Nourishing Guide by Nutritional Therapist Amelia Freer for Veganuary and Beyond
Amelia Freer is a Nutritional Therapist renowned for providing expert advice on healthy eating and sharing delicious recipe content. Working alongside Whole Foods Market, she has curated a guide of top tips to keep you going in Veganuary and shared her advice on how you and your family can enjoy a nourishing and balanced plant-based diet throughout the year.
1. Have some plant-based protein at every meal: Proteins are essential for growth and repair in our bodies, especially for the young ones. Good sources of plant-based proteins include pulses, lentils, beans, hummus, nuts, seeds, tempeh, tofu and peas. Aim for one portion at each of your 3 meals and try to vary them as much as possible. Whole Foods Market stock lots of delicious organic, fresh and pre-made options such as curried tempeh from plantpowerfoods.
2. Involve your kids in the meal prep! Introducing your little ones to cooking and meal prep is a lovely way to get them familiar with different tastes and textures. It can get them more interested in food and therefore open to trying new things.
3. Include some Omega-3 fats: They are essential fats – we need to get them from our food as our body cannot make them. They can be found in the form of ALA from various nuts and seeds (esp. walnuts, soaked chia seeds, hazelnuts and pecans) as well as rapeseed oil. A good quality, low sugar granola such as the rawgorilla berry granola is a good way to incorporate into your family breakfast time, otherwise sprinkle nuts and seeds on top of salads or soups or a drizzle of olive oil.
4. Focus on whole foods: Being vegan does not necessarily guarantee a balanced diet overall. While it’s great to eat more plants, try (where possible) to focus on eating mostly whole and minimally processed foods. Fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts & seeds, wholegrains and healthy oils are examples of naturally vegan whole foods. Of course now with many parents taking on homeschooling, we may be more in need of some shortcuts, so the pre-made meals from naturalketosis are great quick and easy options. The jackfruit tagine and mushroom curry recipes ingredients that you would find in most households.
5. Consider vitamin D: Here in the UK, we are unable to make Vitamin D from the sun in the winter months. The Department of Health therefore recommends that all adults and children aged 5+ should consider supplementing with vitamin D over the winter months (Oct-Mar). Vegan vitamin D supplements are available so ask your local pharmacist or a nutrition professional if you’re not sure which one to take. Some mushrooms are now UV-treated before being sold, making them a potentially useful source of plant-based vitamin D too
6. Read the label: It’s nice for your children to have familiar meals when undertaking a plant-based diet, so a veggie mince or plant-based cheeses are a nice alternative that don’t look different to the real thing. When looking for meat and dairy replacements, do read the labels carefully as not all of them are necessarily healthy or even vegan. It is very easy to eat a highly processed and refined, sugar-heavy plant-based diet. Where possible, go for the most natural products possible, such as @meatlessfarm mince or @plantbasedcheese no cheese sauce.
7. Be kind to yourself: While I wholeheartedly support #veganuary as it encourages us to eat more plants, try new ideas and consider the environmental impact of our shopping habits, it’s OK if we’re not perfect too. Please be kind to yourself, listen to your own body and of those around you as you move towards a more plant-based diet.
Amelia Freer has partnered with Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods retailer.
With 7 stores across London, Whole Foods Market offers a huge range of products that lead the way in quality, specialty and vegan diets. Visit WholeFoodsMarket.co.uk or @wholefoodsuk to find out more.
For more tips and tricks from Amelia, check out her Instagram @ameliafreer