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When you have developed a healthy routine of being vegan or vegetarian it comes at a cost of being disciplined.
Finding different alternatives to what you are used to eating or cooking is an adjustment, whether you are trying to make similar meals or something that you have never tried before.
In addition a healthier lifestyle can sometimes be more of a change for the people around you because; they may be used to you eating the same foods as them, may not understand why you would give up a variety of wonderful choices or even assume that you will not get the same nutrients.
You may find yourself educating your friends and family on why a plant based diet is beneficial and how it has improved your lifestyle.
It is funny because you would think they would cheer you on, think back to when you were five or six and your parents are telling you to eat more vegetables and fruit.
Now that you are eating more vegetables and fruit all your hearing is crickets and judgment.
There are several misconceptions that people make when it comes to being on a vegan or vegetarian journey, today I will focus on six misconceptions that have caught my attention.
It is more expensive than eating meat.
This is incorrect, you can always find deals just like you do with food that is not considered vegan or vegetarian.
It is all about looking in the right place and having the right resources. Do not shy away from a healthy diet based on lack of knowledge and resources.
A great pro tip would be to cook in bulk and plan your meals accordingly.
It is not healthy to be vegan or vegetarian.
This one was funny to me because, both vegan and vegetarian diets are healthy. Just like any other diet we have pros and cons, it is all about finding a great balance with what you put into your body.
The key thing to keep in mind is to take things slow when you are switching over to becoming a vegan or vegetarian, you do not want your body to be surprised by a huge change.
Also, be realistic to what will taste good to you and what some good meat substitutes or alternatives would be.
Vegetarian diets usually mix a lot of proteins and fats, vegan diets will mainly focus on plant foods.
You will not have enough energy.
Many assume that your energy will decrease or that you will experience fatigue because; meat provides B-12, iron and a few other nutrients that supply us with energy. Being vegan or vegetarian does not decrease your energy.
You can get B-12 and iron from other foods such as beans, dark leafy vegetables, cereal and a few other items.
Taking vitamins is also an option, remember there is always a way to get what you need out of a vegan or vegetarian diet.
It is too hard to be vegan or vegetarian.
Be positive and do not be a negative nancy. The first step to having successful diet change is to change your mindset.
If you think that your cooking is disgusting and not beneficial you will give up on the lifestyle as soon as you start it.
I stated in a previous article that vegan and vegetarian food have transformed tremendously. You are able to recreate meals that you would usually eat and you can have fun while doing it.
For example, you can recreate tacos, soul food, thanksgiving food, burgers, sausages and more.
It is all about taking the time to figure out what you like and what you are willing to make. Do not be afraid of seasonings either.
You will lose a lot of weight being vegan or vegetarian.
You can lose weight if that’s what you are shooting for but, it is just a healthier food choice; it really depends on your body type.
In an article called “9 Vegan Myths, Debunked” by Everyday Health it was stated “Norris and Messina caution that becoming vegan to lose weight is certainly not a sure thing. Although a 2006 study at the University of North Carolina found that vegan women lost more weight over a two-year period than women on a non-vegan low-fat diet, nutritionists caution that making the wrong choices, even if they’re vegan ones, won’t add up to weight loss.”
Once again have fun with what you are cooking and do not be afraid to make mistakes. Cooking in the kitchen has been known as a form of self-care whether it is baking vegan cookies or cooking vegan pancakes or a vegan burger.
Remember your food is for you and your body, continue to love the body, build the body and nourish it with amazing nutrients.
You need dairy in your diet to stay strong.
Dairy is not always needed to maintain strong bones, you are able to get calcium from other plant based foods.
Keep in mind calcium is something that maintains our blood pressure, blood clotting, and muscles.
Some other foods that you are able to eat to maintain strong bones and receive calcium are beans, peas, lentils, chia, seaweed, nuts such as almonds, and turnips.
These foods will provide you with the nutrients that you need.
For people that are considering a plant based diet remember to do your research, speak with your doctor and see if becoming vegan or vegetarian will fit your needs or if it will be beneficial for your lifestyle.
I know change can be difficult when you are first starting out but, after a few weeks it will feel like you have made a tremendous accomplishment. Your body will start to feel refreshed, energized and relaxed.
I am aware that six misconceptions are not all of the misconceptions about the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, so I would love to hear what misconceptions you have heard or have been brought to your attention.