Going Vegan: Painless and Fast
Vegans do not consume products that are obtained from animals. That includes cows, pigs, chickens or other birds, fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, honey, or any foods that contain these ingredients. With a wide range of plant-based foods, food products, and recipes to choose from, there’s no reason to slaughter and utilize animals for food.
Quite a few healthcare professionals will tell you to take it slow. I don’t.
I went vegan overnight, and if that’s the proper method for you, outstanding. It’s like gradually becoming Catholic or Buddhist. If you are not committed, you will most likely fail.
The vegan diet is turning out to be more and more mainstream, with people removing animal products for ecological, ethical, and health reasons. Is a vegan diet a personal or moral decision?
The word vegan means removing every item of animal origin. Vegan refers to anything that’s completely free of animal products: no meat, milk, eggs, wool, leather, honey and so forth.
The more vegan foods you try out, the easier it will be to stick with a plant-based diet. Nearly every long-term vegan you’ll meet will tell you that the transformation turned out to be far easier than they expected.
Protein surfaces as a concern. While we all tend to focus on getting sufficient protein, you should know that, the vast majority Americans aren’t under-consuming this particular nutrient.
Back in the 60s, Frances Moore Lappe wrote Diet for a Small Planet. She admittedly went over the edge on food pairing for protein concerns to quiet the meat eaters. I used her plan for well over 1 year in the 70s.
Most plant proteins are considered “incomplete” proteins, meaning they don’t have all nine essential amino acids that animal proteins do. Provided that you eat a variety of protein sources on a given day, you’ll be covering your bases.
Vitamin B12 is only organically found in animal products such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products – all excluded on a vegan diet. Insufficient intake of vitamin B12 can cause symptoms such as megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, loss of appetite, and possibly severe neurological symptoms.
This is the one “fact” that has made me wonder if a vegan diet is truly natural.
Luckily, vitamin B12 is fortified in many vegan foods such as certain plant-based milks, breakfast cereals, and soy products. There are also vegan vitamin B12 supplements that can be taken to make up for the gap of B12 sources in the diet. The key is using those fortified foods on a regular basis, or using a vitamin supplement if needed.
There are actually only a handful of nutrients you need to know about — the biggest ones being B12, Vitamin D, Omega 3s. If you’re eating a lot of veggies, lots of other whole foods, you’ll most likely do better than most people on the rest of required nutrients.
Even athletes, who have particular protein needs, can meet their quota by choosing a variety of plant protein sources, according to a recent study.
A study published in 2009 also found that diabetics who followed a vegan diet exhibited greater improvements in blood glucose control, and some were even able to reduce their diabetic medications. I’m going for total elimination.
Beyond the obvious environmental and animal welfare benefits, you can expect some big health perks by sticking with a totally meatless menu. Evidence points to a lower risk of cancer, which goes along with the fact that a vegan diet includes plenty of antioxidant and fiber rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Food has healing qualities, and the foods emphasized on a well-designed vegan menu are linked to improvements in blood pressure, reductions in heart disease, and a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
If your diet consists primarily of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, you’ll be getting a lot of fiber, and a year-long study found that this one dietary change helped people shed about 5 pounds.
No matter what food camp you’re in, choose whole foods over processed ones is nutrition. Focus on plant-based whole food staples, like beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and veggies, and you’ll be setting yourself up for a nutritious vegan diet.
Then I ran into a YouTube Video “Best Speech You Will Ever Hear” – Gary Yourofsky – https://youtu.be/es6U00LMmC4 that changed my opinion. Gary Yourofsky is a lot extreme, but there’s no denying he’s made an impact on many omnivores (myself included). The comparison of animal slaughter to the holocaust only seems to offend non-Jewish people, since using that exact argument has turned a huge portion of Israel vegan.
People don’t like you to talk about the incredibly inhumane way that animals are treated especially while they’re eating the animals. It makes them feel bad, defensive, even angry. That’s not a way to open people’s minds. If they ask while they’re eating, just give them the bare minimum, smile, and enjoy your vegan food.
I am not going to preach to you. I cannot control what you think or do. I can contribute to the ecosystem of the planet by going vegan, but that’s not my purpose.
There’s a plant-based alternative for almost every type of food you can think of, so you don’t have to miss out on any of your favourite foods. I will eat substitutes on occasion, but I prefer real foods and not frankenfoods.
As Jordan Peterson and others have said, make your own bed before you go out and try to change the world.
If you don’t want to go all in, or if for some reason you are stuck in a situation where you don’t control your diet (like prison), do what you can.
When done right, adopting a “part-time” vegan diet can increase the plant foods in your diet while decreasing animal products high in saturated fat. Emphasizing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes force you to rethink the way you fill your plate.
There are different varieties of vegan diets. The most common include:
Whole-food vegan diet:
A diet based on a wide variety of whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This eliminates processed foods like pasta, breads, and commercial cereal.
Raw Vegan Diet:
Most raw food diets are vegan by default, though raw foodists are mostly concerned about their health primarily. Some do include raw honey, though this isn’t vegan. Raw vegan diets either focus on nuts and seeds or fruits as their main source of calories. The gourmet raw diet is more on the fatty side, including cold-pressed oils, nut-based desserts and heavy sauces.
This is a top-tier level of the plant-based diet, however, raw diets can also be high in fats as well. If you like raw fruits, veggies, and nuts, the raw vegan diet just might be your calling.
Chiropractor Doug Graham wrote a book called “The 80/10/10” diet in 2006, which focused on eating fresh, ripe, whole, organic fruit along with leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often a lot of protein.
The Starch Solution:
A low-fat, high-carb vegan diet similar to the 80/10/10 but focuses on cooked starches like potatoes, rice and corn instead of fruit. Dr. McDougall believes that once we stop poisoning ourselves with rich foods like vegetable oils and animal products, our bodies are able to heal and thrive.
Raw till 4 (or 6):
Coming from a purely raw vegan fruit-based diet, Australian athletes Freelee and Durianrider wanted to make a high carb and high raw diet more sustainable by adding a cooked meal for dinner to their fruit-based meals. The original raw till 4 diet is very low in fat and protein, since even legumes and nuts or seeds are restricted to keep it super high in carbohydrates (preferably around 90%).
Junk-food vegan diet:
A vegan diet lacking in whole plant foods that relies heavily on mock meats and cheeses, fries, vegan desserts and other heavily processed vegan foods.
Keep reminding yourself of the reasons you’ve chosen a vegan lifestyle, and the benefits you’ve felt since going vegan. You’ll probably find going vegan a lot easier than expected. If you do have a bad day, or feel this whole vegan thing is too much like hard work, take a deep breath and reflect on your choices.
Decreasing animal protein intake by following a plant-based diet is suggested to have a lower carbon footprint on the environment and to be more sustainable.
Animal production requires water and crops for the animals, and transportation of the animals and products. It also produces methane – a destructive greenhouse gas – from cattle. The need for grain to feed animals for slaughter contributes to deforestation as well.
If you believe in yourself, vegan living will soon become second nature. There is always a better reason to stick with your decision than to go against it. If you’re having issues with friends or family, don’t give up.
Make sure that you do things along the way that remind you of the joy of vegan living, and take it one day at a time. You’ve chosen an amazing, exciting and profound way to live your life – be sure to enjoy it.
There is basically no less challenging means to help animals and eliminate suffering than by selecting plant-based foods over meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products. Vegans are not as likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are. No matter your reason, the planet – and animals – will thank you.
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