Here’s why you should consider a plant-based diet

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Why ditch dairy? We got the low-down from top diet and fitness vlogger, blogger and author Zanna Van Dijk

As a personal trainer, co-host of the BBC’s Fit and Fearless podcast and co-founder of the body-positive #girlgains movement, Zanna Van Dijk has helped thousands of women love and look after their bodies.

Why did you decide to follow a plant-based diet?

A whole host of reasons – reducing my environmental footprint, avoiding harm to animals and, of course, improving my health.

How have you benefitted mentally and physically?

I feel much happier knowing that my dietary choices are in line with my ethics and beliefs. Physically, my hair has become much thicker. I also perform better than ever during training. I have more energy and I feel like I bounce into the gym!

Why do you think so many people are turning to plant-based diets?

The sharing of knowledge and resources online. In the past, it was harder to learn about the benefits of a plant-based diet. Now, it’s easier than ever. And mainstream coffee shops, cafes and restaurants are making it less intimidating by stocking vegan options.

Veganuary has been more popular than ever this year, but why should we consider going vegan all year round?

Nutritionally, it’s a no-brainer. And plant-based eating, or just eating a more plant-based diet, is something we should all consider for environmental reasons. You’re contributing to positive change by just reducing your meat and dairy consumption.

What are your favourite plant-based recipes?

I love a chickpea curry or a spicy black bean burrito. I live off legumes and I love making plant-based porridge with grated carrot, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. It’s like a carrot cake for breakfast! And I use almond milk in everything, from porridge to pasta sauces.

Can you share any tips for people thinking about making a permanent change to plant-based?

Eat smart and ensure you get all your nutrients. I use Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Nutri + Calcium in my smoothies to give myself an extra calcium boost, and I like using Nutri + Protein in my porridge.

And finally, what are your top three essential ingredients for a plant-based diet?

Lentils and legumes are a permanent fixture, and nutritional yeast can be a great source of vitamin B12. The Almond Breeze Nutri+ range of plant milks by Blue Diamond are my most recent must-have. Each Nutri+ milk is available with added calcium, protein or fibre, so it’s a great way to pack in vital nutrients. 

Win a wellness package worth £200

We’re giving you the chance to celebrate your new lifestyle by giving away 10 wellness packages worth £200 each, courtesy of Blue Diamond Almonds. Each prize includes a VIP pass to London’s leading healthy lifestyle event Balance Festival, three classes at cutting-edge fitness centre Barry’s Bootcamp, plus a hamper packed with Blue Diamond goodies. To be in with a chance of winning, answer the question below…

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Sorry, the promotion closed about 4 years ago. Don’t worry, you’re still a winner to us. We have loads of other competitions running every week.