As with any diet around, it all depends on what your basis of nutrition will become
I have tried and failed with many diets throughout my time. About 99% of them have been unsuccessful because of the following reasons;
- They were too expensive because of all the added supplements and complex food needed
- The food was not suitable for my allergies
- I had to eat too much food, and it caused me some dreaded gut imbalances
- Time-set nutrition didn’t work in conjunction with my lifestyle
- I experienced results after three months and then went back to my usual size
- I felt tired, irritated and was a complete bitch at times
The list could go on and on. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten my symptoms. One thing that did work in terms of my health, well-being and lifestyle was fasting, and I have stuck with this for a very long time, despite the negativity around it for women. Sure, there is something negative about anything, but if it works and doesn’t cause any side effects — don’t listen to the naysayers (because they are the kinds of people who haven’t even tried something but offer an opinion). So, how does veganism get into the mix of this lifestyle plan? Simple; the key is to achieve optimal health as a holistic being — based on my inner values regarding animals and the planet itself. I often as myself, ‘what can I do to play a small yet significant path in making the planet a better place?’ That all starts and ends with my life and how I can encourage others too. Although I’m not a complete vegan because I occasionally eat eggs and love my honey drizzled on smoothie bowls, adapting to a predominantly plant-based diet has worked well for me. I began in January 2022, and now I choose to continue with it, based on my recent blood results and my doctor’s tick of approval. A study performed in 2016 by the Mayo clinic physicians have concerns vegans may be missing vitamin B12, iron, calcium, vitamin D, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Replacements of these vitamins can be found in various supplement forms, and I suggest you reach out to your doctor to see what you are lacking and the suitable replacement. Although my doctor did not suggest replacement supplements, I take a hair and nail, iron, probiotics and vitamin C supplement. I have noticed a remarkable difference in my hair and nail growth and skin quality. Being a vegan isn’t for everyone — but we can all adopt some of the benefits of this diet and adapt it to our lifestyle in little dribs and drabs. I mean adding more veggies to our meals, having a ‘meat-free’ day or perhaps one meal. These minor occurrences make a HUGE difference to the planet — not to mention your health!
What a vegan diet is not
I have seen this occur too often, and I must mention its importance. Like meat is available in processed and artificially induced variety, so is vegan foods! You can’t miss these products, as they line the fridge stores and shelves in supermarkets. All those ‘fake meats’ or deep-fried so-called chicken non-chicken schnitzels and fake cheese. I have tried a few alternatives, but the same thing occurs. My gut becomes uneasy, and it induces a lot of stomach disturbances and has exposed me to an allergic reaction too often. That’s why I stay away from processed meals — no matter how desperate I am. I won’t go near them. I encourage you to look next time you shop and check out the ingredients. You may be surprised at how many artificial colours, flavours, and thickeners and how closely it has been exposed to things like ‘dairy’ and ‘peanuts’. This is probably why I get a reaction from them. Beware — lots of vegans and meat-eaters become obsessed with the ‘fake’ alternatives, and that can cause you to become obese and damage your health markers.
What’s the healthy vegan way
The healthy way is old-fashioned, with fresh fruit, veggies, grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. That’s pretty much it! Learning to embrace these wonderful foods’ simplicity is tough for many people — because it may get a bit boring. I sometimes get bored, but I like consistency with my food choices because that results in fewer allergic reactions, steady energy levels, and optimal doses of antioxidants and phytonutrients. I understand this may not be the most glorious diet’, but I have learnt to make my dressings and use fresh and dried herbs and spices. Let garlic, onion and herbs do the talking through their flavours.
What are the benefits for you?
The good news is that if you want to lose weight or maintain it, a vegan diet can help you. A study conducted in the Journal of Diabetes Care showed that people who didn’t eat meat had a lower body index than meat-eaters. You will also reduce your risk of developing type two diabetes and blood pressure. The benefits of consuming more plants daily are grounded in so much evidence. Eating a large number of various fruits and veggies increases our fibre intake, supporting our gut health and providing our bodies with the vitamins and minerals it needs. Cutting out animal products is also good for the planet. Veganism benefits the planet since reducing animal products will help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Meat and dairy consumption is fuelling global warming. This is due to the animals producing methane gas into the environment, and deforestation for housing this livestock also adds to the impact of this world disaster.
Given this evidence, what do you do?
It’s pretty simple; all you can do is the bare minimum: eliminate one meat meal per week and add more into your week as time goes on. Try out different meat-free alternatives and experiment a little over your weekends. Try to abstain from buying fake meats, and instead, get stuck into enjoying fresh fruit, veggies, grains and seeds. Add more herbs and spices into your life and experiment with the flavours and textures. Then, steam, bake or even air fry. Try to stop yourself from deep-frying anything. Instead, I highly recommend investing in a slow cooker or cooker pressure and perhaps an air fryer if you love crispy potatoes and veggies. You can still enjoy them — but healthily and more sustainably. If you start doing this now, can you imagine how much impact it will have on your health, weight, and planet? Here are some recipes to get you started. Vegan recipes array of delicious, plant-based recipes for those meat-free days-dimos.medium.com
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