International Directory for Vegan Nutritionists
Don't let anyone tell you anything – get competent advice instead! In the ecodemy International Directory for Vegan Nutritionists you can find your expert: on site or online.
Anyone who wants to eat a vegan diet needs the knowledge to do so – this is the tenor of nutrition societies. But what if neither your doctor nor a conventional nutritionist can give qualified information about plant-based nutrition? It is quite simple: turn to someone who is an expert in this area! Are you concerned about your nutrient supply, are you looking for help with weight management or do you have other questions for which you need professional nutritional advice? Here you can find independent vegan experts who can give you competent and reliable advice.
You can search the directory by name, location or radius, specific qualifications, focus areas and services, the availability of the consultant (e.g. on site, by e-mail or via Skype) as well as by completed foundation and additional training at ecodemy® and even combine individual options. Good to know: All consultants registered in the directory have agreed to comply with the ecodemy Ethics Policy
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Vegan Nutrition Counseling – Guiding Through the Jungle of Myths and Facts
Eating a healthy vegan diet is nowhere near as complicated as it sometimes seems. But seeking vegan nutrition advice can be sensible, especially if you are just discovering a plant-based diet. When starting the transition, many questions can arise: Is the fear of protein deficiency well-founded? Are vegan convenience foods unhealthy? What's the deal with vitamin B12? Does a vegan diet automatically make you thin? But even experienced vegans sometimes face new challenges: Veganism and pregnancy, what is important now? Can I also do competitive sports with a vegan diet? How can I lose or gain weight healthily?
There are many variations of a vegan diet. Strictly speaking, a person who only eats soy yogurt with oatmeal, for example, is vegan for sure. But it is obvious, that with such a "diet" a nutrient deficiency is pre-programmed. The counseling offer therefore runs under the premise “How can the vegan diet be healthy, tasty and suitable for everyday life?” A diet that is adapted to the needs and preferences and with that supports the individual well-being is the goal. Good to know: calorie counting, calculators and all the other things that are common in many diets are not necessary. Often they are counterproductive for a long-term dietary change. The vegan diet is multi-colored and versatile, delicious, health-promoting and practicable in every life situation: from the sandwich for the kids in school up to the gala dinner, and of course the afternoon coffee and cake does not come too short either.
Vegan Nutritionists as Competent Partners
When vegan nutrition is discussed, one topic is a perennial favorite: Where do the vegans get their protein? The fact is, however, that in the industrialized nations today a lot of animal protein is consumed, which can potentially favor the development of various diseases.
Another hot potato: vegan convenience and substitute products. Some people find vegan sausages, pizzas and cheese delicious. Others consider them to be completely superfluous, and some people ask themselves whether they should better avoid these products for health reasons. Basically, heavily processed products are often poor in micronutrients and have a high salt and fat content which is the reason why they should not make up a huge part of the daily diet. However, this applies to vegan as well as non-vegan convenience products. There is nothing wrong with eating soy burgers and co occasionally. Often, these products can make the switch from an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet easier.
Potentially Critical Nutrients in a Vegan Diet
Indeed, vitamin B12 must be supplemented in a vegan diet. This fact cannot (and also must not) be denied. Interesting to know: Vitamin B12 is often also added to the animal fodder. Saving the detour via products of animal origin is therefore by no means as “unnatural” as it is sometimes represented. By the way, people with a mixed diet are often not sufficiently supplied with this important vitamin!
There may be an undersupply of some other nutrients, if the diet is not nutrient-dense and not varied enough. However, since this can also be the case in an omnivorous diet, it is rather a general problem of an unbalance diet. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals – for all the basic fundamental questions around the vegan diet and of course also with individual concerns Vegan Nutritionists are competent contact persons.
Vegan Nutrition: Enjoying the Way to Well-Being
While rigid dietary plans and prohibitions are still common in conventional nutrition counseling, the future-oriented and ecologically conscious Vegan Nutrition Counseling is based on a holistic point of view. Here, two aspects are of utmost importance: enjoyment and well-being. If a person is used to eating too much, too fatty, too salty or in general eating unhealthy, a “ban” does not help. “Salad instead of pizza starting tomorrow” will not work long-term – and it is not fun.
Gradually replacing nutrient-poor meals, gradually incorporating nutrient-rich and delicious meals into the meal plan, and building enthusiasm for fresh, colorful, and varied foods – this is how the modern Vegan Nutritionist works. Transitioning to a whole-food diet too fast can lead to digestive problems. Therefore, the way to a healthy plant-based diet is not supposed to be a radical one, but a pleasant journey on which – step by step – a new culinary territory and a whole new kind of well-being is experienced.
A Cooperative Partnership
What is true for the nutrition-related aspects of Vegan Nutrition Counseling is also apparent in the interaction between counselor and client. When coming to a Vegan Nutritionist, one should feel comfortable! Especially people with overweight or people who have very unhealthy eating behaviors, are often reluctant when it comes to visiting a nutritionist. Some of them have probably made negative experiences as well. It is important to meet the clients where they currently are, seeing their motives and needs and to not only appreciate their personal responsibility, but also to support it.
Good counselors see themselves as partners with their clients and meet them as equals. Their role is to clearly identify their client's goals and work with them to find a way to achieve those goals. The pace and the size of the steps to get there are determined by the client.
Personal responsibility is a high value, which needs to be supported and demanded. This is the only way that a client can benefit from a completed consultation in a sustainable and long-term way.
Quality Characteristics and Scope of Services of Vegan Nutrition Counseling
How do Vegan Nutritionists work and how to find the right one? Examining one’s own eating behavior in detail is a very private matter. One important consideration when choosing a consultant to work with for a short or long period of time is easy to name: Sympathy and trust. Moreover, there are additional quality characteristics to look out for.
A short introductory call which should be free of charge, provides an initial opportunity to check whether “the chemistry” is right. There, the concrete goals are shortly mentioned. People who already eat vegan, perhaps need a check of their meal plan or optimize their nutrient intake. They can even benefit from little tricks like combining certain foods.
As a newbie a more comprehensive counseling is probably desired and for a sustainable reduction in bodyweight several months of support can be helpful.
Many Nutritionists also give seminars, for example at education centers for adults or families. There you can get a good first impression as well.
The Interaction in Vegan Nutrition Counseling
After getting to know each other, previous eating habits are examined and goals are discussed. The counselor will also get an overview of the client’s life situation, in order to be able to act accordingly. A single person needs different suggestions than someone who cooks for a whole family every day. An athlete has different goals than someone who wants to lose a few kilos. Regarding the responsibility of the counselor, questions about a possible medical history are also asked.
When the goals are defined, you can already get a few tips. Then, often a food diary is kept for seven to fourteen days which is used as the basis for the actual Vegan Nutrition Counseling.
Ethics and Responsibility
With very severe overweight, underweight or the suspicion of an underlying disease, a serious vegan nutritionist asks for a check-up with a doctor. The consultation may and should only begin with the actual work, if it is ensured that the client is not ill. Vegan Nutritionists are not allowed or want to be active in healing or therapy (except they have an additional training which allows them to do so).
Reputable Vegan Nutritionists do not sell (obscure) nutritional supplements. Because the declared aim of a competent consultation is to enable the client to eat healthy. This way, the nutritional demand can be primarily met via apart from vitamin B12 and often vitamin D. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, for example for populations with higher nutrient demands, for example in pregnant people.
A dietary change needs time and there will be one or the other relapse into an eating behavior which is no longer desired. This is a normal part of the process. Nothing speaks against checking the nutritional behavior from time to time with a nutritionist or getting a few new tips after having completed the initial consultation.
Ethics in Vegan Nutrition Counseling
However, there are also people who cannot or do not want to achieve their healthy eating goals. In this case, it is a question of ethics to terminate the cooperation with the client after an appropriate period of time. Anyone who regularly visits a nutritionist for years without achieving any successes is definitely not well advised.
For people who would like to go deeper into the matter, be it out of personal interest, in order to feed the whole family vegan in a healthy way or perhaps even to work as a nutritionist a view on our distance learning course to become a Vegan Nutritionist is worthwhile.