This month sees World Vegan Day on the 1st November along with Cancer Research’s campaign – Be Veggie for November. It is also Movember which we will cover next week.
Regular readers will know our belief that good health is intrinsically linked to a good diet and good gut health.
Being either vegetarian or vegan has become commonplace now. Compared to years ago it is easy, both restaurants and food shops have an amazing array of choice for you now.
Why go Vegetarian or Vegan?
There is considerable research supporting the health benefits of being vegetarian or vegan. Notably, the positives include:
When you review these advantages maybe you are thinking "I should explore this a bit more"?
For some people making this type of change can be a big challenge, it can be bewildering and confusing. We will attempt to simplify the process and give you some general guidelines.
There are few choices you might want to make with this option. You can:
The balanced vegetarian diet has several benefits:
What we would like to stress is that the key is good planning. This ensures that you get all the nutrients you need in the right quantities.
Here are some of the nutrient groups to consider:
Protein, Omega 3, B12 and Multivitamin and Minerals.
It is often a concern whether you will get enough protein within a vegetarian/vegan diet. Work sensibly and this is not an issue. We have listed some examples of suitable foods but there are plenty more!
Protein sources are:
Omega 3 sources are:
B12 sources for vegetarians:
B12 sources for vegans:
Multivitamins and Minerals
A diet full of a variety of fresh organic fruit and vegetables along with the foods listed above will serve you well
Whatever your diet getting it right all the time is hard. We have an excellent range of supplements to help you achieve the right nutritional balance for your body.
Remember that we are all different and have varying needs nutritionally, these can change with age or circumstances. I have fine-tuned my nutritional plan over many years and supplements have played a key part in maintaining my health.
Still not convinced?
The stricter version of vegetarianism is veganism.
This is a lifestyle choice for many people and the definition of being vegan is taken from the Vegan Society website.
“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”
Many of the foods in a vegetarian diet are cornerstones of the vegan diet. The exclusion of animal products does cause some people some concerns. The idea of not eating dairy products and especially cheese and eggs is often a stumbling block for many. However, as I said earlier the alternative product range is phenomenal and we have some excellent options available to us.
Becoming Vegan is a lifestyle choice and Vegans are very committed to their ideals. I only have admiration for their commitment. The Vegan Society advocates making slow changes, persistence and asking for help. The Society offers a great deal of information to support and encourage you through the process.
Check out our blog on Veganuary for more information!
Our attitude is that you make the choice that is right for you, your lifestyle and family. We do encourage you to make informed choice to ensure that you maintain a healthy diet. One key factor in this is choosing organic. Your food should be the best, tastiest and most nutritious you can have. Organic meets those requirements.
Not ready to go Vegan yet?
Why not be Flexitarian?
The concept of Flexitarian is a great compromise. As the word suggests it reflects being flexible with vegetarian. Flexibility means you get to do it your way. There are so many options for you:
I am trying this route and really enjoying it. It allows me to explore new options without the pressure of a complete commitment. I have busy days when I just need to cook on automatic pilot. I have lazy days and weekends where I have more time and then I experiment.
Some great shortcuts you can use…
I also realised that a number of my meals are already vegetarian or vegan. Falafel and dips are a standard lunch for me and it is so tasty. My pizza is usually vegetarian and I love vegetable soups at this time of year.
The important rule is to balance your diet and ensure you eat from all the food groups. I have been flexitarian for a while now and I am eating a lot less meat and fish but because I am following sensible guidelines I feel healthy and satisfied with my meals.
As ever our approach is to give you food for thought – forgive the pun! There is plenty of information to support you. Both the Vegan and Vegetarian societies publish a lot of guidance, research and recipes to help you.
As ever we remind you WE ARE WHAT WE EAT!
We would love to hear your thoughts and comments…
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