Plant Based or Vegan – Is it Hard?
Going plant based or vegan – it’s a question many people consider. Myself included. And for various reasons.
But what are plant based or vegan diets like?
It would be a hard diet to follow, right?
But what if it’s not?
Going Plant Based or Vegan
The world is beginning to catch on to the fact that animal-based foods are not necessarily terribly healthy. The china study and a number of documentaries now available on your favorite streaming service to support such claims. It is now becoming much more accepted to avoid eating meats and animal-based products in favor of plant-based products.
The benefits of a diet without animal products are more energy, better muscle recovery. Other benefits are reduced recovery period, reduced risk of illness. You may also experience things like a reduction of inflammation or pain to do with arthritic conditions, better digestion.
If the diet is so great, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Differences Between Whole Food Plant-Based Diets and Vegan Diets
Vegans do not eat animal-based products, most often because of their beliefs of not harming animals. So this would be meat, dairy, eggs, honey that sort of thing. Vegans also carry that over to not use leather, silk, wool, beeswax, gelatin. They prefer natural non-animal-based products.
Whole Food Plant-Based Diet
Whole food plant-based diets (WFPB) are like Vegan diets in that they avoid animal-based foods. In addition a wfpb diet is looking to avoid processed foods like oil, white flour, refined sugar.
This group of people may have animal anti-cruelty beliefs. This group is driven by the benefits of eating a clean and healthy diet. These people often look for the benefits such as greater athletic performance.
Vegans would get the benefits of avoiding animal products.
WFPB diets up the anti by avoiding processed foods as well – which contain often lead to people becoming overweight.
Going Plant-Based or Vegan – A Comparison
Both diets, as in the true sense of the word diet, of the ways that you eat. It is possible they will both reduce body fat as a nice by-product. Neither of these diets is regularly followed as a fat loss diet. It is more of a lifestyle choice. They both do have a benefit of often leading to easily controlling body fat.
Going Plant-Based or Vegan – The Benefits
Interestingly, even with the benefits of not eating meat products and evidence that shows that this will leads to less illness, greater wellbeing.
It is possible to eat badly as a vegan, by consuming sweet biscuits, chips, soda, white bread, and so on.
Veganism is an ideology of caring about the welfare and wellbeing of animals. It is not about eating healthily (although if you avoid the bad stuff, it can be).
WFPB diets, on the other hand, do consume some animal products, where their view indicates that it makes sense and can be shown to be beneficial.
An example of this would be consuming honey, due to the antioxidants and other nutrients found within.
Limiting consumption of processed food is highly likely to lead to a longer life, in combination with not eating animal-based foods.
We are not proposing to prove this, there is much anecdotal evidence of the effects of eating meat, and how it might impact you negatively.
The biggest benefit of a WFPB diet is that health is much more assured.
A WFPB diet is also likely to be less expensive than a vegan diet. This is because it consists largely of vegetables, beans, and pulses. These are typically cheap and avoid overly processed foods which are often more expensive, as is meat.
Vegans Care For Animals
If you are interested in looking after animals, then the vegan diet is for you. If you are looking for health, wellbeing, your best bet is a WFPB diet.
One thing that both of these diets do not lack is nutrients. Things like protein, iron, and so on are easily found in plant-based meals. All of those nutrients can be found in higher concentrations in plants than in meat, if you look.
One thing that will be harder is if you are wanting to get your carbohydrates from plant-based meals. You will have to pick specific food types. And eat a lot more of them to gain the same amount of carbs.
Can a vegan follow a WFPB diet? Absolutely!
What foods make up a good plant based meal?
Going Plant Based Or Vegan – Foods That You Can Eat
Here are a bunch of food types that you can eat from both diets – here is a description first of the general areas.
You need to know these areas so that you get the nutrition, the health benefits, feel full:
These are all fair game, and you should use them extensively to add a lot of flavor to your meals
Water, plant-based milk, black coffee, green tea, herbal tea. Alcohol (be careful though, wines are often prepared with milks, yes, really)
Lettuces, parsley, chards, bok choy, arugula, kale, spinach
Carrot, radish, turnips, ginger, onion garlic, potato
Legumes – Can be dried or canned but watch the salt content
Pinto beans, soybeans, green beans, chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, kidney beans, fava beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, peas
Omega 3 Seeds
Millet, wild rice, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, steel-cut or rolled oats, whole wheat, barley
Cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini, pepper, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, celery, squash
Apples, melons, bananas, cherries, kiwi fruit, plum, apricot, mango, grape, berries, pineapple
Plant Based Nutrients
Now you know the sorts of foods you need to eat, next you need to know which foods contain them so that you can eat a nutritional and balanced diet. Following is a breakdown and some examples of foods for a particular nutritional area that you can choose for your diet (there are many more, but this will start you off)
Carbs – for energy
Sweet Potato, squash, banana, leafy greens, apple, pear, carrot, berries, seeds, and nuts
Healthy Fats – so that you feel full
Coconut meat, coconut butter, raw pumpkin seeds, 100 percent cacao, raw nuts, hemp seeds, chia seed, avocado, olives
Almonds, peanut butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, spirulina, kale, spinach, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, adzuki beans oats, barley, black and wild rice, plant-based protein powders (you may need whole food or vegan here depending on what you want)
Broccoli, bok-choy, non-dairy milk (almond and soy being the best), white beans, navy beans, chia seed, sesame seeds, oranges, almonds, leafy greens, tahini, blackstrap molasses
Broccoli, leafy greens, root vegetables, dates, figs, seeds, grains, beans, coffee beans, cacao and cocoa, banana, avocado
Peanuts and peanut butter, almonds, raisins, prunes, chia seed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seed, cacao beans and 100 percent raw cacao, quinoa, legumes
Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, grapefruit, red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, leafy greens, wheatgrass, goji berries
Broccoli, leafy greens, kale, legumes, avocado, tomato, almonds, cashews, banana, orange,
Cacao beans, apple cider vinegar, kimchi, sauerkraut, chestnut, leafy greens, fruit, veg
Fortified vegan milk, fortified vegan cereals, mushrooms
Broccoli, spinach, asparagus, olives, mango, avocado, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, kiwi fruit, whole grains, tomato
Going Plant Based or Vegan – Really, it’s easy
Based on this list you could pull together a bunch of ingredients that satisfy your dietary needs and taste good.
Throw together meals that you enjoy. Swap out the meat or dairy for an alternative.
Go for flavor.
Don’t expect it to taste like meat or dairy – just make it taste nice.
Before you know it, you will be plant-based, or vegan, whatever your choice.
Within a few weeks, your body will have “detoxed” the animal product and you will start to feel better.
Weight loss might not happen initially, in time it will. If not, read this blog for other ideas for exercises to help speed things up.
We hope you end up feeling as awesome as we do!