B12 Foods And Workouts For Vegans: Advice & Tips

23rd January 2021By DZ TeamGoing Vegan

B12 Foods And Workouts For Vegans

B12 Advice & Workout Tips For Vegans

In this article we will be looking at some of the best vitamin B12 foods and explaining why B12 is so important. Weโ€™ll also share some fantastic workouts tips for vegans! ๐Ÿ™‚

Three B12 Foods Suitable for Vegan Lifestyles

In terms of importance, vitamin B12 is right up there as far as the human body is concerned. This water-soluble vitamin is responsible for a whole host of physiological processes. It also plays a key role in bodily functions, which literally keep you alive!

We need vitamin B12 in order for our metabolisms to function as they should. We need it for the metabolization of fats and proteins, and it plays a vital role in the production of haemoglobin, and much more!

From an athletic standpoint, vitamin B12 is not only important for athletic performance, but also vital for a healthy body composition too.

Vegans, (and those who follow a plant-based diet), often struggle to consume enough vitamin B12. This is because it is largely found in animal-derived ingredients. However, there are numerous plant-based foods out there which are rich in this very vitamin. This is what weโ€™ll be looking at in this article.

B12 Foods And Workouts For Vegans Advice and Tips-Diet Zest Article

Here are several B12 foods suitable for vegan lifestyles:

Tempeh

This is one of the best B12 foods that is suitable for vegan diets and lifestyles.

Tempeh is an Indonesian soy product that is packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and probiotic benefits.

Made from soybeans, along with added whole grains and other beans, the soybeans are cooked and then fermented, before being pressed into a block. You may be wondering where the B12 comes from, (this is because the beans donโ€™t actually contain it). Well, the B12 is actually produced during the fermentation process!

A 100g serving of tempeh will provide you with as much as 14.8mcg of this vitamin, and it also goes great in salads and stir fries.

Chlorella

As well as B12 foods, vegan-friendly supplements such as chlorella have proved to be very popular over the last several years, as people are finally realising just how healthy they really are.

Chlorella is an algae, which is a nutritional powerhouse. It is loaded full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, and other nutrients which the human body thrives upon.

Chlorella can only be consumed as a supplement, since in its natural state it has a tough cellular wall which the human digestive system cannot digest and breakdown. So instead, itโ€™s processed and turned into supplements in the form of powder, capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts.

100g of chlorella provides between 80 and 100mcg of vitamin B12.

Fortified Breakfast Cereals

Another great example of vitamin B12 foods is fortified breakfast cereals.

The B12 found in these cereals is synthetic, so is not derived from animals. Although cereals are often not recommended for healthy diets and lifestyles, if you choose the right cereals you can increase your nutrient intakes quite noticeably!

For example, cereals such as bran flakes are loaded full of dietary fibre. They also contain iron, folate (B12) niacin, and much more!

Many athletes will often eat fortified cereal before a race. This is not only for the carbohydrate content, but also because it is required to produce new and healthy red blood cells. Thus, enabling oxygen to be shuttled around the body, where required. The more oxygen these cells can transport to our muscles, the harder they will work and the higher our anaerobic thresholds will become.

Put simply, the B12 in fortified cereals will help to increase your energy levels and ensure that your muscles can work harder before they succumb to fatigue.

Different cereals have different ratios of B12, so read the packaging and see what works for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Workouts for Vegans

Years ago, if you dined out and wished to order a vegan-friendly meal, youโ€™d be lucky if you were offered anything more exciting than garlic mushrooms on toast! Nowadays, more restaurants, cafes, and fast-food outlets are offering vegan-friendly meals. So, this alone is proof of the popularity of veganism!

That said, in this section weโ€™re not looking at vegan diets, weโ€™re looking at workouts for vegans.
As vegans consume foods which are sometimes lacking in certain macronutrients, finding the right workouts for vegans can be tricky.

For example, a vegan looking to tone up (and maybe burn a couple of pounds of fat), would not follow the same workout program as a 280-pound meat-eating bodybuilder who is looking to bulk up before his next contest! ๐Ÿ™‚

If youโ€™re a vegan who is looking to get in shape but arenโ€™t sure where to begin, here are a few tried and tested workouts for vegans which are ideal.

B12 Foods And Workouts For Vegans Advice & Tipsโ€“Diet Zest Blog

Vegan Weight Training Guidelines

Forget what people say about vegans not getting enough protein to be able to build muscle, that is absolute nonsense! There are countless plant-based protein sources out there that are ideal for vegans. Not to mention the many different vegan protein supplements.

Plant-based dieters can follow similar workouts for vegans that would be suitable for meat eaters. The only real exception here is that workouts should be kept slightly shorter.

Stick to these workouts for vegan guidelines and youโ€™ll be absolutely fine:

Keep workouts short and aim for no more than 45-minutes per session

Train one muscle group each week

Train heavier and aim for lower reps

Stick with 4 exercises for big muscle groups and 3 exercises for smaller muscle groups

Muscle Building Workouts for Vegans

Sunday โ€“ Off
Monday โ€“ Chest and triceps
Tuesday โ€“ back and biceps
Wednesday โ€“ Off
Thursday โ€“ Legs
Friday โ€“ Shoulders
Saturday โ€“ Off

Chest & Triceps

Flat bench barbell bench presses โ€“ 4 sets of 6 - 10 repetitions
Incline dumbbell press โ€“ 4 sets of 4 โ€“ 6 reps
Push ups โ€“ 4 sets of 10 reps
Cable crossovers โ€“ 3 sets of 10 reps
Triceps overhead cable extensions โ€“ 3 sets of 15 reps
EZ bar or dumbbell skull crushers โ€“ 4 -5 sets of 12 - 16 reps
Close-grip flat barbell bench presses โ€“ 3 sets of 10 - 15 reps

Back & Biceps

Lat pulldowns โ€“ 5 sets of 5 โ€“ 8 reps
Deadlifts โ€“ 5 sets of 3 reps
T-bar rows โ€“ 5 sets of 5 โ€“ 8 reps
Dumbbell rows โ€“ 4 sets of 8 reps per arm
Spider curls โ€“ 2 sets of 12 - 18 reps
Hammer curls โ€“ 3 sets of 10 reps per arm
Preacher curls โ€“ 3 sets of 10 reps

Legs

Barbell back squats โ€“ 4 sets of 5 reps
Leg curls โ€“ 4 sets of 8 reps
Heavy machine leg presses โ€“ 4 sets of 6 โ€“ 8 repetitions
Hamstring curls โ€“ 4 sets of 10 reps
Walking lunges โ€“ 4 sets of 10 - 12 repetitions per leg
Calf raises โ€“ 4 sets of 20 reps

Shoulders

Heavy seated dumbbell shoulder presses โ€“ 4 sets of 5 โ€“ 8 repetitions
Standing barbell military press โ€“ 4 sets of 8 reps
Lateral raises โ€“ 4 sets of 10 reps
Viking presses on a machine โ€“ 4 sets of 8 - 10 reps
Barbell upright rows โ€“ 4 sets of 5 โ€“ 8 reps
Heavy barbell shrugs โ€“ 4 sets of 6 โ€“ 10 reps

The Importance of Efficient Workouts for Vegans

There are of course many workouts for vegans for you to follow. This ranges from workouts based on burning fat and getting fit, to workouts for vegans which are designed to promote strength increases.

As long as you are following a vegan diet and lifestyle that is healthy and balanced, and youโ€™re getting the right macros and micronutrients, youโ€™ll find these workouts for vegans will work wonders!

You can also check out our Personalised Grocery List service. This will provide you with tailored vegan and plant-based grocery list. It's specially put together for you, based upon the food preferences that you select!

Also, consider joining our communityย  - our โ€œHealing through foodโ€ movement! ๐Ÿ™‚

Foods That Help Depression and Anxiety: Plant-Based

17th January 2021By DZ TeamGoing Vegan, Self-Improvement

Foods That Help Depression and Anxiety - Vegan and Plant-Based

Plant-Based Diet Tips to Combat Depression

In this article we will share some foods that help depression. We also provide some useful general tips to help you improve your overall well-being.

Mental illness is one of the most actively increasing threats to public health, out of which depression and anxiety disorders are rising rapidly. It is proven that diet is correlated with all such diseases. An 18-month study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion stated that a plant-based diet might alleviate depression and anxiety. It also conveyed that specific nutrients help reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being.

To find out more about foods that help depression, please read on! ๐Ÿ™‚

Vegan Food Recipes are Super Quick and Delicious

A growing body of research shows that eating whole rich diet, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains may not only help prevent major depression and anxiety, but also treat it once it has started. Striving to eat a plant-based diet doesnโ€™t have to be boring! ๐Ÿ™‚

You can get portion of greens daily by adding them to soups, smoothies, juices, curries, pasta dishes or simply a good old-fashioned side of steamed greens to retain content of both magnesium and B vitamins.

Boosts Your Mood

Vegan and plant-based foods are a rich supplier of vitamins and nutrients that helps fight illnesses. For example, Vitamin C stimulates your body to produce antibodies and white blood cells that strengthen the immune system to ward off diseases. At the same time, Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps combat infections. Thus, a healthy body with lower chances of illness puts you in a good mood without making you feel lethargic or miserable any longer.

Better Quality of Sleep and Reduced Stress

Our bodies demand sleep to rest, restore and to reduce the chances of health issues like elevated blood pressure, and Alzheimer's disease. Magnesium and calcium maintain a more regulated sleeping cycle. In addition to this, the release of serotonin calms your brain. Also, antioxidants found in vitamins A, C and E reduce free-radical damage, at the time of stress. A study published in the Nutritional Journal found showed that participants levels of stress decreased after just two weeks.

 

Foods That Help Depression and Anxiety-Plant-Basedโ€“Diet Zest Blog

List of The Foods That Help Depression

Leafy green vegetables are the nutrient substations. It also comprises several vitamins and minerals. The rich content of folic acid and iron present in these vegetables protects you against dementia and depression.

All nuts and seeds contain tryptophan that is converted into serotonin inside the body. Although different nuts like cashews, Brazil nuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, and hazelnuts effectively enhance omega-3 fats. Walnuts are the highest plant-based sources of omega-3, takes over as they support the entire brain's health by keeping the blood sugar level stabilized. A 2019 study found that depression scores remained 26% lower among those who consumed nearly 1/4 cup of walnuts every day. Thus, nuts and seeds are also considered one of the best foods that help depression.

Brazil nut- These are the richest source of selenium. People deficient in selenium usually feel depressed and anxious. Thus, two Brazil nuts per day help restore your mental well-being.

Mushrooms are one of the few sources of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D for the vegans with minimal tryptophan levels.

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and calcium, which helps lower blood pressure and maintain a proper sleep cycle.

Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin, which shows many similar properties to pharmaceutical drugs used to handle anxiety disorders.

Bananas contain rich content of serotonin, for mood balancing and daily body functioning. They also contain Vitamin C and potassium, which enhances nerve and muscle health.

Avocados comprises of almost 20 minerals and vitamins. It also contains tryptophan that promotes a good mood.

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, and protein along with folate and polyphenols that help maintain a healthy gut.

Foods to Avoid

Sugar and processed food are great contributors to anxiety and depression, resulting in inflammation throughout the body and brain. The quick pick me ups- a cup of coffee and processed food stands in for a complete breakfast, and healthy fresh fruits and vegetables replaced by high fat and high-calorie fast foods. This cycle needs to be cracked by incorporating healthy and tasty plant-based Foods That Help Depression.

You can check out some of our recipe ideas and our Personalised Grocery List service.

Also, why not consider joining our communityย  - โ€œHealing through foodโ€ movement.

Save Earth: Stop Eating Meat!

10th January 2021By DZ TeamEnvironment

Save Earth: Stop Eating Meat!

Let's Save Our Planet

You may be asking yourself; how can I save Earth by giving up meat? Well, we are going to explain, so read on!

Meat has always been a part of the diet of the majority of humans on Earth. However, we never really consumed it the way we do today. In the past, meat was a food to only be consumed on special occasions, and most families only had it on Sundays. The rest of their diet was made up of vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, and other plants. Eating meat also usually wasnโ€™t an easy feat. It had to be hunted for, or the family had to kill their own livestock.

Contrasting that to today, when we have meat readily available to us 24/7, and some people have it on their plate several times per day. One canโ€™t help but wonder what impact this change has had on the planet we live on.

Getting meat onto our plate is as easy as walking into a supermarket and picking it up off a shelf โ€“ and thatโ€™s exactly what most people do! However, this change doesnโ€™t come without its consequences, especially when it comes to impact on mother nature. Knowing this, what can we do to save Earth from our new consumption patterns?

Save Earth - Stop Eating Meat โ€“ Diet Zest Article

The environmental footprint of meat

Meat pollutes the planet in many different aspects. This is why we have divided its impact into categories of environmental issues and challenges.

Contribution to climate change

Meat has a remarkably high carbon footprint. In fact, data from Our World in Data shows that it isnโ€™t as much where our food comes from that affects our carbon footprint, but what the food is. In meat, many factors contribute to the carbon footprint, but none are as unavoidable as the digestive system of animals.

You may be wondering why it is that beef, lamb, and mutton have by far the highest carbon footprint of all foods. This is because cows and sheep produce methane as they digest (a fast-acting greenhouse gas), thatโ€™s very dangerous in the short run.

Deforestation and habitat destruction

To make space for all the food for livestock, rainforests are often being cut down and replaced with fields to cultivate livestock feed. Rainforests arenโ€™t just places of outstanding natural beauty. They are also home to a wide variety of plants and animals going extinct because of deforestation. Often, other foods get mistakenly blamed for this process, when in fact, animal agriculture is one of the leading causes!

Take this, for example โ€“ one common crop known for being cultivated in areas where rainforests had been cut down, is soy. However, did you know that most of this soy (80%) is fed to livestock?

 

Cause of future pandemics

Most of us donโ€™t remember an occurrence that would negatively impact our lives as much as the COVID-19 pandemic. Did you know that three-quarters of new diseases humans are affected by come from animals?

Factory farms increase the likelihood of disease spreading from animals to humans, but so do other practices associated with meat production. Mainly, itโ€™s the deforestation process caused by the need for livestock feed. As humans are cutting down forests, they come into contact with wild species, some of which could be carrying highly infectious diseases.

While this isnโ€™t strictly an environmental issue, the pandemic has also had a negative impact on the environment. This is due to the increased need for single-use plastic or increase in food waste.

Canโ€™t we just eat organic?

Eating organic, grass-fed meat is often used as an alternative and referred to as more sustainable and ethical. So, canโ€™t we just switch to organic meats to resolve the issue?

The short answer is no. Now, here is the long answer. Grass-fed, organic meat takes a lot more land to produce. This is because the animals need space to run around outside. This is much better for the animals. However, there simply isnโ€™t enough land on Earth to sustain the demand animal agriculture is receiving now. If we want to reduce our impact on the environment and save Earth, we will need to reduce our consumption. Just switching to a more ethical and eco-friendly source is not enough.

Additionally, eating organic doesnโ€™t decrease environmental threats related to meat production at all. For example, all cows will always produce methane as they digest. This cannot be reduced by producing beef organically.

How to stop eating meat?

If you are someone who doesnโ€™t really enjoy meat in the first place, you may find going vegetarian a piece of cake. However, as we all have different likes and dislikes, you may also be someone who eats meat daily, and canโ€™t imagine giving it up. While in that scenario, it may be a little harder for you to stop eating meat, itโ€™s not impossible. It actually makes for a more rewarding experience in the end! ๐Ÿ™‚

In order to save earth, the first thing to keep in mind is that you donโ€™t need to stop eating meat overnight. If youโ€™re someone who doesnโ€™t want to see any more meat after finding out about its environmental impact, certainly do so. However, if you donโ€™t do well with sudden changes (as most of us donโ€™t), eliminate one type of meat at a time, until youโ€™ve stopped eating meat completely. For example, dedicate your first month to quitting red and processed meats. Next, give up chicken and other poultry in the second month. Then, dedicate the third month to eliminating fish and seafood from your diet. Lastly, give up any hidden meat, such as gelatine, in your last month.

There are plant-based alternatives to meat available in many stores โ€“ make use of them to satisfy your cravings. No, they are not going to taste exactly the same, but plant-based food manufacturers are making more progress every day. Keep an open mind and experiment with what you can find in the vegetarian section of the supermarket.

Summing Up

Lastly, always keep in mind why youโ€™ve decided to stop eating meat โ€“ to save Earth. Yes, some steps are going to be challenging, but always keep the end goal in mind!

If you need help to take your next step into a meat free lifestyle, why not check out our Personalised Grocery List service.

We'd also be delighted to have you join our community - our amazing โ€œHealing through foodโ€ movement!

Vegan Foods List for Veganuary

4th January 2021By DZ TeamGoing Vegan

Vegan Foods List for Veganuary

Happy Veganuary!

Start your Veganuary off with this helpful vegan foods list, so you can walk in the grocery store with confidence!

Itโ€™s Veganuary again! Itโ€™s time to start the year off with wholesome plant-food goodness. Whether you are already vegan, transitioning, or just trying it out, this helpful vegan foods list will give you some great ideas on what to shop for. Our vegan foods list will provide you with a great variety to make your meals amazing, and not miss out on any nutrients. You will feel better and start your year off great, with nutrient rich food to fuel your body.

 

How to step up your Veganuary

One of the best ways you can fire up your vegan game is by trying out many different plant-based whole foods. This means food that comes in its natural unprocessed form. Nothing is added or taken away. These can be foods like lentils, fruit, vegetables, oats, nuts, and seeds. Make sure to try out new recipes that look interesting and enjoyable for you.

Of course, if you have favorite meat substitutes like veggie sausages, smoked tofu, veggie burgers, keep them. These foods are still tasty, and if they make your vegan experience enjoyable, all the better. However, it is good to use them moderately as many are quite high in salt, refined fats, and other ingredients. The idea is to make veganism fun and delicious. However, make sure to include whole foods with them. They should be a gateway food to more plant-based foods.

Health perks

Plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants and can reduce inflammation in the body. Why is this important? When our body lacks antioxidants, there is an imbalance of free radicals. These free radicals (while necessary for immune and healing functions) can wreak havoc on the body over time. This leads to inflammation which can damage the DNA in our cells, leading to cancer growth.

Plant-based food also has an abundance of fiber. Fiber is paramount, given the statistic that 97% of Americans are fiber deficient. Moreover, fiber is both great and necessary for human health. It keeps our digestive system running smooth, it keeps our heart working at its best, and it keeps us fuller, which can help metabolism and manage weight.

Eating a plant-based diet can improve our longevity, prevent heart disease, diabetes, promote healthy cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This can prevent many debilitating and costly conditions, as well as many needless deaths.

Benefits for the environment

Veganuary is gaining popularity due to the lockdowns, people trying new things, and increasing concerns for the environment. A record 400 000 people signed up to the Veganuary pledge last year. This is followed by 250,000 in 2019, and 170,000 in 2018. Restaurant closures have also forced people to cook more at home.

Eating a diverse plant-based diet helps the environment by encouraging a more diverse food supply. Much of the agriculture on the planet is dedicated to growing single crops. A lot of it isn't even for us, but instead is for feeding livestock.

By eating a plant-based diet, you skip the middleman. The food comes straight from the ground to the plate. Eating seasonal and local can help by reducing carbon footprints, getting fresher tastier, and nutrient rich food. It can also help your local farmers with much needed revenue to put back into their businesses and into the local economy.

Try to keep in mind when using the vegan foods list to shop in season. Try to buy local produce whenever possible. If you have farmers markets in your town or city, this makes it so easy to do both. The money goes straight to the farmers making it more profitable to have markets like these.

 

Vegan Foods List for Veganuary - Diet Zest Article

Getting the most out of your food

When using your vegan food list, it is good to shop and eat with plenty of colors. Include foods that are green, orange, purple, blue, yellow, and red. Eat lots of whole grains, healthy fats, and plant-based protein. Lots of ingredients can be swapped for different ones. It is like a create-your-own adventure of plant-based goodness! ๐Ÿ˜Š The vegan foods list will help you check all the boxes with flavors and nutrition.

Vegan Grocery List

Fruits

Fruits are always fun to shop for. There are so many different kinds, and it's exciting to try new ones. You can further diversify your fruit shopping by getting different kinds like berries, citrus fruits, and melons.

Vegetables

Like fruits, it is good to try different kinds and colors. You always want to include dark leafy greens. Also be sure to include tomatoes (even if it is a fruit), starchy root vegetables like yams, and potatoes, and other root vegetables like carrots. Frozen vegetables can be a quick and convenient way to include more veggies in your diet.

Protein

Plant-based protein can be best found from tofu, and legumes like lentils, beans, and chickpeas. However, the vegan diet is great because protein can be found in many other things in the vegan foods list like nuts and seeds, greens vegetables like peas, and grains like quinoa, and oats.

Whole Grains

These are good staples to include in your vegan food list. Grains help to include fiber, protein, and complex carbs. This supports heart health and keeps you feeling full throughout the day! Some good grains to include are brown rice, quinoa, oats and farro.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a good source of healthy fats, and protein. Some good things to include on your vegan foods list are almonds, (and almond butter of course), walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and flax seeds.

Healthy Fats

When eating a plant-based diet it is easy to get too much refined vegetable oils like canola oil, palm oil, and vegan margarine. Instead, try to get fats from avocados, sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, and from the olives themselves of course. You can also include nuts and seeds as a source of fats.

Herbs and Spices

Do not overlook herbs and spices, as these will bring great flavor to your cooking. Fresh herbs are always great to include whenever possible, but the dried varieties are okay too. Some good options to blast flavor into your food are garlic, rosemary, dill, cilantro, and oregano. If you like Indian cuisine, keep a steady supply of turmeric, paprika, cumin and garam masala (or some other curry spice mix). If you are not sure which spices are best, it's always a good idea to read recipes. This will help you to get an idea of which spices go with which foods. Additionally, try to look up recipes for your favorite foods to learn what spices are in them.

You can check out our recipe ideas and our Personalised Grocery List service.

Also, consider joining our community, our โ€œHealing through foodโ€ movement is growing daily!