How to Be a Lazy Vegan, and Still Get All the Nutrients You Need

Staying healthy takes work! There are so many moving parts to maintaining a healthy mind, body, and soul. Even when we try to focus on just the “body” part of the equation, life can find a way to make it more challenging. Our jobs throw us extra work, our social lives disrupt the natural flow of things, and our daily to-do lists get in the way of eating healthy foods on a consistent basis.

Plant-based eaters are raised to an even higher standard. Onlookers suspect it is a constant struggle, day in and day out, to maintain such a diet. The truth is, there are some minor inconveniences and an adjustment period to making more meals at home, but it isn’t too tough. That doesn’t mean that vegans don’t need shortcuts to fuel their bodies through a busy week or quick and easy meals to grab when we’re feeling like couch potatoes. Here are some ideas for packing your plate with all the nutrients you’ll need whether you’re overloaded or feeling just plain lazy.

Iron

Considered “the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world” by the World Health Organization, iron can be a sore spot for many people. Heme iron is found in meat and non-heme iron is found in certain plant foods. There are tons of different types of plant-based foods that contain iron – the tricky part is packing them into your meals.

One of the easiest ways to include iron-rich foods in your diet is to sprinkle them on salads. Throw some pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, white beans, quinoa, or peas onto some greens and top with a citrusy dressing (the Vitamin C will help with iron absorption).

B12

The easiest, laziest way to include B12 in your diet is through supplementation. Most nutritionists recommend at least 10mcg daily or at least 2000mcg weekly. Luckily, there is little worry when it comes to taking too much – our bodies tend to get rid of excess through urine. If you’d like to include some extra dietary sources of B12, throw some nutritional yeast on top of your pasta, crumble some nori onto a salad, or nosh on fermented foods as a snack.

Protein

Ah, the P word! Every vegan’s favorite eye-roll-worthy question is “where do you get your protein?” In places where people are eating enough calories in a day (from a variety of healthy foods), it’s usually not hard to get enough of the stuff. But those looking for a protein boost can puree beans into a wrap-able spread, spice up a quinoa pilaf, or sprinkle salt on some steamed edamame for a healthy side dish.

Calcium

So many nutritious plant foods have oodles of calcium in them – we just have to find a way to cram them into our busy (or lazy) day. Green veggies such as collards (make a raw wrap!), kale (blend it into a smoothie!), and broccoli (stir fry it up!) are great places to start. Pour yourself a glass of OJ in the morning for another boost and follow up dinner with a fresh blackberry and fig fruit plate for a final punch.

Healthy Fats

The creamy mouthfeel and toothsome texture of fatty foods can make anyone’s mouth water. Where we run into trouble is when we give in to the temptation of convenience foods packed with oils and not-so-healthy fats. Keep your pantry stocked with your favorite nuts, sprinkle sesame and pumpkin seeds onto your favorite dishes, and always pay extra for the guacamole. Also, if you haven’t experimented with making your own tahini-based hummus at home, you must give it a try!

Photo credit: Austin Schmid

38 comments

Veronica Danie
Veronica D10 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica D10 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica D10 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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Jaime J
Jaime J10 days ago

Thank you!!

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Ruth S
Ruth S11 days ago

Thanks.

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Muff-Anne York-Haley
Muff-Anne Y12 days ago

Thanks.

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Carl R
Carl R12 days ago

Thanks!!!

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Winn A
Winn A12 days ago

Thanks

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Chad Anderson
Chad A12 days ago

Thank you.

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Mona M
Mona M12 days ago

Being vegetarian for more than 30 years it has never been a problem, even when I was in Europe, why should it be? it's just a matter of changing your beliefs system. May be that's the hardest part not the diet. Thanks, nice title.

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