Veganism is a commitment, I won’t deny that. It’s a completely different way to eat from the way most of us were raised. But I can tell you from personal experience that it isn’t as bad as you'd imagine it to be. Yes, you'll have to give up cheese and ice cream and meat but after awhile you realize how much lighter and easier your food is to digest when you aren't filling yourself with animal protein.
Beware of soy
Becoming vegan doesn't mean you should replace animal products with fake animal products like textured vegetable protein (TVP) and products that contain large amounts of soy protein isolates. Soy in its most natural form like edamame, or fermented like miso or tofu, is good for you and has some protective value for your heart. But soy protein isolates are concentrated and can have detrimental effects on hormones for both men and women.
Too much soy can cause women who've had estrogen sensitive cancers to be at risk possibly (although there is mixed information on that) and men to develop breast tissue and experience lower testosterone levels. This is because soy has estrogenic properties that, when consumed as an isolate, are more prevalent.
I use tofu or tempeh occasionally as a protein source when I go out for dinner and I’ll sometimes cook with them. I always look for organic non-GMO products. Soy is one of the most genetically modified crops in the US, so it's important to me to choose organic when given the choice.
Don't be a junk food vegan
Becoming vegan in a healthy way doesn't mean you should substitute vegan junk food for other junk food you may have been eating. French fries are vegan, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for you.
Small incremental changes
You can start small by choosing one day per week to eliminate meat from your diet. If you're concerned about finding protein sources, remember that anything that's been alive has protein in it. Cells need protein to survive, so you may be surprised to see how much protein is in plant products.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing
In our house, we aren't completely vegan. We occasionally eat seafood and egg whites and my husband eats non-fat dairy. This isn’t my choice because no one needs milk products once they're weaned from breast milk as a baby, but you choose your battles.
He has done remarkably well and I’m so proud of him. Ray was one of those people who thought he could “never eat the way I eat”, but when faced with his own health challenges, found a way to do it. I convinced him to follow the more stringent, and far more effective cardiac rehab program that I followed. He lost over 40 pounds, his energy is through the roof and his joint pain is almost completely gone. See…I told you dear. Someday you might listen to me the first time…but not likely.
Even the big boys are doing it
I read this article about a number of high profile athletes who've adopted a vegan lifestyle and swear it has enhanced their performance. A great example is Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots. I don’t care if you love him or hate him, you have to admit that at 40+ years old, he’s still got it.
Veganism isn't for everyone
Some people feel they need animal protein to live an energetic life. To those folks I say, choose wisely. You can eat a primarily plant based diet using animal protein as a side dish rather than the main event. Choose whole or minimally processed foods over packaged, chemical laden foodlike substances. You can also work your way into a healthier eating plan a little at a time. The more you do the better you'll feel, sleep and move. It’s amazing what you feel like when you give your body the proper fuel to function.
I can help you make the transition. Feel free to sign up with the link below for a free no strings attached a call.
Since June 2019, I decided to hold myself accountable for walking my talk. Several years ago, I was able to take off 135 pounds and essentially save my own life. I regained some of that weight in the last couple of years and I’m working my way back down. I’ve lost over 40 pounds since I began in June and have exercised nearly every day since August.
If you choose to join me on this journey, I hope I am able to impart some nutritional and lifestyle wisdom. Even though I may have gone off the rails temporarily I can still share some of my first hand experience as well as my acquired knowledge and training to help you make the right changes to live your best life.
Do You Want Help?
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Aren’t you tired of feeling bloated and lethargic?
If you continue to follow the path you’re on, where will it lead you in six months? a year? Isn’t it time to take a different approach?
What you have done in the past hasn’t worked or at least has not stuck. I can help you change that. Click here for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your challenges and your goals for the coming year and see if we’re a good fit. You have nothing to lose except those nasty cravings.
As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.