“If you want to change the way you feel, change the way you eat.”
As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, aiming to live a more Holistic lifestyle is imperative to one’s health. Several scholars—Dr. Llaila Afrika and Dr. Sebi being my favorites—have advised that maintaining a proper diet acts as the basis for not only a physical healing in your body but a mental and spiritual one as well. Food is medicine, and what we digest on a regular basis can alter our development for the better or worse. So I’ve decided to get serious about my journey towards a plant-based diet that will surely change the trajectory of my life, veganism.
According to The Vegan Society, veganism is defined as “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” Which I found to be extremely admirable because showing compassion for animals is an anomaly here in the West, since capitalism is the driving force behind the culture and all. In regards to the actual diet, there are different levels to this lifestyle that can help make the transition a lot smoother than many would think. They are as follows:
- Flexitarian: A plant-based diet with the occasional meat item on the menu. Folks should try their best to limit meat intake as much as possible and they should have an almost entirely plant-based diet.
- Pescatarian (Pescetarian): Technically, they are not considered a vegetarian. But these individuals do restrict their meat consumption to fish and seafood only. Pescatarians do not consume red meat, white meat, or fowl. This is considered a “semi-vegetarian” or “flexitarian” diet.
- Pollotarian: this “semi-vegetarian” diet restricts meat consumption to poultry and fowl only. Pollotarians do not consume red meat or fish and seafood.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not consume red meat, white meat, fish, or fowl. However, Lacto-ovo vegetarians do consume dairy products and egg products. This is the most common type of vegetarian.
- Ovo Vegetarian: Do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl, or dairy products. However, ovo-vegetarians do consume egg products.
- Lacto Vegetarian: Do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl, or eggs. However, they do consume dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt.
- Vegan: Vegans do not consume any animal products or by-products. They don’t consume any red or white meat, fish or fowl, eggs, dairy; they don’t use any honey or beeswax, gelatin or any other animal by-product ingredients or products. Vegans don’t use animal products such as silk, leather, wool, and etc.
In regards to the actual benefits of veganism, according to Healthline, a vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients that your body needs (fiber, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E), it can help you lose excess weight, lowers blood sugar levels and improves kidney functions (especially for diabetics), it can protect you from certain cancers (prostate, breast, colon cancer), can lower heart disease, and reduce pain from arthritis. The only concern that many of us have with this lifestyle is money. What is the cost of going vegan? Well, that depends on the amount of organic and non-organic produce products you purchase, when you purchase them, and how much you intake per serving.
Cookie Cutter Vegan provided the following chart that can provide assistance with finding out when your favorite fruit and vegetables are in season, which could positively affect the cost.
You can also check out more information on where to find coupons for budget-friendly potential vegans by clicking here.
My journey so far has consisted of a fluctuation between Flexitarian and Pescatarian daily, and it’s been this way for the past 5 years. Eliminating certain meat products from my diet like pork and beef was an easy task, considering how the meat is processed and the dangerous side effects that come from eating it; the documentary Food Inc. explains some of those dangers. But I’m still struggling with dropping white meat (chicken and turkey), seafood, and dairy products. Maybe it’s because of the length of time that I’ve been raised on those food items or due to the fact that I have a weakness for Honey BBQ wings, but this transition is going to take some time…and I’m all game.
Until Next Time…
Definition of Veganism. (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2018, from https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan/definition-veganism
The Price of Being Vegan: How Much Going Plant-Based *Really* Costs. (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2018, from http://www.cookiecuttervegan.com/2018/01/10/price-vegan-expensive-cheap/
Vegetarian Nation. (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2018, from https://vegetarian-nation.com/resources/common-questions/types-levels-vegetarian/
6 Science-Based Health Benefits of Eating Vegan. (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegan-diet-benefits