Articles

5 TIPS TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAY PERIOD AS A VEGAN

holiday survival tips.jpg

It’s that time of the year again- festivities are overflowing with food, family, social events, food, religious activities, friends and more food. The period can be daunting for some living a plant-based lifestyle, especially those who are newly transitioned (1-6 months vegan),  so we have come up with some tips to help get you through the holiday period.

  • Be proactive

Try to eat before leaving the house or in safe zones where you know you don’t have to worry about the food selection. If you don’t have time to do that then make sure the places you plan to go to has a few options that are vegan or can be ‘veganized’.

  • Ask plenty of questions

If you are venturing out to unfamiliar places, or simply to an omnivore's house, make sure you go through the long laundry list of food items you avoid so they understand what vegan means. “No Sade, crayfish is not vegan!”

  • Stock up on snacks

Who doesn’t love a good snack every now and then, however, snacks during this period could be vital as you may not be able to find any vegan options while you’re out and about. Pack some trail mix, fruit with nut butter, smoothie, sandwich, granola bars or your favorite snacks. If you fail to remember this tip you could find yourself involuntarily practicing intermittent fasting.

  • Share with friends / family

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and sharing is caring. If your friends and family are unaware of what the vegan lifestyle is about or maybe vegan curious, why not share samples of your favorite meals and give them a taste of the good life :)

  • Explore and experiment

There are plenty of new food establishments geared towards healthy living that are opening up all over the place. Take some time to get to know your environments and try out new eateries as you would be surprised at how many vegan-friendly options are out there just waiting to be eaten.  

Now, you can rest assured to ‘take a bite out of life’ and enjoy your time with loved ones.

Happy Holidays!

7 Reasons You Should Choose A Plant-Based Doctor 

plant based doc.jpg

1) You will never hear them incorrectly advise you to eat meat because you’re anemic. And if you have anemia, they would work up the real cause, which has nothing to do with avoiding meat .

2) They would never incorrectly advise you to stop eating fruit to lose weight.

3) They would never incorrectly advise against eating healthy carbs such as legumes, fruits, grains, and vegetables.
Instead, they would encourage the consumption of more vegetables and healthy carbs to get more antioxidants and micronutrients.

4) They would never incorrectly advise you to eat a high fat diet and included eggs and butter in your diet because “fat doesn’t cause coronary disease.” Note: if they did, please walk out immediately because they haven’t really studied the literature very well. Yes, cholesterol is a problem and causes coronary artery disease.

5) They would never incorrectly advise you to eat a low carb/low fiber diet to avoid bloating. They would tell you perhaps you should start slowly increasing fiber in your diet to build up the good bacteria in your gut. Yes, that includes beans. 

6) They would never incorrectly advise you to avoid soy products because it causes cancer. Again, if they did, they haven’t read the studies.

7) They would never incorrectly advise you to eat dairy for calcium. Instead they would ask you to eat healthy sources of calcium like green leafy vegetables.

To choose a plant based doctor near you, visit www.plantricianproject.org

How To Prepare Whole Grains

Whole grain foods are a staple in the diet for many vegans. A whole grain is a grain of any cereal and pseudocereal that contains the endosperm, germ, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm. This includes brown rice, millet, wild rice, quinoa, acha / fonio, buckwheat, amaranth, barley, bulgar wheat, couscous, rye berries, spelt and others. They are an excellent source of nutrition since they contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin E and B -complex vitamins. Plant-based eaters love whole grains as they not only provide nutrients but also curve hunger pains or the sensation of being "full". But how do you prepare or cook this food item to derived the maximum benefit?

  1. Rinse in cold water using a strainer

  2. Soak grains for one to eight hours to soften, increase digestibility, and eliminate phytic acid (the barrier to nutrient absorbance). Afterwards, drain and discard the soaked water.

  3. Add grains to fresh water and bring to a boil then simmer for some time.

  4. Serve as desired chew well and enjoy!

Vegan Friendly Restaurants in Lagos

 It can be a struggle being vegan or plant-based in Nigeria when you’re away from your sacred home kitchen and looking for somewhere to eat out. Although the options are limited all hope for a cruelty-free healthy meal is not lost. We have listed some of our favorite vegan friendly restaurants below.

  • Veggie Victory

Freedom Park, Broad St, Lagos

Nigeria’s only vegan restaurant has various options of veganized Nigerian food (swallow & stew, rice etc). The shawarma with VegMeat is arguably one of the best available!

  • So Fresh

92 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi

Features fresh made to order salads and willing to accommodate vegan requests. They also have vegan friendly snack items on a display stand.

  • RSVP

9 Eletu Ogabi, Victoria Island, Lagos

Friendly staff that are willing to concoct special plant-based meals that are off the menu, just mention you would like a vegan option when ordering. We love the spicy hummus and mushroom trip (be sure to ask them to leave off the parmesan).

  • Spice Route

36 Adeola Odeku St, Victoria Island, Lagos

Indians are known for being vegetarian and their extensive menu has plenty of veggie options. Make sure you request them to exclude cream, milk, butter and ghee as it is normally added to meals. Be sure to try any dish with lentils or chickpeas for a protein boost.   

  • Mint

33 Grace Anjous Drive, Lekki Phase 1

This hidden gem in Lekki has plenty of yummy veggie sandwich, soup and salad options that are vegan or can be veganized.

  • Shiro

Water Corporation Road, Eti-Osa, Lagos

Asian fusion that includes lots of Japanese options that are vegan like sushi and edamame. The food is tasty and the ambience is exquisite.

  • Hard Rock Cafe

Water Corporation Road, Eti-Osa, Lagos

Nestled between Landmark and Shiro and has a separate menu listing dedicated to vegetarians. You will need to veganized some food items but it’s definitely worth it. Try the onion rings for a quick bite!

  • Casper & Gambini

3 Agoro Odiyan Street, Lagos

A bit on the pricey side but has delicious options that can be veganized. Try the tomato basil soup or arrabiata pasta for a simple vegan selection.

  • Nuli at BLD

15a Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1

Great option for vegan brunch and located inside of BLD restaurant. We like the qunioa oatmeal but you may want to bring your own agave for a low-glycemic pairing.  

  • Simply Green

17B Musa Yar'adua street, Victoria Island, Lagos

Most popular for their juices, this juice bar also offers salads that are vegan. Light and fresh lunch option to the rescue.

  • Lagoon

Ozumba Mbadiwe Ave, Victoria Island, Lagos

A trio of restaurants- Lagoon, Fusion and Churrasco, however you will find more veggie friendly options on the continental menu outside and Japanese menu. Let your creative juices flow while you veganize their food options.

Have you tried a plant-based meal at any of these places or know of any other cool spots? Reply and share with us!

WHAT ARE JUNK FOOD VEGANS?

All vegans are not created equal. As we have mentioned before, being vegan does not equal being healthy. You can consume indomie, french fries, plantain chips, soda, puff-puff, oreos, and all sorts of veganized desserts and still be considered vegan. If your animal-free diet is high in sugar, fat, starch and processed foods then you would be classified as a junk food vegan.

For some who choose to adopt a plant-based lifestyle it can be overwhelming and the best way to transition is by consuming products of comfort that mimic their prior beloved animal-based food items. These can come in the form of faux meat and cheeses like burger patties, sausages, parmesan, mozzarella etc. Although the transitioning vegan will avoid the negative effects of red meat, dairy and other animal products the plant-based alternatives are often void of proper nutrients and sometimes worse than consuming their animal counterparts.

Ideally, a healthy vegan diet should consist of mostly whole plant based foods which includes, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, super foods, and fermented foods.