High carb, low carb, raw food, raw till 4, 80/10/10, processed foods, only “whole foods”, gluten free, sugar free etc etc All ways to eat and ways to eat vegan as well. I personally don’t promote a raw food diet or cutting out gluten or sugar unless you have an illness that makes you cut it out, just like i don’t promote eating only vegan junk food. But if eating raw food or high carb or low carb makes you feel happy and healthy or the only thing you eat is junk food but atleast it is something, then do that.
In the vegan community there seems to be so many who have rules about what you should or shouldn’t eat, for example i remember in the past when there was a hype about eating oil free within the vegan community, i personally wasn’t vegan then and wasn’t affected by it but i’ve watched alot of videos from people claiming that oil is the worst and should be avoided by all costs. Not sure if that is still a huge trend, even though i know many still preach that oil is the worst. And this is very dangerous and can be harmful in my opinion, especially as i know that many recovering from an eating disorder turn vegan either to help them recover by actually eating, or by hiding that they are still sick so that they can still restrict. But it can be damaging and harmful when they are then told that oil should be avoided at all costs. Oil is concentrated form of fat, but there is nothing wrong with oil in moderation. It gives more flavour to food when frying (i.e it is a flavour enhancer) or when used in cooking, it helps to absorb the fat soluble vitamins in food, it can help people maintain weight or gain weight if necessary, it can make you feel more satiated i.e fat makes you feel full faster.
Do you need to eat oil to be healthy? No you don’t. You can eat avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut etc and get your healthy fats into you, however as a vegan eating, consuming rapeseed oil or linseed oil is a great way to get omega 3 into you. Also having an irrational fear of oil is not healthy and will restrict you in many circumstances for example if you go out to eat, if you travel, if you eat food that someone else has prepared. Oil in moderation is fine and nothing to be scared of.
Also, you don’t need to eat only raw food or only fruit or only starches to be vegan. This is another trend that many vegans follow i.e only eating raw foods or only fruit or only very starchy food such as rice and potatoes. I personally think that food is very bland and would be boring in the long run but also if you are only eating raw food, fruit or starches you will miss out on alot of nutrients such as healthy fats, can be hard to reach an adequate protein amount and if you aren’t consuming any fats you wont be absorbing the fat soluble vitamins A, E, D, K which are important for your cells, brain, skin, organs and other processes in the body. If you feel best eating this way, then go for it… but know that you don’t HAVE to eat this way to be vegan even if some preach that it is the only way to be vegan. Not to mention that if you live in cold countries it can ve very hard to be a raw vegan or a fruitarian because you won’t have acess to as many different fruits and vegetables and there will be alot of transport involved and by the time you actually eat the fruit and veg (if it isn’t grown in the country you live in) the nutritional value will have decreased quite a bit. So both from a nutritional aspect and a environmental aspect, eating raw food or only fruits in colder countries isn’t optimal.
And then there are vegans who just eat noodles, oreos and ice cream and that’s ok… but in moderation. It is amazing that those foods exist but it shouldn’t make up the most part of your diet. Of course people who eat this way often don’t care about what they eat and aren’t vegan for health reasons i.e they are most likely part in alot of activist groups and doing all they can to save animals, which is amazing. Or maybe they are just busy working or busy living life or just don’t like cooking and that’s ok. However as a vegan i personally think it is important to be aware of nutrition and what you eat so that you don’t end up missing any nutrients or vitamins because your diet is made up of processed foods. I mean a crappy diet whether its vegan or not is still a crappy diet and will lead to negative health eventually.
I promote a balanced vegan diet. Which entails beans, grains, vegetables, fruit, healthy fats, tofu, soy and also some processed and junk food every now and then. But most importantly, a diet that makes YOU feel good. A diet that makes you feel energetic, happy, healthy. If you are feeling slow, heavy, constantly bloated, tired, brain fog…. then look over what and how you are eating. Maybe something you need to omit or maybe you are missing a nutrient or vitamin in your diet or maybe you just need to change your diet completely, maybe you are intolerant to something.
Your diet plays a huge roll in how you feel, your energy levels,your concentration, your mood and even motivation in life, so it is important that you eat right.
But most of all i just wanted to write that there is no “right way” to eat to be a vegan. As long as it doesn’t have animal products then eat it! You don’t have to follow a certain diet or trend, just avoid animal products as best you can. Of course vegan is the whole lifestyle, so i should write a plant based diet.
As long as it is vegan is my approach to my food intake. And of course as long as i like it and want to eat it!!
Also not to mention the type of activism you may choose as a vegan. Some do no activisim at all, some do it through social media, some join animal activisit groups, some demonstrate and protest, some silently veganize their family, friends and partners. Whatever you choose or don’t choose is ok.
I’ve read posts where some vegans say that others aren’t doing enough because they aren’t out protesting or freeing animals from cages and joining animal activist groups, but everyone has different lifestyles, thoughts and priorties and just because you aren’t out protesting doesn’t mean you aren’t “vegan enough”. Let’s just forget the labels and öet everyone do the best they can to avoid contributing to animal suffering. For some that means just being vegetarian, for others that means eating a fully plant based diet, for others that means protesting and trying to convert others to a vegan lifestyle as well. Everyone can only do their best and everyone is different. I personally choose the social media route as well as informing and inspiring people online and people closest to me not to mention by donating to charities when i can, and that is what i can do right now but maybe in the future i will join groups to demonstrate, who knows!