Guidelines for Planning Vegan Meals

The term vegetarian is nothing new to me since I have been a veggie pretty much most of my life. So a vegetarian diet basically excludes meat, poultry, and seafood. There can be exceptions to vegetarians, like some may choose to leave out dairy products from their meals while others like me may include eggs in the diet plan.
So then, what is a vegan diet? It seems to be the latest fad today. Vegans not only avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also eliminate milk, eggs or honey. In simple words, they avoid eating anything that produced by an animal.
Let us say, you are planning to throw a party over the weekend for your friends. The circle also includes some friends who are veggies or vegans. Here are some tips you can follow to ensure you serve up the right dishes on the table.

3 guidelines when planning vegetarian meals

Remember vegans don’t have any animal produce, but no worries you still can cook up a nutritious meal without it.
Include the green vegetables, especially the red, yellow or orange kinds. Serving salads with a dash of flaxseed oil would be a great idea. You can use vegetable protein in the form of legumes, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, seeds or soy. Potato, rice, pasta, bread can be added as a source of carbohydrates.

You add flavor to the meals by including other optional ingredients such as mushrooms, eggplant, beetroot, onions, seaweed, sprouts or bamboo shoots. You may also use herbs and spice that are fresh or dried like basil, oregano, coriander, garlic, ginger, chili, pepper or mustard seeds.

You can also add tomato in the paste or pureed form. Organic Soy milk can also be used as a milk substitute for making white sauces. Fruit juices can be served for drinks. Use Olive oil and non-GM canola oils best choices for vegan. However, remember to use oil and iodized salt sparingly.

Tips for planning vegetarian meals

There are essentially two types of vegetarians. A lacto vegetarians are those who do not eat meat, fish, poultry or eggs, but do have dairy products while ovo–vegetarians don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or dairy, but do eat eggs.

Depending on this you can choose what to serve your guest maybe have a balance of both. You can choose from a variety of foods, including grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy products and eggs if desired serve a balanced meal.

Opt for healthier versions, substitute refined grains with whole grains and use brown bread. Add protein to the meal with dairy products like cottage cheese, yoghurt, eggs, quinoa, and protein-rich vegetables like peas, spinach, broccoli, sprouts and mushrooms.

Why is Protein Complementation Important when Planning Vegan Meals

Vegetarians and vegan diet usually lack protein from animal sources, hence including complementary proteins in meals and snacks will protect them against any deficiencies. Combining two or more plant sources of protein allow them to obtain sufficient levels of all the essential amino acids.

Here are some food combinations that provide complementary proteins:

  • Soups or stews that include legumes and grains
  • Salads made with beans and nuts or seeds
  • Peanut butter on whole-grain bread
  • Hummus with whole-wheat pita bread
  • Tofu with brown rice
  • Tofu stir-fry with whole-grain noodles and peanuts
  • Beans and brown rice
  • Yogurt with almonds

Planning vegetarian meals for the week

A good meal plan needs to consider how often you cook, how much time you have to cook, and what you’d most like to eat. Be flexible and switch your options and eat fresh and seasonal vegetables and fruits. Take a cue from some of the meal ideas given here:

Breakfast ideas

  • Pancakes with fresh berries or smoothies
  • Oats with cooked apples, raisins, and cinnamon
  • Plain yogurt with granolas, honey, and fresh berries
  • Scrambled eggs with spinach and steamed vegetables
  • Vegetable omelet with mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, and cheese
  • Peanut-butter toast with a banana and cold cereal

Lunch ideas

  • Tossed salad with fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and dressing
  • Toasted pita with hummus, fruit with cottage cheese, and trail mix
  • Grilled-vegetable and cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread
  • Fruit salad with yogurt and peanut-butter bread
  • Rice with steamed vegetables, nuts, and a piece of fruit
  • Vegetable curry with flatbread

Dinner ideas

  • Vegetable stir fry with brown rice
  • Curry with hard-boiled eggs and sautéed vegetables
  • Pie with a side salad and 100% fruit juice
  • Veggie taco with lentils, tomatoes, lettuce, and seasonings on a whole-grain tortilla
  • Multigrain pasta with fresh tomatoes and pesto sauce
  • Pizza with vegetables and mozzarella cheese

Sample vegan diet for pregnancy

During pregnancy you need to consume added protein to ensure that your baby gets enough of it. It is important to consume 70 g of protein during this period.

Here is a sample vegan meal plan that would be helpful for pregnant women.

Breakfast : Protein smoothie made with two frozen bananas, 1 cup frozen wild blueberries, 1 cup frozen cauliflower, 2 scoops pumpkin seed protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (plus filtered water as needed).

Mid-Morning Snack: Pink lady apple with 2 tablespoons almond butter.

Lunch: Lentil salad (with about 1 cup cooked lentils) + a dollop of hummus.

Mid-Afternoon Snack: 1 cup red grapes + 1 cup strawberries.

Dinner : Burrito bowl with 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup cooked pinto beans, 3 ounces scrambled extra-firm tofu, pico de gallo, 1/2 mashed avocado, 1 cup romaine.

Dessert: A few nibbles of dark chocolate.

Sample Vegan Toddler Menu – What to feed a vegan toddler?

Feeding a vegan toddler need not be challenging if you follow these simple guidelines. Include breast milk and full fat fortified soy milk at least 5 times a day. Serve toddler size portions of vegetable, fruits and beans at least twice a day. Also serve a single portion of nuts and this ensures they get a balanced diet.

Sample vegan menu for weight loss

If you need lose weight in a healthy way be sure to include these in each meal:
One protein (for maintaining and building muscle, which is important for metabolism)
One carb (for energy)
1-2 vegetables (for vitamins, minerals, and fiber)
1 fruit/colorful vegetable (for vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants)
1 fat (yes, your body needs fat for nutrients like Omega 3 and DHA!)
1 green (very important for weight loss and getting enough iron and calcium on the vegan diet)

Planning balanced Vegetarian Meals

Vegetarians needs a lot of proteins if you have eggs helps you meet the required portion. Else you can have cereals or muesli with nuts and top it off with yoghurt. It is a wrong notion that vegetarians are at risk of being low in the mineral iron. There are plenty of plant based foods that are good sources of it. Have this with a small glass of fruit juice, rich in vitamin C, to optimize your body’s iron uptake. For those who avoid dairy, like milk and yogurt, choose alternatives fortified with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium.

Striking the perfect balance

FoodPortion Size
Bakes like brownies/flapjacks (as an occasional treat)2 of your fingers
Butter/spreads/nut butter (no more than 2 or 3 times a day)The tip of your thumb
Carbs like cereal/rice/pasta/potato (include 1 portion at each main meal and ensure it fills no more than ¼ of your plate)Your clenched fist
Cheese (as a snack or part of a meal)2 of your thumbs
Nuts/seeds (as a snack or part of a meal)1 of your cupped hands
Protein like tofu/beans/pulses (aim to have a portion at each meal)Palm of your hand
Savouries like popcorn/crisps (as a snack/treat)2 of your cupped hands

Whichever diet you follow it is important that you eat it in a balanced way. So eat healthy and stay healthy !

10 everyday habits to keep your house clean

Everyday habits to keep your house clean and your mind sane. These are my top 10 habits which I have built over the years. Habits do take time to master and also old habits are difficult to let go off.

1. Routines – Front Load your Day

Routines are important for anyone whether it be a child or a mom.

We are all are working on routines day in and day out. Being a mom we do not think we have routines or sometimes feel so overwhelmed with things to do.

This is is why it is important to take a note of all you want to get done and then prioritize. Once you have your priorities in order pick the most important tasks and do them first thing in the morning.

Frontloading your day ensures that all the important heavyweight stuff is taken care off. As you tick off items from your to-do list it feels as weight has lifted off your shoulders.

2. Make your bed

Watch video and skip reading…

It’s been a year since I have been making sure I make my bed first thing in the morning and it helps kickstart my day on a positive note.

Having a clean bed brings in a lot of energy, positivity to the bedroom. A clean made bed compels us to clear out the rest of the room.

So I encourage you to try this one simple thing and come back and let me know if it worked for you.

3. One Load of Laundry – Put Clothes Away

I always have piles of clothes to get to everyday. I try to play catch up but that is how life is.

We use a lot of clothes. We don’t reuse any clothes. In the sense once we have worn it, it goes in the wash. So there is always a huge pile and keeping up with it was something I dreaded.

I decided enough was enough

Laundry was getting out of hand. It became the source of fights and squabbles. The why should I always be the one doing the laundry mentality was just not cutting it any more.

That’s when I decided looking at my family’s needs it made sense to do one load of laundry per day. This ensured everyone had clean clothes to wear.

Laundry redefined

I had to redefine what laundry meant. Laundry was just not dumping the clothes in the washing machine. It was washing the clothes, drying them, folding last days load and putting it away.

That is laundry and I am trying to make myself accountable to keeping this beast in check.

4. Wash Bathroom – Sink and Commode

I hated anyone stopping by as this meant a meltdown. I had to clean the house, the bathrooms, the washbasins .

By the time guests eventually stopped by I was totally exhausted. I had been cleaning for hours and the house was still not looking put together

This is when I started making some routines and stuck to them.

Cleaning my washbasin and commode ( toilet) is one of those routines which I ( TRY) to do everyday.

This is not a deep clean, it is just a basic clean making sure that there is no toothpaste stains or soap scum.

It makes the bathrooms looking cleaning with just 5 minutes of working on them.

5. Clear out Dishes from Sink – Unload Dishwasher

My kitchen sink was a mess and if I let it it can easily sneak back to being a mess.

This is one area I struggle with daily and one day I hope to have it in control.

Till that day comes I just need to ensure that I keep my sink clear of dishes as soon as I can. There is always some dish left there by me or the kids with the intention of getting back to it later.

Sadly later never comes

That is because clearing out the dishes never had been on my list of things I really want to do.

I hate going through them a gazillion times a day.

For now I made a pact with myself. Clean it after you use it. And it seems to be working…

Also I try to keep the sink clean at night makes mornings more pleasant.

6. Put Dishes Away

I must admit I am still struggling with this. It is common for me to leave washed dishes on the counter top to air dry and well they end up air drying till next day or worse a week🙄

So I had to tackle it in a simple way else I would never do it.

Thats when I made a few diy fixes. I punched a few holes in the cupboard just above the sink. This helps water drain off when I put washed dishes there.

Once they drip dry I come back and put them away.

No more dishes on countertops

This works for me. Dishes I cant fit in there I try to wipe them dry with a dish towel and put them in their rightful place.

7. Clean Countertops – Keep Dining Table Clear

Dining table is where we spend most of our time. This is the place where grocery gets dumped, food is dropped, school bags are dumped, lunch boxes are dumped.

We as a family try to make sure we do our chores and that includes keeping such surfaces clean and clear.

8. Clear Clutter from Hall

The hall or living room is the first thing guests see and hence I make sure this is clean and picked up.

I make sure things are picked up and tidied and in their place.

9. Keep Floors Clear

All floors are picked up as and when I can. I spot a piece of paper then I pick it up. A toy lying around, kids are asked to put it back.

10. Clear Hotspots

A hotspot is a place which seems to gather stuff no matter how much you try to keep it clean and clear.

I have many such places at home. These include my side table near the bed. The dining table, kitchen counter.

I conquer them …

I have not stopped them from piling up because they do. I just have started spending sometime each day to keep them clear.

These were my 10 everyday habits to keep your house clean,.

What are yours?

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UrbanClap Partner

UrbanClap allows people to register themselves as service providers under their partnership program.

How UrbanClap Partner works

The company is an interface between customers and service providers.

For eg: If you are a Career Counselor, you register yourself as a career counselor.

A person looking for a career counselor will find you and contact.

If you want to speak with them or contact them, you need to buy credits and then you can contact them.

🚫 Remember you must go to customers place. So if you provide a service at your office or home, this is NOT for you.

UrbanClap Partner App

If you have a smartphone download the UrbanClap partner app

The registration process is similar to the web based one shown below.

How to register on UrbanClap

Step 1

Go to
https://partner.urbanclap.com/professional-sign-up

Step 2

Click on sign up

  • Choose your service
  • Enter your mobile number

Step 3

  • Setup your profile
  • Add a photo
  • Describe your service
  • Enter your information
  • Add the location you will provide service in

Step 4

Wait for customers to send in a request.

If you want a customer details then you need to go to next step.

Step 5

  • Buy a pack of credits.
  • You need to go here https://partner.urbanclap.com/recharge
  • Once you buy a pack of credits, you can use these to get customer details

UrbanClap Review

Pros

  • UrbanClap makes it easier for service providers to get in touch with customers.
  • Service providers can get new leads and maybe work just sitting at home
  • Easy to setup
  • Can communicate via chat or call with customer

Cons

  • Service provider or partner has to service at customers location
  • Partner does not know if customer is genuine
  • Partner has to pay first to access customer details
  • Safety concerns for ladies, does Urban clap screen customers and service providers?

Update

I got a response from UrbanClap and here it is. Needless to say I am impressed 😀

UrbanClap

Urbanclap is fast becoming one of the

apps to be reckoned with. Started by two young entrepreneurs for the Indian market, Urbanclap helps users to access the services they want whether it is a plumber, electrician masseuse or a tutor.

Service providers and professionals can register themselves, put up their profiles and be found when customers search for local providers.

It helps generate leads for their services and link them to prospective customers.

Urban clap boasts of 3 million users and more than 100000 professionals registered on their platform.

Urban clap claims to be a one stop destination for all services and has competitors are in the same space with competitors such as JustDial which is also expanding their reach through their mobile app.

Urban clap still has some issues to iron out but they have solid backing from investors like Ratan Tata,Accel etc. All we can do is wait and see how everything pans out for them.

UrbanClap Partner program

If you want to offer services then you need to register yourself as a partner on UrbanClap. This can be done via their website or better yet via their app. Read more