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Plant Power Vegan Lifestyle at Tibits For Veganuary
Having visited London’s leading vegetarian restaurant group, Tibits, several times I was pleased to return to the Heddon Street Tibits to celebrate this year’s Veganuary. Tibits entire food and drink offering has gone completely vegan for January, promoting a healthy vegan lifestyle.
I was also interested in attending the talk on the vegan diet and a panel discussion from leading vegan experts led by award-winning personal trainer Adam Stansbury.
Whilst I am not vegan, my husband is vegetarian so I eat a lot of plant-based whole foods. I had also taken a guest, Mojca, who follows a vegan diet and as a Prix St Georges’ dressage rider was keen to hear more about training well for maximum performance whilst eating a vegan diet.
It was a cold January evening with some sleet as we made our way to Heddon Street. I was particularly keen to be on time as I didn’t want to miss any of the talk. A general introduction to a healthy vegan lifestyle and vegan diet and more about how this might impact on working out in the gym.
Adam Stansbury, a well-known celebrity personal trainer, has transformed himself from a ‘meataholic’ for protein loading and building muscle in the gym to a dedicated plant powered personal trainer. As someone who specialises in body transformations focused around a healthy vegan lifestyle he explained how he is still able to build muscle and feel great on a purely plant-powered diet-busting the myth that stacks of meat are needed to build the body. To emphasise this point Adam was accompanied by a young female powerlifter who was also vegan. She was slim and yet could lift 180kg, more than many men, which is really impressive. She had also previously suffered from eating disorders and had overcome this and now finds herself able to sustain a healthy diet and body form with a vegan diet. She was particularly impressive and inspirational for someone so young.
Adam shared his story of how he changed his views on diet and life for several reasons. You can read more about his journey in his book. He described a few of the benefits of being vegan which include reducing the suffering of animals, helping slow carbon emissions so protecting the environment and improving overall health.
Some of the questions raised in the Q&A centred around whether supplements are required on a vegan diet. The conclusion was that it is possible to get the full range of nutrients from a plant-based diet, however, you may do better with taking some supplements. It is important to check you are getting everything you need especially in the beginning until you become more experienced in knowing the kinds of food to eat. To cover all the bases you must eat a full range of fruit, vegetables, legumes etc and also combine food, for example, iron is best absorbed by the body when taken with vitamin C. Another question was what to eat for snacks. Ideally, you should be eating enough at meal times to avoid snacking, however, when required fruit, nuts, oat bars are ideal.
As a general introduction to the vegan diet, the talk and discussion were useful and it was interesting to hear Adam’s story and transformation. I thought it would be helpful for those of you wondering what a vegan diet is and what it really consists of and, also, about the benefits and challenges of following a vegan diet to know more about what it is and what is generally reported.
A Plant-Based Diet and the Benefits
Until fairly recently, veganism had something of an ‘alternative’ image, practised by ‘hippy’ ‘tree huggers’ who didn’t like food and were devout about animal rights. Now, more people worldwide realise it’s not just about avoiding animal cruelty and that there are proven health and wellness benefits of the vegan lifestyle. A plant-based diet increases, can result in weight loss and glowing skin, improve your overall health and more. The challenges lie in the effort, planning and choices you will need to make. The main benefits are:
Weight loss – Vegan meals tend to be high in fibre and less fat. Fibre-rich, plant-based foods make you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer, so you’re less likely to snack. You cut out unhealthy fats from dairy. Vegetables and whole grains have a low glycaemic index.
Anti-ageing benefits – Many vegans attribute their clear and glowing skin to a plant-based diet as there are more vitamins, antioxidants, water and minerals in this diet. All the omega-3 and vitamin A and B in the plant-based diet produces healthier nails and fuller healthy hair. Vegans tend to look younger as it tends to promote collagen production which prevents the normal the skin thinning and becoming more saggy and wrinkly when we age.
More energy – Eating foods that are easy on your digestive system will increase your energy levels to be more productive and keep going longer. Animal foods are difficult for your body to digest and when your digestive system is overworked you feel lethargic and low on energy.
Better sleep quality – Certain fruit and vegetables contribute to better sleep, for example, walnuts, pistachios, pineapple are known to help the body produce natural melatonin. Plant-based foods are often high in vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, which aid in the production of serotonin and help relax the body and mind.
Improves overall health – Adopting a vegan lifestyle can help you prevent a number of different diseases such as breast cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It also reduces arthritis, inflammation, asthma and osteoporosis.
And finally you’ll help save the planet – Why not be part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem? Vegans save animals, they contribute toward reducing their country’s water-intake and their practices help avoid deforestation. We need significantly less water and less land to produce plant-based foods compared to the amount needed to produce animal-based foods
Tibits Vegan Food Boat
After the talk, we had the opportunity to try the Tibits all-vegan menu. We tried a selection of dishes from the Tibits food boat. This is the great thing about Tibits as you can select your own food, a bit of everything or a main portion with sides. You then weigh the plate and pay only for what you have selected.
One of the special dishes for the New Year includes a delicious Butterbean, Sweet Potato & Kale Korma with Basmati Rice which I particularly liked and many more. The Cottage Pie with Roast Beetroot was interesting but not our favourite. We didn’t indulge in dessert but the Tibits signature Ginger & Orange Bake looked like it would have been very warming.
If you want to try out a plant-based diet head to Tibits and indulge in their ‘food boat’ selection of vegan food during January. Their normal selection includes vegetarian food.
For more information about Tibits, check their website
Disclosure: We attended the event and tried the vegan menu as guests of Tibits. All content is editorially given.