The variety of healthy diets circulating currently, that actually work, is astounding! The common factor among them being that it’s a lifestyle change, not just a short term diet. One such “diet” being the Vegan diet. And, it’s the one that might just be the biggest commitment of all. But, what happens when you love the concept, but just can’t make it work for you? Is there such a thing as “veganish”?
Can you be “Veganish”?
The Vegan Diet: Cliff Notes Version
Being a vegan means that you don’t consume ANY animal products. No animal products whatsoever. Not even honey. Not even gelatin…that’s right, jello is made from animal collagen. It’s not until you really start looking at what all is in your every day items that you realize what a commitment it is.
Ok, I know that just sounded like I’m trying to talk you out of being a vegan. I’m not. But, if a vegan diet isn’t followed properly, it can seriously affect your health and make you sick.
Not all nutrients from plants are bioavailable. That means that while the nutrients are present in the actual food, they can’t be absorbed by the body due to other nutrients that inhibit it. For example Iron and calcium. Supplementation is necessary!
Shameless plug: Need supplements? These are my favorites!
It’s not something to take on lightly. If you’re going to go all out then you need to really go all out and do it right.
Related: Healthy eating tips for busy schedules
Finding Your “Why”
There are a gazillion reasons why someone may choose to go vegan. It’s healthy, not to mention scientifically proven to single-handedly naturally fix a myriad of health issues. It’s even starting to be recommended by medical doctors!
Maybe you’re questioning everything thanks to the recent uptick of documentaries pushing the vegan agenda. Forewarning: Don’t get me started on “What the health” (ugh! even the natural doctors I work with have nothing nice to say about it). “Forks Over Knives” is infinitely more educational and scientific. Plus, you don’t want to throat punch the guy in the film by the end of it…or was that just me?
Maybe you’re genuinely concerned at the impact that the meat industry is having on our planet. If you haven’t heard much about that yet, it’s very eye opening and worth taking a few minutes to read a little something. Maybe the treatment of animals and their living conditions at these commercial facilities is worrisome to you.
This is where a lot of people get stuck. They get a strong moral motivation and a genuine desire, but then try to get it going and reality strikes. It’s a HUGE commitment and takes a lot of planning!
Relevant: 8 Ways Meal Planning is the Key To Your Success
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Whatever your reason, I just want to say, there is NO SHAME in saying that being a vegan is not realistic for your lifestyle. I know a lot of vegans will heartily disagree, and that’s ok. Give them a warm hug for their contribution to fixing our planet and keep on doing what it is you can do.
Personally, am one such individual. I tried it, and I didn’t last long. I wholeheartedly believe in it, but it didn’t work for me, for a variety of reasons. That is where “veganish” comes in…
Not being a vegan doesn’t mean that you’re having surf and turf with a side dish of something smothered in butter and cream on a regular basis. There IS a medium.
Every little bit counts when it comes to both your health and saving the environment.
What exactly does that mean?
That may mean having 2 vegan meals a day and one vegetarian or a very small portion of meat…Or some variation of that type of plan. Kind of the less-is-more, or everything-in-moderation take on things. A simple shift of your mind set when it comes to how you view your meals. One article I read in my research said “think about what you’d like with your brown rice and spinach, instead of with your steak”
I love that.
Check out my vegan and vegetarian recipes!!
Did you know an actual portion of meat that your body can utilize in a sitting is only 3 oz? Most people eat more than double that in one sitting! And then do that 3x a day… Read more about proper portion sizes from the American Heart Association
If the environment is your main concern but you are decidedly a carnivore or an egg lover, it could mean opting to purchase locally from farmers who raise animals humanely and boycotting the companies that are major offenders (cough cough TYSON!)
Maybe going vegan is your ultimate goal but you’re just not sure. Like with any goal, it’s good to break things down into manageable steps.
Doing a lifestyle change “cold turkey” (see what I did there?) also leads to many people quitting and giving up before they get a chance to really embrace it and figure out how to make it work for them. Veganish is a perfectly acceptable stepping stone to get there on that particular goal.
If you feel becoming a vegan might be in your future, or you feel in your heart that eating a diet with more focus on plant based nutrition can help with your nutrition or saving the environment then start with that first step. Becoming Veganish. Baby steps are the key to realizing the reality of what will work for you and your family.
Stefani @ Natural Paleo Family says