Why I’m Not Vegan
This isn’t an article about ‘bulletproof coffee’ being healthy or bacon promoting weightloss. I think people like those kind of articles because its always nice to hear good news about a guilty habit 😉 Rather, todays topic is a bit of a touchy subject for many people, but I think it’s important to share because it has the potential to change your life.
For many years I ate the Standard American Diet (SAD), unconsciously, because that was what I knew. As time passed I became (falsely) aware of the importance of protein in the diet and how maximizing protein intake was a sure way to be stronger, skinnier and healthier. So when I first heard about a vegan diet I was shocked and confused to find all this science existed showing this diet to be healthy. And not only was it healthy, but it was healthier than a high protein diet, healthier than the SAD diet. Where had this information been all my life? And as much as it sounded good, I couldn’t imagine how I could actually DO it?!
Well needless to say I began my journey to adopt the vegan diet. It went well. It transformed my health, my perspective and my life. But it turned out, going ‘vegan’ was only the tip of the iceberg. As I changed my eating habits I began devouring books, attending lectures by well known doctors, athletes and researchers, and even became certified as a Plant Based Nutritionist. I quickly realized that deciding to stop consuming animal products was only the beginning step of choosing a diet that supported my health and promoted a lighter environmental footprint. A truly health-promoting diet was also a nutrient dense diet – and that meant reassessing the amount of processed foods, sugar, white flours, and oil I was consuming. Now I think most of us know, and it is logical of course, to avoid eating too much refined sugar. And most of us know that processed and packaged foods are not exactly good for our waistlines and are harmful for both our health and the environment (palm oil, packaging etc). But oil? I thought olive oil was good for us? And coconut oil? I’d heard it was good for everything from weightloss to diabetes. Turns out; this was the furthest thing from the truth!
It turns out that the diet that is best for human health, and also just happens to have the lightest environmental footprint, is a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. And of course oil is not a whole food. It is a plant that has been manipulated and robbed of its fiber and most of its nutrients. Compared to vegetables which have approximately 100 calories per pound, oil It is extremely high in calories with around 4000 calories per pound. Oil provides minimal satiety and promotes weight gain, obesity and numerous health conditions.
Here began my next journey, into living a Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle. Giving up oil seemed impossible, and it was a challenge at first to be sure. But once I began experimenting with it I realized oil-free foods taste just as good as the food I’d been used to eating! Cakes, cookies, fried foods – all could be created without oil – and with a whole lot LESS nutrient-void calories. Before I knew it, my waistline shrunk, my energy improved and I was loving how I felt.
To be honest, one of the the harder parts of eating Whole Food Plant Based is dining out. That said, most restaurants are happy to stir-fry a dish in water if asked and will often have baked potatoes or plain rice on hand. Depending on your health, eating out can be good time to judge for yourself how strict you want to be.
All in all, as I put this way of eating into practice I can’t tell you how amazing I began to feel eating oil free. Many of you will be reading this article because you are already on this journey, and I know you can attest to how it has changed your life too – please tell us about it in the remarks!
And for those of you new to the idea, VegOut has a treasure-trove of valuable information, books, cooking appliances and support for you if you are interested. Below is a quick list of VegOut’s top 5 ways to get oil out of your life and embrace a Whole Food Plant Based Diet;
How do you create a stir fry?
*Add a little water to your fry pan & saute until its evaporated. Continue to add small amounts of water and let evaporate, continually, until desired consistency is reached. This takes a little practice but once you get the hang of it, its easy!
What about baking?
*Applesauce, bananas, beans and even pumpkin make great oil substitutes. Check out the recipe books in our Boutique
*Hummus is our favorite! Also try sliced avocado, nut butters mixed with hot sauce or even sweet potato spread
To grease a pan?
*Silicone baking sheets or parchment paper
*Plain balsamic is delicious, get creative with the varieties and have fun! Hummus and Apple Cider Vinegar combined make a great salad dressing and again, you’ll find lots of recipe ideas on our website.
Wishing you the best of Health!