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 might imagine it to be. Yes, you will 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 than when you were filling yourself with animal protein.
Becoming vegan does not 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 have 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, along with corn and tomatoes.
Becoming vegan in a healthy way does not 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. You can start small by choosing one day per week to eliminate meat from your diet. If you are concerned about finding protein sources, remember that anything that has 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.
In our house, we are not 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 are 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 (let’s hate him, shall we?), 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.
I read this article about a number of high profile athletes who have 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 42 years old, he’s still got it.
Veganism is not 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 will feel, sleep and move. It’s amazing what you will 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.