Jumping right in because this is a longish one! Since I eat a gluten-free, plant-based diet I get asked where I get my protein, iron and B12 a lot! Based on the poll from yesterday, some of you also have some similar interest in where to get essential nutrients. So my answer may be boring, but it’s:
EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS!
Just when you think about it, try to include some different stuff into your meal. Some of my favorites are throwing some kale in pasta sauce or sprinkling hemp seeds on almost anything. It may seem small but including these things throughout your day helps your body absorb and create the nutrients you need.
Protein is a big thing people worry about when it comes to not eating meat, but what’s wonderful is your body will actually build protein for you. You just need to give it enough different foods and enough calories to make it happen. Some great sources are:
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Whole grains
- Soy products
- Nut and Seeds
- Kale, Collards and Broccoli
Just including these items, in different combinations throughout your day will give you what you need. If you’re looking for fiber these also fit into that category as well the cruciferous family (cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, aka my favorite veggie group) and you just need to include some vitamin C (citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes) to help your body get the most iron possible. I think Buddha bowls are an easy place to start and don’t require much kitchen knowledge.
If you are struggling to include a bunch of different veggies into your day I have a few helpful tips:
- Cut them up small and hide them in something your like! We reject things that aren’t familiar, and it takes a few times of trying something to get accustomed to it. So, introduce veggies slowly, increasing the amount over time. Once things are familiar we are more receptive to them and it becomes easier to include them!
- Cover them in sauce! They are some amazing sauces (Trader Joe’s) and recipes (Google) that even just included the veggies in them so you don’t even have to think about them. I love making pesto with kale because it’s delicious and it’s like, “Hello nutrients, come right in please! Thanks for not making me have to think too much!”
- Try them roasted. Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to make them delicious. It can take a little time, but it’s inactive and totally worth it.
I supplement from time to time but I really just try to keep a couple of things in mind and it has worked really well for me! The only kind of uncommon things I try include on a regular basis are spirulina, nutritional yeast and maca (to help balance my hormones).
Do you have any specific nutrients you look for? Let me know and I’ll give you what I’m eating to get it!