This weeks blog is a bit more personal, some of you will get it and some of you will think but where’s the meat?
And to be honest that’s okay, as long as you are willing to have a discussion, be open minded then I don’t mind your stance on this subject. I’m not going to be one of those people who rams my beliefs or my choices down your throat, unlike some of those vegans and those meat eaters (there are people on both sides that love to create arguments or as some people like to call it, banter, nope you are just being a bit of a twat, so stop that).
So what is the difference between Vegan and Plant Based? Surely they are the same, no? Well no, they are not the same, they have similar traits but all because I do not eat animal products, does not mean that I am Vegan.
People who eat a vegan diet do not eat animal-based products, including meat, dairy, eggs, or animal-derived ingredients, like honey. This lifestyle extends beyond excluding food and ingredients made from animal products and is carried over to everyday life stuff.
Shoes, clothes, accessories, makeup, shampoo—anything made with materials that come from animals, like leather, silk, wool, gelatin, beeswax, lanolin, etc., is off the table.
Whole Food Plant-Based
Just like the vegan diet, people who eat a whole food plant-based diet avoid animal-based products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Unlike the vegan diet, processed foods, including oil, white flour, and refined sugar is not part of the diet. This way of eating is based around unprocessed or minimally processed veggies, fruit, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Here’s the easiest way to remember the distinction between the vegan diet and the whole food plant-based diet: people who are vegan can eat Oreo cookies (Oreos aren’t made with animal ingredients), and people who are whole food plant-based cannot eat Oreos (well, they aren’t meant too).
So where do I fit in with this? Well I do eat Oreo Cookies, I have a sweet tooth and occasionally I have cravings for sweet foods but I have cut out all foods that are made using animal products and because of this I was able to drop excess weight in time for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships in Canada a couple of weeks ago.
Maybe in time I will cut out the refined sugar, but it’s all about personal choices and doing what is right for you. (As I’ve said, if you want to eat meat then that’s your choice, if you don’t want to eat meat, then that’s your choice).
So why go Plant Based?
Originally my girlfriend wanted to cut out animal products as there are lots of health benefits to cutting it out when breastfeeding our newborn, and to help support my girlfriend I said I would do the same. My thinking was that we only ate meat a couple of times a week, and this way we would save money by not having to prep different meals, try to save time knowing that we would be juggling a newborn, me being at work and dealing with this new life in general.
At first, I thought that I would miss it but to be honest I haven’t missed it in the sense that I’m dying to have a bacon sandwich or to go eat a steak. I’m actually feeling amazing, my energy levels are up, I’m a lot leaner than I was due to cutting out those sweet treats and animal products and my health has improved a lot.
For the last 10 years I’ve suffered badly with hayfever and sinus problems, to the extent that I’ve had operations to open my nasal passages and in the last 2 months (other than getting a cold that was going around) my breathing and sinus issues have pretty much disappeared. I used to take anti-histamines everyday, but now I haven’t even gone near an anti-histamines since my change over. Maybe I was allergic to dairy? Quite possibly. All I know is that I feel a lot better since my change over.
A common question I get asked is what do I eat, well it’s the same as you but without the meat or animal products. For example, my girlfriend makes an amazing Chickpea Curry, originally it had chicken in it, so we took that out and BOOM there’s a dinner. We replaced the Chicken with more Chickpeas, Lentils, Sweet Potato and Spinach. It’s a lovely dinner, very filling and full of flavour!
Making a chili, then replace the mince with Lentils and Pinto Beans alongside the Kidney Beans. Also the cooking time is massively reduced, I do not have to brown off any meat and then cook it for 25 minutes (or even longer), then add stuff to it because of my type of work, I may be out early in the morning and then not back home until late at night, around the newborns bed time, so having a dinner that doesn’t take much time or looking after is a god send.
It’s been a long time since the only options for people were Nut Roasts.
It’s a pretty easy change to make and you may find that you enjoy the change. We have been trained from a very early age, by our parents, who were trained by their parents (and so on and so on) into eating meat and animal products everyday. So we know nothing else and will even think it’s weird that someone doesn’t eat meat but you already eat everything I do, it’s just now I do not eat meat.
The other question I get asked a lot is being Vegan/Plant Based, is it expensive? Erm no, unless you are going to eat at those ‘healthy’ restaurants or eat those prepacked vegan meals, or even sign up to those meal prep options. There is a premium price on eating ‘healthy and vegan’ or that is what the world (especially the fitness world) will have you believe.
My food bills have gone down, my cupboards are full of tinned beans, full of rice packets and we buy fresh vegetables as and when we need them. The most expensive part of the shop, the sweet treats, the meat products they are no longer part of the shop. I do not have to walk around the aisles picking up random things that take my fancy. I know where I need to go and the shopping trip is not even half the time now. It’s in and out.
We’ve been trained to be lazy, so much so that you are even confused about what it is that I eat or what do you buy to make a meat free dinner? Meat eaters will say but Vegan options are all designed to look like meat or sound like meat or taste like meat, this is true and why is that? It’s to actually help with our lack of understanding, our years of being condition to eat meat and our confusion of how to make homemade dinners, want bangers and mash, then swap out the sausages for vegetarian/vegan sausages, it’s that simply.
Lastly the other reason I do not want to eat meat is that I do not want to be a hypocrite, aw those lambs are so cute and cuddly, and then I’m eating a Sunday Lamb roast (again another tradition passed down).
Would you eat your pet animal, no? Why not? We kick up a massive stink when China eats dogs. It’s just meat at the end of the day, no? What’s different to what we do? They are just following tradition, just like we are, just a different culture and tradition. Would you drink human breast milk, if I gave it to you? No? Again, why not? It’s just milk at the end of the day and actually it’s designed for babies, humans just like the rest of us but people will call it disgusting and that you can’t drink that. Weird right, do not drink the thing made by us but drink the milk that is designed for the babies of another species.
Everything is about choices, and the ones you make are for you and you only. This weeks blog is just about me and my choices, I’m not telling you to make a change, I’m not asking you to make a change. I actually do not care what you do. I’m just posing some questions and if you feel something on the inside then you can look into it. Or you can completely ignore it, you can shout bacon at me or to post pictures of meat when I or my girlfriend post a picture of a pudding (not even meat related – remember that’s not even banter, it’s you being a bit of a twat. I will not be commenting on your meat meal that you post) and that’s okay, it’s actually expected when you make a break from tradition. People react to what they do not understand.
People will think I’m crazy, people may even stop following me on Instagram, facebook or other social media sites just because of what I choose to eat but it’s okay. I’m not going to lose friends over it because everyone’s choices are personal and personally I believe that this is one of the best decisions for myself and my family.
You can check out my recent interview with Plant Based News here
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