To much of my friend’s and family’s disgust I turned vegan last Thursday. Now we all know that Phase Two of Revolution’s Re-Boot recommends to obliterate all animal products completely, but in all honesty, I haven’t actually been through this process myself before now. So Why? Well by being vegetarian for nearly half of my life, I loved my scrambled eggs in the morning and couldn’t imagine my life without dairy; especially a milky cappuccino and a slice of cake on ‘cheat’ days as it were. But early doors Thursday morning when Adam was sound-o and twitching away, I thought to myself; if I don’t eat meat for ethical reasons, why am I eating any animal produce what so ever? As you know, I’ve touched on the shocking ‘hidden truths’ of the dairy industry before in a previous blog, explaining cattle being pumped with hormones to produce an unhealthy amount of milk for the demanding market, and even organic hens to lay more eggs than they’re meant to, so I decided there and then that a plant based diet was my way forward.
… So you can imagine what everyone said when I told them. ‘Urgh – I’m never going to cook for you now!’ and ‘What on earth can you eat then?’ But the statement that never ceases to puzzle me is; ‘You’re not going to get enough Protein in you!’ Ahhhh … Protein. One of our three main Macronutrients. As a population, do we really think that are only source of Protein is from animals? Really? Now I don’t want to make this week’s blog a whole research paper and boring to read, but let me tell you a little background evidence before I touch on Protein within the Vegan diet.
During the occupation of Norway in World War 2, the Nazis seized most of Norway’s food resources for themselves, such as livestock, butter, and cheese. But as they did so, statistics show that the resident death rate, especially heart disease, dropped drastically due to the removal of animal products from the Norwegian diet for them then to only consume a plant based diet. Sure enough, when the War was over, Norway had their cattle back and the rate of heart disease increased once again, proving that a plant based diet supplied plenty of Micro and Macronutrients, including Protein, and actually improving health. And here we are in the 21st Century, adamant that without animal produce we won’t get enough protein, (even with the above evidence.) Yet what we should be questioning, is that are we consuming too much for it to hinder our health? So, to cut to the chase, where does this ‘Protein’ come from? And how much Protein do we actually need within our diet?
We all assume that a stereotypical Body Builder would eat steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even though they need a tad more intake of ALL nutrients, (equal to every athlete,) just take a moment to look up Kenneth G Williams, Jimi Sitko, Billy Simmonds and Amanda Riester. I’m pretty sure they’re getting enough protein within their diet, right? #veganbodybuilders. Did you know that we actually only need 0.8g of Protein for every Kg that we weigh according to the RDA recommendation? And the best part? Nearly all vegetables, beans, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and fruits contain plentiful Protein. And what does a plant based diet involve? Variations of vegetables, beans, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, and fruits. There you have it. There’s where the protein comes from within a varied Vegan diet. Wait. It gets better … All these ‘earth grown’ foods are less inclined to be modified when being produced, not to mention being completely free when going organic!
So how do I feel after removing all animal produce from my diet in the past five days? Well, to my surprise I’m finding it really easy! Now, this could be due to not eating meat prior, but I’m not missing fish, milk or eggs what so ever! Physically? I haven’t changed a bit what so ever. I’m still my own ‘get up and go and get sh**t done’ kinda’ gal, and my energy or appearance hasn’t changed what so ever. Granted it’s only been five days but I’m actually looking forward to see if things do alter in any way or form. With no more dairy – maybe I’ll feel less bloated at the weekends when I meet friends for coffee, or maybe my skin will have a radiant glow to it? We’ll see … But what I can safely say is that it’s so much easier to resist that slice of cake knowing it contains eggs or milk, resulting in reducing my inner sugar-demon completely! Not to mention by eradicating the so called ‘staples’, it’s actually making me a little more inventive in the kitchen! You never know – I could be the next Deliciously Ella! J
So all in all, why don’t you try it for a week and see how you feel? What do you have to lose? Replace cow’s milk with pure oat, almond or coconut milk, and really use the earth’s produce to fuel your daily schedule without a detrimental effect to the environment. ‘You do more damage to the environment if you eat meat and drive a Prius, than if you’re a Vegan and drive a Hummer..’ Dr Mark Hyman. Something to think about.