In this multi-part series I will talk about things that I've learned since going vegan a year ago.
I am very often stunned by how non-vegans are suddenly experts on vegan nutrition. “You won’t get enough protein if you’re a vegan!”, “How are you going to get your calcium?” and “you need meat to survive!” are just some of the comments I get on a regular basis.
I have questions for those people … “do you have any idea how many grams of protein a day you should consume?”, “Did you know calcium is in green, leafy vegetables and that excess animal protein leeches the calcium OUT of your bones?” and “Did you know that humans are not physically constructed to even eat meat? Take a look at your teeth and intestinal track”
Yes, it's possible you know a friend of a friend that tried to go vegan and got sick.. that is because there are many people that don't bother to find out what a healthy diet entails even if they aren't choosing to follow a plant based diet..... those folks are 'junk food vegans', people who live on soda, oreos and french fries.. all are vegan but all are unhealthy. Those people wouldn't be healthy no matter what. It has nothing to do with being vegan.
I am getting advice from people that can’t even tell me what their own nutritional needs are. To those people I need to say this “I’ve done lots and lots of research and I’m confident that I know exactly what and how to eat in order to maintain my health."
Open letter to everyone that has questioned my lifestyle:
I get that following a plant based diet is threatening to you. I get that it forces you to take a look at your own diet and your own health and your own ethics and to reevaluate everything you've ever been taught. I get that it's strange and new to you and weird.
I get that you have it in your mind that I must be deprived, starving, sad and depressed because I don't eat meat and I'm forced to eat icky food all day long.
I just ask that you educate yourself before attempting to take on someone who is following a plant base diet because chances are that person knows what they're doing and can most likely debate you off your feet regarding plant based nutrition.
I've read book after book and article after article. I've watched online lectures and I've spent hours online reading blogs and websites devoted to being vegan. I have a big library of books by the top experts in the medical, nutrition and fitness fields. I have it figured out. Now, if you have questions about following a plant based diet, I'm happy to help but please don't drag out the same old tired excuses for why I can't be healthy unless I eat animals and products that come from animals.
Science and research say otherwise.
Also, I'm a foodie and I love to eat and my days are filled with amazing, whole, fresh and delicious foods that are not only good for me but are every bit as satisfying and tasty as the food you eat. There is rarely anything in my diet that causes me guilt. I eat all day long as much as I want and I'm able to maintain my weight because I eat foods that are nourishing me instead of destroying me. I never miss anything because there is always a vegan substitute available.
Make tomorrow a meatless day!