Do you or people you know claim to live a vegan lifestyle but don’t actually eat many vegetables? Are you leading an animal protein-free lifestyle because you believe it to be healthier yet eat a diet rich in grain, starch, sugar, and fat? — Leading causes of diabetes, obesity and their related effects.
During my nearly two decades in fitness I have taught people to honor their truth: if you want something enough then put forth real effort; and if you are unwilling to put forth the effort to achieve something then honor that it’s just not that important. It’s okay either way. We get much further in life and feel more settled and relaxed with who we are when we are congruent in our intentions and actions.
How does this pertain to food you might ask? For those people who are within the vegan spectrum for health reasons it is important to understand that eating animal products is not fundamentally a bad thing, especially when sourced from organic and non-GMO farms. Anything in excess is unhealthy, of course. Lean, and I emphasize lean animal protein sources give us the broad spectrum of amino acids and often times, good fats like in fish, that are most like our body. What often happens is people overeat these animal sources, however.
Too often I meet people who don’t want to chop, cook or prepare food. So, if you don’t need to cook chicken, for example, it is possible that something premade or boxed and quick is an even easier option.
I only mentioned people who are vegan for health reasons because if you have a morality issue surrounding animals then that is a different reason and mindset. Whatever the reason a person chooses to avoid animal products is up to them. It is very important to understand, however, that the body still needs a balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins).
The effort to be healthier by not eating animal sources is often thwarted by the overeating of pastas and other starches, fruits and vegan junk food. There is nothing wrong with following specialized dietary restrictions such as this. Learning how to incorporate all of the nutrients the body needs with legumes, leafy greens, colorful garden vegetables as well as fruits, nuts, and any necessary supplements is what will truly make a health-conscious vegan healthier. If you are unsure what your nutrient requirements are then I recommend contacting a nutrition or fitness professional so they can steer you in the correct direction.