Veganism is growing now more than ever before, and with the abundance of vegan foods, personal care products, household products and fashion, it’s becoming easier and easier to take on a vegan lifestyle. This growing interest is fueled by the many benefits of veganism, not only to protect the welfare of animals and our planet, but also individual health and wellbeing.
When discussing practicing a vegan life, food and dietary choices are usually the first thing that come to mind. There are plant based options for all types of vegans, from plant based “junk food,” to healthy “superfoods.” To have the most success when exploring veganism or transitioning to it completely from a diet including animal products, it can be helpful to start with substituting your favorite non-vegan dishes; the ones that include meats, cheeses, etc., and simply switching out the animal-based components for their vegan counterpart.
This simple method allows for trying new foods, while staving off cravings for favorite non-vegan foods, since all the favorites are still being included, and also prevents a feeling of becoming overwhelmed with too much unfamiliarity. One important aspect of leaning towards a plant based diet is being sure to also include plenty of natural, whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Incorporating a variety of these whole foods ensures that nutritional needs are not being neglected.
Additionally, vegan food is typically lower in calories, so eating bigger quantities of food, and eating more often may be necessary, especially when first starting out. As animal-based products are being removed from the diet, common health benefits include weight loss, higher energy levels, improved digestion, lowered blood pressure, and a lowered risk of many cancers and diseases.
The cause of these ailments is often traced back to the intake of animal protein. Our bodies are not equipped to properly digest animal proteins, which can cause digestion and weight management issues. Further more, the dietary cholesterol found in all animal products causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which narrows blood vessels. This constricts blood flow in the body, which is the trigger for blood clots, heart attacks and heart disease.
When transitioning towards a plant based diet, check with your doctor if you are on any medications for heart disease or diabetes, as you will most likely need to reduce your dosage or refrain from taking medication completely within a few weeks to a couple months of lowering animal protein intake. Food is a prime focus of veganism, but it does expand to other aspects of daily life, as well, such as skincare, hair care, makeup and other beauty and personal care products.
For something to be considered vegan and cruelty free, an item needs not only to contain zero animal products, but also abstain from testing on animals. When transitioning to a holistically vegan life, many individuals find that in addition to the physical health benefits, they experience a more liberated and guilt-free conscience.
Having an increased self-awareness, as well as ensuring one’s actions are in harmony with their ethics and values, has been shown to have a positive effect on mental and emotional well-being. The first step towards living a kinder life is to educate yourself on issues that resonate with you to find your why, and then deciding what living a truly authentic life that accurately reflects your moral principles means for you.
About The Author
Stefanie Stevens is a vegan coach, content creator and certified nutritionist. She has been vegan for over a decade and started her brand, Life, Veganized in 2016. She uses her voice to educate on the importance and benefits of veganism and assist others on their vegan journey, whatever that may look like to them.
Stefanie shares original vegan recipes, writes thoughtful informative posts about animal welfare, environmental causes, and plant based health and nutrition, and works with vegan-friendly brands to get their products to consumers and help make veganism easy and accessible for everyone.
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