Adopting a Plant-Based Diet

Adopting a Plant Based Diet
By Ellie Laks Founder, The Gentle Barn

Adopting a plant-based diet is definitely a process and an evolution! In my experience, the most important part of doing it successfully is making sure your body has enough protein, calcium, and iron. We don’t need meat or dairy to be healthy, but we do need these nutrients.

I like to drink a protein shake every morning. You can get the protein powders from most grocery stores, but be careful to ensure that all the ingredients are plant based. It is a great opportunity to eat fruit as well, especially for kids. You can mix the protein shake with mangoes, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, apple juice, almond milk, raspberries, or blackberries. And add a handful of broccoli or almonds for calcium. A great source of protein is Seitan, low in fat and cholesterol but high in protein and taste. It is sold at Whole Foods and other stores.

I also recommend juicing every day if you can. You can add almost anything, like cucumbers, carrots, celery, beats, oranges, apples, kale and lemons. It is a great way to get vitamins into your body and it can give you an energy boost as well!
Almonds and broccoli are fantastic sources of calcium and we make sure to eat them several times a week! You can lightly steam the broccoli and add salt and pepper, eat it with your favorite dressing or try it raw!

Dark leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, chard, spinach, and beets are all great sources of iron! You can lightly steam them for about 5 minutes, add salt and pepper and you are ready to enjoy!

To ensure the proper amount of B vitamins, Omega 3 and 6, calcium, protein and iron I take different kinds of algae, which boosts my immune system, helps rid my body of toxins and helps me gain mental clarity and focus. There are a lot of great companies that sell a multitude of great products.

Here are the ones that I use for myself, my family and animals. They have different products to choose from.

Sun Chlorella: They have Sun Chlorella Super Food for humans as well as Rejuv A Wafers for animals. Contact Nathan at (800) 829-2828 ext 2604 or email him at

New Earth : This is where I get my protein shake, digestive enzymes and APA Blend for humans and animals. Call our office for more information, or (661) 252-2440.

The way I like to shop is to go to the store and read labels. When you find something plant based that looks interesting, take it home and try it! If you like it, eat it, if you don’t, try again. Pretty soon you will have a kitchen full of vegan things that you love to eat, that taste good and that are good for you, and it will be easy!

Some suggested products to try:

  • Earth Balance buttery sprea
  • So Delicious ice cream
  • Gardein alternative meat substitute
  • Tofurkey hot dogs and deli slice
  • Veganais eggless mayonnaise
  • Tofutti cream cheese and sour cream
  • Silk yogurt

I have been vegetarian for over 35 years and have been vegan for over 15 years. I have raised three children vegan, my husband is vegan and they are so healthy and strong. My kids have been taking algae their whole lives. A plant-based diet is easy when you set your body up for success!

Even dogs can be vegan. I feed our dogs quinoa or brown rice, different beans and lentils, and different veggies all cooked up in a crock-pot. I add digestive enzymes, probiotics, and algae to it. The dogs love it, their coats and eyes shine, and they have plenty of energy. It is also great for weight loss.

Link for Over 15,000 Awesome Recipes:

Informative Films:

Informative Books:

  • Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-based Diet by Brenda Davis, R.D. and Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.
  • Diet for a New America by John Robbins
  • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M Campbell II
  • Living Vegan for Dummies by Alexandra Jamieson
  • Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
  • Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth About Cow’s Milk and Your Health by Joseph Keon
  • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love! by Jennifer McCann

We hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any other questions. We are here to help!

By: The Gentle Barn
Source: Ellie Laks Founder