What is a Vegan Diet and Why Should You Try It?
There are many myths and misconceptions out there about what constitutes a vegan diet, or even the best way to “go vegan.” We here at 22 Days Nutrition would like to help you make the move to a healthier lifestyle with these tips:
What is a Vegan Diet?
In a nutshell, vegans avoid animal products. This includes not only meat and poultry, but also seafood, eggs, and honey. You may also see the word plant-based diet used interchangeably with the word vegan diet. A plant-based diet and a vegan diet are similar in that both diets avoid all animal products. But a plant-based diet, a term we prefer to use, is a diet that is based on healthy, whole food plant-based options like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. A plant-based diet does not include processed foods like soy burgers, fake “meats”, chips, cookies and so on.
Why a Vegan Diet
Many people choose to adhere to vegan or plant-based diet because of health and ethical reasons, others for environmental reasons or to get a more in touch with our planet. Primarily though, a vegan diet is viewed as a healthier lifestyle; it’s higher in dietary fiber, lower in saturated fats, and can prevent or help manage a host of conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Vegan diets have even, in some cases, been shown to reduce the risk or progression of certain cancers. And a healthy plant-based diet can also help keep off excess weight. A recent study from Loma Linda School of Public Health shows that those who follow a vegan diet weigh an average of 30 pounds lighter than meat-eaters.
Vegan Diet Myths
The major argument against a vegan diet is that it’s hard to get enough protein. We would argue that it simply takes a bit more forethought. Like any major change in your life, a vegan diet takes a bit of planning to ensure its success. But we promise you; once you get the hang of it (and see and feel the amazing results) it will become second nature to you. Beans, brown rice, quinoa, nuts, and seeds are all great sources of protein and you may be surprised to discover that every vegetable and fruit contains a bit of protein. So when you eat a healthy plant-based diet – filled with an abundance of fresh produce, you’ll easily reach the recommended amount of daily protein. In his latest book, The 22-Day Revolution, Marco Borges, CEO and Founder of 22 Days Nutrition, suggests that a diet of 80-10-10, where 80% of your calories are from carbohydrates, 10% are from protein and 10% are from fats, is ideal for maximum nutrition. Use this as a guideline when determining how much protein you really need on a daily basis. There is also a concern that vegans might not consume enough products high in calcium or iron. But again, it just takes a little education to understand the plant-based sources of iron and calcium. Did you know that spinach is an excellent source of both calcium and iron? Or that chocolate and pumpkin seeds contain iron? With a little effort, you’ll find that you are never lacking in iron or calcium while following a healthy plant-based diet.
Transitioning to a Vegan Diet
How you choose to incorporate a vegan diet into your lifestyle is entirely your choice. Some people prefer the “go big or go home” method – simply choosing to cut out all animal products from one point forward. For others, a more gradual process might lead to continued success. You can try Meatless Mondays, cut out animal products before 6pm or include animal products on weekends only. You can also try a 22 Days Vegan Challenge! We have 3 ways to help you challenge yourself to a healthy, plant-based diet for 22 Days.
- The 22-Day Revolution by Marco Borges: Marco’s book will guide you on a plant-based diet for 22 days and includes daily meal plans and over 65 recipes. Find it at your local bookseller or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
- 22 Days Vegan Challenge Kit: The Challenge Kit contains daily meal plans, recipes as well as your choice of 22 Days bars and Plant-Protein Powder. Learn more.
- Vegan Meal Delivery: We’ll do the cooking and deliver it to your doorstep! With Vegan Meal Delivery, you can sign up for a 22-day plan and you’ll receive 3 weekly deliveries with fresh, delicious and 100% organic, gluten-free and soy-free plant-based meals. Learn more.
Converting to a plant-based or vegan diet doesn’t have to be hard; all you need is a plan of action and some great recipes. Consider a vegan diet – there’s a reason why so many people swear by it!