Tag Archives: Vegan

Vegetarian becoming a vegan?

Question:
i am 13 almost 14 years old. I have been a vegetarian for a little over a year now. I am strongly considering becoming a vegan, but I have no idea where to start. My whole family eats meat, but are still supportive of my decision in becoming a vegetarian. I love to cook, so i would cook my own meals and such. If anyone has any ideas on where to get vegan friendly products, i would greatly appreciate it! I am also not entirely sure on the “rules” of becoming vegan, and I am scared about going to friends houses and/or going out to dinner. As a vegetarian, I can usually find food to eat outside of my own home by just eliminating meat. I need some suggestions on vegan foods outside of my home. also, would it help to have a food specialist start me off?
new diet pyramid small

The Newly Revised Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Pyramid

The Oldways is a decades old organization focusing on living healthy though balanced heritage based diets.

new diet pyramid small

Updated Vegan Diet Pyramid – copyright Oldways

In October of 2013 at an International conference held in Austin, Texas an update to their 1997  Vegetarian Diet Pyramid to include new vegan guidelines was introduced!

These new guidelines are a perfect way for new vegans to wrap their head around the basic nutrition your body needs and the vegan alternatives that offer it to you. It’s also a great way for Vegans to check their own diets to find any deficiencies or areas they are overlooking.

The Base level of the pyramid is of course fruit and vegetables! These are incredibly important for almost all your nutritional needs. They not only provide vitamins and minerals but are a great source of protein for vegans.

Just above it in importance are whole grains, a staple in vegans diets providing you with the healthy carbohydrates your body needs. It’s important to note the emphasis on whole grains over processed grains such as those you see in white flour and white breads. This processing strips away so much of what makes the grains healthy , short tracking it to be converted to blood sugar.

Beans , Peas, Lentils, and Soy make up the middle of the pyramid providing you with essential proteins and fiber.

Above it are the Nuts so important in providing healthy fats and protein, and they’re the perfect snack too :)

Finally, the spice of life sits of top.. Well , the spice of food at least.  Essential to nutritional balance, the plant based cooking oils and different herbs and spices used definitely go a long way with the variety of vegan dishes out there.

Being vegan means the top row of the pyramid is a no go, but it just goes to show that all the nutrition offered at this very top level is already covered by the vegan base. So glad to see the distinction being made in this updated version.