Over the past week I've become very interested and fascinated with the vegan lifestyle. I was talking to a co-worker who has been a vegan for one year. She was converted when she took a nutrition and mental illness class at Rollins College. One of her assignments was for 3 weeks she had to choose a diet of only juicing fruits and vegetables or a vegan diet. She chose vegan. She gave me some titles of some of the videos she watched in her classroom and though I haven't done an intense or deep study on veganism, from what I watched and from what I have read online vegan makes sense for me.
The reason why I'm choosing to "try out" the vegan diet is because I have suffered with digestive issues, anxiety, and nerve problems and I am hopeful that this will help reduce those health issues. I also want to improve my diet and overall health and believe this will be a good track for me to follow.
One of the things that stood out to me the most was how the protein we consume from animals has a tremendous effect on the growth of cancer cells living in the body. Not only that, but when you are not consuming dairy many vegan dieters experience more energy, less anxiety, and they are also lowering the risk of heart disease. (Just to name a few benifits of being vegan).
A lot of people have a distorted view of veganism. It's for hippies, all vegans are snobby, they eat like birds, "girly" diet, don't consume enough protein or calcium. While none of this is true, many people don't realize that there is more than enough protein and calcium consumed through a plant based diet than in most american diets. Many americans consume so many empty calories in their daily diet, while lacking nutrient based food, they are robbing their bodies of the vitamins, nutrients, and good calories our body needs to function properly.
Spinach, kale, broccoli, tofu, soybeans, almonds and molasses, to name a few) offer more calcium per calorie than milk.
It's not easy to switch to this lifestyle, especially if you are used to eating the common "staples" of the american diet. I've been trying to make a better effort to stay away from dairy products. I've been told to wing myself off slowly. My co-worker did it cold turkey and had no problem. I LOVE cheese, I LOVE ice cream, I LOVE dairy, period. This will be a great challenge, but I'm looking forward to it!