It started out as a trend that most people expected would go away. “Oh, it is just another fad. People will get over it.” Being vegan is not a fad, trend or fashion statement. It is a lifestyle based on people’s beliefs and desire to live a humane, healthy life.
There are so many misconceptions, lies and falsehoods put out there regarding a vegan lifestyle. “It leads to malnutrition. People do not get enough protein. Vegans are unhealthier than meat eaters. It is bad for the environment.” So, what is the truth? What is it like to adopt a vegan lifestyle?
Transitioning to a Vegan Diet
There is no doubt that change is difficult. When a person is making any type of change in their life, there are hurdles to overcome. Those who are used to eating meat, dairy, and other animal products must go through an adjustment period. But that period is a lot shorter than most people assume.
Many vegans have talked about how they were shocked that their first week in the diet was so easy. They were expecting meat and dairy cravings and other issues, but it never transpired. Why? Because there are so many incredible options in the vegan diet.
All fruits and vegetables are present in a vegan diet. Enjoy making a refreshing salad after coming home from work? It is still possible on a vegan diet! In fact, it is the cornerstone of the diet, as fruits and vegetables are so good for the body.
And with whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa, there is always a staple of carbohydrates for those who enjoy it. Beans and legumes are a wonderful source of nutrients, with kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, hummus, and lentils a key part of many vegan diets.
Healthy and Moral Lifestyle
Most people transition to a vegan lifestyle because they are unhappy at eating animal products. They do not see it as humane to eat meat, dairy and other items that come from animals. It is understandable because animals have as much right to live as humans.
But staying in the vegan lifestyle is not only about morals, but health too. There are scientifically proven reasons why a vegan lifestyle is the right choice for most people. For instance, a vegan diet provides you with more fiber, antioxidants, plant compounds, potassium, magnesium and key vitamins. Why? Because the foods most vegans consume after ditching meat will contain these nutrients.
Many controlled studies have also shown that those who are on a vegan diet are more likely to lose weight, as compared to those who continue to eat meat and dairy. And it is easier to remain within a calorie limit on a vegan lifestyle, as there are fewer “empty calories” to consume from foods such as red meat and cheese.
It is a very common myth regarding veganism that vegans do not get enough protein and iron. “How can someone gain muscle mass while eating vegan” is a common question. But it is a lie.
Vegans get plenty of protein and iron. Foods such as beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains provide a ton of protein and iron. By adding tofu, tempeh, kidney beans, quinoa, chia seeds and healthy grains, a vegan diet is perfect for aspiring athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
In fact, many famous athletes have commented about how switching to a plant-based, vegan diet helped them improve their physical performance. Famous NFL players have transitioned away from a meat and dairy-oriented diet to find they had more energy, less inflammation, and more lean muscle mass.
Anyone considering a vegan diet should understand that it is superior to any non-vegan lifestyle. It is also the humane way to consume food. The transition is never simple and easy, but it is more than doable. And when the initial transition is over, continuing as a vegan feels as natural as waking up in the morning!