Tag Archives: nutrition

Best Vegan Sources of Protein

You need protein for the growth and repair of muscles, organ tissue and DNA, production of white blood cells, enzymes and hormones. Protein is rich in B vitamins which are good for the nervous system and helps us to cope with stress and reduce anxiety. Signs of deficiency include anxiety and skin problems. Vegans need to eat a variety of plant foods to get all the required amino acids that the body needs. As a qualified Nutritional Therapist, I have a good knowledge of the best vegan sources of protein.

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Here are the best vegan sources of protein:

The following foods are complete proteins containing all the essential amino acids.

Tofu – is made from soy bean mashed into a block. It is a great source of protein. However I would not recommend eating a lot of tofu as it contains phytooestrogens which mimic the hormone oestrogen. It can mess with your hormones, especially if you are a man. It is popularly believed that they eat a lot of tofu in the East, but actually they eat mainly fermented soy beans such as tempeh, miso and natto.

Quinoa – is a seed that is a complete protein containing all 9 amino acids. It is quick to cook in around 10 minutes. You can use  it in place of a grain with a main meal or in a salad.

Amaranth – is also a complete protein. It is sweet and makes a tasty amaranth porridge in place of the usual oat porridge for breakfast.

Buckwheat – is a complete protein as well. It goes well in a main meal with carrots, brocolli and a veggie burger.

Hemp seeds – You can use hemp in the form of hemp protein powder. It is great added to smoothies or on your porridge for breakfast. It is one of the best sources of vegan protein as it is a complete protein.

Chia seeds – you can sprinkle chia seeds on your breakfast porridge, add to smoothies or make chia pudding for a tasty dessert.

Other Good Sources of Protein

The following foods are not complete proteins and may have one essential amino acid missing. Therefore you need to eat these proteins with other plant-based foods such as chickpeas, nuts, seeds and beans.

Lentils – are a good source of protein. There is 20g of protein in 75g of lentils, which is 1 or your 2-3 daily portions of protein. It is delicious in a red lentil dhal. However they are not a complete protein so you need to eat them with rice or bread to get all the essential amino acids.

Almonds – these contain the high amount of protein of any of the nuts. You can have a handful of almonds as a snack, add them to cereal, oat flapjacks or in smoothies. You can also grind them up with other nuts to make a great base for raw vegan desserts such as raw mango cheesecake.

Chickpeas – you can add chickpeas to curries for extra protein or make hummus which can be used as a dip or spread.

Beans – you can also add beans to curries for additional protein or with a baked potato. You can make a delicious vegan spaghetti bolognese with kidney beans. Also you could make a tasty butter bean spread.

If you would like more information of vegan nutrition, please contact me to book an appointment for a nutrition consultation.

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Supplements for Vegans

When on a vegan diet it is important to make sure you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs to function optimally. I have listed the 4 essential nutrients and supplements for vegans below. My recommendations are based on the knowledge I have learnt on my 3 year nutrition course. I want to share my knowledge with vegans so they can remain healthy on a vegan diet.

  • Vitamin B12 – is important for making red blood cells, energy and concentration. It is found only in animal products so it is vital that you take a vitamin B12 supplement. I recommend BetterYou B12 Boost Oral Spray. It is a sublingual spray that is absorbed under the tongue directly into the blood stream for faster action.


  • Omega 3 EPA & DHA – is important for brain health, building cell membranes and reducing inflammation in the body. The active form of omega 3 EPA and DHA is only found in fish and eggs. ALA is found in flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, rapeseed oil and walnuts. ALA is converted to EPA and DHA is the body but it is thought that only 5% is converted. I recommend taking Opti-3 Omega DHA & EPA supplement. The recommended amount of omega 3 for an adult is 2g per day.


  • Zinc – is involved in over 100 enzyme reactions in the body. It is also important for a healthy immune system, producing stomach acid to digest food, appetite and taste. Zinc is found mainly in animal products, especially seafood and also in fresh root ginger, cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds. I recommend all vegans take 15mg of zinc daily. A good supplement is Biocare Nutrisorb Zinc Plus Ascorbate with zinc in it’s most absorbable form. Also good is Biocare Zinc Citrate.


  • Vitamin D – most people in the northern hemisphere are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D functions like a hormone and is important for bone health and mood. You can get vitamin D from animal products and mushrooms. The easiest way to get vitamin D is from 20 minutes exposure to sunlight on bare face and arms daily. In the winter months it is recommended to supplement with vitamin D as your body stores are used up after 3 months, so last until December. A good, clean vegan supplement is Cytoplan Vitamin D3 2500IU made from lichen.


It is always best to get the nutrients you need from your diet if possible. Supplements ‘supplement’ your diet and are not a replacement for a healthy diet.

Nutrition Year 1

Hi everyone!

Last weekend I had my first lectures on year 1 of my nutrition course (last year was a foundation year in Anatomy & Physiology) at the College of Naturopathic Medicine. It was great to see everyone from my class again and some new faces! There are 40 people in the class this year as group A and group B have joined together and some people have joined us from London! It has really energised me to be around so many like-minded people who I feel I can easily express myself around, with more confidence and no fear of being sneered at or criticised for my alternative health beliefs.

It’s been over a week since my last blog post which is a long time considering I was posting up to 3 posts a week during the summer break! I wanted to let you know that I am back to studying again and very busy! I will try my best to cook new recipes and write some blog posts if I have the time! At the moment I have lectures every other weekend and my first assignment due in 2 months! I’ve set myself a goal to read 20 pages of my notes every morning to read through everything in time for the exam in January. I have some recipes ideas in mind and need to finish my Therapies to Heal ME Part 2 post!

So hopefully I will have the time in between studying to blog and connect with you all again which I miss!

What Happens When You Connect To Your Life Purpose?

What happens when you connect to your life purpose? Well when I started following my dream of being a nutritionist and helping people to transform their health, a series of coincidences took place.

Ever since I visited the nutritionist in the midst of my illness in July 2010 I wanted to do that job. At one point I looked online for courses and came across the CNM Nutrition Diploma course. It looked amazing because it incorporated the mind, body, spirit link and naturopathic treatments into the course! Just my kind of holistic approach! I enquired but did not enrol because I thought I would not be able to afford to find the money to do the course as I was only working part-time. So I put my dreams to one side and carried on with my average life.

Then I met a man at Vegfest in Hove. We discovered that we had the same passion for using diet to cure illness and lived in the same town! He invited me over to his house for lunch and we started spending a lot of time together. We became close and one evening driving back from his Mum’s house in Deal, Kent he said to me “Kate you are stuck in a rut in your job. What do you want to do with your life?” So I told him I wanted to be a nutritionist. He said when we got back, we would have a look at courses online. So the next day we had a look and he saw the CNM course and said that looks good and it is very near to where you live.

So I booked an open day online and we went along together. As soon as I was there I instinctively knew this was right for me and what I wanted to do. I had no doubts in my mind. When they mentioned the course fee I felt anxious. How am I going to find the money to fund the course? I was panicking in the car journey home. He was reassuring me that I would find the money and everything would work out ok. So the next day I checked my bank account and discovered I had just enough in savings for the first year of the course if I used my credit card as well! The first year was starting that weekend! So I paid over the phone there and then on the Thursday and enrolled in the course! If it wasn’t for a push from him, I never would have joined the course. People come into your life to help you move forward on your path.

A few months after enrolling on the course, I felt the need to break up with him, as I didn’t have time to study and spend all my spare time with him. It was too much. Also there was a huge age gap between us. I’m glad he came into my life, but it wasn’t right for me.

So as I now had a lot more time on my hands, I began a regime of meditating for 15 minutes every morning which is excellent for oxygenating the body, releasing tension in the muscles and relaxing the mind. One morning, in a meditative state after the meditation I created a blog. It’s like an outside force was guiding me forward. It had been on mind for at least a week and I had been thinking of names. So I created Kate’s Inspired Cooking on 11th April 2014!

Blogging has brought so much joy and creativity into my life! I have learnt how to take good photographs and write inspiring articles! I love cooking and have done for years! So now every time I make a new recipe, I type it into Word and take some photos of the finished product! It is joy to connect with lovely people from all over the world through the WordPress.com reader! And now, after 3 months of blogging, I am grateful to have over 150 followers and growing!

It is important to me to connect with people with ME/CFS. I seek out ME sufferers and share my story with them so they know they are not alone. When I was ill I felt completely alone and misunderstood. Unsupported by doctors and deserted by so called “friends”. I feel it is part of my life purpose to give hope to people with ME.

The important point on my journey was in July when I read an article in the CNM newsletter about the director of CNM who had used homeopathy to recover from the chronic pain after having an operation on his fingers which he accidentally cut off working in industry. At the end of the article they mentioned, “If you have an interesting story of using natural remedies to recover from illness, please contact our PR department.” So I emailed them with the link to My Story on my blog. A couple of weeks later they got back to me saying they would like to publish my story across their platforms! So I answered their questions and await to see the final version online!

Shortly afterwards, they contacted me saying that What Doctors Don’t Tell You magazine is looking for interesting health recovery stories and can they put my name forward. I immediately said “Yes!” and not long after I received a phone call from the editor of the magazine saying he would like to put my story in the magazine! I was over the moon! It means that my story can be spread worldwide and reach many readers of the magazine who have the so called incurable illness ME. The next morning we scheduled a phone interview and I told him the details of what happened during my period of illness. He was a lovely guy and so understanding and on my wavelength in terms of views on the health system. So we ended the call as I had to go to work in my part-time admin job. After arriving, the photographer called and we arranged a date for the photo shoot! I was so excited!

So here I am, having returned from the photo shoot earlier today, awe struck to have met the amazing photographer John Clement who has photographed Stephen Fry, Jo Brand and Rachel Stevens among others! He is going to email me some of the photos and article will be published in several weeks! I am so grateful for these amazing opportunities that keep coming my way! This is what happens when you connect to your life purpose! The journey continues from here…

Welcome to Kate’s Inspired Cooking Blog!

Welcome to my blog! My name is Kate and I am creating this blog to post healthy, vegan recipes to hopefully inspire you to get cooking and get healthy at the same time! I will also be writing about my experiences of using nutrition to recover from ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and hopefully inspire you on your health journey.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts! Feel free to leave comments and feedback below. I will read every comment and respond as soon as I am able.

I look forward to connecting with you!