Truth is, veganism is more than just a diet…
It’s a lifestyle.
Regardless, a lot of people assume veganism is automatically healthy, and a one way ticket to burn all their belly fat, get rid of high blood pressure, and feel young again. As someone who’s a huge promoter of the vegan diet, I’m here to tell you that’s not always the case.
Trust me, there are fat and unhealthy vegans just like there are fat and unhealthy yoga instructors, athletes, and trainers.
It’s not just about the diet, it’s the quality of the diet.
So how should you go about your vegan diet so that it provides you with the incredible health benefits that everyone always raves about?
Are you eating whole based foods?
Nothing is truly better for your body and mind than quality organic food straight from the ground.
A great rule of thumb: The fewer steps it takes to make or prepare your food, the better and healthier it will be.
For example, what do you think is healthier?
Kale that is homegrown in your own garden or salted kale chips from Whole Foods?
You already know the answer.
Kale from your garden is straight from the source! No hormones, pesticides, chemicals, or other bullshit.
Meanwhile, salted kale chips from supermarkets are bathed in salt and other unnecessary ingredients.
Ever notice all the different weirdly pronounced ingredients are found on so many nutritional labels? Do you ever wonder what these ingredients are comprised of?
It’s better to just stick to foods that don’t have an ingredients list the length of a book.
Another great example is peanut butter. There are many different brands of peanut butter out there, but take a look at the nutritional label.
The best and healthiest brands will only have one ingredient! “Salted roasted peanuts.”
Other brands will contain ingredients such as “corn syrup solids, hydrogenated vegetable oil, ferric orthophosphate, rapeseed oil” and so much more. Only about 60% of the actual jar is made with peanuts, the rest is unnecessary.
Here’s a list of whole based foods that you should consume:
- Soy: Tofu, Tempeh,
- Leafy Greens: Kale, Spinach, Vegetables
- Fruit and Mixed Berries
- Plant-Based Milks: Coconut, Almond, Pea, Soy
- Nuts and Seeds
- Legumes and Beans
- Whole Grains: Pasta, Oats, Dark Grainy Bread
- Healthy Fats: Olive Oil, Avocado, Coconut Oil
Are you eating too much processed fake meat?
When most people transition to a vegan diet, it’s tempting to just eat processed foods and mock meat.
And while I love eating a plant-based burger once in a while, eating too much is just like eating any other junk food.
Don’t assume just because mock meat made from pea protein concentrate is ‘healthy’ because it’s vegan.
Mock meat is loaded with salt and other processed compounds.
One of my favorite vegan wings is available at all Whole Foods stores nationwide, it’s called Fruffalo Wings.
The entire package, including the salt, has a whopping 860mg of sodium…
Here is a list of tasty vegan substitutes that are delicious, but should only eat once in a while!
- Substitute Meat (Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger)
- Substitute Deli Slices (Tofurkey)
- Packaged Seitan
- Vegan Cheese Not Made from Cashews
- Vegan Frozen Pizzas
Are you doing your part?
The last point to realize about veganism: It’s more than just a diet.
Veganism is a lifestyle.
You can eat all the healthy plant-based foods you want but being vegan abstains from more than just meat.
Plastic, for instance, is something that many vegans avoid purchasing if possible.
Plastic is an ever growing problem for our planet, specifically our oceans. There are millions of pieces of plastic bags, bottles, and packaging floating endlessly in the deep blue.
Sadly much of this plastic will take thousands of years to decompose, meaning it’s here to stay.
And what’s even worse is that most plastic has only 1-time use! You go to a grocery store and use a plastic bag only once to carry your groceries. You buy plastic bottled water, drink, and then throw it out.
The results are devastating. Ocean life like fish, turtles, whales, coral reefs, the ocean floor, and everything else becomes entangled with this one time use plastic.
Many sea animals ingest the plastic thinking it’s food, which ends up killing them. And since the ecosystem of the ocean has such a large food chain, predator consumes animals who have already ingested the plastic, poisoning the predators as well.
Plastic is only part of the problem.
Other products like Styrofoam, chopsticks, bathroom wet wipes, Q-tips, and much more end up in our landfills and in our oceans.
If you truly want to be vegan, it’s best to avoid products like these and convert to re-usable and compostable/biodegradable products.
Buy your own reusable bags, reusable water bottle, avoid using too much paper, limit ink cartridges and reduce water usage.