A Guide to Veganism

28/10/2019, Kamalaya

It has been said that the ultimate foundation to good health begins with what you eat. It has also been believed that the body has a natural healing ability and so, everyone has the power to facilitate its unfolding. By choosing an overall healthy diet you can make a huge difference to your overall health and wellbeing. One way in which you can improve your diet is by consuming a wide variety of plant-based meals. We had the opportunity to talk to the wellness experts at Kamalaya to provide a short guide on a beginners look at a vegan diet.  

What is Your Motivation

Before starting this transition, take time to reaffirm to yourself why you have decided to transition to a vegan diet. Thoroughly research the advantages and disadvantages of following a restricted diet. Here are some of the many positive reasons people transition to a vegan diet 

Animal welfare is one of the key reasons that people choose a vegan lifestyle. Vegans seek to exclude all forms of exploitation of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.

Animal agriculture produces greenhouse gas emissions that damage the planet. It is also a leading cause of deforestation, water pollution and biodiversity loss.

Health Benefits
Following a balanced vegan diet can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. You may find other health benefits such as enhanced mental clarity, better digestive health and an increased sense of vitality.

The Foundations of a Vegan Diet

A vegan diet consists of only plant-derived foods. From a nutritional perspective, plant-based foods can be broadly categorized into five main groups. 

Wholegrains are healthier than refined grains and provide essential B vitamins, fibre, minerals, protein and antioxidants.
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Wholegrain pasta or bread
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter Squashes

These nutrient-dense foods are packed with protein, fibre, minerals, B vitamins, protective antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.

  • Black beans
  • Lima beans
  • Peas
  • Tofu
  • Soybeans

Vegetables & Greens
Eating a rainbow of brightly coloured vegetables every day will help ensure that you receive a healthy balance of protective nutrients in your diet.

  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Bok choy

Fruits, Nuts & Seeds
All fruits are a source of antioxidants. Choose whole fruits over fruit juices for increased dietary fibre and other health benefits. 
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Coconut
  • Pumpkin
  • Hazelnuts
  • Rice milk
  • Veggie broth
  • Fresh fruit
  • Coconut water
  • Fresh fruit juice
  • Oat milk

Spices & Condiments

  • Ginger
  • Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Miso
  • Salt
  • Sea salt


  • Coconut nectar
  • Maple syrup

Transitioning to a Vegan Diet

If you consider transitioning to a vegan diet, we suggest you create a sustainable plan of action. Try to be realistic with your goals and avoid putting too much pressure on yourself to always get things right at the beginning. Before changing your diet it is also wise to visit a qualified nutritionist or medical professional. They will be able to confirm any changes will be compatible with your current state of health. We have put together some general tips to make your integration to vegan cuisine a bit smoother. 

1. Begin by gradually reducing meat and other animal products from your diet whilst slowly increasing the quantity of plant-based foods. 

2. Introduce one vegan meal per day. This could be breakfast, lunch or dinner – whichever you find is the most convenient for you. 

3. Slowly progress to having one full vegan day per week. As you become more comfortable with this approach, slowly increase the number of vegan days per week. 

It is recommended that you gradually transition so you can listen to your body and approach this change in a healthy way. By doing this, you will not be shocking your system radically overnight.

When you change your dietary habits, it is best to ensure that your kitchen is properly equipped to make food preparation quick, simple and fun. We suggest some tools such as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, grain cooker and containers for food storage can make food preparation a little easier. 

Beat the Cravings

If you, like many, have spent years consuming animal products, dairy produce, sugary and fried foods, it can be normal to experience cravings after you reduce or remove them from your diet. To combat this try to eat foods that taste good and trigger positive memories. In addition, be aware of external stimuli that cause you to eat certain foods and make positive changes to any habits that are detrimental to your health. 

Your body may also react in other ways after eating an entirely vegan diet. Vegan foods are generally much higher in fibre than a standard diet. Initial symptoms, such as gas and bloating are common, but they are only temporary symptoms. Herbal teas such as ginger and mint are great for soothing digestive discomforts or bloating. If you still suffer from persistent gas or bloating, consult a nutritionist or doctor. 

If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

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