Is a vegan diet healthy?
Before becoming vegan myself, I remember thinking that all vegans ate were salads and vegetables. I had no clue. And I realised that today a lot of non-vegans still think the same way.
When I turned vegan in December 2017, I realised it was not at all the case. I actually couldn’t believe the amount of vegan options I could find everywhere, from vegan burgers, to pizzas, to doughnuts to ice cream. There was literally a vegan substitute for everything. I remember being so excited, that I started eating it all, regularly. I really felt like I wanted to try all of the different vegan options that existed on the market.
With time I started feeling really unwell in my body. Not only did I gain unhealthy weight, due to the amount of sugar and added fat I was eating, but I also felt really tired and without energy. I started questioning if the vegan diet was really for me. I couldn’t believe it. All of the vegans online were promoting all of the health benefits of a vegan diet and how amazing it has made them feel.
I realised that it doesn’t matter if you follow a vegan or omnivore diet. If your diet contains a lot of processed carbs, added sugar and unhealthy fat, you will be generally unhealthy and not feel great.
And so I turned it around. I wanted to become the healthiest I have every been. And I can proudly say my diet has never been healthier! The secret?
A whole food plant based diet!
This means that the focus of the diet is on unprocessed and real food.
What does this mean?
It is pretty simple! Just focus on covering these important food groups:
- Whole Grains (Brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread,…)
- Legumes (Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas,…)
- Healthy Fats, such as Nuts, Seeds and Avocados
As you can see, vegetables and fruits should make up the base of our diet, followed my unrefined whole grains, legumes and high-fat whole foods.
The moment I have focused on these 5 food groups and have started cooking it all from scratch, I saw significant changes to my body, mood and energy. I have never felt better!
And don’t understand me wrong, I still do like to eat mock-meats or vegan ice cream. I just make it an exception and don’t make it the staple of my diet anymore, as I used to.
To make things easier, I like to stock up on staples such as whole grains and legumes, and I also like to precook my meals or make sure I always have a big pot of rice, lentils, beans, in my fridge. So all I have to do is add in some vegetables and healthy fats and I am good to go.
Don’t overcomplicate it. It is really so much simpler than most of us might think!