Wednesday star Jenna Ortega confirmed that she abandoned her veganism while filming the hit Netflix show because she said she found it difficult to get the needed nutrients while living abroad in Romania.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that appropriately planned vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

A number of studies over the years have revealed that plant-based diets most often include more fiber, antioxidants, potassium, folate and vitamins A, C and E, compared to Western diets. A Vegan lifestyle can even help people maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and certain cancers developing. However, following a poorly planned plant-based diet can result in an insufficient intake of some vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12, calcium, iodine and iron.

Eating a healthy plant-based does not have to be complicated or stressful – the key is in the planning. Here are additional tips to help you maintain a balanced and nutritional diet as a Vegan:

  • Start slowly. If you are just getting started with the Vegan life, move one meat or animal product from your diet each week. Replace it with a fruit, vegetable, whole grain or plant-based protein.
  • Stay practical. Make sure your meal plan that fits your schedule and budget. Skip the weeknight takeout and try to do meal preparation on weekends.
  • Eat a variety. To make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, it’s important to eat a variety of foods within your balanced meals.
  • Find a support system. Connect with other vegans or vegetarians to exchange recipes and healthy eating tips.  Stay in close communication with your dietitian. If you are looking for support and guidance, contact me today!

If you find following a plant-based diet to be hard, let’s chat – Click to Apply! It’s important to understand how to plan your meals, shop for the healthy items, and monitor yourself in order to be successful in reaching your healthy weight as a Vegan.

Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN