Considering going completely meatless from Ash Wednesday? You’re in for an exciting time! A vegan diet has been shown to cut the risk of developing and/or dying from coronary heart disease by 25%, reduce the risk of cancer, and even improve your moods! You might be holding back from committing to making this change, and we get it. No doubt, you’ve probably heard someone declare they don’t feel like they’ve eaten properly unless meat was on the plate! We’re here to bring you some good news – as much as we love to consider ourselves a nation of “meat mouths”, vegan cuisine is growing in variety and accessibility locally, and you can find tons of delicious options that will make your 40 day and night commitment a breeze to honour!
Before you begin…
A proper vegan diet includes grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes (dried beans, peas and lentils), seeds and nuts and excludes meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs.  Amazing health benefits aside, it’s important to be mindful of how you’re managing this type of diet, as certain crucial nutrients are primarily derived from meat, and it’s easy to develop deficiencies.
What it is:
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient naturally found in animal products. It’s needed for overall good health and body function and helps to convert the food you eat into energy and reduce feelings of tiredness and weakness.
How you typically get it: fish, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy
Replace it with: Jamieson’s B12 supplement. It’s formulated using unique time-diffused caplets which allows the vitamin to be released in small quantities over 6-8 hours, helping to keep cells and tissues saturated over a long period of time.
What it is: a macronutrient commonly found in animal products that is the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. 
How you typically get it: meat, fish, eggs
Replace it with: tofu, tempeh, fortified veggie burgers, dried beans, peas (chickpeas and black-eyed peas) and lentils (red, brown and green lentils), quinoa, and peanuts 
What it is: an important component of haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body.  There are actually two types of iron, one derived from animal products, and the other from plants. Vegans and vegetarians require twice the amount of iron daily, as iron derived from plants is not easily absorbed by the body. 
How you typically get it: meat, fish, poultry, dark green leafy vegetables
Replace it with: dried beans, peas and lentils like kidney, chickpeas and black-eyed peas, red, brown and green lentils, nuts and seeds like cashews, almonds, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and vegetables like cooked spinach, kale and potatoes with their skins.
Together with a well-balanced plant-based diet, a daily multivitamin is your best defence against developing nutritional deficiencies from a lowered intake of iron. Jamieson’s 100% Complete Multivitamins are formulated with 10mg of iron, along with a perfectly balanced mix of vitamins and minerals so you can feel confident you are getting 100% or more of the nutrients your body needs each day!
With the right amount of research, experimentation and planning, your 40-day vegan diet might just last a lifetime! Not completely convinced you can make the sacrifice of going completely meat-free? Check out our blog on a modified vegetarian diet that’s equally delicious!
Hungry for more? Read all our Health and Wellness tips!