So I had a thought. I have had a number of questions regarding different types of diets. Specifically, what you eat on them, some of the benefits and negatives of them, why one might choose to eat that way and so forth. I love this question because recently I have been getting more and more interested in reading (and listening, thanks YouTube for your educational podcast and tedtalks) about various new diets like keto and paleo to understand the rationale behind them. From what I have learned so far, they are quite intriguing to say the least and I would enjoy being able to share my new knowledge with you all.
This brings me back to my thought…
Since I don’t always have the most exciting and nouveau eats to share with Miss Jen and you all every week because I like my ‘creature of habit-ness’ foods, I thought it would be interesting to bring a alias me to the weekly foodie partay every so often when my eats are not lookin too fresh. My alias would feature a specific dietary lifestyle where I would not only give an example of daily eats that I might enjoy but also include information about said lifestyle, what I think about it and my own list of pros and cons.
Obviously, lots of #bloglove will go out to all of the wonderful foodies and their delicious recipes that I showcase in my day of alias eats.
What do you think? Good Idea?
I think this will be better way to tackle this loaded question regarding other dietary lifestyles as I can go on forever (like you already are aware of I’m sure :-P). By forcing myself to talk about ONE at a time, hopefully you won’t need to commit 1/2 a day to read my posts.
So many rambles to share! I have a problem…
So before I start with my first round of What I would Eat If…. I want to first say that, aside from basic facts and information regarding such lifestyle, I will be speaking about these lifestyles partially from experience and partially from assumption based on what I know of my own body and how I perceive the lifestyle. In other words, the pros and the cons I list will be based on my own opinions so please don’t take them as the be all end all (I’m still learning too!). Feel free to make comments and suggestions in my comment section as I’m sure all my readers would appreciate the extra input. 🙂
With that said, every body is different. There is no cookie-cutter lifestyle that works amazingly for every single person. Perhaps a ketogenic diet works wonders for person A, but leaves person B feeling like they are drifting off to sleep 24/7. Instead, maybe person B digests large amounts of carbohydrates well and needs that amount to feel like a normally functioning human being.
We are all different and so, all I want to do here is give you some info (and some food porn of course, it is WIAW after all!) and perhaps show you a new outlook on some popular ‘diets’ or shed some light on one that you may not of even heard of before so that you can then experiment and see what works best for you and your body.
Don’t forget to check out the variety of dietary lifestyles showcased by the amazing bloggers who have linked up to Jen’s page in this weeks WIAW party!
Okee-dokey, so which dietary lifestyle is the focus of today’s post? Let’s keep’er simple with one that I’m sure everyone has a lil knowledge on…
I don’t think this one needs much introduction, but here’s a quick glimpse into what they can and cannot eat.
- All plant based items. You have the freedom to chomp down on all dem veggies and fruits.
- All grains.
- Most sweeteners (exception honey)
- Soy and soy products like tofu, tempeh, etc.
Not So Approved.
- Any animal flesh.
- Any animal products. What I mean here is anything that an animal is used to produce SO no honey, eggs, dairy products, gelatin, etc.
So that’s the basics of zee diet, and before I get into a day in the life of a vegan, let us first take a peek at some of the benefits of such a dietary choice. I’m sure any vegan reader will be able to bang out waaay more than what I’m about to give BUT I’m not writing a book here, just giving a broad overview. So here are some of the biggest pros (in my opinion) of veganism.
No animal is killed and/or used for your sustenance.
This is a large assumption to make as technically we have no idea what really goes on with production and processing of anything these days, but generally speaking, you are not eating an animal nor any of their products so you are essentially letting them live on due to your choice of lifestyle. Ethics is a huge reason why many individuals are vegan. In fact, many vegans will also go to the extent of trying their darnedest to not buy ANYTHING that is touched by an animal. So their clothing is vegan. Their shoes. Their everything. Think about how difficult that would be! Kiddos to you guys!
You’re reducing your carbon footprint AND not contributing to the mass production of animal products.
You would be surprised how many resources are required to sustain our animal product production these days. This is also increasing dramatically as our population continues to grow and as we demand more and more of these products. These animals will be used up to extinction if we don’t change our ways. Unfortunately, instead of slowing down on our production, we instead more environmentally stressful ‘solutions’ to reach that never ending demand. Feeding our animals antibiotics and other crap so they can grow faster or resist diseases (due to be in confined and overly populated pens) negatively affect not only the animals and the environment but the naive consumer’s health as well. Lastly, do you know how much methane is produced by livestock? I dunno either the exact number either, but its a ton (no pun intended) and, therefore, really affecting our air quality and the natural energy cycles. Who knew passing gas could create such a stir?
You will be eating more vegetables and fruits…Hopefully.
Overall, one would hope that such a lifestyle would almost force someone to eat more real, whole foods rather than processed, which is a huge benefit. Whole fruits, vegetables, and nuts/seeds are so nutritious but are often lacking in the typical American diet because of the reliance on processed crap..errr..I mean..umm… food? No, no I really don’t mean food. It’s crap. All of the fresh produce will give you tons of vitamins and minerals to make your body sing plus a healthy dose of fiber will keep you movin and groovin. 😉
You will save money.
Again, I’m assuming because I’m not a vegan BUT animal products are the most expensive items on my bill so my guess is that your grocery bill would be much less than mine. That being said, vegan and vegetarian processed food is not cheap. So if you choose to buy a lot of pseudo meats and cheeses than you may be at par with what I might be paying at the cash.
PS. Don’t buy fake “just like cheese” or “just like meat” products. Why? Have you read the ingredients on those things? Chemical sh**storm is an understatement. Here’s looking at you Daiya cheeses….
Of course, as with every choice we make, there will be some negatives…
Now I may get some backlash for this one but it is what it is. Animal foods provide the body with some great nutrients that are accepted by the body more readily and effectively and not to mention, often in larger quantities, than vegetarian or vegan alternatives. Take vitamin B12 for example. Most vegetarians and vegans are forced to take a supplement because this vitamin (which is crucial for nerves, brain function, DNA and healthy blood cell production), unless fortified, is only found in a small number of foods. Pretty much all of these foods are NOT vegan approved. So for me, I can easily eat eggs, poultry and other meats to obtain my requirements, but for a vegan, they will have to resort to a supplement which may or may not be absorbed as effectively asa real food source. I will say that I saw some articles floating around about the possibility (they are still being researched) of a few plant based products that contain a significant amount of B12. Some of these include kombucha, chlorella, spirulina and other algae and sea veggies.
This vitamin is nothing to mess around with either as a deficiency over a long period of time can cause irreversible brain and nervous system damage.
Other common deficiencies include:
- Iron. Heme iron, that coming from animal products is MUCH MORE bioavailable to the body than the vegan/vegetarian approved non heme iron which can lead to iron deficiencies in these individuals. So make sure you are eating a ton of iron rich plant foods, along with Vitamin C (helps absorption) to try to increase you absorb an acceptable amount. Eat your DARK leafy greens yo! On top of that, munch on pumpkin seeds, cook up some lentils and/or quinoa or add some spirulina to a shake for a good dose of this essential mineral. Soybeans have quite a lot as well, but you know how much I ‘like’ soy…
- Vitamin D. Once again, the form of vitamin D that vegans can eat (D3) is less available to the body to absorb so you will not be absorbing vitamin as much from a supplement or fortified food product as you would from a hearty piece of salmon or tuna. That being said use the sun and mushrooms to your advantage.
- Calcium. Now I am no means an advocate of milk milk and more milk for calcium as there are waayy too many newer research articles preaching how much actually takes calcium AWAY from the bones and is therefore not as amazing of a source of the mineral as it was once thought. Instead, I (who receives over 100% of her calcium for the day and lives dairy free) will simply share some great alternatives for ya. Dark leafy greens, tofu (if you do soy), hemp milk, almonds and almond butta, dried fruits, many beans and amaranth.
- Omega 3 fatty acids. You need these guys and flax just isn’t the best alternative to fish oil supplements. An omega supplement using kelp is thought to be one of the best choices (read this for more) Integrate chia seeds
A lot of the information you see here was from this article [source]. Check it out for more info!
Digestive issues for some.
One of the big reasons why I KNOW that veganism isn’t for me is this one right here. My stomach would HATE ME. Trust me, if I had it my way, veggies would take over my life (more than they already do). All my grains (minus my oats…<3) would be tossed and I would be squashin and sweet potato’in through my carbolicious life but my body has made it apparent to me that I’m at my limit of the veg stuff. On top of that, people prone to IBS symptoms (like myself) simply do not tolerate large (for some, even small) doses of beans, peas and other legumes so that would knock one major source of plant based protein out of their diet.
Getting COMPLETE protein.
Before you jump all over me saying that it’s totally easy to get your protein on a vegan diet, please note the “complete protein” in the title. YES there are lots of plant based sources of protein BUT very few of them are complete, meaning they carry all of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) on their own. Due to this, you need to be aware of food combination rules so that you ensure you are getting all of theses building blocks from your diet. For example, legumes alone are missing a few amino acids BUT combine them with some brown rice and now you have all of what you need. That being said, you don’t have to stress about combining perfectly within every given meal. Instead, just make sure you are varying your diet enough to get a good distribution across your day. Doing your research will be important to ensure you are getting ALL of your amino acids.
I will say that there is a very small list of complete vegan proteins…
- Grains. Quinoa, buckwheat
- Seeds. Hemp and chia
- Quorn. This fungus is often found in meat alternatives.
Alrighty, so that I think is just about long enough…word count officially at 2136 [cough cough]…I’m really trying guys I swear! I will keep the WIAW portion (aka the food porn) as short and sweet as possible scouts honour!
One last thing I want to mention is that although I’m posting things that I would like and enjoy eating, I would not be able to eat like this daily as my IBS tummy would not be happy. That being said, These dishes look amazing and fit the bill if I had the right gut for it.
Enjoy the vegan #FoodPorn peeps.
Oats are, and always will be my love. unfortunately for me, my vegan alias cannot incorporate egg whites to puff these babies up so instead, I would be living the zoat life as zucchini does a marvelous job at volumizin.Dat volume!
Protein powder would still end up in my zoats as most days my breakfast serves as my preworkout meal. I would have to make the switcher-oo to something like Sunwarrior (not a Vega fan…too much sodium. Also don’t do soy protein as you probably would already guess) despite it’s kinda chalky texture. Oh wait BETTER OPTION! Peanut flour! Weeoo tastes better. 😀 Nut butter would definitely still be plopped on top and fruit is also a must and totally vegan friendly. 😀 #DemCarbs.
Moment of weakness. I’m #SorryImNotSorry but how could you live without Questbars!
Still stickin to my usual green (chlorophyll spiked) post workout protein muffin, but once again, the protein would have to be swapped for a vegan one and/or peanut flour once again and no egg whites. You guys are killing me here!
Here’s a few options I thought looked mighty tasty. My ultimate choice would depend on whether I trained that morning or not.
For training days, more carbs needed…
I love love love tandoori and masala spin off dishes and wish I could eat more of them. :-(. I would swoon over this Vegan Sweet Potato and Chickpea Tikki Masala recipe by Mongolian Kitchen. Oh how I love my curry and and all its affiliated spices. Yum.
For rest days, lil less carbs and more fats….
You know how much I lerve my #SaladBeasts and I have always drooled over all the other bloggers salads when they have a nice ol’ glob of hummus on top.
Picture a Lil Miss Fitness Freak style salad beast with a massive glob of hummus…better yet, sundried tomato hummus, and attacked with nooch. 😀
I like your style Heather (at Kiss My Broccoli). Gimme all dat hummus..
…or gimme at dat avocado
Still have yet to make my own taco salad but this one looks good! Strip off the
chemicals Daiya cheese (Please don’t take offense to that Brittany!) and swap out the tofu for homemade baked falafels (good recipe here, I would swap out the flour for a gluten free version) perhaps and I’m good to go. Thanks for the inspiration Brittany (I Love Vegan blog)!
Potential snackage options.
This site (Modern Parents Messy Kids) gives you 4 different flavour options. I’m a lil hesitant on the sweeter varieties but hey, be adventurous.
My favourite no-bake protein bars as of lately. Thanks again Crystal!
I have always wanted to try one of these buddha bowls that I see vegetarian restaurants offering..
They just look so fresh and nourishing. I must admit though…I really wanna throw an egg on the top…#VeganFail. Recipe by Melissa at the Chic Vegan
One last dish that caught my eye was by the lovely Michelle over at Peachy Palate. Another buddha bowl type of thang, but peanut-ified and you know how I feel about peanuts….
Peanut sauces are so delicious PLUS they add a boost of protein to the dish. Okay, I just love all things peanut… The tofu would be swapped out once again for something else, but doesn’t that just look awesome!
So there we go, a day of potential eats if I could do the whole vegan thang.
Please, to all my vegan readers, this post is my opinion and based around my own dietary needs, restrictions and wants so don’t take offense to anything I said jokingly in this post. Being to be completely honest, I think I would be miserable without fish in my life. And Questbars. Plus, although these meals totally appeal to me and would make my taste buds sing a happy song, my stomach would just not tolerate the volume of plant based foods that a vegan diet consists of. Of course, unlike my gluten-free self, vegans who do not suffer with gluten intolerance’s would have the ability to have more grains in their diet to balance out some of that veggie lovin. I really would not enjoy having to eat brown rice with everything just to hit my carbs and temper my temperamental gut.
So yeah, I hope you liked this style of WIAW post and feel free to leave me any comments, feedback or suggestions in my comment section. 😀
Any vegan readers out there?
Favourite vegan dish? I love all things Indian or Ethiopian spiced, but without the creamy dairy component. I love masala and tandoori based dishes. Chickpea masala or lentil dhal is heaven in my mouth but I have to keep those to once in a blue moon. Sadface.
Would you be able to live a HEALTHY vegan lifestyle? If not, what would be the hardest part?