Posted at: 05/21/2012 2:58 PM
| Updated at: 05/21/2012 6:26 PM
By: Benita Zahn
Sarah Preston's cafe is a vegan haven in a meat eating world. Since her x's to o's cafe in Troy opened 2 and a half years ago she's seen a steady increase in business.
"I want to say at least 30 to 40% are vegan and then the rest just really love the food."
Her success is a sign that a plant based diet is catching on. But ridding your diet of all meat and products from animals including milk and eggs is not as simple as flipping a switch.
"So if you want to become a vegan what's essential is that you go out and get credible resources of information how to nourish your body, properly" says Dr. Paul Arciero, a professor of Health and Exercise Science at Skidmore College.
That's because there are 3 key nutrients non-meat eaters can be deficient in - iron, vitamin b 12 and calcium. Omega 3 also needs careful attention and you also have to be mindful of your protein consumption.
Ellie Wilson is a registered dietician working for the Golub Corporation. She's says, along with fresh vegetables and grains, vegans need to look for fortified products.
"There's terrific fortification here and for some of these things that we really need there's B12 at 50% of the need for the day in an 8 ounce glass"
Ellie recommends nut butters, if you don't have an allergy, for your omega 3's -- and dried fruit for iron.
"These apricots bring 30% and they have vitamin c, so they're kind of a complimentary package all in their own"
And she says, the notion of combining foods at every meal to make a complete protein is passe .. it's about eating well through the day.
That's how Claire Henderson lives. She grew up vegetarian. A few years ago, along with the rest of her family, she took the next step.
"I guess alot of it was the cheese. We were eating a lot of cheese in our meals."
But she found a substitute. Along with fruit and veggies galore that fill her freezer she's got something called Daia, a non-dairy cheese substitute.
"Is it pretty close to the real thing? Yea, it definitely melts like cheese."
Claire admits there's a learning curve to insure she gets all important nutrients. She's had to adapt some recipes and ditch others. It's about planning she explains - preparing on Sunday much of the food she'll grab during the week - like the fixings for this
burrito she's bringing for lunch.
Since going vegan she's dropped about 10 pounds. Not surprising says Dr. Paul Lemanski who runs the center for preventive health.
He says sometimes going vegan is easiest way to eat yourself to improved health.
"Becoming a vegan or becoming a vegetarian helps you focus on the change of diet. It's very very difficult to teach moderation."
here are a couple of links you might want to check out for more info: