those contemplating a vegan lifestyle is, “Do your research.” She explained that many are swayed easily to believe that veganism is unhealthy or many are lead to accept that every vegan food is considered healthy.
Lineback admits that a common mistake made amongst new-found vegans is that while many can successfully cut out dairy and meat products from their diet, there are those who fall into the junk food trap. She said, “Jelly beans and soy chai latte’s are both vegan and it can be very easy to get stuck in that trap.”
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Her devotion to veganism for almost a year has taught her to steer clear of this common mistake vegans make by shopping in the produce section of the supermarket.
“Shop variety and shop color. If your shopping cart looks like a crayon box, you’ve done a good job.” She also suggests checking the ingredients list on a product and only buy whole grains. “If it says wheat, semolina, enriched, it is not whole grain.” said Lineback.
She also suggests making sure you are receiving important nutrients you might not obtain from cutting out meat and dairy. “B12 is a vitamin you can only get from meat or a supplement.” Lineback said.
Vitamin D, another vitamin cut from a vegan diet with the deletion of Vitamin D fortified milk and other dairy products, can easily be obtained from sun rays. Standing in the sun for a few minutes a day can give your body more Vitamin D than the recommended daily dose.
With todays numerous fad diets and meal plans, Lineback insists veganism is a sure way to be happy and healthy.
“On a vegan diet, you can get plenty of carbs, plenty of protein, and plenty of fat. If you were to just eat that, you would never have to count another calorie again.” said Lineback. “The only thing our body needs from us is a few nutrients from the food, it needs the calories, and it needs sunshine. And if that’s all we need to provide, we should probably try to provide that in the best way possible.”