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Plant 101: The Ultimate Guide For New Vegans

Written By Joseph Jackson 31 Jan 2020

Nutritional Therapist, Rose Glover puts together the ultimate guide for going-vegan and ensuring you obtain all the essential nutrients you need.

Plant 101: The Ultimate Guide For New Vegans

We talk to many of you who are interested in incorporating more vegan meals in your diet, and we know that big question marks hang over protein sources and ensuring a balanced diet. So we were delighted to find a new book teeming with helpful information: The Vegan Kitchen.

Written by Rose Glover (who went to university with Apothecary 27 owner Joe Jackson!) and Laura Nickoll, the book offers a nutritional breakdown of more than 100 essential ingredients for a vegan diet. Not only does this book tell you what foods should be in your pantry, it tells you why. From fresh vegetables to dried beans and grains, the book gives comprehensive information about each ingredient, nutritional benefits and easy serving suggestions so your meals never get boring. 

The Vegan Kitchen acknowledges the risks of a vegan diet, including hormone and digestion challenges, but it discusses practical solutions, and of course lists all the benefits of a healthy, plant-based diet. It demystifies many ingredients you may have heard about but aren’t quite sure what they are (nutritional yeast, anyone?), so trying them seems a little less peculiar. The final section is a collection of basic recipes vegan-style, including plant milks, mayonnaise, shortcrust pastry and vegan cream cheese. 

We got in touch with Rose to talk more about her book and vegan nutrition:

A27: What sparked the idea for this type of book, Rose?

RG: While there are plenty of vegan cookbooks out there, there aren’t really any books that list all the ingredients you can use in a vegan diet, with lots of ideas on how to cook them (to help you get creative in the kitchen!) and their nutritional value, too. The entire first section of the book is dedicated to all the nutritional info you need as a vegan, so you can really get your teeth stuck in and embrace veganism in the healthiest – and most delicious! – way.

 A27: Could you tell us a bit about your journey? How long have you been vegan?

RG: I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 3 – I was a very headstrong little toddler and one day I declared to the world that I was in fact a vegetarian. I grew up in rural Ireland in the ‘80s and was surrounded by farms and lots of meat, dairy and eggs, but I never wanted to eat any of it. When I was a teenager, I really went full vegan (although I mostly was anyway) but it wasn’t until I was about 20 that I actually heard the word ‘vegan’, and I realised that was what I was all along! Eating animal products has never instinctively felt right for me, and I’ve been vegan for more than 20 years now.

A27: How would someone considering a vegan lifestyle use your new book, The Vegan Kitchen?

RG: It’s a great book to read if you are a newbie vegan, or a vegan who just wants to know more about nutrition and the world of vegan foods. Sometimes people worry that they won’t know what to eat if they give up animal foods, but this book proves there are multiple delicious and exciting ways to use vegan ingredients. It also takes some of the stress away from wondering how to create balanced and nutritious meals.

A27: What is your advice for someone transitioning to veganism?

RG: Some people like to transition slowly to more of a plant-based diet, while others like to embrace it fully straight away – it really depends on the individual and what works for them. I would suggest to start by trying two or three new recipes a week and experimenting with different dishes and ideas, and before you know it you will have some delicious recipes under your belt and it will seem a lot less daunting. It should be a fun process; there is so much delicious vegan food to be eaten, so enjoy it!

 A27: Is there one nutrient or ingredient that someone might need more than they realise?

RG: Every vegan needs to supplement with Vitamin B12, and everyone (whether vegan or not) should consider a Vitamin D supplement in the winter months, too. I would also advise vegans to focus on getting enough of a certain type of fat in their diets called Omega 3 fats. These are the fats most people associate with oily fish, but since vegans don’t eat fish, they need to make sure they are regularly getting in the limited plant sources, mainly milled flaxseeds, flax oil, chia seeds, seaweed, walnuts and walnut oil. Aim to have 1 tablespoon of one of these sources per day. There is more information on this in the book. It’s also important to eat a variety of foods to get a variety of nutrients, and it goes without saying to have plenty of colourful fruits and veggies, too!

A27: Is your family vegan? Is it challenging to feed young children a vegan diet?

RG: I have a 2-year-old son, who is about 90% vegan. He absolutely loves beans, lentils, tofu and whole grains, which is lucky. He does eat eggs every so often, and a little fish occasionally. But other than that, he is quite fussy, and it has been a challenge to broaden his palate – as it is with most toddlers during their fussy stages! My daughter is only 12 weeks old, but I intend to feed her a balanced plant-based diet the majority of the time. 

 

Rose's Book " The Vegan Kitchen" is now available nationwide. 

For more information and recipes, visit roseglovernutrition.com and follow Rose on Instagram: @roseglovernutrition.