January is the start of Veganuary, where many people embark on the challenge of leading a vegan lifestyle for the month. Last year we saw over 500,000 people take part in the initiative- an increase from the year prior- and it is projected that the number will increase again in 2022.

Apart from ethical and moral conflicts, there are a host of reasons that people turn towards a vegan lifestyle. Studies show that going meat and dairy-free has numerous health benefits and can aid in controlling conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. It also improves overall general well-being– with a well-balanced vegan diet showing an increase in energy and overall fitness.

It can be confusing at first to understand how to maintain a balanced vegan lifestyle; however, there are digital platforms as well as expert nutritionists and coaches that help with the process. Fritz Horstmann, for instance, is a vegan nutritionist and coach that has helped celebrities and regular folk alike to make an easy and healthy transition to veganism. He shares some of his top tips for going vegan.

Vegan vs. Vegetarian

Both veganism and vegetarianism have seen a growth in popularity. However, there is often confusion between the two due to their similarities— more so as there are numerous variations of vegetarianism.

While vegans and vegetarians both consume a plant-based diet that stays clear of any animal products. Veganism goes beyond just the non-consumption of meat. Fritz Horstmann explains that dietary restrictions prohibit dairy, eggs, honey, and any other item that is derived from animal products. Most vegans also stay clear of items such as leather, fur, feather, and silk.

After seeing the benefits that veganism has had on his own life, Fritz says, “I set out to build the best vegan coaching program out there. And over the past four years, after coaching hundreds of vegans, the goal has been to make veganism: accessible, fun, sustainable. So we can make a positive impact on this planet, save animals, save the environment while avoiding diseases, and do what is best for our health. Our goal as a company is to help 1000s of vegans and then inspire others to go vegan as well.”


Copyright: Fritz Horstmann

How to maintain a balanced vegan diet?

Eat a variety of foods

Many people are reluctant to explore a vegan diet due to the misconception that the diet is bland. In reality, thanks to advancements in food technology, we have been able to develop plant-based alternatives to most animal-derived products.

The diet also encourages you to try new options and explore international cuisines. An Indian-inspired meal of chickpea and whole grain rice with a colorful salad or Vietnamese spring rolls packed with vegan cottage cheese and fresh vegetables are healthy vegan alternatives that you may not have ever considered before.

Experiment with spices and textures

Variety is the spice of life, and the same concept applies to your actual spice rack. Steamed squash may not sound like the most exciting meal, but with the help of aromatics like cinnamon and nutmeg, you can really elevate the flavors of a simple dish.

Plant-based foods do not mean a plate full of soft or raw veg; mixing up your textures and incorporating spices make a world of difference to your meal. The creaminess of an avocado with a crumble of tofu contrasts perfectly with the texture of a slice of slightly toasted whole grain bread, topped with a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper and salt. With simple and innovative ideas, you can have a quick, delicious, and well-balanced vegan meal.

For those looking for meal inspiration, Fritz shares a variety of options on his digital platforms and has actually created an innovative high-protein chocolate brownie; that incorporates black beans and oat flour to form a delectable dessert that even the fussiest foodie would appreciate.

Understand your macros

Macronutrients, or “macros,” are essentially proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. These are essential nutrients that deliver energy for daily activity. Tracking macros is essential to ensure that you are consuming an adequate ratio of nutrients for a healthy lifestyle. The ratio of your macro intake will be based on your own individual factors. Fritz Horstmann emphasizes the importance of protein as it can often get overlooked.

Some of the factors that affect your macro requirements include:

  • age
  • weight
  • sex assigned at birth
  • level of activity

Final thoughts

Going vegan is a great option for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Whilst the changes can take some getting used to, for many, the benefits are worth it.