Rachel DeVaughn lives in Virginia with her husband and two boys. In her spare time she loves to blog, read, scrapbook, exercise and spend time with her family.
Rachel hasn’t always lived a healthy, active lifestyle. After having her second baby in the summer of 2010, she reached her highest weight of 250 pounds!
Myth: Protein only comes from meat.
Vegetables aren’t always talked about for being a great source of protein, but there are some sneaky ones out there that have a pretty good amount! It’s very easy to get your daily requirement of protein from nuts, beans, grains and green veggies! Here are some plant-based ways to get this essential nutrient:
“How do you get your protein?”
Vegans may be tired of hearing that question often. Vegans can’t be fit and bulky because they don’t get enough protein? Wrong. Vegan athletes like our SuperFan’s Dustin and Jaclyn are changing the negative stereotypes, proving that plant-based protein like our VeganSmart and Pea Protein can not only build strong muscles, but can also keep them healthy enough to bulk up, bike, swim, race and more.
Jackie Davis lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and four kids. The whole family travels to Central America for managing the operations of their construction ministry. Traveling is not an excuse to give up on her healthy lifestyle. She is passionate about eating healthy, which she has defined as the right quality, quantity, and frequency of foods. She encourages many to make realistic long-term lifestyle changes.
Our Super Fans are dedicated to the #NaturadeFit lifestyle and love creating fun and unique recipes full of Naturade goodness, from smoothies to muffins, breakfast and so much more. We take pride in being able to work with such dedicated individuals from all walks of life who share the same passion of living a healthy lifestyle with our plant based, innovative products.
VeganSmart sponsors Vermont Sun Triathlon Series throughout the summer at Lake Dunmore in central Vermont. Nestled against the Green Mountains, just below Rattlesnake Point is Branbury State Park. The lake region is a most spectacular and pristine place to swim, bike and run. Novice and advanced athletes alike marvel the beauty of our courses and enjoy the mountains, lakes and streams of Central Vermont. This is the 29th year of running the Vermont Sun Triathlon triathlons and a vegan-friendly race it is! There is plenty of vegan-friendly food and snacks throughout the race including everything from fruits, vegan pizza and our VeganSmart included in the racing bags given out to the racers. Read more of Treading Lightly in Vermont’s detailed blog about race day.
Just because you like to indulge in a cheeseburger now and then or wake up to a griddle crackling with bacon doesn't mean you can't venture outside the box once in a while. Those who are unfamiliar with what it means to be a vegan can sometimes get put off upon hearing the term, mainly due to an unawareness of why most people choose this animal-product free diet. While going entirely vegan does mean sacrificing many highly marketable foods, it also involves consuming healthier and more nutritional cuisine on a regular basis. So if you are looking to maintain a carnivore status but want to reap the nourishing benefits of going vegan, a VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake is the perfect bridge to help cross over.
Everything you need …
The daily vitamin requirements you will meet by adding two scoops of VeganSmart to your favorite beverage are unparalleled to practically anything else on the market. Each gulp of this nutritional shake pumps your body with 22 essential vitamins and minerals, and you will be getting 50 percent of your recommended vitamin A, B6, C, Riboflavin and Zinc, plus so much more, in just one glass.
Many people reason their meat consumption through all the protein they get from a cooked steak or grilled chicken. Well you don't have to subject yourself to 12 ounces of filet mignon to get more than half the daily protein you need from a VeganSmart Nutritional Shake. Each scoop contains 5 different non-GMO plant based proteins that are loaded with amino acids proven to strengthen and repair your muscles. Plus, the dietary fiber and more than 200 milligrams of Omega-3 can help stimulate your brain, heart and circulatory system.
… And nothing you don't
Another advantage to drinking a VeganSmart shake everyday is what you are not putting into your body. One serving contains only 160 calories and is also completely gluten-free, with zero cholesterol or trans fat. Even if you absolutely despise fruits and vegetables, VeganSmart offers the same amount of certain vitamins and minerals (and sometimes even higher levels) as you would find in your standard apple or piece of broccoli – for example, while an average apple provides 14 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, A VeganSmart shake provides 50 percent of your dietary need for this nutrient.
There is no rule that you have to be a vegan to cherish the healthy benefits that come from a VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake. The flavors come in chocolate, vanilla and chai, so there are some options to guzzle down a cup of nutritional goodness. Don't hesitate to see what you have been missing out on today.
Just because you have cut meat and animal products out of your diet doesn't necessarily mean you are eating healthier. There are still plenty of processed ingredients in many types of vegan products, as well as numerous junk food items that still meet vegetarian standards.
Sticking to a vegan diet has a number of health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol. In order to maintain a well-balanced vegan diet, it's important to check food labels and nutritional facts to ensure you are getting the proper vitamins and minerals you need. Here's a list of five vegan food items that should be consumed sparingly.
While tofu is a common staple for a vegan diet, there are still a number of types of tofu that are heavily processed, which can put a strain on your digestive system. The soybeans in tofu are an excellent source of protein, potassium and fiber; however, processed soy is found to contain high levels of estrogen. Consuming processed tofu daily can lead to a hormonal imbalance that can cause weight gain, mood swings and trouble sleeping at night. Make sure the tofu you are using is labeled organic, and moderate your weekly intake.
While there are plenty of healthier options for bread, white bread is still one of the most popular choices and also the least nutritious. White bread is extremely processed and often contains high sugar and corn syrup concentrations. The lack of vitamins and minerals can block essential nutrients like calcium and iron from being absorbed by the body. Try to stick to wheat bread, and if you can find it, make sure the bread you are buying is gluten free as well.
For many people, the hardest part of switching to a vegan diet is saying goodbye to all the meat. While some meat alternative products still have nutritional value, most of them, including veggie hot dogs, bacon and burgers, are packed with artificial ingredients such as processed soy and sugar. These items are generally not any healthier than a regular hot dog or burger, so it's wise to eat these alternatives rarely to avoid excess fats and carbohydrates.
Vegan cheeses are dairy-free, but some are still not free of saturated fats and artificial ingredients. Too much of these types of cheeses will send your stomach through a loop of inflammation and indigestion. Check the labels to make sure the cheese is unprocessed for a healthier solution.
While adding powders to your drinks will boost up your protein, there are still a number of products on the market that are tainted with sugars and artificial flavors. These unnecessary ingredients will weigh down your stomach and cause bloating and gas. Instead, go for a VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake that has all the protein you need along with 22 other essential vitamins and minerals.
When we think of superstar athletes, we normally tend to envision competitors with bulging biceps and endorsement deals. Vegetarianism is not commonly associated with jocks, but the fact of the matter is that more and more athletes are going vegan or vegetarian while seeing amazing results on the playing field. These athletic powerhouses get all the nutrition they need from tasty fruits, beans and protein powders. Here are just five great athletes who are also vegetarians:
Eighteen Grand Slam singles titles? Check. International Tennis Hall of Fame member? Check. Oh, and she is also a vocal supporter of animal rights and a vegetarian. The Czechoslovak tennis legend turned pro at the age of 19 in 1975 and dominated the field for more than 20 years. Navratilova has been very passionate about animal rights, appearing in numerous PETA advertisements throughout the years. She's been labeled by sports magazines as the greatest female tennis player of all time. All the while, Martina has been a vegetarian.
Crowned the "Olympian of the Century" by Sports Illustrated, track and field icon Carl Lewis credits his record breaking performance at the 1991 World Championships to his adoption of a vegan diet. Lewis has won ten Olympic medals, nine of them gold, which has him tied for second in all-time Olympic gold medals won by any athlete. Lewis's domination lasted for more than a decade: he conquered world records in sprinting and high jump, while being a vegan since 1990.
In 2008, NFL player Tony Gonzalez signed a new deal with the Kansas City Chiefs that made him the highest paid tight end in the entire league. He celebrated his payday by switching to an all-vegan diet, something that many men with his physique and physical demand could not fathom. The result was becoming the all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdown receptions for a tight end in the NFL. Gonzalez proudly campaigns for animal rights with PETA and he is a great example of how you don't have to be beefed up to be brawny.
While he's known for being a physical menace and tyrant in the ring, mixed martial arts fighter Jake Shields has a soft spot for animals. The wrestling and MMA champion has been a lifelong vegetarian and proudly displayed his dietary habits on a poster for PETA that stated, "I'm living proof that you can run further, train harder and pack a meaner punch without eating animals."
Triathlete Dave Scott is living proof that you don't have to eat animals to be a true iron man. Scott is tied for the record of most Ironman Triathlon gold medals with six, and animals have not been part of his regimen throughout his long career of swimming, cycling and running. If you are unaware of what exactly the Ironman Triathlon consists of, it's a brutal 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile marathon run. No animals were harmed in the making of Scott's legendary gold medal run.
Benefits of a vegetarian athlete
Ditching the red meat in favor of savory veggies can still provide the proper nutrients and minerals you need to maintain your athleticism. Veggie burgers, tofu, beans and nuts are just a few of the foods that can offer a meal packed with protein. Vegetarian foods are abundant in complex carbohydrates, which are essential for nourishing your muscles with energy after a hard workout. According to the American Diabetic Association, becoming a vegetarian will lower your risk for the following:
- Weight gain
- Poor digestion
- High blood pressure
- Bad cholesterol
- Decreased energy
These athletes are living proof that cutting out the meat in your diet doesn't mean sacrificing results. Try going vegetarian today and start living healthier.
This Valentine's Day, impress your vegan significant other with a number of home-cooked vegan friendly meals. Studies have shown that vegans have overall lower cholesterol levels than other dietary habits, normally due to the intake of fewer saturated fats and more fiber. Veganism is a type of diet that completely excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and any other animal-derived ingredients. If you're new to veganism, you should know that cutting meat from your diet doesn't translate to sacrificing taste. For those trying to be fit and flirty this February 14th, here's a list of vegan options perfect for a romantic full course dinner for two:
To set the mood properly, try sharing a creamy vegan mushroom fondue, perfect for dipping fresh bread or vegetables. Or spice things up with stuffed peppers and dairy-free feta cheese. No one will be able to resist snacking on oven-baked zucchini fries, coated with light breading and drizzled with ranch dressing. You could also try tempeh bacon-wrapped date palms. If you haven't heard of date palms, you probably should – they are widely recognized as a natural aphrodisiac.
How about getting in the Valentine's Day spirit with a heart-shaped ravioli and marinara pasta dish? You can also cut out heart-shaped tofu cubes and oven roast them with vegetables for a savory tofu skewer plate. There are plenty of vegan friendly pastas to choose from, including sun-dried tomato and pesto linguini and cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo. Go for a "heartier" meal with Almost Beef Wellington using a prepared mushroom mixture, faux steak strips and Madeira sauce, another way to appeal to any vegan skeptics.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a number of vegan friendly dessert options! Indulge your heart out with vegan pancake cookies, sprinkled with cinnamon and dripping with chocolate. Give into the temptation of raw vegan cherry cheesecake, substituting the cheese in favor of crushed cashews, which take on a creamy texture. Vegan peanut butter frosted cupcakes are a go-to classic, and you can even go Elvis style by topping with sliced banana and chopped up pretzels.
Cooking up a full course vegan meal at home is the perfect way to shake things up this Valentine's Day and try something new with that special someone. Check out PETA's other vegan friendly recipes you can easily serve for a unique and intimate vegan dining experience that is also heart healthy!