A persons diet is considered a personal choice, including the choice for a vegetarian diet, or even a vegan diet. And I completely agree with that! Everybody should know for theirselves. However, due to the weather changes we have faced collectively for the last decennium, and the destruction of many natural habitats, there’s not enough food for all the cattle we currently maintain worldwide for intense meat production. So how are we going to deal with this?
My suggestion would be, to replace just one meal a day with a vegetarian or even a vegan meal. This is not as difficult as it may sound. The easiest way is to start with breakfast, or if you’re not into breakfasts, take it for lunch! Such a light lunch keeps you energized till dinner without feeling hungry.
Ugghh, a Vegan Meal?
A simple meal can be a fruit and berry smoothie, a rice dish with dahl, baked potatoes (could be French fries also), or for a treat, some great vegan chocolate muffins. Whatever appeals to you most! Those who eat entirely plant based food, need to mind their protein intake with plant based versions.
But it is also possible to add extra proteïn with just one vegetarian meal a day. A great way thus to start with this, is to add protein powder to your smoothie meal, or even dissolved in a glass of juice.
The bad news for some protein powders is that they taste like cardboard… Now I never liked the taste of Cow’s milk, I could not get it down actually, but I love it when it’s made into a chocolate drink or strawberry yoghurt. And it’s the same with vegan drinks and yoghurts that are nowadays on the market.
Some protein powders are already flavored and are pretty palatable! If you find the proteïn powder still too much in terms of taste, you can also put the powder in just one glass. This way, the remaining content of the smoothie keeps its original flavor. Whatever you prefer!
The good news however is, no matter how you add it, that 2 scoops of protein powder, are a very filling meal. It takes the hunger away and this lasts for hours! Most plant based proteïn powders also have a full proteïn nutrition profile, with all the necessary amino acids in it.
With two scoops of plantbased proteïn powder.
The left one is rice proteïn and the right one is hemp proteïn.
When mixed with the right ingredients, it tastes good too, and gives an on-the-go energy, as they are light to digest. Also, vegan bodybuilders can gain a lot of muscle building through these!
If you’re one of those (like me) who often feels like snacking in the evening after dinner, take a smoothie or drink prior to dinner. When two scoops of protein powder are added, you’ll notice less cravings! Another advantage is that plant based protein powders are a great storage food. Unopened, they have a shelf life of 1 to 2 years, even outside the refrigerator.
Where to Get?
One can obtain these powders in most health food stores, grocery shops and some supermarkets. I prefer the ones from the health food stores, as these have organic ingredients in them. When available in the supermarket, they must have the magic word ‘organic’ on their labels (in many countries this word is different, in Dutch for example: ‘Bio’ or ‘Biologisch’). There is even a greater choice online, with hundreds of different varieties and brands.
It is also great for farmers and families who are contemplating on what crops to cultivate on their hectares of land for their next years crop rotation. Plant based proteins are derived from different sources, e.g. chickpeas and other legumes, hemp, rice, soy, and surprisingly: gojiberries, artichokes, sprouted quinoa, and pine seeds.
Feeding the World
So this is what the world might need the most right now, when it comes to food production, since these crops grow fast, and can feed more people than if it would be spend on intense meat & dairy production, as this takes way more water, labour, and agricultural land.
Besides, one can grow all the plants, bushes and trees for fruits and berries, or make a crop choice for great sources of edible plant based oils (such as olive, sunflower, hemp, flax, etcetera).
Three Example Smoothies
The three smoothies depicted here are made with different ingrediënts such as for the yellow one
mango & annanas (fresh, or frozen cubes), banana, one tablespoon of coconut blossom sugar, and two scoops of chickpea protein powder. That’s why it is called Easy PEAsy in this case. There are peas in it and the smoothies are easy to make! Optional is to add half a teaspoon of turmeric for the extra yellow color, which might have some extra nutritional benefit, but the taste is quite strong, thus only for those who prefer it.
In this one is ofcourse cacao powder (unheated), a handful blueberries (fresh or frozen) which makes the color purplish, a pinch of (real) vanilla, 2 teaspoons honey or other sweetener of choice, add avocado which will give it a creamy texture, and rice proteïn powder (this one’s flavored and has powders of banana and lucuma added to it). (Great taste by the way!).
Strawberries as much as you want, two peaches, cane sugar (or any sweetener of choice such as yacon, maple (ahorn), the juice of one small red beet (not put in the depicted version, but is nice for a deeper red color), and a pinch of cinnamon. If you don’t want it sweetened, leave the added sugars out. I added hemp proteïn in this one but personally I don’t like the taste of it that much (probably due to the grinded shells of the hempseeds still in it). It is also possible to add whole hempseeds which are mostly shelled. Personally I would love to try proteïn powder from pineseeds one day!
By the way, if you’re using frozen fruit, make sure your type of blender is equipped for this. If not, thaw frozen fruit first. If you do not have a blender, you can also mix the ingredients with some other device or just put them cut up in a breakfast bowl with some cereals of choice. Another option is to add the protein powders to fruit- or even vegetable juices for extra nutrition.
To liquify the smoothie or add liquid to the cereals, one can use water, plant based drinks such as oatdrink, ricedrink, hempdrink (which all have the whitish color of milk), fruit juice, or even a herbal tea that has cooled down,
That’s it, enoy your sweet vegan meal, for the benefit of us all!