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How To Be A Healthy Vegan Mom

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When Elyssa decided she wanted to quit eating “anything that has a mom,” I was pretty much in shock. I didn’t know how that would work or what it was called, but very soon, she checked out a lot of books from the Naples, FL library about being a “vegan,” : a vegetarian who avoids animal products: no eggs, no dairy, no honey.

How to be a healthy vegan mom

I knew that she loved eating her vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and soy products, my main concern was whether removing meat and dairy from her diet would cause deficiencies or health problems. As moms, we must support our children; however, we must also take charge and guide them in making empowering and healthy choices.

I honestly thought it was a phase that she’d soon outgrown, but I still made sure to let her know that while I supported her decision to “protect the animal kingdom,” I also needed her to do whatever it took to supplement the necessary nutrients to keep healthy. I had so much to learn!

And the journey me led me to become a vegan mom… and eventually, our entire family joined in.

I do love that the vegan diet is high in fiber and low in cholesterol, so many claim it could reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other ailments.

However, if you are thinking about becoming a vegan mom yourself, please keep in mind that being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean being healthy. If you think about it, you could avoid animal products and eat junk food all day, and you’d technically be vegan.

VitaMelts - NatureMade supplements at WalmartAnd though I’m not a nutritionist or a nutrition expert, my daughter’s choice lead me to devote my time, energy, and effort to research the pros and cons of the plant-based diet, and consequently, to make a lot of new nutrition choices for my family and for myself.

These are some guidelines you can follow to make sure that you are a healthy vegan mom and to take your health to the next level:

Take a Vitamin B12 supplement

Vitamin B12 is only absorbed through animal products. This vitamin is great for busy moms, since it supports cellular energy production (because it works on a cellular basis).

I use Nature Made VitaMelts® Energy‡  tablets because they fit my lifestyle needs.VitaMelts come in natural flavors and mixed berry is my favorite. Besides being great tasting tablets, they are fast melting (without water), and very affordable. Nature Made has a variety of Probiotics and Vitamins to support nutritional gaps, available at Walmart or Walmart SuperCenters. I also like Gold Bee nutraceuticals products, their hemp honey sticks are delicious, as are their gummies and oils after a long stressful day.

You can get your Nature Made® dietary supplements by visiting your local Walmart, and you will sure have a pleasant in-store shopping experience. Walmart offers everyday low prices on Nature Made® products, no need to wait for a sale to save! All NatureMade® dietary supplements are to be used by adults, not children.

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Eat Fresh 

As a vegan mom, it is essential that you pay attention to getting enough protein. Plant protein is highest when you eat fresh vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Eating from a box or a can does not guarantee the proper intake of protein. Overcooking can also be an issue, which is why I cook everything at medium-low heat in a waterless cookware system.

Cooking homemade from scratch and eating out of your fridge is not really hard and doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Cooking vegan meals has been fun for me because I get to be creative. I love make a variety of breakfasts, entrees, soups, appetizers, and desserts, substituting animal products with fresh plant-based ingredients.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that more than a quarter of your plate must be filled with vegetables, whether you are vegan or not. Some wholesome plant-based foods we eat regularly are: broccoli, beans, leafy greens, almond milk and other non-dairy milks that are fortified with extra calcium, grains, legumes (beans, peanuts, walnuts, soy foods), nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, whole grains, brown rice, spinach, kale, peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, flaxseeds, canola oil, and mushrooms, just to name a few that come to mind.

Read Labels

When you shop for foods or ingredients that do have a nutrition label, make sure you read it, and look for other micronutrients you need to be healthy.

Choose foods that are very high in iron, since iron cannot be absorbed as easily from vegetarian alternatives to meats. Also remember that Vitamin C increases iron absorption, too!

Calcium, Vitamin D, and Zinc, are important too! Omega–3 fatty acids are crucial for heart, brain, skin, and joint health. It’s important to keep in mind that eating too little fat may also compromise nutrient absorption, though you don’t need to resort to fatty foods. I’m suddenly craving avocado!

Sugar has no nutritional value and lots of calories, so it’s good to watch for that, too.

Limit Carbs

Pasta, vegan pizza, bread, white rice, and white potatoes are all vegan and plant-based; however, the are also high on the glycemic index, so they affect your blood sugar. I don’t avoid them all together, but it’s good to practice moderation and eat whole substitutes: sweet potatoes, breads from whole grains, oats, barley, quinoa, etc.

Practice Healthy Habits

Your healthy vegan diet has as much to do on what you eat and don’t eat as with any other diet. As you educate yourself on the types of foods you should and should not be eating, you’ll be getting all the nutrients that a vegan diet can lack, and adding supplement intake to avoid deficiencies and meet all your nutritional needs.

However, a healthy vegan diet doesn’t guarantee that you’ll never experience health issues. Some vital habits I practice to stay healthy as a mom are: sleeping an adequate amount of hours, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, maintaining healthy friendships, and taking time to pray, meditate, and have uplifting alone time.

I also recently learned that the USDA suggests 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity for adults ages 18 to 64 each week. I certainly need to up my game in this department, so I must take more walks and do more yoga.

5 tips to be a healthy vegan mom

These 5 tips will help you become a healthy vegan mom! And we need our health, vibrancy, and energy to be in peak performance so we can juggle all we do for our kiddos. Plus, we can inspire our littles to be their best and take care of themselves, too!

For more information on Nature Made® vitamins and supplements available at Walmart, visit the Walmart Nature Made® Retailer Hub & Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 60 Walmart gift cards (each worth $50) by taking part in the sweepstakes on the site! (No Purchase Necessary). You can also like Nature Made® on Facebook, and follow Nature Made® on Twitter.

Now I’d like to hear from you! How do you stay healthy as a mom? Share how you take your health to the next level in the comments below.

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Monday 31st of October 2016

Thank you for posting these suggestions!

Mommy Peach

Monday 31st of October 2016

I thought being vegan is already healthy. It's nice to know that you can still be healthier.