Twenty years ago, when we lived in Andorra, two members of our walking group were vegetarian. I was familiar with the life choice but had never actually gotten to know a person who embraced it.
One of them was very matter-of-fact about it and and just lived her life as she chose.
The other preached.
The preaching had the usual effect of me closing my mind to the concept completely.
In recent years I have met many more people who choose to be vegetarian or vegan. None of them preach… which means we’ve become friends.
Which means I’ve learned a lot.
We’re not planning on changing to a 100% vegan diet – or even 50%, but there are changes we have made to eat better for us and for the planet and there will likely be more.
Read on for some more info – and… That Candy!!!!
The trend of turning vegetarian has hit the world by storm, many people are becoming aware of the many health and environmental benefits associated with choosing to eat only vegan or vegetarian foods.
If you are one of these people who are keen on taking this course of action and steering away from a non-vegan diet, this article can shine a light on everything you should know in terms of what to eat, and what not to eat, as well as some of the great vegan sweets treats in store for you, because this type of lifestyle doesn’t need to be boring.
According to the ‘goodness Project’ Great Britain is slowly but surely becoming a vegan haven. What was only a small number comprising of 0.25% of the population i.e. 150,000 people, followed a vegan diet back in 2014, and has now risen to over 600,000 people in 2019. These statistics can be found here.
The majority of the big brand retail stores have also embraced the idea and included a great variety of vegan options of foods and drinks for its consumers to enjoy. So why is the world seeing the good in this? Let’s take a look at the benefits, below.
Benefits of a Vegan Lifestyle for Both You and The Environment
If you’re wondering whether a diet such as this is beneficial to the environment, the short answer is -yes. the long answer, this is one of the best ways to curb and reduce the environmental impact on the earth, and cutting out dairy and meat products from your plate can reduce the carbon footprint by over 72%.
For the environment, where the damage comes is primarily to do with the grazing of cattle in massive amounts, which produces carbon dioxide, methane and various other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, and we should be thinking about the future that our children will inherit: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/vegan-diet-health-environment/.
The misconception however is that people need to drastically change the food the diet to 100% vegan foods and drinks, but this is not the case. According to many researchers and scientists, diets that contain modest amounts of meat, poultry and dairy are also considered healthy. What should be eliminated from diets is the refined sugars and starchy options and instead increasing your intake of whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables is highly recommended.
If we all did decide to go vegan, emissions of greenhouse gases would reduce by at least 70% within the next 30 years. However, with the good, also comes the bad, and if you are not sure what types of foods to eat, you could do more harm to yourself than good. Even if you are going this route, you still could end up consuming an unhealthy diet. Suffice to say, that choosing the rights foods is essential. So, can you eat on this lifestyle?
On our health, there are numerous benefits for instance it improves your heart health and minimizes certain heart diseases. If you skip the meat, the chances of you becoming overweight or even obese are drastically minimized. It can also help lower cholesterol levels; the food types are rich in various important nutrients that are needed in the body
Vegans also have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) which may help them live longer. It can also aid in helping to find solutions to various forms of cancers and diabetes.
Foods You Can Eat
In general, the food groups you can eat include:
· Legumes like lentils, beans and peas
· Vegetable oils like avocado oil, sesame oils
· Seeds and Nuts
· Fruits and vegetables
· Rice, some types of bread, pasta
· Alternatives of dairy such as almond milk, oat, coconut, soymilk
Because Calcium is needed as you will not be having any dairy products like cheese or cow’s milk, there are also foods that you can include such as the ones mentioned on this website, as well as below:
· Leafy greens like – cabbage, broccoli, and okra
· Unsweetened drinks like – rice, soya and oat drinks
· Tofu and tempeh
· Tahini and sesame seeds
· Pulses like chickpeas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, legume
· Brown bread and certain calcium-fortified bread
· Raisins and dried fruits, apricots and figs
A diet such as this doesn’t need to be boring, and there are also vegan options such as chocolates, fudge, and some stores also offer a choice of vegan Pick n Mix which you can select from. This website is just one example of available vegan options here, and you can go for whatever mixed bag of these vegan gelatin goodies, as opposed to sweet treats that have gelatin from cows and pigs.
Things to Stay Away from
The main thing about changing is to begin to eliminate certain foods and drinks, and if you are not sure, the list below is just a few of the to start with:
· Meats: Pork, lamb, duck, red meats, lamb, beef, chicken, duck, and other poultry
· Sea Food: Shellfish, fish, mussels, prawns, oysters, crabs, clams
· Eggs: Chicken, duck and any other
· Most kinds of butter and Cheese
· Dairy: Ice creams, animal milk and other dairy foodstuffs
· If Mayonnaise contains eggs, it needs to be eliminated
Eliminating these things does not need to be a tedious task, do it gradually you will the benefits you reap from the change both towards your mental and physical health, and you perhaps will never want to go back to being a meat-eater.