Maintaining Calmness and Focus Naturally

We live in an increasingly hectic world. Stress is daily, and though there is a difference between good and bad stress, constant exposure to it affects our physical and mental well-being. As our environment is so fast-paced, we often tend to look for stress relief solutions that are fast, too. However, calmness and focus are not achievable with one magic pill that we can simply pop or just one simple practice we can do. 

Through different strategies used together, along with proper stress management, you can start to achieve better calm, clarity, and focus. With that in mind, here we’ll explore three natural ways to help restore both the calmness and the focus in your daily life so you can deal better with stress and ace your goals. Read on to find out which you can do – or feel free to do them all together!

Exercise

Nothing elevates one’s mood better than a good round of exercise, whether it’s walking a few laps around the block or sweating it out at the gym. It can release endorphins, the feel-good hormones, freeing you from the fight-or-flight response that stress can trigger. Plus, exercise is also an affordable way to restore calmness and focus, as you don’t need to spend anything to enjoy it. Though nice to have, exercise equipment is always optional, and there are plenty of body-weight exercises you can perform. 

Be sure to make exercise a regular part of your routine. Aim for at least thirty minutes of brisk exercise at least three times a week for the best results. Don’t forget to switch up your exercise routines now and then, either, and do a combination of strength training and cardio workouts, if you can. You can even try dancing or training for a marathon for more fun and competitive way to get those endorphins flowing.

Meditation

When you meditate, you focus your attention and eliminate the jumble of thoughts that can crowd your mind and cause stress. This process may lead to deeper relaxation and a more peaceful state of mind. And again, you don’t need fancy equipment to start practicing meditation. There are also lots of meditation strategies you can choose from. 

Yoga, for example, is one of them. Reflection isn’t limited to sitting on the floor with your eyes closed and chanting mantras, though. Everyday activities, especially those you enjoy, like cooking, cleaning, gardening, drawing and coloring, and journaling, can meditate on a person. Self-care is also a form of meditation. Following certain diets and lifestyles to mindfully avoid health problems is included in self-care. 

Proper Nutrition

Fruits
A different kind of fruits are placed on a rag in nature

Do you experience stress-eating? Although this practice feels super rewarding at the moment, chances are it’s not doing you or your body a lot of good. Most comfort foods we seek are not the best out there. Cakes and pastries, a popular choice for many, teems with excessive carbohydrates and sugar. Other stuff, such as takeout food, contains many calories but doesn’t satisfy hunger compared to whole, natural foods.

Eating junk foods is also related to increased levels of stress. It’s counterproductive to reach out for a piece of a donut or a huge bowl of ice cream when you’re stressed and trying to be calm and focused. Reverse the effects of stress-eating and aim for proper nutrition instead. When feeling stressed and out of focus, choose healthier options like beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables instead of processed goodies. Natural foods can also help provide vitamins necessary to reduce brain fog and make you more focused and calm.

When to Ask for Help

If you practice these natural ways to feel calmer and more focused, but you still feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The inability to focus and keep calm can be a symptom of an underlying condition, like ADHD. When your lack of focus and calm puts you in difficult situations in your daily life, a visit to the doctor is a must. Your doctor can confirm if it is indeed ADHD and rule out other possible conditions. 

Medications intended for ADHD, such as Adderall XR or Strattera, are likely to be prescribed, helping you focus on your tasks and calms you down. Yes, maintaining calmness and focus during stressful times can be a challenge, but it does not mean it is not achievable. With proper exercise (at least three times a week!), meditation, and good nutrition, you can finally regain your calm and return your focus to the essential aspects of life.

The Ugly Truth About Plastic

Plastic is an integral material in our everyday lives, but unfortunately,  it has extremely destructive capabilities to the environment. Plastic pollution refers to the build-up of plastics in the environment, it is a huge environmental issue that has adverse effects on the planet. The issue is worsened by our actions, with some of us not fully comprehending the negative effects. Therefore, it is important that we fully understand the damaging effects plastic pollution is having on our environment and capably tackle the issues at hand. This article will discuss the dangerous effects plastic pollution is having on the Earth’s environment, and outline tips on how to aid in its prevention.

One of the main factors contributing to plastic pollution is the rapidly increasing production of disposable plastics. According to Oceans Plastic Free, plastic production requires an enormous amount of energy and resources. This process causes carbon emissions and contributes to global warming. Furthermore, recycling plastic is extremely inefficient- only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Two-thirds of unrecycled and incorrectly disposed plastics come from land-based sources, which eventually find their way into our oceans. 

A large number of plastics in our oceans creates detrimental effects on our marine life. Plastic takes up to 500 years to fully break down and eventually fragments into smaller and smaller plastics called microplastics. There are 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic in the planet’s environment, this equates to roughly 500 times the number of stars in our galaxy. These microplastics are extremely harmful to our marine life, with a lot of marine creatures becoming trapped or confusing them for food; causing blockages and pain in the stomach and intestines. One in three fish caught for human consumption contains plastic- directly affecting humans. Are we eating plastic? And if so, how harmful is it to humans? In seawater, plastic absorbs crucial chemicals that have been linked to endocrine disruption and certain cancers. Regardless of whether we eat fish or not, 70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants-which is more the reason for us to protect our marine life. For more information, take this quick quiz regarding plastic pollution:

It is clear that plastic pollution is extremely damaging to the environment, but it is impossible to remove all plastic pollution from our oceans. Only 1% of marine litter floats, with the vast majority of it sinking to the seafloor. It is also impossible to remove all microplastics from our oceans due to their microscopic nature. However, there are various ways in which we can help. For example:

  • Refuse plastic whenever you can- try not to use plastic straws, plastic bags, etc. Use a reusable straw, or carry a reusable coffee cup to prevent waste.
  • Recycle- make sure you recycle any plastics and split up your waste into different bins.
  • Try to buy things that aren’t in plastic packaging- for example, a lot of items are unnecessarily wrapped in plastic. Try to avoid buying these items where you can.
  • Buy products in bulk- this will prevent excess plastic waste.
  • Stop buying water- plastic bottles contribute to a large amount of plastic waste, stop throwing away plastic bottles, and switch to reusable water bottles to reduce waste.
Recycling
A well-known recycling sign

It is clear that plastic pollution has extremely damaging effects on the environment, but becoming eco-friendlier can be a massive help. As a community, we can collectively make a significant difference and continue to make improvements in this increasingly worrying situation. The future of the planet rests on our shoulders, and the smallest of changes to everyday life can make the world of a difference. 

5 Tried and Tested Ways of Promoting Your Vegan Restaurant

Learn five strategies for drawing hungry customers to your vegan restaurant, and turning skeptics into converts of clean, sustainable eating.

You’ve painstakingly scrimped and saved to open your vegan restaurant, recruited an A-team of staff, and curated a smorgasbord of delectable dishes for your menu. Now, there’s only one thing left to do:

Get the customers coming in!

Even a vegan restaurant with the yummiest food in the world won’t survive for long if its tables are perpetually empty. Read on to learn five tried-and-tested strategies for bringing in hungry customers, and turning skeptics into converts of clean, sustainable eating:

1. Craft an attention-grabbing brand message

Every brand has a story. What’s yours?

More importantly, is it something that will make customers sit up and take notice, or will it put them to sleep?

With veganism being a relatively new trend, your vegan restaurant already has an edge in terms of novelty. However, push your brand message further and state what you stand for. By doing so, you’ll entice like-minded customers to add your restaurant to their list of must-visit places.

As an example, take a look at this quote that vegan restaurant Vegan Beat Athens posted on its Instagram account:

Veganism
Check out this Instagram post credit to @veganbeatathens

Here, the restaurant has made the bold declaration that veganism is about doing the least harm and the most good to the environment. And if you identified with that statement, you may just go: “YES! This restaurant totally gets me.”

Then, feeling buzzed with such positive vibes, you may make a note to try and drop by the restaurant for your next vegan meal.

2. Produce eye-catching restaurant posters

Say the word “vegan” and people unfamiliar with vegan food may think that it’s all green, just “rabbit food” and, well, basically not very appetizing. This is where you’ll have to prove them wrong, by creating eye-catching posters of your vegan dishes.

If you need to, work with a food stylist to make your dishes look absolutely scrumptious. Then, once you’ve taken photos of your dishes, create posters with them and put your posters up everywhere. In your restaurant, on social media, on your website—the list goes on.

For instance, here’s a poster that VeganBurg, a vegan restaurant in Singapore, published on Instagram to promote a limited-edition Christmas menu:

Truffle bello
Check out this Instagram post credit to @veganburgsg
Truffle bello
Check out this Instagram post credit to @veganburgsg

The best part? You don’t need to be a graphic design expert to produce drool-worthy posters of your food. Graphic design platforms such as PosterMyWall offer restaurant poster templates that you can easily modify through a drag-and-drop interface.

So go ahead and make those gorgeous food porn posters. You have our full permission.

3. Show customers how your food is made

Restaurant food doesn’t just magically appear on a plate, ready to be served to customers. Instead, it is lovingly cooked and plated by chefs passionate about their craft. So why not show off this process by creating behind-the-scenes videos of how your food is made?

By doing so, your customers can see for themselves all the tender loving care that goes into preparing their orders. It may get their mouths watering to the point that they make a beeline for your restaurant!

You can even go up a notch by showcasing how and from where your ingredients are procured. A well-informed customer is a happy customer. 

Just watch Spanish vegan restaurant Vegan Junk Food Bar’s video of its staff member assembling a vegan burger:

We don’t know about you, but we’d like to reach through our screen, grab that burger and sink our teeth into it. Mmmm.

4. Use social proof to draw in new customers

What’s better than talking up the tastiness of your food on your own? Customers doing this for you.

Customers’ amazing testimonies of your food can do wonders in getting their friends and family to visit your restaurant. However, don’t let the benefits stop there. Amplify your customers’ praises as widely as you can, so that others will see them as well—and also be inspired to check your restaurant out.

On Instagram, vegan restaurant Bistro Vonish reposted an Instagram Story from a customer who waxed lyrical about the restaurant’s black garlic bruschetta:

Black Garlic Bruschetta
Check out this Instagram post credit to @bistrovonish

The customer then replied to the post to thank the restaurant again for its good food.

Likewise, don’t forget to express gratitude to your customers when resharing their reviews! Tag the customer in your post, thank them for their glowing sharing, and end with an invitation for them to dine with you again in the future.

5. Hold a giveaway

Who’d ever turn down the opportunity to win free food? Probably no one. So if you hold a giveaway of your food, you could significantly boost brand awareness of your restaurant as people try their best to win!

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Announce your giveaway on social media.
  2. Share that participants will need to leave a comment on the social media post promoting your giveaway, and tag one friend (or more) when doing so.
  3. After the deadline for commenting has ended, pick your winners!

The tagging requirement in step two is important. After all, you want your social media followers to introduce others to your restaurant. Especially if their friends are vegan food lovers too, and would likely be interested to try your dishes.

Vegan restaurant Eat of Eden has executed this giveaway formula down to a T:

With the prize being a vegan sharing platter costing £28, the restaurant is definitely getting a ton of publicity worth much more than that!

Attract customers to your vegan restaurant today

So there you have it—the recipe for promoting your vegan restaurant. While cooking up great food is an important part of the formula, you’ll also need to add other “ingredients” such as:

  • Baking strong messaging into your brand,
  • Whipping up stunning promotional posters and videos, and
  • Publicizing all the good things that customers have said about your food so far.

Perfect your promotional efforts, and your restaurant might just pack in the crowds and make a name for itself in the competitive food and beverage space. Not only that, you’ll introduce the uninitiated to the goodness of fresh, and delicious, vegan food. And that’s the icing on the cake.

How to Reach Peak Fitness While Being Mindful of Your Impact on The Planet

Sustainability is on everyone’s minds this year. As we are increasingly seeing the impact humans are having on the environment, it is becoming apparent that everyone has a role to play in reducing the harm done to the planet.  

For the fitness fanatics out there, it is vital to consider the impact of our health routines on the environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that fitness lovers can reduce any negative impact their lifestyle has on the environment. This article will explore some of the best ways to stay fit while being mindful of the environment.  

Plan Your Meals 

Plan your meals ahead of time to avoid food waste. Making a meal plan can be a great way to prevent overshopping and having to throw out perfectly good food. It is also a good idea to avoid shopping while hungry, to reduce impulse buying. You could also have your shopping delivered to cut down on the emissions from going to the shop yourself.  

If you do find yourself with excess food about to go out of date, consider donating it to a soup kitchen. Bear in mind that soup kitchens will only accept in-date food, so it is a good idea to consider whether you’ll eat the food well in advance of its use-by date. For any expired food, you could consider starting a compost heap

Choose A Non-Plastic Water Bottle 

While buying a big pack of water bottles from Costco may be convenient to grab and go before a workout, all that waste plastic is definitely harmful to the environment. It is better to find a non-plastic, reusable water bottle. Not only will this reduce the amount of waste plastic you put into the world, but it will also save you money over time. It is best to look for a water bottle made from recycled, ethically sourced, or biodegradable materials.  

Buy High Quality, Durable Workout Clothes 

Avoid buying cheap workout clothes that will only last a few seasons. Consider using workout clothes that will stand the test of time and durability. Do some research to find the right fit and ensure that the clothes you choose are sustainable and eco-friendly.  

Choose Plant-Based Protein Supplements 

Choosing the right supplements to help aid your fitness is crucial. It is also vital to choose supplements made with natural ingredients, without harmful additives. You can find plant-based enhanced protein from the expert supplement brand Ingredient Optimized to help ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs while having minimal impact on the environment.  

Recycle Worn Out Gear 

Once your workout gear is no longer fit for purpose, recycling them rather than tossing them in the trash is important. There are charities that will accept old exercise gear, and even big names brands are starting to accept back their old products to recycle into brand-new exercise equipment. Do some research to find out where you can responsibly donate your old exercise gear.  

Cycle Or Walk To Work 

Turning your commute into a workout is a great way to improve your overall health. It is also a fantastic way to reduce the emissions caused by driving to and from work. While commuting by foot or bike may not be realistic for everyone, it can be hugely beneficial to those who live close enough to their employer. Consider getting public transport rather than driving, and getting your exercise by getting off the train or bus a few stops early and walking the rest of the way.  

Raise Money For Environmental Causes 

You could consider raising money for environmental causes by doing a sponsored race or other exercise challenges. Consider reaching out to a local environmental charity to see if there are any upcoming events you could participate in, or simply start a fundraising page to share with friends and family and donate the proceeds.  

Workout In Nature 

Taking your workout outdoors can have a positive impact on your mental health. You could also join the growing number of fitness enthusiasts that combine exercising outdoors with cleaning up the environment. Plogging is the exercise of collecting trash while jogging and can be a great way to get outdoors, exercise, and clean up the environment all in one.  

Look For An Eco-Friendly Gym 

Eco-friendly gyms are becoming more and more popular. There are gyms that use the energy produced by people working out on treadmills, exercise bikes, and more to power the gym itself. There are also places that plant trees each time they get a new member and other excellent eco-friendly practices. Do some research to find a gym in your local area that prioritizes good environmental practices.  

Go Vegan 

Vegetarian food
Vegetable rings are attached to wooden sticks and are displayed on the plate

A vegan diet can help massively cut down on the number of emissions we are responsible for. You don’t even need to ditch meat and dairy entirely – even one or two vegan days per week can make a difference. The great thing about a vegan diet is that, when done correctly, it is one of the healthiest diets possible.

Starting Your Own Business as a Vegan Nutritionist

Anyone who even just tried being vegan for a few days knows that it requires a lot of research and learning to be a health practitioner of this lifestyle. If you have a few years of being a vegan under your belt, you’re probably not only confident enough but also educated enough to help other people with their smooth transition to veganism. Plus, there are many recipes you perfected and even created on your own. 

But if you want to become a vegan nutritionist and actually offer advice and create menus for money, you need to know more than just what to eat—you need to know how the body benefits from the changes and how the food needs to be prepared to achieve the best effect. It needs some extra education! If you’re still in, here’s how you can start your vegan nutritionist business venture: 

Get registered

If you want to legally offer advice and practice nutrition, you need to become a registered dietitian (anyone can call themselves a nutritionist). If you just want to consult, you can use your current knowledge. However, with an RD title, you can get a license for your practice and even get reimbursement through insurance companies. 

Becoming a registered dietitian requires intense schooling and exams. It also requires you to learn about animal content and practice food service and clinical rotations with animal foods. If you can push through that, it will be more than worth it in the end. 

Two girls are holding apples

Find your niche

Before you sign any legal documents, it’s important to take a look at your vegan nutritionist business and consider what is it that you can offer clients that is unique. Are you offering plant-based diet schedules? Are you focusing on a vegan diet for weight loss or offering vegan supplement tips for athletes? Or maybe you specialize in raw diet plans that focus on health? Find your niche, stick to it and expand your business later. 

Work on your business plan

Developing a business plan is crucial for any business, vegan nutrition included. A business plan is a written document that describes your business, together with your sales and marketing, paints a picture of your financial background, and contains predictions about profit and loss. As an entrepreneur, your business plan helps you with your vision and goals. Sure, there will be obstacles no matter how well you prepare, but knowing that you have your business plan to turn to can prepare you well. 

Create a good website

In today’s climate, your vegan nutrition business needs to have a digital home. Your website will serve as your virtual waiting room, so make sure to create a space that’s pleasant, comforting, and helpful. Use your website name and combine it with a .me extension which is perfect for creating memorable website names and personalized pages. With a website name like this, you’ll stay in everyone’s mind. The rest you can leave to professionals. Today, having someone educated and experienced create your page is very cost-effective. If you don’t know what you need to include on your website, just pretend you’re a client looking for vegan nutrition consultants and include all the info you would want to see. 

The eggplant is drawn to look like a caricature

Define your brand

Your brand is what your company is all about—in your case, veganism, health, longevity, fitness, and care for Mother Nature. But your brand also allows your business to be seen by the public, so you want to create a strong image that will stand out from the competition. Opting for the right logo and company colors can be crucial, so pay attention to these. There are free logo generators you can use online, but if you want a logo that truly represents your vegan business, it’s best to consult with designers and get something unique. When choosing your company colors, consult the Psychology of Colors for inspiration. 

Form a legal entity

For your business to be legit, you need to establish a legal business entity like a corporation or LLC to keep you safe in case your nutritionist business gets sued. When it comes to different legal business entities, the most common structure types are the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. When it comes to LLC, you can start it yourself, paying on the minimal LLC costs to the state, but it’s also possible to hire LLC services for a small fee if you’re not the business type. 

Start networking

If you’re starting your business from scratch, you will need to create your own network by joining your local chamber of commerce, attending wellness events, or attending vegan conferences and cooking demonstrations. It’s also smart to create separate social media accounts for your business and start creating relevant content. You can also do some real-life networking by introducing yourself to local gyms or health food stores. When you find your audience, explain what you do and how it can benefit service users. Be direct that you’re looking for clients, provide them with a way to reach you, or ask if you can follow up with them. 

Offering vegan nutrition services can benefit so many people, so don’t hesitate to start a business that will make veganism more available to everyone. Plus, the profit you make will allow you to spread your business and hopefully create even more vegans.

Health Can Be Expensive: 5 Budget-Friendly Healthy Meals

I’ve often seen people not opting for a healthy diet because they assume healthy food is costly and takes a lot of money, but that’s not true. Studies have found that around 30% of the households in the USA spend a lot of extra money on their groceries and dining outs. They’ve also claimed that even cutting this expense to 20% annually is enough to opt for a healthy lifestyle.

Also, healthy food might take some extra money, but if you are watchful of your choices, you might save some.

Here’s a list of our top-picked everyday meals that don’t need any big ticket and are effective at the same time.

 

Breakfast

Starting from the first meal of the day, breakfast. According to nutrition experts, if anyone’s planning to go ahead with a healthy diet, they should not consume a breakfast of more than 400 calories.

Many powerhouse ingredients can help you have your breakfast in 400 calories. These include eggs, bananas, berries, oats, yogurt, and smoothies.

Eggs With Different Variations

Generally, an egg of 50 grams contains 70 calories. If you like having eggs in your breakfast, you can take a least two boiled eggs or cook them with different variations. Such as poached eggs with avocados on toasted bread.

Egg = 70 calories

½ avocado = 130 calories

Toasted bran bread = 77 calories

This meal in total takes 77 calories. To make it more fulfilling, you can add in a veggie kabob or choose Americano to compliment it.

You can also have fried egg and enjoy it with your favorite wheat bread but make sure while frying you don’t add oil more than a tablespoon.

Other sidelines can contain:

Leafy greens
Apple
Sundried tomatoes
Olives
Bananas

 

Overnight Oats

Many of us with sugar teeth wait for morning to devour on overnight oats. And why shouldn’t we? After all, it contains all our favorite nutrients.

If you are using a jar of 250ml, your overnight oats will hardly exceed 250 calories. You can make some amazing recipes for you and the kids of the house.

To make your oats more tasteful, you can add:

Cinnamon
Walnuts
Chia seeds
Honey
Berries
Dark chocolate chips

However, if you are focusing on losing some extra kilos, make sure to not add a variety of dried fruits or nuts in. Instead, you can add chia seeds. A handful of nuts can be a source of some bad cholesterol for your body.

 

Lunch

We have plenty of options for lunch, but our most favorite that can have alteration and assortments include:

Soups And Stews

Who doesn’t love soups, and who doesn’t love stews? No one! You might not like broths, but soups are everyone’s favorite.

We have a list of low calories soups that are best to boost your immune system and fastens your metabolism.

According to Dissertation Assistance UK, your lunch should not be more than 600 calories but guess what? Our listed soups are not more than 300 calories that mean you can have these soups with your favorite lean meat and can also add tofu or cottage if you like.

1. Zucchini and carrot soup
2. Beans and kale soup
3. Tomato chickpeas soup
4. Beans with whole wheat pasta soup
5. Spinach and broccoli soup
6. Cream of mushroom soup
7. Quinoa lentils soup
8. Veggies and coconut milk soup

All of these soups require very few and inexpensive ingredients like salt, pepper, milk, veggies, beans, lentils, etc., nothing extra or costly.

One-Pot Pasta

According to a study, 59% of the people living in the US eat pasta at least once a week, and if you are an Italian food lover, you might be one of them.

Pasta is one of those dishes that families frequently enjoy, and how better it would be if you use whole wheat pasta instead of the regular ones?

Here are a few one-pot whole wheat pasta recipes that require basic and reasonably priced ingredients and are a good option to adopt a healthy diet.

1. Spaghetti with chickpeas and marinara
2. Zucchini or aubergine lasagna
3. Beans and greens pasta

 

Dinner

For dinner, experts’ advice same as lunch. They recommend taking dinner before 7 pm that to not more than 600 calories.

Since dinner is one of the most important meals of the day, try eating something that keeps you full and energetic.

Our top pick for dinner includes munching on meat with brown rice or tortilla. With more portion of veggies, of course, because the calories you will consume will become stored fats throughout the night.

A coursework help UK advises adding ¼ portion of meat, ¼ of rice or CD-sized tortilla, and ½ portion of veggies into your dinner plate. According to them, when preparing dinner meals, one should only use olive or canola oil because these healthy fats cut bad cholesterol, prevents weight gain, and are proven beneficial for cardiovascular health.

 

To Make It More Full Filling, Count On Adding Different Sidelines

As mentioned before, it’s essential to have filling meals at night. If you think the portion you have taken is insufficient to fill your tummy, you can choose some low-carb sidelines. The choice is yours. You can either eat them raw or give them a boil with lemon, pepper, and salt toss.

However, choose fresh veggies for your main courses and sidelines, and don’t go for the canned and processed ones. And, if it’s a dinner date, consider drinking a glass of water before you attack the food so you don’t end up devouring all your favorite steaks.

 

Author bio

Melissa Calvert is a devoted Lifestyle Counselor at Crowd Writer, one of the best places to buy dissertation online UK at reasonable rates. She is a fitness freak and very mindful of what she eats. That is the reason you’ll find most of her articles in the same niche.

4 Plant-Powered Athletes and What They Eat

Who says plants don’t give enough proteins? These athletes beat all odds by being completely plant-based while staying on top of their careers. Here’s how they stay at peak performance while thriving on plant-based diets.

 

Novac Djokovic

Tennis matches usually last from 90 minutes to 3 hours. Think of how many calories tennis players burn in one match. However, number one tennis player Novak Djokovic swears by a 100% plant-based diet to sustain him for training and tennis matches.

He adopted a vegan lifestyle 12 years ago to enhance his athletic performance and cure his allergies, a health issue that cost him matches, and forced him to retire from competitive matches due to difficulty of breathing. In one of his recent interviews, he says going vegan was what helped him rise from the third to the first in the world.

Novak advises not to eat food that requires a lot of digestion in the morning when he needs most of his energy for training. He starts with hot water and lemon, celery juice, and some superfood supplements. Before matches, he swears by eating only dates. They have a low glycemic index and are enough to sustain him during lengthy tennis matches.

 

Venus Williams

American tennis player Venus Williams won 7 Grand Slam singles titles and 14 Grand Slam Women’s doubles titles. She also won the coveted Wimbledon women’s singles 5 times and 4 Olympic gold medals.

When she was diagnosed with Sjogren syndrome in 2011, her doctors advised her to switch to a vegan diet. This was supposed to relieve her of some symptoms of the disease like extreme fatigue and joint pains. Her sister, Serena Williams, another superstar tennis player, made the lifestyle switch as well for solidarity. There was a brief recovery period for the sisters, but after a year, they qualified for the 2012 Olympic games where they won their third doubles Olympic gold medal.

Powered by plants, Williams recovered from it and now shares her experience with others through her plant-based protein drink brand, Happy Viking

Williams loves to eat fruits as they help in fending off her sweet cravings. She especially loves summer fruits such as cherries, apricots, and watermelons during the peak of her cravings.

 

Kyrie Irving

NBA star player Kyrie Irving swears by a vegan diet to make him a more competent basketball player. As the plays in basketball changed, so did the eating habits of the players. They now value speed and agility more than physical strength and bulk.

Kyrie thanks his lifestyle choices for increasing his speed, which is useful for his defensive plays. It shows in his stats. Once a poor defender, Irving is now one of the top five in steals and deflections. He says the diet spiked up his energy and made him lighter on his feet.

 

Tia Blanco

This young professional surfer and vlogger from Costa Rica is killing all aspects of her life, thanks to her vegan diet. In 2016, she became the first surfer to win back-to-back gold medals after 1996.  

She’s been vegan for almost 7 years and attests to the health benefits that came with the lifestyle change. She said her reason for the switch was to fuel her body with the best food to stay strong and energized while making her feel good about her body. With all of her achievements, it was clearly the right choice.

To encourage others to do the switch, Blanco opened an Instagram page @tiasvegankitchen, where she posts her favorite vegan recipes. She also became one of the ambassadors of Beyond Meat. 

One of the common misconceptions about veganism is that the lack of animal protein in the diet will result in less energy. However, these pro-athletes can attest to the fact that plant-based diets can provide as much, if not more, sustained energy even throughout training and sports matches. If you’re feeling groggy and tired even after meals, perhaps a change to a more plant-based diet will give you the energy you need.

6 Healthy Dips You Can Make at Home for Snacking

Chips and an excellent dip can make any occasion cheery. You can have your favorite dips with less fat and calories, from the rich hummus and zesty pesto to cheesy vegetable bakes and spicy pepper dips.

 

You can dip your snack without having any guilt, courtesy of our list of healthy dips.

Guacamole

Guacamole is a fool-proof, authentic, and healthy dip. It’s creamy, fresh, and boasts only fresh and healthy ingredients!

 

To make some guac, rough chop some avocado before adding finely chopped onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Mix them well together, and you have a fancy Mexican dip.

 

Homemade guacamole makes an ideal party dip since it’s vegan and gluten-free. Just add the tortilla chips or crispy raw veggies for a lighter selection.

Salsa

Salsa is a type of sauce used as flavorings for tacos and other Mexican and Mexican-American snacks. They may be fresh or cooked, although usually served at room temperature.

 

It has Spanish variations, but you’ll commonly see it on Mexican tables. And you’ll know it’s salsa because of the chunky tomato, chili, pico de gallo, and salsa verde.

 

A nutritious salsa is an excellent source of vitamin C. Thus, it can support healthy aging and reduce the risk of heart disease. But to enjoy those benefits, it’s best to serve the salsa raw instead of thawed.

Hummus

Hummus is a famous Middle Eastern dip and spread. It is usually made by combining chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic in a food processor.

 

It is tasty, as well as convenient and nutritious. It’s an excellent source of different vitamins and minerals, especially plant-based protein (7.9 grams per serving). No wonder is popular among people who are into the vegetarian diet or vegan lifestyle.

 

In addition, hummus is rich in iron, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

Tzatziki

Tzatziki is always best served cold and commonly used as a sauce for gyros or souvlaki. Aside from Greek and Turkish cuisines, you can also pair this dip with pita for breakfast.

 

In Iraq, they have a version of Tzatziki called jajeek. It is usually served with alcohol as part of a meze.

 

Health-wise, tzatziki carries only 54 calories per 45-gram serving. It also has 8 grams of carbohydrates and a sufficient amount of sodium.

Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin dip is a typical family staple in the US from early September through Thanksgiving.

 

Usually served with apple slices, graham crackers, or ginger cookies, the pumpkin dip is considered healthier than caramel dip. Still, you will need vanilla pudding when making this dip, which is packed with sugar.

 

If you want a low-calorie, low fat, and low sugar option, you can use pumpkin puree and yogurt instead. Another option is to use Stevia or something similar instead of sugar.

Spinach Dip

A spinach dip may seem like a healthy, low-calorie choice. However, its ingredients carry a lot of calories.

 

A regular spinach dip is made with cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, and spinach. As such, it has 114 calories per 2-tablespoon serving.

 

Luckily, you can reduce the calories further by using low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and cream cheese instead. Mix it with water chestnuts, shallots, and lemon juice, and you’ll only have 54 calories per serving.

 

To add some fiber to your spinach dip, you can mix in pureed cannellini beans, spinach, basil, artichoke hearts, and garlic. A 2-tablespoon serving of this dip only has 50 calories.

Final Thoughts

Dips and spreads make great condiments, snacks, and party food. However, they’re sometimes filled with high-calorie ingredients, salt, sugar, and extra additives.

 

Luckily, you don’t have to rely all the time on store-bought products. All you need is to use whole foods to create your varieties that are just as delicious but much more nutritious.

Tips to Transition to Veganism

When you decide to explore veganism, there can be a number of health benefits that come with it. For example, you may lose weight and have improved heart health. A vegan diet can also be nutrient-packed, as long as you’re relying primarily on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beansto fuel you.

There’s research showing that going vegan can lower your blood sugar and improve your kidney function, plus there’s the possibility it can reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers.

While there are many health benefits that come from a vegan lifestyle, it’s not always easy to make such a big leap into plant-based eating. You don’t have to go all-or-nothing.

Instead, there are ways to transition to veganism gradually. Some of those are highlighted below.

 

Swap Out Ingredients

One easy way to start dabbling in veganism and make some positive changes in your health and wellness is to swap out ingredients for vegan alternatives.

Maybe your entire recipe isn’t vegan, but instead of using half-and-half or milk for example, you could use cashew milk.

Over time you can work toward having recipes that are entirely vegan.

 

Have Vegan Days

Designate a few days of every week where you commit to veganism, and then eat as you normally do on the other days.

You could start with one day a week, and then gradually go up from there, as you’re ready and more comfortable with it.

Another option is to be vegan during the day, and then in the evening, you could eat animal-based foods if you wanted to.

You could set a limit for yourself where until 6 p.m., you eat only vegan.

These are just ideas that you can consider to find what works for you.

 

Learn Along the Way

You may find the more you learn about veganism, the more committed you become to the lifestyle.

Get familiar with what it means to be vegan versus being vegetarian, for example.

A lot of people find that learning more about where animal-based foods come from and how they’re processed helps them to commit to veganism more fully.

As you learn, you may also be able to find more of a personal motivation, and that can be what drives you toward being more vegan in your life.

For example, you could find that the environmental impact of eating meat is your primary motivation, as you’re learning and educating yourself.

 

Be Mindful of What You’re Eating and Make Sure It’s Healthy

You do have to realize when you follow a vegan lifestyle, it’s not inherently healthy because it’s vegan. You want to avoid too many processed foods, for example, because even though they might technically be vegan, they could still be empty calories.

You also need to make sure that you’re mindful of how much protein you’re getting. There are great vegan sources of protein, and any kind of protein will help you feel fuller and more satisfied, which will lower the risk of overeating.

Vegans need to also consider vitamin B12 and D3 supplements unless you’re sure that you’re getting enough of these from your food.

Some vegans find that it’s helpful to have their healthcare professional monitor levels of vitamins in their bloodwork. You don’t want to supplement if you don’t need it, but if you are deficient in certain vitamins, it can cause serious health effects.

 

Connect with Other Vegans

Veganism can become somewhat of a lifestyle, and people who follow it often find that that it helps them to have support from people who understand it.

Try to connect with other vegans if you can.

Going online and joining social media groups is one simple way to do this.

Then, you have not only social support, but you can learn more about veganism, share recipes and even find out about events.

 

Explore Vegan Restaurants Where You Live

Finally, one other way to get excited about the concept of veganism and to explore it more fully is to go to restaurants in your community that have a vegan menu. Here, you can really get a taste of how good vegan foods can taste, and you might even meet people who are vegan that you can start sharing your experiences with.

Vegan restaurants are a good way to get started because they show you how versatile the menu items can be and give you a basis for getting creative with how you eat.

The more you go at your own pace in your quest to be a vegan, the more successful you’re likely to be at the lifestyle.

Professional Athletes Who Switched Their Diet and Became Vegan

There are many health benefits that come from ditching dairy, eggs, and meat such as decreased blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of heart disease. In fact, a recent study proved that a plant-based vegan diet can help people manage their weight and blood sugar levels even for those ones with type 2 diabetes.

When it comes to sports athletes, we all want to look up to them especially when we are talking about diets. All of them look very healthy, which is only achievable by balancing your food.

In today’s article, we will focus on athletes that are at the top of their game and transformed into a vegan lifestyle.

 

Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)

The record-breaking Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton adapted to a vegan lifestyle back in 2017.

Hamilton is in the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world, and thanks to its sponsorships his net worth are estimated at around $285 million.

Hamilton is also an eco-activist and he is interested in all the things that might bring benefit to the world. For his recent transformation to a vegan diet, he said “As the human race, what we are doing to the world… the pollution coming from the number of cows that are being produced is incredible. They say it is more that we produce with our flights and our cars.”

 

Venus Williams – Tennis

Venus Williams is a famous American tennis player who has won seven Grand Slam singles titles as well as 14 Grand Slam Doubles. Her net worth is estimated at around $95 million which puts her as the second highest-earning female tennis player of all time, just behind her sister Serena.

Williams adopted a raw vegan diet just after she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome which is an autoimmune disease 10 years ago. Doctors advised her that this diet change will relieve some of her symptoms.

Williams said that the raw vegan diet helped her maintain the same performance on the court. She also said that she feels amazing, and this diet change improved her mood and acted as an energy boost.

 

Colin Kaepernick – Football

Colin is a former professional NFL player who played a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers for five years.

Apart from his skills, he also became an internet star for his signature move by going down on one knee for the United States national anthem.

He spoke about veganism on many occasions in the past, but he never said that publicly about himself until 2018 when he tweeted an image of his buffed body with the hashtag #NotBadForAVegan.

 

Kyrie Irving – Basketball

Kyrie-Irving

 

Kyrie is one of the most recognizable names in basketball. The 28-year-old has achieved many things in his career including winning the NBA championship with Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2016, and his countless NBA all-star appearances. He is also often mentioned in the NBA trade rumors: https://edge.twinspires.com/nba/trade-rumors/

However, few would guess that years ago he decided to switch to a vegan diet only after watching a Netflix documentary called “What The Health”.

After that, we don’t have much information about his eating habits, nor vegan statements from him. All we know is that he feels amazing and he definitely shows that on the court.

 

Jermain Defoe – Soccer

Not too long ago, Defoe was the seventh-best goal scorer in Premier League history, scoring more than 160 goals up to date. He currently plays for Bournemouth FC and the England national team at the striker positions.

With his current contract, he earns $84,000 per week, and his net worth is estimated at around $20 million.

He told the Guarding that he made some drastic changes in his diet giving up meat, dairy, and eggs. He also said that the transformation wasn’t hard for him just because he knows the feeling that he gets from scoring goals.

In other words, the diet will help him score more goals, which as he claims, is the best feeling in the world.