People choose to go vegan for many different reasons. One of the key reasons people choose to make the change is for health.
There are a lot of studies and research out there that say that eating meat is no good for the human body. Documentaries like What The Health or Forks Over Knives are a great source of information and will give you a deeper insight into animal products being one of the leading causes of life threatening diseases such as diabetes, cardio vascular disease, obesity and cancer.
Now for some people who stumble upon this information, they will want to drop all animal products immediately. As long as you are not eating animal products you are eating healthy and in the clear, right? Well, think again!
Being a vegan is commendable. Even if health is your main reason to switch, you are now not only eating for yourself, you are eating more consciously for the health of the planet.
BUT – Just because you are a vegan eating potato chips, Oreos and white bread PB&J sandwiches does not make you healthy! They are still considered junk food and guess what, if all you eat is junk food, you are guaranteed to become malnourished and sick.
I have encountered too many people who have tried to be vegan like this and have been discouraged from living a healthy plant based life because of it.
Because of this, I like to use the term, whole-food plant-based (or WFPB). If you want to be a healthy vegan, you need to be eating as many plant based whole foods as you can. This means a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts and grains, as unrefined and unprocessed as possible.
(Photo credit 0medz0.com)
Avoid preservatives and additives and get yours hands on as much fresh food as you can. The fresher the food, the more prana (life force energy) that the food will still contain and will give to you.
If you can, BUY ORGANIC and SPRAY FREE.
It can be pricey and sometimes hard to get your hands on depending where you are but its an investment into your health!
Thinking back to my party days and remembering how much I used to spend on one boozy night out, really puts spending money on good food into perspective.
Try to keep your produce as local as you can. Its actually been proven that by eating the food that grows in your region and climate helps your body remain balanced and more in tune with your surroundings and environment.
In regards to supplements the only one I take is a B12 vitamin. You can also add extra B12 into your diet buy cooking with Nutritional Yeast and adding Spirulina and chlorophyll to your diet!
B12 comes from a bacteria that is naturally found in mineral rich soil. Due to factory farming and over use, the soil does not have enough time to replenish all of its minerals and vitamins, including B12. The meat eaters don’t supplement for it is because in most factory farming they are injecting their livestock with B12 supplements so that you don’t have to! (umm… thanks, I guess?)
Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures but its also how we get our energy to live and regenerate! “You are what you eat”, so think of that next time you go to pick up a packet of deliciously processed and artificial Oreos. Its nice to treat ourselves here and there with vegan junk food but remember to respect your body and what it needs to be able to function at its optimal level for you!
If you look after your body, your body will look after you!
All in all, going vegan is pretty easy but the key is to educate yourself.
If you are currently eating meat, cutting out the meat first and switching to vegetarian is a good start. That’s how I started!
Its important to note that you may feel tired or week for up to 2 months, making the switch to vegan. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED. This is your body celebrating that you are no longer putting in toxic animal products and you are now going through a state of purification. This may result in skin irritations, moodiness and lack of energy. Push through and you will feel the vitality boost at the end!
Anyone is able to try a WFBP diet but I would recommend seeking guidance from a doctor if you are on any medications, especially diabetes. I would also not recommend switching to veganism during pregnancy. Based on copious amounts of research, I am all for vegan pregnancies but it is super important to have sound knowledge on what you need to eat and how your body works with a WFPB diet before you try a vegan pregnancy.
READ, READ, READ – EDUCATE YO’ SELF!
My biggest piece of advice for anyone wanting to go vegan would be, educate yourself as much as you can. Read books, reach out to online and in person communities, soak in as much information as possible.
If you are going to make the change you are going to encounter a lot of people who will want to challenge what you are doing. For the most part, your choice is pushing others to look at their own habits and that can be confronting. For your own knowledge about your own health and to be able to stand your ground and educate others in the face of adversity, I can recommend two books.
Ok, so Meat Is For Pussies sure is a confronting title and the language is definitely colourful. But if you don’t mind that, its super entertaining, packed with information and easy to understand. The book is more written to challenge the macho-man who thinks he needs to eat meat to be manly but as a woman, I really enjoyed it! John Joseph is an absolute machine!
For someone who wants something with more scientific depth, I highly recommend Dr. Colin Campbell’s, The China Study. He is the Godfather of WFPB nutrition in my books. It can get a bit scientifically heavy at times, but its been written in a way to make complex concepts logical and easy to understand.
The big secret to vegan health is “a variety of fresh produce”. At the end of the day you are never going to truly know how it reflects on your body until you give it a go.
I took this photo in 2016 on a beach in Goa, India.
Cows being free, as they should be.