Introduction

If you are reading this, chances are you are either considering a plant based diet, just starting one, or underway with one but needing some ideas. At the time of writing this, I am about…. just shy of two years fully plant based. I try and not label myself a vegan, even though at times it’s necessary, like when you are telling a waiter you don’t eat fish on a plant based diet or that cheese is not a plant. The reason I prefer plant based is because I feel that veganism has been misconstrued, misrepresented and misunderstood to such a high degree as an extremist position, that it is actually holding our society back from moving in a direction that is more healthy, compassionate and sustainable for the planet. Also I still have some leather products, I still have some wool etc, so strictly speaking I’m not a vegan. Anyway, the most important thing I can tell you is that my decision to go plant based was not an easy one, I was a massive carnivore! Loved my meat, cheese, milk… hated vegetables. However after a long and obsessive journey into the world of health, anthropoligy, biochemistry, global ecology and finally animal cruelty, I found myself in a place where I simply had no choice. If I were to continue as an omnivore, I would be in such extreme dissonance with myself, my understanding and my values, that I would not be able to conduct myself with any authenticity, so I had to go for it. I said to myself if I fail, or slip, I won’t be hard on myself, I will just keep trying. Low and behold, 7 days in, I was amazed, I felt amazing, so much energy, my mood was lifted, it felt like, for the first time in my life, I was eating how I should be eating. Having been heavily into health and fitness most of my adult life, I was always on a “diet” whether it was paleo or something else, but I always felt like I was denying myself something, couldn’t wait for my “cheat day” now, I barely think about it, I just enjoy my food. I could not be a stronger ambassador for a plant based diet, from a perspective of illness prevention, health and physical optimisation, compassion and probably most importantly rescuing us from global ecological disaster. So if I can help you in anyway, progress on this path, please reach out to me. Good luck and happy living.

The Vegan Starter Kit

The Non-profit organisation Veganuary, has put together a really comprehensive and useful Vegan start kit. Everything from accidentally vegan products like Oreos, to recipes and information on all areas of Veganism.

Treats

Nothing wrong with a snack, especially a nutritious one. We all need a little pick me up from time to time or something to fuel us in between meals.

 

Moo Free Chocolate

A tasty dairy free chocolate that is very popular due to it being so similar to the dairy version.

Quinoa Crisps

Quinoa Crisps

A healthy and moreish crisp made from a nutrious grain that is bursting with flavour. Quinoa crisps come in a range of flavours.

Pana Chocolate

This is a true treat, with a range of amazing flavours, they aren’t cheap but they are well worth every penny. Made with very high quality ingredients.

Quinoa Crisps

Organic Tortilla Chips

These organic crisps are made with flaxseed and are 100% plant based and very addictive, so be warned.

Vego Hazlenut Bar

With almost a Ferrero Roche taste. This is a chunky and enjoyable treat!

Quinoa Crisps

Tyrrells Vegetable Crisps

They are crisps, made from varius root vegetables, so there is only so much excitement that can be mustered, but actually they are suprisngly nice and a healthy alternative to normal crisps.

Ombar

These cocao bars are a huge favourite among the health concius that don’t want to sacrafice on taste and miss those milk chocolate flavours. This one is a massive winner.

Quinoa Crisps

Propercorn Popcorn

A nice comforting and enjoyable popcorn. Free of anything nasties unlike many that are on the market.

Eating Out

Cafe's and restaurant's suitable for plant based living.

 

The Happy Cow App

The Happy Cow app has served me for 3 years now all over the world! From Dubai, Bali, Canada, USA, UK, Mainland Europe and Scandinavia. It shows you by location all the nearest vegan spots and gives you handy reviews, menus and contact. This is an absolute must for finding places to eat on the go.

Supplementation

Making sure your health is fully optimised

Do I need supplements?

One of the accusations you may here of the vegan diet, is that it is lacking in calcium, iron and B vitamins. Let’s set the record straight on these things. Calcium: A diverse plant based diet is far richer in calcium then most omnivorous diets, despite the huge marketing attempt to dupe the public into believing dairy is the holy grail of calcium, it is far from it. Research actually shows that due to the acidic effect dairy has on your blood, you actually lose more calcium (in the form of calcium phosphate) as the phosphate is required to return your blood to a healthy PH, and the calcium is then excreted as a bi-product of the process. Green leafy vegetables, oranges, legumes, and almond milk are just a selection of high quality and dense calcium sources. Iron: Again, this is unsubstantiated BS that a vegan diet is low in iron because there is no steak. Leafy greens, lentils, soy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, tofu, quinoa, oatmeal, are just a few examples or great sources. The one you may hear most often is the B vitamins: firstly, B6 is richly available in the vegan diet, however, in ernest B12 is slightly lacking in the diet. This is not an insult, but a compliment to the vegan diet, for the fact you can pinpoint just ONE vitamin that is lacking. If you sat down with most people and went though their diet, it would be a list as long as my arm of essential vitamins and minerals that they are desperately lacking in.

However, due to many factors, such as increased pathogen exposure (germs etc) in our densely packed cities and towns, environmental toxins, stressful lives, and poor soil and nutrient density of our foods, it is still highly advisable to make sure you are fully covered on the vitamin front. It is also very important to get them from the right sources. Most vitamins, tablets, capsules etc, are as good as useless. This is because they are isolated and then put into tablet form. As this is not how the body evolved to utilise vitamins, they do not have the necessary carriers and facilitators required to transport the vitamins into your cells. So you end up just excreting most of it… literally pissing your money away.

All of the supplements I recommend, I use, and I use them because they are created with the needed transporters and facilitators to ensure that they are effective.

Together Vitamins

The vitamins I would recommend taking from their range are as follows:

  • Omega
  • B12
  • B Complex (strongly recommend)
  • Curcumin
  • Vitamin D (strongly recommend)
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium

You can buy them from their website here or from amazon.

Liposomal Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for our immune health and metabolic processes. Liposomal means that the vitamin C has a lipid layer that transports the vitamin C into your cells. You can buy it here. 

7 Day Plant Based Intermittent Fasting Food Plan

FAQ's

 

Aside from the fact that 19 billion tons of fish are being taken out of the sea every year, a terrifyingly unsustainable rate, fish are crucial part of the biosphere and without them the planet’s literally f*cked. Marine biologists unanimously agree that at this rate of fishing the seas will be empty of fish by 2050. 2050! (United Nations University Research 2015). Apart from that, most of the fish we eat contains very dangerous levels of mercury, and apart from omega-3 which the vegan diet is very rich in, it offers very little nutritional benefit. Reason for the mercury is that most fish we eat, is a fish that’s eaten a fish that’s eaten a fish that’s eaten a fish! So by the time we eat it, that original nutrient, taken from the earth, is gone, just mercury left.
Depends what you are comparing it to, but it is certainly a lot cheaper than the diet I used to have containing good quality meats etc, and eating out is a lot cheaper now too. Some ingredient items may seem expensive when you buy them but then you will see they last for a long time. My weekly food shopping bill is half what it used to be. If you are on a tight budget, most of the soups, falafels, curries etc you can make yourself really easily from cheap ingredients that will last you for ages. You can buy big bags of red lentils, quinoa, chickpeas and brown rice, for next to nothing. These items are not perishable like meat. Organic is always more expensive, but that’s the same on any diet, and it is a price worth paying for, not just so you can look like a snooty twat that only eats organic. But because the chemicals and shit that they spray all over the foods that aren’t organic, hugely detract from the nutritional value, as well as in many casing having harmful substances. Have a read up on it, its scary, take the apple as a good example.
This is a very frequent question and concern for those looking to go fully plant based. The good news is it is no concern at all! The first thing to consider is that when we consume foods with protein in, our body breaks that protein down into amino acids, which we then put back together into the proteins that our bodies need. So actually the essential thing is to ensure we are getting a full amino acid profile, in our foods. Regarding complete proteins (proteins that contain all of these amino acids) plant based proteins come up trumps. Some easy and high quality sources of protein are:

 

  • Nuts (ie cashew, almond, walnuts)
  • Seeds (ie pumkin, sunflower, chia, hemp)
  • Legumes (ie lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, adzuki beans etc)
  • Grains (ie quinoa, wheat germ, wild rice, spelt, brown rice, oats etc)

These are all high quality sources of protein. You can also supplement, just like with any diet to have additional protein from supplements, you can find these under the supplements section of this page. But I can assure you that protein is no issue whatsoever. Many top athletes, weight lifters, and fitness professionals are moving over to a plant based diet.

Got a question?

2 Comments

  1. Ross Power

    Such a brilliant guide for anyone looking to try a plant-based diet, and covers the whole range of questions someone might have.

  2. Michael Essery

    This is amazing Alex, thanks for the well constructed resources here, we’ll definitely be utilising them!