I have been inching my way toward veganism for several years now. It is my intention to be vegan full-time, but I must confess that I still have meat from time to time. I stay mostly raw vegan until dinner by drinking smoothies and eating salads.
I’m not going to beat myself up about it, because I am on a wellness and health journey. I’m doing my best and that is all any of us can do. Some people can adjust to a new way of life by going cold turkey and others need to wade into deeper and deeper water in a slow progression.
As I said, I’ve been wading for several years now I’m at the point where I’m barely touching the bottom, but can still bounce from time to time. Do you like my beach metaphors? Hey, what can I say? I’m a beachy kind of woman!
Anyway, what I want to relay in this post is that it’s okay to not be the perfect vegan. A while ago, I read a book by Russell Simmons. Mr. Simmons is vegan and he is very vocal about it. He relayed a story of how he was out with his brother who convinced him to have a harmless slice of cheese pizza, saying, “It’s one slice. It’s not going to kill you.” He agreed and sat down to eat a slice of pizza with his brother.
A young man approached him and said, “You’re eating pizza? Man I thought you were the real deal.” And he walked away shaking his head in disappointment.
So, I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I am not a slave to being vegan. I just know that being vegan is what is best for me. I know the benefits and I am doing my best to stick to an all-vegan diet. But I may slip from time to time and that’s okay. No one’s perfect.
I used to use artificial sweeteners in my drinks. I don’t do that anymore. I use Stevia or maple syrup in my coffee. I use Agave in my iced tea. Mostly though, I drink water all day. Sometimes I like to use citrus essential oils in my water like Tangerine or Lime.
I have a friend who’s stepfather had a heart attack and he goes vegan during the week and eats meat one day on the weekends. That is another alternative to being a full-time vegan. People in the Blue Zones eat a 95% plant-based diet and only occasionally eat meat. When they do eat meat it is a small amount.
I’m not perfect. I will probably slip from time to time, but most of the time I am eating a vegan diet and enjoying it.
What are some of the benefit of going vegan? Here are 10:
1. Weight Loss
Cutting down on animal products makes it easier to stay slim as you’re not consuming high amounts of saturated fats from dairy and meat products.
2. It’s easier to get your daily servings of fruits and veggies
Eating fruits and/or vegetables at every mealtime means that your diet will be much more nutritious than those making up a third (or less) of lunch and dinner with vegetables.
3. Vegans are healthier
Vegans and vegetarians typically have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of Type 2 diabetes, lower body mass indexes, a lower risk of death from heart disease, and lower overall cancer rates. Science and research confirms that you don’t need meat to be healthy at all, in fact statistics point to the opposite.
4. Going vegan can improve your sports abilities
Did you know that many successful athletes are vegan? One athlete is ultrarunner Scott Jurek. Scott is recognized as one of the greatest ultrarunners of all time and has been vegan since 1999. He has also won some of the toughest long distance races in the world. Ever hear of Carl Lewis? He’s vegan too! Recognized as one of the world’s greatest athletes, Carl attributes his dominant and record breaking performances of 1991 to being vegan.
5. Having a vegan diet boosts immunity and is anti-cancer
Since fruits and vegetables are rich in super nutrients and many have anti-oxidant purposes, they can bolster the immune system and help the body fight against disease.
6. Vegans are more beautiful
Vegans who consume a large amount of fruits and vegetables are feeding and nurturing the health of their skin, hair and nails meaning that they literally glow with health. And isn’t that more beautiful than gobs of make-up and fake hair extensions?
7. Plant-based diet can aid arthritis
Eliminating dairy consumption has been connected with alleviating the symptoms of arthritis symptoms, but a new study by Karolinska University in Stockholm indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very effective in improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Boost your energy levels
You will find that your energy is vastly improved when on a vegan diet. NFL star Tony Gonzalez has talked extensively about how swapping from an omnivore to vegan diet has helped him gain energy while playing at the top of his career in the NFL.
9. You’ll live longer
As I stated above, all of the Blue Zones (which sports the longest lived people in the world) eat a 95% plant-based diet. Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian diet will live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not.
10. No bad breath and less body odor
Eliminating dairy and red meat from your diet significantly reduces body odor, and vegans frequently experience a reduction in bad breath. I use Young Living’s Thieves line of dental products which is also a plant-based dental hygiene system.
So there you have it. Ten reason why you should go vegan. Look, even if you eat vegan Monday through Friday and take a break on the weekends, you’ll be doing yourself a great service.
Your body will thank you!