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Health Monster

5 Ways to Gain Strength and Stamina on a Vegan Diet

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Many people might assume that those eating a vegan diet aren’t able to get high quality proteins and iron, given the absence of meat and other animal-based proteins. This is a fear that has been put to rest years ago, thanks to the fact that we know our bodies can use all types of protein to give us what we need to help us stay healthy. We also know that iron, whether heme or non-heme, can both be used by the body effectively to help us get enough nutrition to support our blood, oxygen production and metabolism. Because a plant-based diet is naturally rich in vitamin C, it also automatically improves iron uptake.Most all, plant-based foods also contain either vitamin C, iron, protein, or a combination of those nutrients for even more benefits.

But nutrients aside, there are other ways to eat a vegan, whole foods plant-based diet to provide you with enough strength and stamina you need to stay healthy and energized. You won’t find these tips on a nutrition panel, but they are some you should always keep in mind when choosing your meals and snacks.

Follow these simple, no fail tips for success:

1. Don’t Cut Out Food Groupshazelnut

If you’ve ever been on a no-carb, no fat, or low protein diet, you know it doesn’t work too well for long. Low energy, moodiness, poor digestion and even sickness can all occur when the body doesn’t get what it needs. So be sure you don’t cut out food groups. If you need to eat a lower carb diet to benefit your glyemic index or manage diabetes, you should still include some healthy carbs in your diet such as a variety of vegetables, nuts and seeds and/or beans and legumes along with non-starchy veggies and leafy greens. If you eat a lower fat diet, then you’ll want to be sure to consume at least a little healthy fats from smaller dose of nuts, seeds, and fruits like avocados and coconut. If you’re concerned with eating too much protein, don’t be. It’s very hard to overdose on protein from whole, plant-based foods. One, because they’re so filling, and two, because they’re not related to problems associated with high amounts of animal-based protein intake. Cutting out food groups is like cutting the energy stores on your body. Eat a well-balance diet, rich in whole foods as the basis for an energized, healthy life.

2. Put Away the Processed Stuff and Choose Whole Foodsbars (1)

Processed foods are also naturally less energizing than whole foods, even if they’re healthier forms than standard chips and cookies. You needn’t get rid of all processed foods like almond milk, hummus, etc., but should avoid those with refined sugars, refined grains, filers and emulsifiers. Do your best to choose more whole foods at every meal and snack. Doing this will naturally crowd out the bad stuff, keep you strong, and give your body the energy that it desires from whole, plant-based foods. See our tips to make clean eating more doable if you need some help with this.

3. Eat Enough!The-Glow-Bowl-Baked-Sweet-Potato-With-Pesto-Pasta-Tomatoes-and-Pumpkin-Seeds-1200x800 (1)

Next, don’t see a plant-based diet as a “diet” or form of cutting calories. Eating plant-based foods naturally sets you up for a longer lifespan, smaller waistline, and lower risk of disease. There’s no need to go hungry to help get you there. If you feel hungry, have a small meal or snack. A good way to ensure you get a balance of nutrients at each meal, is to include a little carbs, fat and protein at each meal. This might include oatmeal with a teaspoon of almond butter and chia seeds with berries for breakfast, a green smoothie with avocado, coconut, hemp and berries for lunch, and dinner might be a tasty bowl of quinoa or roasted sweet potatoes with lentils, kale and sauteed onions and garlic. Snacks might be something like a few almonds, pumpkin seeds or cashews with 1-2 dates, dried figs or a whole orange or apple. Easy, delicious, and nothing you’ll see in a typical diet book!

4. Focus on Nutrient-Dense Foodsapples1

To increase your stamina, energy, and strength, focus on super nutrient-dense foods. This includes proteins like beans, hemp seeds, lentils, quinoa, green peas, leafy greens, broccoli and some superfoods like chia and spirulina. Next, focus on foods that have high amounts of iron like hemp, cacao, beans, legumes, leafy greens and chia seeds. Healthy fats should come from olives, nuts, seeds, avocados and coconut, which all offer better benefits than animal-based sources. Don’t forget complex carbs from root vegetables, berries, apples, bananas, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, and then be sure to get plenty of anti-inflammatory sources of vitamins and minerals from leafy greens, green vegetables, herbs, spices and superfoods. All of these foods give your body prime sources of energy because they’re like immediate nourishment to your cells. Enjoy them often and be sure to add them to each meal. Here’s a list of 20 everyday superfoods to print out and take to the store to get you started.

5. Stay Activebone-health-1194x800

A healthy diet is 80 percent of maintaining a healthy physique, but you can’t ignore the benefits of staying active and exercising either. You should be sure to stand and move as much during the day as possible, maintain a regular strength-training program a few days a week, and be sure to do cardio 4-5 days a week to improve your overall endurance and take care of your heart. Yoga and HIIT (high intensity training) are also incredible for boosting your overall health and athletic performance. See how to eat a diet that supports your yoga practice here, how to support your energy pre workout and post workout, what foods help prevent inflammation, and check out more tips for building muscles on a plant-based diet with these tips and tricks!

Remember that a plant-based, vegan diet is anything but restrictive. Of all the wonderful foods in the plant-based kingdom, there’s more than enough strengthening and stamina-building sources of nutrients.

Do you have any tips for staying energized, strong and healthy on a plant-based diet?

Recommendation: Download the Food Monster AppBanana-Sushi

If you enjoy articles like this and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Androidand iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

The Food Monster app has over 8000+ recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8000+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

Lead Image Source: Arya Ziai/Flickr

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0 comments on “5 Ways to Gain Strength and Stamina on a Vegan Diet”

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Davey J.
2 Years Ago

Good advice. When I first went Vegan I made a lot of the mistakes that are mentioned in the article (i.e. eating too much processed food. I also noticed that having a proper training program helped a lot when maintaining or increasing my strength. It’s kind of hard to find honest reviews in a market full of so many scammers though. InsecureMaleReviews.com usually has good and unbiased reviews. Check out his review for this strength training plan - http://insecuremalereviews.com/review


Reply
T33CH
2 Years Ago

"you should still include some healthy carbs in your diet such as a variety of vegetables, nuts and seeds and/or beans and legumes along with non-starchy veggies and leafy greens."

Um, do you know that non starchy vegetables, leafy greens, and most nuts are not sources of carbs.

And it is okay to cut out food groups, especially if you have certain food intolerances or allergies.


Reply
moonlit
06 Mar 2015

Actually there are carbs in leafy greens, nut and seeds, but I agree if one has an issue with a food group it should be cut out.



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