What is a vegan diet?
Updated: Sep 7
The Vegan Diet
Traditionally a healthy vegan diet contains only plants (such as vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits) and foods made from plants. Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals.
Today a vegan diet is any diet that excludes animal products whether it be dairy, fish, meat, poultry, eggs or seafood. Vegans work very hard to avoid eating any animal products. Some vegans however do not make as much effort in looking after themselves, but they should do.
Veganism isn't limited to food alone. Strict vegans avoid all products that contain any form of animal product or products which have been tested on animals. For instance, some shampoos contain animal products or have been tested on animals. Vegans on the whole also tend to care about the environment and the environmental impact of Palm oil production and so try to avoid it at all costs. These two factors along with being health conscious lead to a large percentage of vegan's being plant-based rather than just vegan.
What's the Difference Between a Vegan and a Plant-based Diet?
Vegan diets can be very different from plant-based diets. You can have both very healthy and very unhealthy vegan and plant-based individuals.
The main reason for this is their diets aren't balanced or healthy, and consist largely of junk food rather than healthier options. To maintain optimal health and avoid illness it is essential that you eat a balanced diet full of fruit, vegetable and pulses.
Plant-based diets only consist of whole foods. This means everything is made from scratch including homemade junk food such as biscuits and crisps. Being plant-based doesn't mean you have to go without the nice things in life such as cake and biscuits, you just have to make them differently.
Plant-based Food and Associated Health Benefits
In the West, we are very much prone to demanding and expecting a quick-fix solution, a pill, a fad diet or even surgery. This in the long-term puts extreme levels of stress and strain on the body. It is easier long-term to eat sensibly and to exercise daily than to stress and worry over losing weight quickly for that special occasion.
A healthy weight loss is around 2 lb's per week which means over a six month period you can lose 3.7 stones or 52 lb's. This is a lot of weight to lose and and it will stay off long-term as you will have had enough time behind you to make your new and improved dieting habits a way of life.
When you go on a fad diet, the weight falls off quickly but it is a temporary weight loss. When you go back to your old eating habits and lifestyle ways the weight will pile on much more quickly than it came off. So fad dieting shouldn't really be an option.
One sure-fire way to lose weight fast and sensibly is to go plant-based. It is impossible to eat your body weight in celery or broccoli yet you can eat your weight in Oreo's and chips quite easily. Hence the extreme weight gain of some non-plant-based vegans.
There are several iconic plant-based advocates out there such as Dr. Greger, Dr. Cambell, Dr. Bernard, Dr. Ornish, Dr. McDougall and Dr. Oliviera who are experts in plant-based diets.
Take a look at their websites for the latest scientific updates in plant-based diets.
The perfect body is hard to create especially with the temptation that is put in front of us each day. The one question i'm always faced with when people find out i'm vegan is.'Where do you get your protein from?' It's very simple, from plants. There is more usable protein in plants than in any form of meat products. However, this information does not seem to have filtered down to the general population yet.
The issue of a balanced diet should be of general concern but isn't. Among the people I meet and coach on a day-to-day basis, their main concern is about taste, how vegan food is boring and how they just can't imagine life without meat and dairy. The issue here is, the lack of knowledge on how to cook tasty and interesting meals and o be honest, a plant-based diet is far cheaper than an animal-based diet.
I always say to my clients. 'Listen , cyanide tastes great covered in Kentucky fried spices as does everything that's bad for you. You've just got to know how to cook it.'
I'm not here to preach but to educate you as your health and wellbeing are why I am in business today.
By educating my clients in the art of creating their best minds and bodies I hopefully, enable them to craft their perfect lifestyles as well.
My mission is to educate people on how to put the right fuel into their bodies to enable optimum results. Combined with fitness training and health coaching together we can create the optimal you.
As a vegan, my culinary life is far from boring and bland and throughout this website, you'll find healthy, happy vegan recipes, diet plans and motivation material to help you to create that perfect you. All you have to do is look for the information, read it then act upon it.
To help you with the challenge of creating a balanced meal from scratch at home or to aid you when eating out I have included a copy of the Harvard myplate below.
Before you go, i'd like to set the record straight. You can't lose weight and keep it off long-term without changing your eating habits and taking up the habit of exercising daily even if you only go for a 35-minute walk daily.
Exercise, a plant-based diet and a healthy approach to life leads to a balanced and happy life overall. Not just for you but for your family too.
You may like to read some of my vegan recipes:
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