5 Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

5 Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet

Welcome to a world where the power of plants can transform your health and our planet. The rise of plant-based diets has gained momentum for good reason. When I decided to embark on a vegan lifestyle, I discovered many changes in myself, both physically and emotionally. Not only does this conscious dietary choice offer a multitude of health benefits, but it also holds the key to reducing our carbon footprint and fostering a sustainable future.

Are you ready to embrace the green revolution from your plate?

Reduced Inflammation

By adopting a plant-based diet, you’re embracing a lifestyle that can help soothe the flames of inflammation within your body. Plant foods, rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, possess the incredible ability to combat oxidative stress and lower inflammation levels. Studies have shown that plant-based diets are associated with reduced markers of inflammation, potentially mitigating the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and even certain types of cancer.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

Choosing plants over animal products goes beyond personal health; it’s a significant step towards mitigating our environmental impact. Animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. By adopting a plant-based diet, you’re actively reducing your carbon footprint, conserving water resources, and preserving our precious ecosystems. This is echoed in a study by the University of Oxford which found that adopting a plant-based diet can reduce your carbon emissions by up to 73%!

A Plant-Based diet can significantly reduce your carbon foot print.

Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

One of the most prevalent health concerns worldwide, type 2 diabetes, can be mitigated through the power of plants. A plant-based diet, abundant in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, offers a plethora of nutrients, dietary fibre, and low-glycemic carbohydrates. This combination helps regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Embrace the natural sweetness of plant foods and savour the benefits for your long-term health.

A plant-based diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Protecting your heart has never been tastier! A plant-based diet has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, the leading cause of global mortality. By excluding or limiting animal products, you’re reducing your intake of saturated fats, cholesterol, and dietary heme iron, which are known to contribute to cardiovascular issues. Instead, plant-based foods provide a wealth of heart-healthy nutrients like fibre, antioxidants, and healthy fats, protecting your precious ticker and promoting cardiovascular wellness.

Improved Gut Health

Nourishing your body with plant-based goodness does wonders for your gut microbiome. Plant foods are rich in fibre, prebiotics, and beneficial compounds that support a diverse and thriving gut microbiota. This thriving ecosystem of microorganisms in your gut plays a crucial role in digestion, immune function, and mental well-being. By opting for a plant-based diet, you’re feeding your gut with the nutrients it craves, fostering a healthier balance of bacteria and reaping the rewards of improved digestion and overall wellness.

Embarking on a plant-based journey is an empowering choice that brings immense benefits to your health and our planet. By reducing inflammation, minimising your carbon footprint, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and improving gut health, you’re embracing a lifestyle that prioritises wellness and environmental sustainability. These benefits became the catalyst for creating my own business, Plant Essence, where I prepare meal plans to kick-start your vegan journey. 

Your plate becomes a catalyst for positive change, creating a greener and more sustainable future. Let the vibrant colours of plant foods paint a brighter future for your health and our Earth. Embrace the green revolution and discover the transformative power of a plant-based diet! 

Not sure where to start? Why not take some inspiration from my previous blog where I share simple, but delicious plant-based recipes straight from the blender.

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Vegan Foods to Kick-Start Your Day

Vegan Foods to Kick-Start Your Day

Rise and shine, early birds and sleepyheads alike! It’s time to infuse your mornings with a burst of energy and vitality. In the realm of breakfast wonders, there are vegan delights that are specifically designed to kick-start your day with gusto. From the metabolism-boosting powers of coconut water to the fibre-rich embrace of oats, the natural sweetness of dates, and the nourishing richness of avocado, these vegan foods are here to awaken your senses and infuse your mornings with the vitality you deserve.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s more than just an old wives’ tale. To me, breakfast is a moment of nourishment and renewal—and when you embrace a vegan lifestyle, breakfast becomes an even more thrilling opportunity to fuel your body with wholesome, plant-based goodness. So with that said, let me share with you some of my favourite vegan foods to start my day.

Coconut meat and water are excellent vegan breakfast staples!


Coconut Water

Bursting with electrolytes, this heavenly drink will hydrate your body, promote digestion, and boost your metabolism. I like to think of coconut water as my morning metabolism booster drink. It’s a refreshing way to wake up your taste buds and prepare yourself for the day ahead.


Coconut Meat

While we’re on the topic of coconuts, let’s not forget the deliciously versatile meat. Creamy, dreamy, and oh-so-nutritious, coconut meat can be a fantastic addition to your breakfast bowl. Whether you sprinkle it on your oatmeal or blend it into a smoothie, coconut meat adds a tropical touch that will transport you to a beach paradise.




If you have a sweet tooth and want a natural, guilt-free way to indulge, look no further than dates. These luscious, caramel-like fruits are packed with fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Enjoy them as a snack, blend them into a smoothie, or stuff them with almond butter for a divine breakfast treat. Dates will add a touch of natural sweetness to your morning routine, without the dreaded sugar crash.


A timeless breakfast classic, the humble yet mighty oat is the true hero of breakfast. Packed with fibre, protein, and essential minerals, oats are a vegan breakfast staple that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Whip up a warm bowl of oatmeal, top it with your favourite fruits, nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup, and you’ve got a filling, balanced morning meal that will fuel your adventures.



I’m a big fan of tahini –  it’s one of my most used vegan ingredients, as it adds so much flavour to any vegan dish. Made from ground sesame seeds, this creamy delight is a rich source of healthy fats, protein, and calcium. Slather it on toast, drizzle it over your oatmeal, or use it as a dip for your fruits. Tahini brings a nutty and luscious twist to your breakfast, leaving you feeling satiated and ready to seize the day.



Packed with potassium, vitamin B6, and natural sugars, bananas belong in any vegan breakfast
A timeless breakfast classic, the humble yet mighty oat is the true hero of breakfast




Packed with potassium, vitamin B6, and natural sugars, bananas are nature’s very own energy bar! This vibrant fruit is a fantastic way to kick-start your day; slice it over your morning cereal, blend it into a creamy smoothie, or mash it onto toast for a quick and easy vegan breakfast option. For a little guilty pleasure breakfast, you could even try my blender recipe for banana ice cream, perfect for those summer mornings that are too hot to function.



Last but certainly not least, we have the reigning monarch of healthy fats – the avocado. Creamy, indulgent, and brimming with nutrients, avocados make a fantastic addition to any breakfast spread. Spread them on toast, blend them into a silky smoothie, or whip up some mouthwatering avocado pancakes.

Remember, the magic of vegan breakfast lies in its ability to nourish your body while tantalising your taste buds. You don’t need to sacrifice flavour or excitement when adopting a plant-based lifestyle. Embrace these vegan foods with a sense of joy, knowing that you’re starting your day with ingredients that are not only good for you but also contribute to a more compassionate and sustainable world. Your taste buds and body will thank you, and your day will be off to an extraordinary start. Of course, if like me you’re a bit of a busy bee and find you don’t have the time, you can always order a delicious vegan breakfast from Plant Essence, my plant-based foodie venture. Cheers to a vibrant and fulfilling breakfast that sets the tone for an amazing day ahead!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
My Most Used Vegan Ingredients

My Most Used Vegan Ingredients

Healthy plant-based wraps provide a nutritional meal

Protein and Carbs

No matter how long you’ve been vegan, the one question you hear time and time again is: “where do you get your protein?” And, while protein is, of course, incredibly important, it’s only one of the three macros you need to maintain a balanced diet. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious, affordable and easily accessible vegan protein sources. My pantry staples are tofu, mushrooms, chickpeas and lentils. 

Tofu: There’s a reason tofu is one of the most popular meat alternative proteins amongst vegans. It’s so versatile. Fried, blended, crumbled, sauteed, baked or even eaten raw – there are countless ways to enjoy tofu. One of my favourites is a breakfast of tofu scramble

Mushrooms: Full of wonderful nutrition, mushrooms are often misunderstood. They’re disliked by people who haven’t given them a chance to impress their taste buds. Mushrooms bring a wonderful umami flavour to any dish and can offer a meaty texture if that’s something you crave. 

I really enjoy trying out the latest vegan dishes at restaurants and cafes. But, you can’t quite beat the satisfaction of cooking yourself a wholesome and nutritious meal using vegan ingredients.

I was a vegetarian for many years before committing to veganism, so I’ve always found food and nutrition interesting. It’s why I went to study the subject at university and started my own plant-based food business, Plant Essence. And, while I love cooking vegan food at home, I understand that for some, stepping into a kitchen and trying to rustle up a balanced, healthy and tasty meal can seem daunting – especially if venturing into plant-based cooking for the first time. 

Which meat and dairy replacements should you use? Should you use them at all? Can you eat chickpeas straight from the can? (Yes, you can!) And, what on earth is aquafaba? 

To set you on the path to confidently cooking vegan food at home, I’ve compiled a list of my most used vegan ingredients with tips and tricks on making the most of them.

Mushrooms bring a wonderful umami flavour to any dish and can offer a meaty texture if that’s something you crave

Chickpeas: Packed with protein, chickpeas are another versatile vegan ingredient. You can add them to curries, make hummus, mash and shape them into burgers or simply enjoy them tossed into a salad. You can even use the liquid from the can, aquafaba, as a vegan egg alternative, whipping it into meringues and mouses. 

Lentils: Just as useful as chickpeas, lentils are tasty in curries, salads and burgers, but they’re also a great alternative to plant-based mince meat – which can be heavily processed and full of salt. Plus, there are plenty of types to choose from, such as green, red and yellow, each providing different flavours and textures. 

While carbs are the easiest macro to source as a vegan, thanks to plenty of options such as rice, pasta and bread, my favourite is the humble potato. 

Potatoes – Unlike bread, potatoes are an unprocessed whole food. You can be safe in the knowledge that you’re consuming all the nutrients they have to offer. And, like many of my staples, they are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in both healthy and more indulgent ways for a balanced vegan diet.

Sweet Treats

Fruits like bananas with agave syrup make pancakes a delicious vegan treat

It’s no secret that I am a self-confessed dessert lover (check out my recent blog to see some of my top guilt-free vegan treats). Since veganism has soared in popularity, supermarkets are brimming with an increasing range of plant-based alternatives for chocolate, cakes, ice creams, cookies and more.

While I am glad to have more options for indulgence, I prefer to opt for natural sources to keep my mind and body in balance. Bananas and agave are my go-to healthy vegan ingredients to satisfy my sweet cravings at home without giving in to highly processed alternatives.

Bananas: Delicious to eat on their own as a snack, bananas are also a great source of natural sweetness to add to cakes, smoothies, pancakes and desserts such as vegan banana ice cream.

Agave: I like to use agave as a vegan alternative to honey to drizzle on pancakes, coconut yoghurt or granola. It’s also an ideal swap for recipes that may call for processed white sugar, such as sweet chilli sauce.


A common misconception I hear about vegan food (usually from meat eaters) is that vegan food is bland. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth! There are plenty of ways to enhance the flavour of your meals. My top three flavour enhancers are nutritional yeast, miso paste and tahini.

Nutritional yeast: A firm favourite in the vegan community, nutritional yeast is the holy grail for adding cheesy flavour to sauces and dips. It’s also a great source of vitamin B12, which can be tricky to obtain in a vegan diet without the help of supplements. 

Miso paste: Available in a variety of types, the most common are white miso and red miso. Both are go-tos of mine for adding to broths, soups and stews to deepen the flavour. 

Tahini: A middle eastern cooking essential, tahini is a thick paste made from sesame seeds. It is often associated with making hummus, but it has so many more uses as a vegan ingredient. Add it to sauces, stews and dressings or simply spread it on toast and enjoy.

As you can see, there are plenty of vegan-friendly ingredients you can experiment with to take your plant-based cooking to the next level in terms of flavour and nutrition. For some easy recipe inspiration, check out my favourite blender recipes and save this blog the next time you head to the supermarket to stock up your pantry!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
My Favourite Guilt-Free Vegan Desserts

My Favourite Guilt-Free Vegan Desserts

I am a huge advocate for adopting a vegan diet as it has many benefits for your health, spirituality and the environment. Done the right way, a vegan diet can be rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats, which can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and other chronic illnesses. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and decrease the unnecessary suffering of animals, making it the ideal diet choice for anyone that wants to do better for the planet and the creatures we share it with. But many worry that going vegan means missing out on sweet treats like cakes, cookies and ice cream.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Vegan desserts can be just as indulgent and delicious as their non-vegan counterparts. And by choosing vegan desserts, you not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also fight against animal cruelty while supporting a healthier food system.

Having studied nutrition at university, I would argue that vegan desserts are an important part of a balanced lifestyle. Treating yourself to a sweet indulgence once in a while can help prevent feelings of deprivation and promote a positive relationship with food. So, don’t be afraid to include vegan desserts in your diet – they can be a delicious and healthy addition to your meals and snacks! So, here are a few of my favourite vegan desserts that I think you’ll absolutely love.

Orange Chocolate Mousse from Plant Essence

If you’re a fan of chocolate and citrusy flavours, then this dessert is perfect for you. The Orange Chocolate Mousse from my own plant-based foodie venture, Plant Essence, is a light and airy dessert made with raw dark chocolate, vegan cream, and orange zest. This vegan dessert is not only delicious but is also packed with antioxidants and healthy fats.


Walnut Brownie from Plant Essence

Another delicious dessert from Plant Essence is the Walnut Brownie. This vegan dessert is made with walnuts, dates, and raw cacao powder, making it both healthy and indulgent. The texture of this dessert is fudgy and moist, and it’s the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.



Vegan Milk Choco Biscoff Donut

Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Ice-Cream from Ben & Jerry’s 

Ice cream is a dessert everyone loves, and it’s easy to find since plenty of vegan options are readily available in most supermarkets! The Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Ice-Cream from Ben & Jerry’s is a vegan dessert that is sure to delight your taste buds. This dessert is made with almond milk, fudge brownies and chocolate chunks, making it a perfect indulgence.


Since vegan desserts tend to include more natural, wholesome ingredients and zero animal products, you can bank on them being just as good for your body as they are for your taste buds. Whether you’re a vegan or not, these desserts are sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. So, go ahead and indulge in these treats guilt-free!

Vegan Orange Chocolate Mousse

Milk Choco Biscoff Donut from Donaccino

For a classic dessert with a vegan twist, I highly recommend the Milk Choco Biscoff Donut from Donaccino – a vegan dessert sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. This donut is topped with vegan milk chocolate and a Lotus Biscoff biscuit and filled to the brim with Biscoff spread, making it a delicious and decadent treat!


Cake Me Out dessert from Vibe Café

If you’re someone who loves to eat cookie dough, then you’ll love the Cake Me Out dessert from Vibe Café at the Al Wasl branch in Dubai. This vegan dessert is ultimate decadence with a vegan cookie dough base, topped with chocolate ice cream, crystal sugar and coconut cream. Plus, the space has funky decor., so it’s a great spot to snap some pics while you enjoy your vegan dessert.


Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non-Dairy Ice-Cream

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Vegan Blender Recipes

My Top 3 Vegan Blender Recipes

Under the assumption that plant-based diets are challenging? Not with these flavoursome vegan blender recipes! 

It’s been three years since I embarked on my journey into veganism, having already spent many years as a vegetarian. TAs my journey into self-discovery and spirituality deepened, I found that veganism was the most ethical choice for my body, my mind and the planet. Not only has my mental and physical health improved, but consuming a plant-based diet has drastically cut my carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

I initially thought the transition would be difficult since there’s a popular notion that plant-based diets are boring and bland, but that could not be further from the truth. Since committing myself to veganism, I’ve discovered an abundance of simple, yet delicious recipes. With these vegan blender recipes, it’s never been easier to rustle something up in the kitchen. 

It’s inspired me to blend my own creations, where I’ve made everything from side dishes and desserts to dips and sauces with just a handful of ingredients.

Here are my top three vegan blender recipes for you to try.

Beetroot Hummus

A twist on the traditional recipe, this beetroot hummus is a tasty addition to any meal. Beetroots are a great source of nutrition too; they’re filled with fibre, iron and vitamin C. Plus, they’re great for improving blood flow making this hummus ideal for a post-workout snack. 


1 cup of chickpeas

1 cup of beetroot

Lemon juice


Olive oil

Salt and pepper  



First blend the chickpeas and lemon juice until the texture is smooth, then add the beetroot and tahini along with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

You can follow along with my how-to video here!

Vegan Blender Pesto

Banana Ice Cream

I often find that vegan ice cream can be really expensive and full of unhealthy additives, so I thought why not try making some at home? The most appealing part about this vegan blender recipe is how versatile it is – just swap out the banana for a fruit of your choice to mix it up. 


2 frozen bananas

50 ml plant-based milk

2 tsp vanilla essence




To make this delicious dessert, all you need to do is pop the ingredients into the blender and turn it on. It’s that simple! Tip it out into a bowl and feel free to add any toppings of your choice. 

Check out my how-to video here!

Vegan Blender Beetroot Hummus

Vegan Pesto

This vegan pesto recipe is amazing for meal prepping as it can stay in the fridge for a few days. Use it as a dip, with pasta or even in sandwiches and salads. It’s an incredibly healthy alternative, too! The avocado is especially filled with vitamins, fibre and monounsaturated fats.


Half an avocado

Handful of fresh basil

Handful of pine nuts

Vegan cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

Pinch of Himalayan salt

Black pepper 



This vegan blender recipe calls for half an avocado, fresh basil, vegan cheese, and pine nuts. Add to the blender along with the olive oil, lemon juice, a pinch of Himalayan salt and black pepper. Blend until the texture is smooth and consistent – the perfect sauce for pasta and pizza dishes. 

Watch my how-to video here

Vegan Blender Recipe

I’ve discovered that being vegan doesn’t mean foregoing your favourite recipes – it just means you need to be creative. It’s never been easier (and tastier) to transition to a plant-based diet, with lots of vegan-friendly ingredients readily available in most supermarkets, making it more accessible for everyone. 

And fortunately, there are lots of incredible vegan food blogs out there to follow, including Pick Up Limes and From My Bowl. My personal journey has become an immense source of inspiration for me too, leading me to create my own vegan food venture, Plant Essence

If you’re curious to learn more about the health side of plant-based diets, read my blogs on macro and micro nutrition. Or, if you have any questions that you’d like to ask me about the topic, please feel free to get in touch!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
5 Tips For Staying Vegan After Veganuary

5 Tips For Staying Vegan After Veganuary

There is nothing new about the phrase ‘new year, new me’ or the idea of building healthy habits as the calendar turns to January 1st. However, whether you’ve committed to exercising more, connecting with friends regularly or adopting a healthy diet, the most challenging part is staying committed for the rest of the year. 

According to health psychology researcher, Phillippa Lally, it takes more than 2 months (66 days) on average before a new behaviour becomes a habit. For those of you who have chosen to try out a vegan diet this new year, I hope this blog will give you the motivation you need to make it a permanent lifestyle change.

Taking On Veganuary!

As a passionate vegan of three years, it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of the non-profit organisation, Veganuary, and its efforts to encourage more people to embrace veganism in January and beyond. The organisation aims to “make powerful strides toward a world where vegan is the norm rather than the exception”, and made huge strides to achieve this last year. At the time of writing, more than 620,000 people from 228 countries have pledged to try a vegan diet this January, bringing the total #Veganuary sign-ups to more than 2 million since the initiative started in 2014. What an achievement!

As mentioned, keeping up with healthy habits is the hardest part of adopting them. So, from someone who’s embraced a vegan diet and lifestyle for 3 years (and been vegetarian for many years before that), here are my top 5 tips on how to stay vegan even after the hype of veganuary has worn off.

Tip 1: Make your favourite go-to recipes vegan-friendly

Embracing a vegan diet shouldn’t feel like a chore. By swapping out a few ingredients in your favourite recipes for plant-based alternatives, you can easily make any meal vegan-friendly. Since adopting a plant-based diet is rising in popularity, suitable recipes are abundant online and there are many ingredients in-store to help support your goals. If you’re on the go, mixing up some healthy ingredients in a blender is a great way to easily incorporate vegan goodness into your diet. 

Tip 2: Plan ahead when eating out

While prepping vegan meals at home can become an easy habit, eating out often stops us in our tracks when trying to embrace a vegan diet fully. Though many chain restaurants now offer plant-based and vegan alternatives, some establishments are still lacking in options. Be sure to think ahead when you’re planning a meal out and research the places that can support your vegan diet, as these are the ones that you’ll keep coming back to!





Tip 5: Don’t get hung up on perfection

Sticking to a diet can be tricky, and the thought of slipping off is daunting. But momentary lapses are only normal and might be circumstantial, like a restaurant not providing vegan food options, or accidentally eating something non-vegan. Don’t beat yourself up if this happens – as long as you can recognise the reasons why and get back on track, then you can continue on your journey.

As with any change or new habit, embracing a new diet takes time and effort, it’s important to give yourself time to ease into the process. If you were previously a meat eater and want to commit to eating plant-based alternatives every day, that might be too much of a change to make all at once. If you’re finding it tough, try going vegan once a week. At the end of the day, anything we can do to make a difference to animals, our planet and ourselves, is a huge step in the right direction.

5 Tips For Staying Vegan After Veganuary

Tip 3: Follow fellow vegans on social media for daily inspiration

Surrounding yourself with like-minded people that are on the same journey as you is a great way to immerse yourself in veganism and be motivated to keep it up. There are many chefs, authors and nutritionists out there who share great content on their websites and socials. As well as Veganuary, I would recommend following Oh She Glows, Deliciously Ella, Tracey McQuirter’s By Any Greens Necessary and Michelle Cehn with World Of Vegan. Plus, I also share regular content about veganism on my social channels (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok) if you’d like to follow my journey.

Tip 4: Continually educate yourself (and remember why you started)

Remember to stand by your reasons for embracing a vegan diet. Whether that’s because you wanted to make positive changes to your mind and body or protect animals by reducing meat consumption, referring back to your “why” will keep you motivated and committed along your journey. There are many books out there to educate on the importance of veganism, many of which are on my reading wishlist, if you’d like to take a look!

Vegan reading

Embracing A Vegan Lifestyle

The easiest place to start is with a plant-based diet – which is where my relationship with veganism began. Having noticed many positive changes in my mind and body since going vegan, this inspired and motivated me to launch my own plant-based food business, Plant Essence! But, once you’ve nailed the vegan diet, you might want to consider other ways to make your life more vegan-friendly. For me, and many others, veganism isn’t just about diet, as it can be applied to many aspects of your life such as your beauty routine, what you wear and how you decorate your home. 


If you’re keen to learn more about how veganism could positively impact your life, read more in my recent blog about what I learned after adopting a vegan lifestyle. Or, if you have any questions that you’d like to ask me on the topic, please feel free to get in touch!

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Balance Your Diet: Micros Edition

Balance Your Diet: Micros Edition

I recently published a blog on the concept of macronutrients and the importance of achieving the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats in your diet. Since then, I have been thinking a lot about the other elements that make up a healthy, balanced diet, and I decided that this topic deserved a part two! So, in today’s blog, I am exploring the lesser-known nutrient group, micronutrients.

What Are Micros?

Micros, or micronutrients, are the essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need but don’t make naturally. They are vital for a wide variety of bodily functions including growth, immune function, brain development, and even preventing and fighting disease. We only need these nutrients in very small amounts, hence the name ‘micronutrients’!

Micros are especially important if you’re following a vegan or plant-based diet, because many of the well-known sources of these nutrients are meat, fish and dairy. However, it is entirely possible to get all of the vital micronutrients your body needs whilst following a healthy, balanced, plant-based diet. In this blog, I will run through five of the most important micronutrients, why our bodies need them, and some of my favourite vegan-friendly foods that contain them.


One of the most important micronutrients, iron supports natural growth and development. Your body uses iron to make haemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body from the lungs, and myoglobin, the protein that provides oxygen to your muscles. Your body also requires iron to make many of the hormones it makes naturally. 

Some of my favourite sources of iron are lentils, beans, tofu, dark chocolate and dried apricots – or, you can boost your daily requirement with iron tablets.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B-12 (also known as cobalamin) is essential for bone health, red blood cell formation, nerve function and the production of DNA. It is also closely associated with mood regulation and energy levels. 

One of my favourite sources of B12 is marmite, but I also take an IV drip twice a month to top up on B12. If you don’t want to take B12 via IV, or there is nowhere close to you that offers the service, you can also find B12 tablets at most pharmacies or health food stores.

Mushrooms bring a wonderful umami flavour to any dish and can offer a meaty texture if that’s something you crave


An important ingredient in the recipe for DNA, zinc is also vital for building proteins, healing damaged tissue and supporting a healthy immune system. It is particularly important during periods of growth, such as childhood and pregnancy, as it helps cells to multiply and grow.

Some of my favourite sources of zinc are quinoa, chickpeas, beans, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Is That All?

While these five nutrients are widely considered the most important, there are actually 20 vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly. Scroll to the bottom of this blog for the full list, with sources and recommended daily allowances (RDAs). 

Contemplating the micronutrients in your diet can feel quite daunting, but don’t worry! The chances are, your diet is probably already rich in most of the nutrients your body needs. The best way to find out is to monitor your food intake through a diet-tracking app like MyFitnessPal, Cronometer or MyMacros+. This way, you can see if you’re already hitting your RDAs and, if you’re not, you can make some adjustments to ensure you are (such as taking supplements or adding a new ingredient to your usual breakfast, lunch or dinner).

Balance Your Diet: Micros Edition

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps your body to absorb and retain calcium and phosphate – nutrients which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with bone deformities, pain and chronic inflammation, so it is important to keep up your intake. 

Some of my favourite sources of vitamin D are portobello mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, almond milk and lots of sunshine!

Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are linked to many health benefits, including reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving eye health, improving risk factors of heart disease and reducing inflammation. They have been shown to help prevent heart disease, strokes, cancer, and may even control lupus, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Some of my favourite sources of omega 3 are algae, seaweed, flax seeds and spirulina.




Micro nutrients

A Micro-Nutrient Booster

My favourite way to give my body a boost of micronutrients is by making this nutrient-rich smoothie once a week. All I do is drop the following five ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth, and then enjoy! 

  • Hemp protein
  • Spirulina powder
  • Flax seeds
  • Frozen banana 
  • Almond milk 

Want to know more about balancing your vegan diet? Read my first blog in the ‘Balancing Your Diet’ series, which focused on macronutrients, here.



Full Micronutrient List


Nutrient Vegan Sources RDA
A Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach 700-900 mcg
B1 Whole grains 1.1-1.2 mg
B2 Nutritional yeast, mushrooms, mange-tout 1.1-1.3 mg
B3 Leafy greens, beans 14-16 mg
B5 Mushrooms, avocado 5 mg
B6 Carrots, potatos 1.3 mg
B7 Almonds, spinach, sweet potatos 30 mcg
B9 Black-eyes peas, spinach, asparagus 400 mcg
B12 Nutritional yeast, fortified soy or cereals, tempeh 2.4 mcg
C Citrus fruits, bell peppers, brussell sprouts 75-90 mg
D Sunlight 600–800 IU
E Sunflower seeds, wheat germ, almonds 15 mg
K Leafy greens, soybeans, pumpkin 90-120 mcg
Calcium Leafy greens, broccoli 2,000–2,500 mg
Phosphorus Nuts, lentils, chickpeas 700 mg
Magnesium Almonds, cashews, black beans 310–420 mg
Sodium Salt, processed foods, canned soup 2,300 mg
Chloride Seaweed, salt, celery 1,800–2,300 mg
Potassium Lentils, acorn squash, bananas 4,700 mg
Sulfur Garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, mineral water None established


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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Breathing Techniques To Calm The Nervous System

Balance Your Vegan Diet: Macros Edition

BSC in Food Science and Nutrition from Coventry


I am forever grateful for my degree, as I find the concept of nutrition comes into almost every conversation I have around wellness, veganism and even spirituality. And, when having those conversations, there is one key topic that frequently comes up – macros.

An important part of any diet, but perhaps even more important for vegans, macros are a valuable tool in maintaining your physical and mental health and reaching your goals. They are something I have spent a lot of time both in and out of my degree researching, and a factor I considered carefully when developing the recipes for my plant-based cloud kitchen, Plant Essence.

In this blog, I’ll be exploring what macros are, why each macro is important and how you can balance yours.

I have a BSC in Food Science and Nutrition from Coventry University. If you’d like to learn more about this qualification, or any others I have, you can find them on my about page.

What Is A Macro?

A macro, which is short for ‘macronutrient’, is one of three categories of nutrients that you eat most often: protein, carbohydrates and fats. 

Keeping track of your macros helps you to balance them out in a way that is right for you, your health goals and your activity levels. It helps you to make smarter food choices and reach your goals faster – both mentally and physically! 

Here is a quick run-through of the importance of each macro…


Carbohydrates get a pretty bad rep, despite being one of the most important food groups we can consume. They are your body’s main source of energy, which is why  a “no carb” diet can often leave you feeling tired and sluggish. But there are many other dangers associated with a lack of carbohydrates, including headaches, difficulty concentrating, nausea, constipation, bad breath as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies. 

Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is then converted into energy to support bodily functions and physical activity. They are known to fuel your brain, kidneys, heart muscles and central nervous system as well as aiding digestion, helping you to feel full and keeping your cholesterol levels in check.

There are three main types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fibre. Sugar can be found in fruit, nectars and syrups, as well as some vegetables and germinating grains. Starch can be found in potatoes, bread, cereal products, rice, grains and pasta. Meanwhile, fibre can be found in vegetables like broccoli, whole grains, beans and lentils, popcorn and some fruits, like apples and bananas.

My favourite healthy and vegan-friendly carbohydrate sources are millet, potatoes and rice.

Vegan Carbohydrates


Protein is well-known for being crucial to building muscle and helping your body to grow and repair itself, but it also has many other important functions, too. Protein helps red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body, supports normal digestive function and regulates hormones. It can also curb hunger (particularly those late-night cravings) and boost the metabolism, helping us to maintain a healthy weight. 

A common misconception of a vegan diet is that vegans often struggle to get enough protein, but that is rarely the case. Protein can be found in a wide variety of plant-based foods, including seitan, soy beans (including tofu, tempeh, edamame and soy milk), lentils, beans, nutritional yeast, spelt, quinoa, oats, rice, chia seeds, nuts, seeds and even fruits and vegetables! For example, did you know that spinach is equal in terms of protein per calorie to chicken and fish?

My favourite plant-based sources of protein are lentils, chickpeas, edamame beans and tofu. 

Vegan Fats

What Is The Right Macro Balance For A Vegan?

Many people talk about getting the “perfect macro balance,” but truthfully this all depends on many factors, including your personal goals, your activity levels and the type of exercise you do. However, there is a general rule that I often recommend. Ensuring your daily calorie intake is made up of approximately 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fats is a great place to start.

Not sure where to start with your macros? Try aiming for 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fats.

While not every meal you eat will have the perfect balance of macros, it is important to try to create a balance like the one in my pie chart in the food you eat each day. Some of my favourite recipes with a perfect macro balance are hummus with flax seed crackers, chickpea & lentil curries with rice, and a breakfast burrito with tofu and avocado.  That’s why all of these recipes are part of the menu at Plant Essence!


Because the word “fat” has such negative connotations, we often shy away from fatty foods for fear of gaining unhealthy weight. However, a moderate amount of fat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Fat is a source of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make itself. These acids are vital energy sources for our body. They influence tissue and cell metabolism while affecting how they function and response to natural signals, such as hormones. Fat also helps the body absorb vitamins A, D and E, which can’t be absorbed any other way. They are helpful sources of energy, as they can be easily stored around the body. Plus, fats support cell growth, keep blood pressure under control and protect our organs! 

There are four main types of fat: monounsaturated, polyunsaturates, saturated and trans. The first two are ‘healthy’ fats, whilst the latter two are not so healthy.  

Healthy (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats can be found in nuts and seeds, olives and avocado, whilst unhealthy (saturated and trans) fats can be found in meat and dairy, palm oil and coconut oil, and, unsurprisingly, in many biscuits, cakes, pies and pastries.

My favourite healthy fats are avocado, coconut oil (in moderation, as it is a saturated fat!) and cashew nuts.

Balance Your Vegan Diet: Macros Edition

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Autumn Wellness Practices To See You Through The Season

Top 5 Autumn Wellness Practices To See You Through The Season

I love the potential of the transitional season, and my top autumn wellness practices will help you make the most out of this time of year. Our energy levels tend to ebb and flow as the season changes. Autumn is a notable time for introspection, slowing down and reconnecting with our mind, body and soul after the high energy of summer. Energetically, it is a great season to practise some self-care and recharge. 

I’ve already posted a blog about the Autumn Equinox, but I wanted to share some other favourite practices I use to help me throughout the season.

1) Holotropic Breathwork

I won’t lie, holotropic breathwork can be a physically and emotionally intense practice. However, when you come out of the other side, I promise you will feel like a new person. Holotropic breathwork takes you through controlled breathing patterns to produce an altered state of consciousness. Once in that state, you’ll find you can move beyond your body and ego, helping you to reach your true self. It’s here that you’ll be able to better connect to yourself, others and the natural world. It’s a great autumn wellness practice since it requires deep introspection to match the energy for this time of year. 

During a session, you will be guided through the fast breathing technique for a few minutes or hours. Due to the intensity of the therapeutic exercise, I would advise seeking a trained facilitator to guide you. A quick search on Google will bring up several local sessions where you can sign up for either one-day or week-long workshops to ensure you are in safe hands.

Meditation Holotropic Breathwork
Autumn Massage

2) Massage Therapy

While there are plenty of types of massage to choose from, including Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone and more, in general, they have similar benefits. In the autumn, we are likely to spend more time indoors being less active than in the summer months, and our bodies can stiffen up. Manually working the muscles aids relaxation as it helps reduce any built-up tension or anxiety in the body. It’s also great for staving off seasonal illnesses like the common cold since massage can remove toxins by improving your blood flow and immune system. 

Massage is also wonderful to incorporate into your autumn wellness practices to promote a better night’s sleep. We require more sleep in the autumn as our bodies slow down to conserve energy during the darker months. Ask your massage therapist to use oils with calming scents like lavender, ylang ylang or chamomile, and you’ll drift off in no time!

3) Sound Baths

Using sound for healing is an old practice dating back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians – who believed vibrations and sounds could positively impact the human body. Now, sound bath sessions are used to aid anxiety, tension, low mood and, in some cases, reduce pain. As a qualified Level 1 and Level 2 Sound Healer from Peter Hess Institut, I am very passionate about adding the healing powers of sound baths to my autumn wellness practices. This time of year is about settling into yourself and relaxing! 

I highly recommend finding a weekly sound bath session to attend. During a session, trainers will create soothing sounds using crystal bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, bells, gongs or a combination of all four instruments. The best thing about attending a session is all you need to do is turn up! While a sound bath can induce a deep meditative state, you don’t have to go that far if you’re still new to meditation. Instead, you can just breathe deeply and let the vibrations do the work for you.

Sound bath

4) Clearing My Space

Just as the trees shed their leaves in autumn, we, too, can shed anything that’s no longer serving us. We’re all familiar with a spring clean, but what about cleaning your space as part of your autumn wellness practices, too? Since we spend more time indoors during this season, you want to ensure your space feels cosy and comfortable. Now is a great time to declutter your space and prepare for the New Year ahead. 

Clearing out my wardrobe has also become a seasonal tradition. While the weather doesn’t change too drastically in my climate, I still like to honour the cooler seasons by swapping out my summer clothes for light jumpers. Autumn is the ultimate cosy season, so I like to dress the part! It can also be a more spiritual practice in noticing that you’ve shed your summer identity. By clearing your wardrobe and storing away out-of-season clothes, you’re acknowledging the person you need to be in the current season. 

Autumn wellness reading

5) Replacing Netflix with Reading

Don’t get me wrong. I love binge-watching a Netflix series as much as everyone else. However, as things slow down in the autumn, I prefer to swap my screen time with getting my nose into a good book. Excessive screen time is linked to increased cortisol levels. Similarly, action-packed TV shows can leave you feeling more exhausted despite your body being inactive. On the other hand, reading can help settle your nervous system thanks to the calming nature of taking things at a slower pace – even if it is an action-packed novel! 

Reading is the ideal cosy autumn wellness practice as it forces you to slow down. This is precisely what mother nature is asking us to do at this time of year. It also requires you to be more present as you are actively reading. You’ll find your thoughts are creative and inspired the more you read. If you need some recommendations, check out my previous blog on books on my personal reading wish list! 

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra
Things I learned after going vegan

Things I Learned After Going Vegan

As I mentioned in my previous blog on plant-based living, it wasn’t long into my spiritual journey that I found and committed myself to veganism. I have been eating a plant-based diet and striving to be vegan in many other aspects of my life, for three years now. I have learned so much about myself in that time, so I wanted to share some of the changes I noticed and some of the myths my vegan journey has busted…

Changes In My Mind And Body After Going Vegan

Going vegan has changed me for the better – and not just physically, but mentally, too. Here are the three ways my mind and body have changed since switching to a plant-based diet:

Change 1: Better skin

Having suffered from horrible acne most of my life, but particularly in my later teenage years, my skin significantly improved since I cut animal products from my diet. Now, my skin is noticeably clearer, more even in tone and texture and less painful than it was in previous years. As someone passionate about leading a completely plant-based lifestyle, I also made the switch to using only vegan and cruelty-free beauty products. Thanks to more natural and vegan formulas I’ve experienced fewer breakouts and allergic reactions as I am no longer putting harsh chemicals on my skin. 

Change 2: Better eating habits 

In terms of my mental health, I have found veganism has given me a much healthier relationship with food. Before I went vegan, I used to be a “gym girl” who would track my calories and macros every time I ate. I would force an excessive amount of protein into my diet and watch my weight daily, constantly striving to reach a “goal” number on the scales. Since going vegan, I haven’t followed a strict diet or counted my calories. Instead, I am more intuitive as I listen to my body and eat what I feel like (within reason!). Now, while my weight fluctuates a little (as it should), I can maintain it without even trying. Exercise is no longer a chore as I enjoy it without feeling the pressure to fuel myself with unnecessary amounts of protein beforehand. 

Change 3: Better compassion 

Overall, I have had a far more compassionate outlook on life since becoming vegan. Not only do I feel more of an emotional attachment towards animals and the natural world, but also the environment as a whole and myself. I know I am living and eating in a way that is better for the world around me and the creatures I share it with. I feel much better about myself as a result of that knowledge. If I make a mistake, I’m more empathetic with myself, because I know I’m doing my best.

vegan lunch

The Myths Around A Vegan Diet

Everyone, whether vegan or not, has an opinion about it. As such, the conversation around veganism is heavily littered with myths about how it impacts the body. From rumours that a vegan diet lowers your energy levels to theories that plant-based eating will make you anaemic and vitamin-deficient, I have heard them all. And – spoiler alert – not all of them are true! Here are the three biggest concerns I had about going vegan before actually making the switch.

Myth 1: Carbs are fattening  

Since a vegan diet can often be very rich in carbohydrates, I was terrified that I would gain a lot of weight if I went vegan. In my late teens and early 20s, I had a huge misconception about carbs and would fear eating them because I was convinced they would make me gain unhealthy body fat. Now that I am actually vegan I realised there is nothing to fear from eating carbs, if anything they are a crucial part of a balanced and healthy diet. As mentioned earlier, I don’t track my calories at all now that I am vegan, and I’m pleased to say my weight has never been more consistent!

Myth 2: Vegan desserts taste bad 

I am not ashamed to admit that I love my desserts. One of my worries going into a plant-based diet was that I wouldn’t be able to continue eating delicious pastries, chocolate or desserts if I went vegan. Luckily, I was wrong! Vegan desserts are just as tasty as anything I ate before transitioning my eating habits. The best part is most of them are made from natural sugars, making them healthier whilst still being equally as tempting. As a self-confessed sweet tooth, I knew that healthy, plant-based desserts were one of the first things I wanted to put on the  Plant Essence menu – my Dubai-based cloud kitchen! 

Myth 3: Veganism is hard 

One of my biggest concerns was that adopting a vegan diet would be hard. The truth is, I found the transition incredibly smooth and I rarely find myself tempted by non-vegan options when choosing what to eat. Admittedly going vegan was a little easier for me than most as I had been vegetarian for over 12 years prior. Nevertheless, I still expected giving up sweet treats to be a tough challenge. Honestly, with all the amazing vegan options on the market right now, I feel spoilt for choice! 

Vegan dessert

Although many of my vegan friends have had similar experiences to mine, it’s important to remember that my experience of going vegan is exactly that: my experience. If you currently eat meat and/or other animal-based products and you choose to go vegan (which I hope you do!), remember that your journey to veganism will also be entirely unique. That’s the beauty of it, really, every vegan has a story to tell!  

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© 2022. TanyaS.Mansotra