For this weekend challenge let’s try going vegan…
Have you considered going vegan? It may sound scary if you are new to veganism, but a plant-based diet is way healthier than one containing meat and dairy.
Studies continue to show a plant-based diet prevents, and sometimes even cures, disease. The doctors who created Forks Over Knives believe there would be no congestive heart disease if we all ate the vegan way.
So, why is meat and dairy so prominently touted as our best sources of protein and calcium? These are big businesses, especially here in the US, and they also have big marketing budgets. I tried going vegan last year and was particularly concerned about whether or not I was getting enough calcium from the veggies I was eating.
After watching Forks Over Knives and reading several books recommending vegan dietary guidelines for health and beauty, it became apparent that many of these experts feel too much emphasis is being placed on calcium. Particularly that we have to get so much of it each day, and the best way to do this is by drinking cow’s milk or consuming dairy products, like cheese and yogurt. Even your pediatrician delivers the annual calcium speech each time you take your child in for a check up.
Experts in veganism report that if you are eating a healthy plant-based diet, and not just filling up on junky non-meat/dairy foods, you should be getting plenty of calcium. That is reassuring, but I don’t want to get osteoporosis and I’m sure you don’t either. So, how much calcium do we need?
In my review of Kimberly Snyder’s The Beauty Detox Solution from last year, I wrote about her thoughts on calcium and why she feels dairy is not something we should consume at all. Our own Becky Striepe shares her own thoughts on calcium and eating vegan – definitely worth a read if you are considering going vegan.
Now, let’s talk veganism. Do you want to give it a try? Afraid it will be too big a switch? Don’t know where to begin? Last year at this time I gave it a go, but just could not make it last. Now I feel that my main mistake was completely switching over all at once and thinking too long term. Maybe the all or nothing tactic works better for you, but if you are a baby steps kind of person, a different approach may be all you need to make this healthy lifestyle switch stick.
Are you up for a vegan weekend challenge? Try eating only vegan this weekend. Here are some great vegan recipes to get you started. Or simply try eliminating dairy this weekend and add meat to your don’t eat list next weekend. A two day challenge may be just what it takes to test the waters, see how eating a vegan diet makes you feel, and whether or not the switch is right for you.
Please share your comments, questions or helpful tips on going vegan with the rest of us!
[Image by neonbubble at Flickr.com, Creative Commons license]