Benefits of a vegan diet - for you and our planet
Talking about food and diet choices is as easy as talking politics or religion. Not easy at all and mostly ends up in fighting….
But I’m still gonna talk about food choices a little.
I won’t tell you what you should eat and what not. When I say this way of eating is the best for me at the moment, ask another one and he/she will tell you Paleo is the best for them. Find your own healthy way….
But I would love to inspire you to eat healthier, fresher! Cook from scratch and leave high processed food on the shelves and eat them as a treat once in a while!
(Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or doctor. As most bloggers do, I only talk about my personal experiences. If you have any known health issues, please contact a doctor or nutritionist before making big changes.)
Vegetarian since 1990
By the age of 10 (1990) I choose to become a vegetarian. After I read an article about how animals got transported to the slaughterhouse…. I loved animals too much, so I stopped eating meat.
Happy to say that my parents and grandparents supported my choice.
I have never been one of those vegetarians talking others into a vegetarian diet. But I had those “friends” waving their bloody steak in front of my nose to tease me.
People were asking me: “vegetarian? what are you eating to get full?”
People were telling me ” I caaaaan’t live without meat.”
And hey in the 90ties there were almost no vegetarian dishes on the menus of restaurants…
I always needed to ask for anything without meat. Or I ordered fries (wait that’s actually what I did when we hiked in Austria and visited a hut for lunch. There were a lot of vegetarian dishes loaded with cheese, but the fries were vegan LOL )
Oh my…. even if you won’t find vegan dishes in a lot of Restaurants yet, I will never complain! It is definitely heaven now in 2020 compared to 1990. Now you can find plant-based dishes in almost every bigger city!
And just too many delicious recipes online…. I will share my favorite plant based recipes on the blog too.
Quitting Single Use Plastics
After choosing to reduce plastic in my daily life. I transformed quickly to a more plant based living. It was easy to find unpackaged veggies and fruits. Easier than getting cheese or Joghurt plastic free.
I started this lifestyle in early 2017. Inner driver: again because of my love to animals, after I heard about the plastic problem in our Oceans and after I watched birds swallow Plastic in real life.
And after learning more and more about how harmful conventional “animal farming” is. Not only for the animals, but also for our planet, and even for our health, the step towards a vegan diet was easy for me.
Healthier Food – Healthier Body
Since I quit highly processed food. Switched to a plant based diet. Eating less processed carbs and don’t drink alcohol anymore, I feel so much better/fitter.
I am not getting real sick anymore (no bad colds, etc.), my skin is better, and I am not as tired anymore.
So ok yes, this was my short pitch to a more natural, healthy, plant based diet 😉
Knowing that a vegan diet is not the right choice for everyone and in some countries maybe not the most sustainable (thinking extreme dry lands of some areas in Africa), I won’t talk anyone into any change.
But in the western countries where most of my readers live, I can highly recommend choosing less animal products in your daily life. And if you still want them, choose high quality products (local, organic, grass fed,..)
Impact on the environment
A vegan diet is not only healthier for you, but also better for the environment.
“Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32.000 tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.” (-Cowspiracy)
While the environmental impact is one important thing to think about, another one is the impact on your health!
I really can recommend the movie called “Change Maker” if you like to learn more!
Eating a plant based diet can be healthier for you, but could also be contra-productive if you make the wrong food choices.
Eating less meat/animal products and same time eating more refined carbs and drinking a lot of sugary drinks will definitely have the opposite effect.
Weight Loss with a healthy vegan diet
You might have heard that a lot of people had great success with losing weight after they switched to a vegan diet. You just need to remember a few things when starting a vegan diet for weight loss and then there is a great chance you will start losing weight straight away.
Since Covid 19 did show that people with overweight, diabetes, high blood sugar are at higher risk of becoming severly ill. So I thought I do share some tips how to lose weight and hold a healthy weight here.
I myself did lose 17 Kilos by eating less carbs, less sugar, more plantbased, less plastic packaged food (BPA is known to cause obesity too) so I know it can be a real success.
11 easy tips on how to successfully loose weight (with a plant based diet)
1: First thing first: cut down on sugar!!
2: Don't drink store bought fruit juice.
3: Don't eat a lot more carbs to substitute meat.
Carbohydrates are sugars.
So food loaded with sugar/carbs (bread, pasta, rice, etc.) shouldn’t get on your plates as a regular substitute of animal products. Eat these foods in smaller portions and not 3 times everyday
4: Don't just switch to "fake meat"/meat and dairy substitutes, eat real food.
If you switch to a vegan diet for weight loss, please don’t just buy conventional fake meat and substitutes.
Many of these foods are full of fat, sodium, and wheat. They are highly processed and don’t offer enough nutrients. (As processed food, they are also wrapped in plastic packaging…so this means even more plastic trash on your plate)
They will go against your weight loss efforts if you eat to much of them.
Like other fast food you should only eat them occasionally.
Better learn about a whole food diet and learn how to make your own patties. Like this one: Vegan lentil mushroom burger patties.
My boyfriend who has asthma since childhood, even got his asthma triggered after he ate one of the most famous beyond meat burgers. Afterwards we looked into the ingredients list, man… not real natural food!
He does have less Asthma after he switched to a plant based/fresh cooked diet and to natural soaps, and natural/organic laundry soap. A huge eye opener!!!!
5: Say yes to whole grains.
While you should eat less refined grains (quick carbs/white rice/white flour pasta and bread), you should still include whole grains (slow carbs/brown rice/whole grain pasta and bread) into your diet.
Whole grains are healthy, complex carbohydrates that your body uses for energy so they digest more slowly. Offering your body the important glucose it needs in a slow and even manner. That helps to keep your blood sugar balanced and this encourages weight loss. Whole grains also have important nutrients we need.
6: Eat loads of green veggies!
Green veggies have less carbs (less sugar) than red ones and provide a lot of nutrients.
Kale, broccoli, turnip greens, bok choy, etc. also provide your body with calcium, which is needed if you like to lose weight.
If you have a choice: choose the local veggies and refuse the ones flying across the planet…
7: "Get nuts"
1/4 cup of nuts /raw and toasted) a day is perfect. You shouldn’t eat more if you like to lose weight, they are high in fat/calories!
Nuts are a great source for protein and protein is important to lose weight.
So feel free to get nut’s and yes do some squats 😉
8: Eat enough proteins.
Protein is important for weight loss. Food high in protein is making you feel full longer and our body needs more energy to get digested, so your body is burning more calories while processing proteins.
A scientific fact is that your body can not effectively burn and use fat as energy without having help from protein or carbs. When you are losing weight you will lose fat and muscle so it is important to eat enough protein to fuel fat burning while preserve calorie burning muscle.
9: Drink enough water.
You will eat more fiber loaded food and these need enough water to do their job properly. 6-12 glasses of water (a 200ml/8 ounce) would be a great amount.
If you eat a lot of water loaded veggies you can easily aim for 6. If you feel hungry sometimes it’s just thirst, so always drink a glass of water first if you feel hungry between meals.
10: Start some regular exercise.
Yeah I know, you most likely want to lose weight without doing any sports like many other would like to.
But burning more calories during the day makes weight loss easier and more muscles will burn more fat. And be honest, are you walking a lot during the day?
If you are working in an office you might really want to think about some fitness/sports you like to do on a regular basis. Not only for weight loss but also for your back and neck.
Look for a sport that you really like. Try out some Yoga, HIIT, Running, Swimming, Biking, etc…
11. Avoid Plastic Packaging and Plastic Utensils when it comes to Food!
Chemicals in plastic are known to leach into food and drinks even easier when the food is hot and oily.
Plastic chemicals are also known to leach into our soil and water if it ends up on unsafe landfills. And tiny microplastics end up in the air we breathe if people burn it.
BPA is one of the chemicals they did study for a while now and they are concerned the Hormone Disrupter can cause obesity, (also the so called men boobs), infertility, and other health issues. Thats why BPA is forbidden in Baby Items.. But not in products made for adults.
All the other chemicals and also replacements for BPA in plastics are not known/studied very well yet, so who knows what they will tell us about them in the future…
So whenever you can, refuse/avoid/reduce the food you buy in plastic packaging. Refuse to eat with single use plastic forks and spoons, and avoid styrofoam food container and cups.
Finding the right diet can be difficult because everybody is telling you a different story. My recommendation to a healthier nutrition in 3 steps:
1) Eat fresh and cook from scratch- Cut down on highly processed food
2) Eat less processed carbs (say yes to more potatoes and eat less pasta and bread)
3) Eat less packaged foods. You will automatically eat more veggies and fruits.
Have you reduced processed food, or animal products in your daily life already?
If you have any questions or need more tips feel free to get in touch in the comments or via Email.
(I am also always open for discussion, respectfully of course)