Modern day Vegan, talking about my journey, sharing the experience and challenging views!
I have been a meat and dairy eater all my life and would never have thought not doing so until I set myself the challenge of a lifetime..three months as a Vegan!
Please follow my New World Vegan journey as I chart my journey of discovery.
Many devastating disease outbreaks come about because humans house animals in filthy, severely crowded farms and markets – breeding grounds for pathogens – in order to satisfy their meat habit.
Elisa Allen Director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
The above statement is very true and with the current crisis of COVID-19 it is clear that how we consume meat and dairy products must change. Think about this statement ‘If everyone in the World was Vegan then COVID-19 would never exist’
It’s not at all unusual for viruses and other pathogens to jump from animals into the human population. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 75% of emerging infectious diseases originate in animals. Kevin Olival, a disease ecologist and conservationist at EcoHealth Alliance, says, “When you bring animals together in … unnatural situations, you have the risk of human diseases emerging.”
In other words, many devastating disease outbreaks come about because humans house animals in filthy, severely crowded farms and markets – breeding grounds for pathogens – in order to satisfy their meat habit.
By encouraging and educating more people to move away or reduced the consumption of animals and animal products we can save our planet and equally save our human race.
Veganism is not a fad or a pop culture diet after COVID-19, it is in fact a way for the world to bring ourselves back in balance with our Earth, plus cleansing our mind, body and soul.
As COVID-19 grips the world, it is important to keep you body health and strong within, now is the best time to review your diet and make real changes. Veganism is the best diet to strengthen your immune system and detox the body form farmed foods.
COVID-19 came from an animal virus, picked up by meat eaters and the rest we all know.
Below is a sample Vegan shopping list to aid your lock down, this will easily cover your calorie and protein needs for a couple of months:
Yes, it’s true..KFC has launched their very own Vegan Chick-less burger with all the signature herbs of the original in the UK.
An Original Recipe QUORN™ fillet, coated in our famous 11 Herbs and Spices, in a sesame bun with fresh lettuce and vegan mayo. It’s a vegan burger the Colonel would be proud to put his name to. Source:www.kfc.co.uk
However, before rushing out and tucking into one these new delights, read the ingredients very carefully, as I am always annoyed to read the small print regarding it may contain Milk or Eggs as possible allergens due to the manufacturing or handling process.
If Milk or Eggs is even 0.0001% present then it is not Vegan and should not be labelled as being so, it’s misleading and false advertising against the philosophy of Veganism.
I was hoping that KFC was going to lead the way by offering a 100% Vegan burger, sadly they appear to have fallen at the first hurdle and the chicken although not in the bag, still has the risk of Milk and Eggs. .
Let 2020 be your personal Vegan challenge year, try being Vegan for three month’s!
It might sound like a lot to do and almost impossible to give up all meats and dairy products, but I assure that you will feel the difference in your health, energy and metabolism, plus you will be making a positive impact on our environment.
Ok, if you can’t draw yourself to do the challenge for three month’s, then try it for just One-Day! Now there is now your will power can be that weak to give One-Day a try, in fact this will actually build your will power.
You can plan ahead with your One-Day challenge by exploring the many delicious recipes you can find online, plus KFC are now launching a ‘Chicken-less’ burger with their famous recipe! and the list goes on..
So go ahead with your own One-Day 2020 Vegan challenge!
Veganism leads you to your own path of ‘Empowerment’, it is not just about the avoidance of eating meats or dairy, it is instead the your path of being true to yourself and body.
2020 will be my second year of Veganism and I must say it has been an empowering experience but also in knowing that I am being true to my own myself and not feeling like an odd-ball with how I choose to eat.
It is not my problem, but others!..lol
If you have been thinking of becoming and trying Veganism, then stop thinking and act now by empowering yourself, give your self a three – month challenge, which is how I started, and see where it takes you.
Any journey takes one step, but you have to empower yourself with taking this step and when you do I promise you won’t look back.
Being Vegan is by no means an easy task to do and it does require a great deal of will power and support from those around you. I have listed what are some of the top five challenges of being Vegan.
1. Eating Out
Being a vegan, eating out in a restaurant can be a pain.
Although the situation is slowly getting better, there are still many restaurants that offer zero or just a few vegan options. It can get tiring to eat the same single vegan meal over and over again or order fries and plain salad because they don’t have any other vegan options.
But there’s more to it. There are some restaurants which don’t even know what’s in their food – they can’t tell you if it’s vegan or not!
2. Reading food labels carefully
You would be surprised as to how many so called Vegan products as actually not Vegan after reading the label. For example it will have in very samll print ‘ This product might contain traces Milk or Eggs due to the manufacturing process’. So how can it be labelled Vegan if there is even a 1% chances of cross-contamination.
3. Social Pressure
Social pressure is another big one for vegans. Let’s be honest – the media is still full of silly stereotypes about plant-eaters. So we can’t really blame anyone for judging vegans. Worse still are your family and friends who secretly are looking forward to seeing you took into a Chicken burger…lol
4. People asking silly questions
Yes, people will ask you loads of silly questions. That’s unavoidable.
“Where do you get your protein?”
“But plants have feelings too!”
“Isn’t it boring to eat salad and carrots all the time?”
5. Cravings For Cheesy Or Meaty Flavors
Although mostly common with vegan newbies, even a few long-term vegans sometimes crave the same old flavors of cheese, eggs, and grilled meat. If we’ve grown up with these flavors, it’s only natural that we crave them.
Fortunately, there are many excellent (and cheap) vegan food substitutes that you can use to replace necessary ingredients or get the flavors you want in your vegan foods.
Scientific research is providing hard facts that if everyone moderately reduced their consumption of meats and dairy products, this wold have a positive impact on global warming and reduce the need for mass farming of animals.
Okay going Vegan is the extreme end to make an immediate impact, below are some hard fact to consider:
Dairy cows have been modified to produce up to 10 times more milk than they naturally would.
Male calves are of no use to the dairy industry and are less suitable for beef production. This means that every year around 90,000 male dairy calves are shot soon after birth and discarded as a by-product.
Domesticated cows have an average lifespan of 20 years, but on dairy farms they are killed after 5-6 years on average.
30% of UK dairy cows have mastitis, a bacterial infection of the udder.
Chickens and other birds
Every year in the UK we slaughter around 950 million birds for food consumption, including chickens, ducks and turkeys.
90% of chicken production in the UK is in intensive windowless sheds which house 20,000-50,000 chickens each.
51% of eggs produced come from chickens in battery cages.
40 million day-old male chicks are killed in the UK by either being gassed or being thrown into a macerator – this practice occurs in all egg farming systems, including organic and free-range.
Beak trimming is the permanent removal of part of the beak of a bird at a young age. This is standard industry practice in the UK despite being illegal in many European countries due to the pain it inflicts.
A free-range egg farmer can legally house 16,000 birds in one building, meaning that they can house 9 birds per square metre of space. This means that free-range hens live out their entire lives in an overcrowded indoor farming unit.
Less than 3% of UK pigs spend their entire lives outdoors.
1/3 of pigs in the UK are killed in gas chambers.
Around half of all antibiotics sold in the UK are used on farmed animals, with 60% of these being used on pigs.
Most pigs are entitled to less than one square metre of space each and the majority of sows (female breeding pigs) are kept in farrowing crates. Farrowing crates were made illegal in several countries across Europe, but are still standard farming practice here in the UK.
Fish and other sea animals
3/4 of the world’s fisheries are either exploited or depleted.
We kill between 1 and 2.8 trillion fish every year. This is 143-400x the amount of the entire human population.
308,000 cetaceans are unintentionally drowned each year after becoming entangled in fishing equipment.
Farmed salmon has 10x the amount of cancer-causing organic pollutants than wild salmon.
For every pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.
Sharks kill 12 people per year. People kill 11,414 sharks per hour.
Around 1.4 million sheep and goats are killed without being stunned each year in the UK using halal practices. Many people in the UK oppose this form of slaughter, yet purchase halal meat unknowingly, since it is sold in most major outlets, including supermarkets and takeaways, without always being labelled as halal.
Every year around 4 million newborn lambs die within a few days of birth, mainly because of malnutrition, disease or exposure to cold weather.
Male lambs are castrated using elastration, a technique that involves a thick rubber band being placed around the base of the infant’s scrotum, obstructing the blood supply and causing atrophy. This method causes severe pain to the lambs who are provided no pain relief during the process. Lambs also have their tails docked using the same method.
Put simply, intermittent is a weight loss method that revolves around fasting at certain parts of the day/week.
In other words, for certain periods of time, you will fast (i.e. eat nothing or very little) until your eating window comes around again.
16:8 Method: Basically you eat solely during an 8-hour eating window and fast for the remaining 16 hours. You exclude breakfast completely in the mornings, only having water or fruit juice instead.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
1. Helps you lose weight
VIF diet can aid weight loss and help to build a muscle tone body.
Experts are still debating exactly how intermittent fasting allows you to lose weight – some think it’s just because you consume less fat and kcals overall, while some think it has more to do with the restricted eating times.
2. Improves mood and focus
VIF diet boosts the production of BDNF, a protein in your brain linked to improved mood and cognition, by 50-400%.
3. Reduces the risk of diseases
Among other health benefits, there is evidence to suggest that VIF diet could help to reduce the future risk of various diseases, assuming that dieters eat good food and follow a relatively healthy lifestyle.
4. Increases energy and endurance
Evidence has shown that VIF diet boosts mitochondrial biogenesis, meaning that your cells create more mitochondria.
Now we don’t have time to launch into a biology lesson here, but suffice it to say that mitochondria give your body’s cells more energy, hence giving you more energy as a person made up of said cells.
5. May help increase lifespan
The smart people over at Harvard University recently discovered that intermittent fasting could help to increase your lifespan due to some very complex science stuff that we mere mortals cannot understand.
If you’ve not taken care of your body as well as you should have, perhaps it’s time to try a vegan intermittent fasting diet plan.
Successful VIF diet relies on discipline and preparedness. It’s important to fill your eating time-frame with nutritional, balanced, and filling foods.
Filling foods generally have higher amounts of protein, fiber, and water, and low energy density. Prepare for your VIF diet by consuming meals that are high in these ingredients and always make sure to drink lots of water.
VIF diet will take your mind and body to new level of fitness and help to focus and strengthen your own inner Zen.
Many people still think there are no suitable alternatives to replace the experience of eating meat or diary products when you are a Vegan. Well, there are actually plenty of options. Below are a list great alternatives to to replace meats and diary products..Vegan style!!
Applesauce Egg substitutions don’t get much simpler than applesauce. About 3-4 tablespoons will replace one egg in your baked goods. Just remember that applesauce does have a sweetness to it and acidity that isn’t present in regular eggs, so you may have to adjust other parts of the recipe you’re using to account for this.
Bananas Great for making fall desserts, bananas are a staple ingredient substitution for any vegan baker. The ratio is basically 1 banana to 1 egg. The fibrous nature of bananas makes them great binding agents for your baked goods, but the texture might be a little thicker than you’re expecting. If you’re having trouble getting the bananas to break up entirely when you mix them into your ingredients, consider mashing them up thoroughly before adding them to the rest of your ingredients.
Purees If you’ve ever made a dump cake, you’re probably aware that purees and pie fillings make great replacements for eggs and other binding agents. Plus, it’s a great way to improvise with your recipes, adding in new flavors and making truly unique recipes.
Silken Tofu Tofu is probably the closest thing you will find to an all-encompassing egg replacer. The other alternatives have pretty limited uses — applesauce and “flegg” for instance can really only be used as egg replacements in baking. But with the right kinf of seasoning and spices and with a close eye on the cooking, you can actually use silken tofu to create a vegan version of scrambled eggs!
2. Milk Re-placers
Soy Milk, Hemp Milk, and Rice Milk Vegan milk substitutes basically fall into two categories — nut milk and other plant-based milks. Soy milk was once the kind of the vegan milk world but has recently lost some steam to newer, “hipper” alternatives like hemp milk and rice milk. The best part about these substitutes, though, is that you can use them to replace the milk that’s called for in the recipe with a simple 1:1 ratio. No math necessary!
Almond Milk and Other Nut-Based Milks By far the most popular type of plant-based milk, almond milk is loved be vegans and meat-eaters like because it’s just so good! Whether you use it to replace regular milk in your baked goods or pour it over your cereal, almond milk is praised as the “good kind of fat” alternative to cow’s milk.
Substitutes for Buttermilk Sometimes the recipe you’re working with calls for buttermilk, and your instinct might simply be to replace it with one of the plant-based milks listed above. Don’t be fooled — there’s a difference between milk and buttermilk. Buttermilk has higher levels of acidity, which means that it will react differently with other ingredients. To substitute buttermilk, simply add about 1 tsp of vinegar for every cup of plant-based milk.
Tofu and Tempeh Tofu is the classic meat substitute. It’s spongy texture and ability to absorb flavors make it great for replacing almost any meat imaginable with the right seasoning. Tofu is a great place to start for beginner vegan chefs because it’s pretty easy to handle, too. Similarly, tempeh is a soy-based meat substitute that’s versatile and absorbs flavors well. You can do just about anything with it that you can do with real meat.
Seitan Like tofu and tempeh, seitan is a flexible meat substitute that tastes delicious and goes with just about anything. The main difference between tofu and seitan is that seitan is made from wheat gluten instead of soy. Seitan is particularly good for substituting chicken.
Beans For the protein-conscious vegans out there, replacing meat with beans is super easy and super delicious. While it’s not always true that vegans have trouble getting protein in their diets, people who highly active lifestyles do require higher amounts of protein. Consider replacing ground beef for tacos and burritos with beans for a meaty flavor that’s both affordable and a great source of plant-based protein.
Eggplant You’ve probably heard of eggplant parmesan, but the options for this versatile vegetable don’t stop there. You can cut them into chunks, sautee them, and even slice them into thin, burger-like pieces. Their neutral flavor and thick texture make them great for absorbing savory flavors and creating a convincing meat substitute.
Mushrooms Another staple of any vegan produce drawer is mushrooms. They have a naturally savory and meat-like flavor, so it doesn’t take a lot of work to transform them into a meat substitute. Use them to replace chicken in stir fry or mince them finely, sautee them, and add them to your tacos.
Jackfruit That’s right — fruit. Jackfruit is the hottest trend in the vegan and vegetarian worlds because of its ability to transform when cooked. You might not always find it in your normal grocery store, but if you have an Asian or “international” market near you, you can easily find jackfruit. The pieces of fruit are stringy on the inside, and when cooked, their flavor becomes neutral. Just throw on some barbecue sauce, and you’ve got a recipe for vegan pulled-pork that will fool even the biggest meat eaters.
3. Cheese Re-placers
Tofu Cheese The soft but malleable texture of tofu makes it a great base for your cheese substitutes. Of course, tofu on its own doesn’t necessarily create the most amazing tasting cheeses. We recommend experimenting with flavors and spices to create a convincing cheese alternative that tastes just like real cheese.
Nutritional Yeast Sold in a powdered, flaky form, nutritional yeast is entirely plant-based, and it has a uniquely cheesy flavor. It can be hard to put your finger on what exactly nutritional yeast tastes, like, but when you add it to your dishes, you will definitely notice a difference. Plus, as the name suggests, there are tons of health benefits of nutritional yeast.
Cashew Cheese You read that right — cashew cheese. When soaked in water, cashews become very soft and flexible, which means they can easily be blended into a smooth paste. Their neutral, nutty flavor means they can absorb flavors well. A little nutritional yeast and some herbs and spices added to these blended cashews will create a cheesy spread that’s hard to resist.
Potato and Carrot Cheese It doesn’t get much easier than this, folks. Potatoes (or sweet potatoes) and carrots blended in the blender until they’re nice and smooth make an amazing base for vegan nacho cheese. The spicier, the better!
Coconut Oil For cooking, sauteeing, baking, and more, coconut oil should be in every vegan chef’s pantry. It melts easily, so you can use it for greasing a pan or even just as a 1:1 substitute for butter in baked goods. If you’re feeling really brave, try coconut oil on your morning toast.
Vegetable Oil Because vegetable oil is… well, oil, it’s hard to use it for much of anything besides baking. You can use it as a substitute for melted or softened butter in recipes, but if the recipe calls for you to “cut in” the butter or just a regular stick of butter, vegetable oil is probably not your best option.
5. Honey Re-placers
1. Agave Nectar 2. Maple Syrup 3. Coconut Nectar
All the above re-placers when used correctly will give you the same enjoyment as if you were eating the real thing. Enjoy discovering.