How do you shop for a plant based diet?
I feel like every time I start to like one food or another, some study comes out that says it's bad for me. I try to be proactive by reading ingredient labels, but they sure don't make it easy. Plus, when buying fruits and vegetables, one has to worry about pesticides and genetically modified crop. As vegans/vegetarians, what do you do to cut through all the conflicting information?
You live the best you can and do what works for you. Generally, I eat organic. I eat a lot of soy. A lot of people complain soy is bad for you. Organic soy is not genetically altered, I've eaten it for many years and I am happy and healthy Conversely, when I eat some grains touted as "healthy" and great for you, I end up on the floor with gut pain.
Every body is different and you should learn to pay attention to the cues your body gives you to determine what is good for you or not. A good way to start is a food journal, keep track of what you eat and how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally about 30 minutes later. If you are eating something that doesn't agree with your body - you will notice. You might have heavy fatigue, get grumpy, or feel otherwise "off" . Your body gives a lot of subtle clues what it likes and what it can't tolerate.
For me, I eat mostly organic veggies and produce in season or frozen, for the highest nutrients. I also grow organic produce in the summer to save money.
We eat a lot of quinoa and I do take a B12 supplement daily. If you are a vegan especially, it is imperative that you supplement with B12 - otherwise, just do the best you can like anyone else If you aren't eating processed garbage and you actually eat vegetables I'd say you're doing something right lol - I have known a few "vegetarians" who never ate veggies - not healthy at all!
I had thyroid surgery 2 years ago. Ever since, whenever I eat certain foods, I shake and break out in heavy sweats. Some people have suggested that it's products found in foods I'm eating. Some people told me to go on the Atkins diet. Some people told me to avoid soy. Some people told me to avoid gluten.
I just want to eat! So while I'm not a vegetarian, I do have to cautious about what I eat. I totally understand what you are asking and I wish I could helpful to you. I'm interesting in knowing what others suggest.
One of the keys to success on a plant based diet is to eat whole foods. There isn't a lot of label reading when you are buying fruits, veggies, dry beans, rice, etc. I try to buy organic or from a local farm market when I can. I also grow as much veg as my apartment patio can handle in the summer. It is hard, at first, to get off some of our favorite processed foods, but for me it has been worth it. Good luck.
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