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Understanding Vegan Depression: How to Wire Your Brain to Think Positive

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Have you recently turned vegan? Chances are by now, you are already questioning that decision or that you are battling vegan depression. It is not comfortable sticking to a strictly vegan diet. I know the thought of all those delicious meals that you have to flee is stressful. However, that is the wrong way to look at it. Instead, think of the countless benefits that accrue being a vegan.

The Common Side Effects of Turning Vegan

The transition is hardest just after changing your diet. The following side effects are common:

Social issues

This is the leading cause of vegan depression. There is going to be a backlash, and other people will ridicule or openly mock you for being a vegan.

Of course, other debates like why you kill those insects you stepped on will always come up. Don’t let this get to you. You are not out to save the whole world.

Have satisfaction in knowing that whatever little contribution you are making is of significant impact in the end.

Cravings

vegan donut image

Your body may have been accustomed to non-vegan foods, and changing diets will not go unnoticed. One way to deal with these needs is to change your diet gradually and not overnight. You can also pick your favorite vegan foods before your taste buds adjust to your new diet.

Energy and weight issues

A plant-based diet, naturally, has a lower calorie count compared to an animal-based diet. This automatically means that you have to consume more significant chunks of food to make up for the deficit.

Many people complain that they feel sluggish and this might tempt you to dismiss veganism. The trick is to eat more micronutrients and keep track of your food intake. See to it that you eat not less than 2000 calories.

Running out of new meals to prepare

You probably aren’t used to vegan-only meals. This might be a challenge having to eat the same lunch repeatedly. There are so many different types of squashes, apples, and potatoes alone. The vegetable family is so large that you can never run out of a new meal for each day. Research online or get a cooking 101 book to learn new cooking techniques. I also share easy to prepare vegan dishes in Solancha Lifestyle.

Health Issues

This is primarily a problem if your diet is not healthy. When taken in the right manner, a vegan diet has many benefits, but just like anything, this takes time. Don’t, therefore, be quick to dismiss this diet after only a short period of trying. Veganism is not a quick fix or a fad diet as many people think.

Digestive problems

abdominal pain image

Our digestive system is structured to readily accept the foods we consume on a regular basis. Bloating, constipation and diarrhea are the effects of switching your diet too much too fast. This is because a vegan diet is rich in fiber, which is rare in animal foods. Your gut will take time before it adapts to this fiber in your diet. However, not everyone experiences digestive problems. Only people with a rather sensitive tummy do.

Lower cholesterol levels

Studies show that vegans have a lower cholesterol count than those who consume dairy and meat.

How to Deal With Vegan Depression

How do you handle vegan depression? The frustrations that come with taking on a new diet may push you to be depressed. There is no medical cure for regional depression. In a world where there is a pill for every illness, this is still a grey area. The solution is mostly in the choice of foods you eat and how you respond to criticism.

Below are some effective ways to tackle vegan depression:

Do not change too much too quickly

A mistake most people make is changing their entire diet overnight. This has significant effects, especially on your gut system. To avoid health complications, change your foods gradually as your body picks up.

Start with your favorites

It is only reasonable to think that there is not a sufficient variety of veggies to pick from at the start. This mentality is what influences most people into giving up a vegan diet. Start by switching to your favorite vegetables as you explore new brands.

Eat healthily

Vegan sandwiches image

Instead of eating processed greens, eat more whole vegan foods to gain more energy and nutrients. In addition, a vegan diet means that you have to eat more to satisfy the body’s nutritional requirement. Make sure your food contains whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

Research

How many vegan recipes do you know? Find new recipes and cooking techniques that you can try at home to make each meal unique.

Social crisis

Some people may talk you into dropping the vegan diet or much worse make fun of it. Learn to ignore this and don’t take everything to heart.

Make prior arrangements

If for instance, you are eating over at a friend’s, let them know in advance your diet choices to save yourself the hustle and inconvenience.

Stick to your diet

vegan snacks for kids image

Many people drop the vegan diet after just a few days of trying. A vegan has many options. Do not let the few downsides draw you away.

In Conclusion

A vegan lifestyle is more than just eating. We save the lives of several animals as we reduce the greenhouse effect. The health benefits accrued are also many. Research has shown that, compared to artists, vegans have a longer life expectancy. I agree that it can be difficult to switch to a vegan diet. Many people will also try to talk you out of it or mock you for it.

Reflect on why you chose to do it in the first place and focus on the goal. Remember that you can’t always be perfect. What matters is that you are making efforts and constant improvement. Vegan depression is only but a phase and everyone passes through it. It’s only that most people don’t even notice.

Rachel is a mom of two boys, a wife, and a part-time chef. By trying and testing new parenting trends she takes her motherhood to the next level! She finds that she processes things better when she writes about them, which has unleashed her passion for sharing her thoughts on life and parenting through her articles for SOLANCHA Magazine.

recipes

Vegan Crepes with 4 Easy and Delicious Serving Suggestions

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Vegan Crepes image

Crepes are quick yet delicious additions to breakfasts and desserts. In this article, I will share 3 variations for your vegan Crepes. You can decide to have them all in one serving or alternate these variations for a different taste each day. Without a doubt, you and your friends will be begging for more.

But first, let’s go over a quick and easy to follow recipe for making your very own vegan crepes.

Basic Vegan Crepes Recipe

  • 1-cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup of soymilk
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • A dash of vanilla extract (optional)

Procedure

Sift the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to form a thin batter. The secret with crepes is in the consistency. The thinner the batter the thinner and crispier your crepes will be. If you make thick batter, you will struggle to spread the batter and hence you end up making thick pancakes.

In a hot nonstick skillet, add just enough batter to cover the pan. Quickly swirl the pan and allow your batter to flow evenly and coat all sides of the pan.

Let the crepe cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side depending on how thick your batter is. The end results should be a golden brown crepe that tears apart easily.

To serve them, we will use 4 variations.

#1 Blueberry Vegan Cream Cheese Crepes

Blueberry Vegan Cream Cheese Crepes Image
  • Use the cooked crepes from the recipe above
  • Spread a vegan cream cheese mixture (either homemade or store bought).
  • Add ½ cup of blueberries or more if you like.
  • Then finish off with mint leaf as garnish.

#2 Chocolate Banana Cream Cheese Crepes

Chocolate Banana Cream Cheese Crepes Image

Who doesn’t love bananas and chocolate? Here are the ingredients:

  • Use the cooked crepes from the recipe above
  • Add a layer of vegan cream cheese.
  • Chop up one medium-sized banana and layer over the cream cheese.
  • Fold crepe in half
  • Sprinkle dark chocolate and serve.

#3 Blood Orange vegan crepes

Blood Orange vegan crepes image
  • Slice up one blood orange into 8 slices. Set those aside.
  • In a large nonstick skillet on medium heat add the following:
  • 1 tsp. of oil or vegan butter
  • 1/8 cup of brown sugar

Stir this mixture for a minute or two until the sugar melts.

  • Next, add crepes to the pan, making sure the crepes absorb this mixture.
  • Next top up the crepe with 2-3 pieces of blood orange
  • Cover with lid and cook for 2 minutes.

They’re ready to serve.

#4 Vegan crepe served with vegan béchamel

Vegan crepe served with vegan béchamel image

This vegan crepe recipe is a crowd favorite. It works well with almost any toppings you can think of.

To make the vegan white sauce:

  • Melt coconut oil, cook with almond flour, and your choice of spices.
  • Add nutritional yeast and enough water to form a thick sauce.

Your vegan white sauce is ready to devour.

In addition to vegan cream cheese, sautéed spinach and any berries in season are my favorite toppings to serve with this crepe.

In Conclusion

Vegan crepes can be cooked in so many different ways. You can also substitute wheat flour with the healthier flour alternatives available. Which is your favorite recipe?

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recipes

Super-Moist Vegan Orange Cake with a Chocolate Mirror Glaze

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Vegan orange cake image

It’s that time of the year when oranges are finally in season. Today, I will share with you a very simple vegan orange cake recipe with a twist. I will also let you in on a simplified version of a chocolate mirror glaze that is popular with wedding cakes and in high-end hotels. Are you excited? Let’s get started.

The Vegan Orange Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 200 g wheat flour – You can also use the gluten-free varieties
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (adjust per your liking)
  • 60 ml soymilk or almond milk
  • 75 ml coconut oil (or any other liquid oil available)
  • 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. orange juice
  • Orange zest (1 orange)
  • Lemon zest (1/2 lemon) – optional. Lemon gives the cake a tangy taste to balance out the sweetness of the orange juice.
  • A pinch of salt

Procedure

Preheat your oven to 180ºC (356 F)

Then start by juicing fresh oranges. Measure out the required amount in a large bowl. Now grate just one of the juiced orange rinds and half a lemon rind, and add to the bowl.

juicing fresh oranges image

Add all the other wet ingredients and stir until well combined.

Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, and salt). Gently fold using a wooden spatula until well mixed. It’s OK to have a few lumps so don’t over mix.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is well cooked. 

Let it chill in the fridge as you prepare the glaze.           

For the Chocolate Mirror Glaze

The secret to this recipe is using a thermometer. When tempering chocolate, noting the temperature is very important.

Ingredients

  • 10g Agar agar – Non-vegans use gelatin for the mirror effect. We shall use agar agar. Some retail stores have this labeled as “vegan gelatin”. However, this ingredient can be left out if you don’t need your glazing looking shiny.
  • 125ml water
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 150g good quality dark vegan chocolate
  • 30g sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 60g coconut cream

Procedure

Mix the agar agar with 4 tablespoons of orange juice (you can use the freshly squeezed orange juice or store bought, or just plain water).

In a shallow pan, bring the water and sugar to a boil with the kitchen thermometer inserted. Add the agar agar just before boiling. Remove this mixture from the heat at exactly 104 ºC (220 F). Add the dark chocolate bars add stir with a whisk until they melt. Sift in the cocoa powder and mix well.

Now add the coconut cream, and mix well. Sieve this liquid to get rid of any lumps. If you’re still not happy with the consistency, use a hand blender and sieve again. The finer the liquid the smoother the glaze will be.

To Serve our Vegan Orange Cake

Vegan orange  cake serving image

Remove your cake from the fridge and swirl the chocolate glaze whichever way you like. You can also cover the entire cake in the glaze. Then let it chill until the glaze is firm enough before you place the final garnish elements. I used mint leaves and berries just before serving my vegan orange cake. Enjoy!

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recipes

Vegan Breakfast Sandwich Ideas: Beet, Hummus, and Avocado Combos

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Vegan Breakfast Sandwich Ideas Image

Are you always in a rush in the mornings? These vegan breakfast sandwich ideas are a quick fix yet enjoyable. You can play around with the ingredients to make them even more nutritious. However, go easy on the tangy ingredients like lemon if you intend to share these sandwiches with your kids.

What’s more, you don’t need many cutlery items for these vegan breakfast sandwich ideas. Don’t you just hate it when unwashed dishes pile up!

Vegan Sandwiches with Avocado, Watermelon Radish, and Tomatoes

Vegan sandwiches with avocado, watermelon radish and tomatoes image

The Ingredients

  • Bread slices
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 small watermelon radishes
  • 1/4 bowl of cashew cream
  • 2 tomatoes
  • a handful of cilantro leaves
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

Procedure

Spread the cashew cream on your bread slices. You can make cashew cream by blending raw cashew nuts. To make it easier on your blender, soak them overnight or at least 4 hours.

Chop the watermelon radishes, avocado, and tomato into thin uniform slices. Then arrange them neatly on the bread.

Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Healthy Beet Hummus Avocado Rye Breakfast Sandwiches

Healthy beet hummus avocado rye breakfast sandwiches image

For Beet Hummus

The Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized beetroot
  • 1 bowl of cooked lentils
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Procedure

Peel the beetroot and chop into small pieces.

Squeeze the juice out of the lemon and mix all the ingredients in a food processor.

If you can’t stand the taste of raw beets, you can pre-cook them before pureeing.

Beet Hummus Image

For the Base

The Ingredients

  • Slices of rye bread
  • 1 avocado
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Procedure

Toast the rye bread.

Spread the beet hummus on both slices of bread.

Peel the avocado and slice it into thin pieces.

Arrange these avocado slices on top of the bread.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Sandwiches with Beetroot Hummus, Cucumber, and Vegan Cheese

Vegan Sandwiches with Beetroot Hummus, Cucumber, and Vegan Cheese Image

For the Vegan Cheese

The Ingredients

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Procedure

Vegan cashew ricotta image

Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours to soften.

Drain the liquid and blend them with the rest of the ingredients.

Pour the mixture into a pot and stir under medium heat until it thickens.

Let it cool down. You can portion and store the extra vegan cheese in the refrigerator

For the Base

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of rye bread
  • ½ cup of beetroot hummus
  • 1 cucumber
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Procedure

Vegan sandwiches with hummus, cucumber and vegan cheese image

Toast the rye bread. Depending on your preference, you can either cut off the crusts or leave them.

Slice the cucumber into thin rounds.

Spread the beetroot hummus on the toasted rye bread.

Scoop the vegan cheese and spread it on top of the hummus.

Now place the cucumber pieces and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

In Conclusion

You don’t have to play by the book when it comes to vegan sandwiches. Feel free to substitute an ingredient in the recipe with what you like. Your days of missing breakfast are over. Try these easy vegan breakfast sandwich ideas today!

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