"A philosophy and 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; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms, it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals." - The Vegan Society
There are many ways to embrace vegan living, yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat, including fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs, and honey.
It's not just about diet, however, vegans avoid exploiting animals for any purpose, with ethical reasons being a key factor in choosing a vegan lifestyle. Shockingly, animal products and products tested on animals can be found in accessories, clothing, and makeup, just to name a few! Fortunately, in today’s world, we have affordable and easily-sourced alternatives available to us.
So, what exactly is a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet is richly diverse comprising in fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans, and pulses. As a vegan, you will learn to be creative in preparation of meals so as to ensure you're never bored. Nowadays, there is a such a hype around veganism that you can buy almost anything, from wraps, pizzas, cakes, even ice-cream that is suitable for a vegan diet as they're made with plant-based ingredients.
Cooked Vegan Diet vs Raw Food Veganism
So what exactly is the difference between veganism and a raw food diet?
A vegan diet consists only of plant foods. All meats and other animal products, including milk and eggs, are off-limits. However, some vegans restrict their diets even further by choosing to eat only raw foods, foregoing all foods cooked at temperatures above 118°F (48°C).
A raw diet also includes fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Although a raw vegan will be more particular about the types of beans and grains they eat and will choose lentils, peas, and quinoa, in their sprouted form, specifically. Soy products on a raw vegan plain are not permitted as these are cooked at temperatures above 118°F (48°C).
In a raw food diet, nuts and seeds are raw, not toasted (whereas toasted is allowed in a regular vegan plan). Frozen vegetables are par-cooked before freezing, so they too are not allowed in a raw vegan plan.
Health Benefits of Veganism
Risks of Veganism
*Consider supplementation where necessary
At the end of the day, adopting a vegan lifestyle is a deeply personal choice and one that may not be everybody’s cup of miso soup. BUT, we cannot ignore the fact that Increasingly more and more people have decided to go vegan for ethical and health reasons.
It is important for anyone thinking about the vegan route that the transition is done gradually and mindfully. When done correctly a vegan diet has endless benefits, including weight loss, a healthier body, and mind, as well as a deeper sense of ethical respect and responsibility.
Join the Energise Academy today! Your health coach Mark Bryant will mentor and guide you through this incredible life transformation.
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