Who are these vegans anyway?
Most people consider vegans as a bunch of tree-hugging hippies who through buckets of red paint on anyone wearing leather or fur. And to some extend, they might be right. Vegans are people who care about the welfare of animals and the planet and certain organizations will go to great lengths to raise awareness of animal suffering. And even though many vegans are militant, there are others who prefer to teach by example and quietly add almond milk to their coffee. Pleasant or not, vegans do help the environment, do not contribute to animal suffering and they also benefit their health. These facts have been repeatedly scientifically proven and this is why more and more people are becoming vegan-curious.
What does being vegan mean?
Being a full-time vegan requires some major lifestyle changes. No consumption of dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, other seafood and honey are the dietary rules. Even though vegans exclude these food categories, they still get all the nutrients they need via plant based foods and B12 reinforced foods or supplements.
The ethical lifestyle rules of veganism involve no use of products that have been tested on animals and no use of clothes and accessories made of leather, fur or wool. In this article we will have a look at the dietary choices and it is up to you to further research the ethical lifestyle part of the equation, if you feel so inclined.
Why become a part-time vegan?
Veganism might be challenging to follow full-time, if you haven’t got strong motivation. Scientists believe however that eating vegan meals just a couple of times per week can have great health benefits. After all, the so called developed world suffers from obesity, cardiovascular disease, increased rates of strokes and several types of cancer. Type two diabetes is increasing as well and more and more children suffer from it. So, what does veganism have to do with all that?
Veganism can actually put an end to most of these life-threatening conditions. It is processed foods high in cholesterol and animal fat that cause our arteries to clog and our tissues to suffer from inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many conditions such as gout, arthritis and even cancers, particularly oral and intestinal ones.
Additionally, the antibiotics and growth hormones that are present in large amounts in conventional (non-organic) dairy products have been linked to reproductive system cancers, early onset of puberty in girls and even osteoporosis. That’s right. Dairy might be rich in calcium, but excess animal protein causes an acidic condition and our body takes calcium from our bones, in order to restore its alkaline PH.
By introducing vegan meals into your diet, you help your body detoxify, get rid of excess animal protein and get loaded with vitamins and minerals that boost your immune health and slow down the aging process. That’s right! Not only does a vegan diet protect you from a variety of diseases, but it also helps you look great. Your hair, skin and nails will start to shine after just a week of a vegan detox or after a few months of being a part-time vegan.
But how can I do it?
It’s pretty easy. You can start slow and build from there. First, you can make a list of all the things you like, that are already vegan. Write down your favorite fruits. They are all vegan. So are all the nuts that you enjoy as a snack with your drink. Mashed potatoes and baked beans: vegan! Orange juice, you guessed it, is vegan. So is coffee and your favorite tea. Green beans, pasta, rice, aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, radishes, carrots, parsnips and all the other vegetables are vegan as well.
As for the things that you love that are not vegan, no need to worry. There are great, much healthier substitutes out there. Instead of dairy milk, you can get almond, hemp, hazelnut, rice or soy milk. There is also a great variety of vegan cheese and meat alternatives that taste just like the real thing, minus the cholesterol. Nowadays, with the internet being so widely available, it has become easier than ever to try out a plant based diet. Search for new recipes, experiment with oriental cuisine and you will benefit your health, while enjoying amazing, delicious food.