23 Sep Food tips for vegan teens: Ghislaine’s story
If you’re looking for food tips for vegan teens, you could try recipe books, YouTube or other social media channels. Health and nutrition is something that’s increasingly on all our minds, and there’s nothing like speaking to somebody who has made the decision to go vegan to get a real insight into some of the challenges and benefits of adopting a plant-based diet.
In this blog, we’ve asked Ghislaine to share her story.
One size doesn’t fit all
I’m a recent social anthropology graduate from University and I have been a vegan for about two and a half years.
Moving to university launched me into independence and suddenly having full control over what I was eating. I did the normal transition of going vegetarian and then trying vegan but I noticed the big thing that happened when I went into vegetarianism was that I started eating a lot more dairy. That caused an increase in inflammation of my eczema.
I tried cutting cheese out for a month and it worked wonders. A friend and I started a Google doc which contained different vegan products and even clothing brands. Very quickly, we launched into veganism beyond just our diets. It picked up momentum for both of us and has become, not more important than the diets, but a very large part of why we’re still primarily vegan.
“Healthy is an outfit that looks different on everybody.” (Anonymous)
My friend is starting to launch off slightly and is eating eggs again but of course there are so many different types of veganism and ways to be vegan.
Exploring new foods
Becoming vegan was a fantastic way of increasing the range of vegetables I was eating and trying new foods. Plus, every corner of a street will have a vegan restaurant on it in a city nowadays.
It was also easy to achieve on a student budget.
Where it gets expensive is when you’re buying extra milks, and every time you go to a coffee shop, you’re getting that vegan tax. If you try and stay away from that it’s cheap because you’re just eating vegetables.
I have quite a sweet tooth and I love baking so it’s very easy for me to not be healthy because I’ll be making banana bread cakes which look healthy but they’re just filled with sugar. You also need to make sure you’re getting enough protein by eating lentils, chickpeas and beans.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” (Jim Rohn)
Honey is kind of a grey area because honey is a natural by product. Some people argue that you can collect honey in a way that does not harm the bees. The problem is when it’s done on a large scale and is really over-produced.
Adjustments and challenges
It was quite an adjustment but what helped was being more adventurous with spices and building flavour.
I am a bit weird about textures. I really don’t like tomatoes and overly wet or slimy foods. When I first went vegan everything had tomatoes in and the options were either falafel or some kind of tomatoey pasta which lacked any flavour and had no cheese, so I’ve moved away from tomatoes and really just learnt what different spices are and what goes together.
Cauliflower, jackfruit, tofu, avocado and banana tree flowers are all things you can try. One thing I’m wary about with being vegan is that a lot of grains and vegetables are imported so there could be an impact on the environment.
“A healthy outside starts from the inside.” (Robert Urich)
I’m interested in zero-waste living and what I’ve been doing is just slowly building that eco consciousness and those eco-friendly practices. I am not forcing myself into zero-waste living instantly because zero-waste living is a privilege. You do have to have to be at a certain financial level to be able to do it.
Do you know someone who might appreciate vegan food tips?
If you’re a parent or carer worried about your teen’s eating habits or a teenager you know would like to make healthier lifestyle choices, we can support you. Please do get in touch on 0330 1002821.
Choose the life you want to lead
We’d love to hear what vegan recipes you’ve tried or what tips have helped you or someone you know to combat issues associated with food. Please do connect with us on social media and be part of our ongoing conversations.
Have a fantastic week, enjoy some downtime and look after yourself.