Think you’d like to cut meat from your diet but not sure where to start? We asked holis­tic nu­tri­tion­ist and well­be­ing ex­pert laura hol­land for her guid­ance…

What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - VEGGIE GUIDE -

De­cide be­tween veg­e­tar­i­an­ism or ve­g­an­ism There is over­whelm­ing re­search that con­firms the health ben­e­fits of any plant-based, rather than an­i­mal-based diet. Ve­gan is stricter than veg­e­tar­ian, so all dairy and eggs also get taken off the menu. For those with dairy in­tol­er­ances, a ve­gan diet has amaz­ing health ben­e­fits, but for those that don’t, a veg­e­tar­ian diet is still pro­vid­ing lots of health ben­e­fits.

Choose the right foods The main mis­take we make when we stop eat­ing meat is then we don’t sub­sti­tute it with a rich va­ri­ety of veg­eta­bles, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans and legumes. Your diet has to ex­pand, not get nar­rower. This means eat­ing per­haps even more types of food than you’re used to.

Re­ject the bad foods Just be­cause it’s ve­gan or veg­e­tar­ian doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that it’s healthy, but the prob­lem is most peo­ple as­sume that it does. In re­al­ity, many veg­e­tar­ian or ve­gan di­ets are in­cred­i­bly nar­row and there­fore un­healthy. I have had many a veg­e­tar­ian client come to me lit­er­ally liv­ing on a diet of cheese sand­wiches!

en­joy try­ing new things In re­al­ity there are many de­li­cious ve­gan and veg­e­tar­ian friendly foods and dishes, it just means that you have to ex­plore a lit­tle more and try new things. This can be part of the fun of it, whilst sav­ing your waist line and the en­vi­ron­ment in the process.

Don’t panic about pro­tein We ac­tu­ally don’t needs as much pro­tein as we think, and we don’t ab­sorb it very well from an­i­mal sources any­way, plants are much bet­ter for pro­vid­ing us with pro­tein. Foods like quinoa and chia seeds are full of pro­tein that is easy to ab­sorb. Re­mem­ber, the fa­mous quote re­lates to us eat­ing the beef to be­come as strong as an ox, for­get­ting that the ox eats grass.

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