By Angelica Gavaldon.

I am always fascinated by the great variety in which people choose to eat healthy. What works for one may not work for the other. There are so many debates and arguments about how, when and how much to eat that a consensus is impossible. I wanted to dedicate this article to someone I have seen transform her approach to nutrition successfully through choosing to become vegan.

Lately, I have noticed many people are going vegan. I saw my beautiful 14-year-old niece, Sinaia Haskal, recently signed by a modeling agency and a great tennis player, go from eating a plate full of brownies in one sitting to only consuming fruits and veggies. While Sinaia never had a weight problem, her disciplined personality drove her to want to lead a healthier lifestyle. She was inspired to make this big change when she saw a documentary which made her want to give up all processed foods. So, this is what she eats and how she has changed her nutrition.

Breakfast: Only fruit. Sometimes this may even be a half pineapple in one sitting. As incredible as that sounds, I have witnessed this myself.

Snack: Nuts, cashews, almonds, or whatever it is she is craving.

Lunch: Some type of vegetable and more fruit. Sometimes she may have a protein bar, which is as processed as her food will get.

After School Meal: This is always a plate full of colorful vegetables as well as lentils. She may also have sweet potatoes for carbs and tahini for extra calories.

Snack: More fruit.

Dinner: Again, more vegetables and sometimes peanut butter with cacao and fruit.

To keep her regimen regardless of special events, she will eat before or after the occasion. Since turning vegan, Sinaia has also had clearer skin and more energy.

Despite the many benefits seen with the diet, there was concern whether Sinaia was getting enough protein. After much research, her usual animal-based protein was replaced by plant-based foods that contain just as much protein as a steak. You would be surprised how much protein you can add throughout the day just by eating certain vegetables and nuts. Below is a list of vegan protein sources:
• Tofu
• Beans
• Lentils
• Quinoa
• Amaranth
• Soy milk
• Almond milk
• Green peas
• Chia seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Artichokes
• Peanut butter
• Broccoli

I am not recommending anyone change their diets as I am not a nutritionist nor a doctor; if you are considering this please consult your physician. Instead I am encouraging you to be committed to living a healthier lifestyle. If reading this inspired you to change your diet, then it is the first step to a healthier you!