Vegan diets: have you ever considered not only cutting back on eating animal products, but going without them altogether? How about giving it a try this month, appropriately called Veganuary! Even though the month is halfway through, it’s never too late to start. Especially if the Summer indulgences have left you feeling tired and sluggish…
The Vegan Movement
The world-wide vegan movement has never been bigger than it has right now. I myself am not a vegan, but over the last 12 months I have seriously reduced my intake of animal derived foods. It started with avoiding dairy, as I have a moderate intolerance. Symptoms such as a constant rummy nose, bloating, random coughing, ear infections and sore joints were my daily annoying ailments. Giving up dairy has made the world of difference to my health!
Next, instead of deleting my vegan friends’ Facebook posts, I decided to sit and read some uncomfortable statistics and view many upsetting images. As easy as it is to ignore and keep scrolling, I admitted that I was part of the problem when it comes to animal cruelty. Whether done humanely or otherwise, we meat eaters are still robbing a living breathing being of its life. I am also aware of the decimation of our planet to feed animals instead of growing food for us all. If you don’t believe me, watch the movie “Cowspiracy”, which outlines how factory farming is operating to the detriment of Planet Earth.
Why cut back/eliminate meat?
As a naturopath, I believe that animal protein formed part of our ancestors’ food intake. However, prehistoric man probably hunted and ate only one animal meal per week! Our bodies are not designed to take on such a heavy acid load every day eating meat, which puts a lot of stress on the digestive tract. A lot of energy is needed to break down heavy proteins! Daily meat eating can also have long term effects on our cardiovascular health, leading to higher risk of obesity, strokes, heart attacks and cancer.
Plant Food Benefits
Plant foods have so many wonderful benefits. They feed all of the beneficial bacteria in our gut, improving our immune system. They alkalise the blood, freeing us from osteoporosis, sore joints and kidney disease in later life. Even if you are a meat eater, why not include more vegetables on your plate each night? Your plate should have 75% plant food and 25% protein, which could include beans, pulses, tempeh or tofu instead of meat. Plant foods also assist the liver to detoxify more efficiently. This results in clear eyes and a lovely clear complexion which is good motivation! Basically, plant foods have have many anti-aging properties. If you haven’t seen the film “The Game Changers”, I recommend you do. It explodes the myth that we need animal protein to be healthy.
You may have heard the term “Eat a Rainbow”, which encourages us to include lots of different coloured plant foods to our plates. Doing this ensures that we are getting a good variety of different nutrients. Instead of “meat and 3 veg”, why not try plant protein and 5-6 veg on the plate?
If you would like to take up the Vegan diet challenge, your body will reap so many benefits! If you need assistance with recipe ideas, visit tasty.co, vegan101 or peta.org.au. You will find dozens of delicious, healthy meals for any time of the day.
And lastly, you may have friends that eat a vegan diet for ethical, environmental, allergy or other health reasons. And you may consider them fanatical, deluded or aggressive. Instead, it might be worth taking notice of why they chose this lifestyle. Our world can be a better place if we understand each other’s perspectives (even though we may not agree with them.)
If you would like to learn more about Vegan nutrition, I can help. Contact me by clicking the link below.
Yours in Health,