What About A ‘Partially-Vegan’ Diet?
Last year, Brian May of Queen decided to embrace 'Veganuary." What is that? It's a movement encouraging people, including celebrities, to give a vegan diet a try during the month of January. And of course, now that January is almost over perhaps we'd have to rename it... uh, Febreganary? Huh. That doesn't really work, does it?
Regardless of the name, as much some may be interested in at least trying it, they can become overwhelmed with how to do it properly and give up before they begin.
Instead of giving up, maybe consider a partially-vegan diet? Even just cutting down can make a difference and may be more achievable for many. How about a quick review of what a vegan diet is:
Let's start with a WAY oversimplified definition of a vegan diet, which is one that doesn't include animal products of any kind--including honey. Some who embrace a vegan diet also don't wear or use any animal products of any kind. That's a different angle outside our scope for this blog. Let's chat only about the diet itself and not the ethical discussions that surround it. Cool.
Am I vegan? No, not exactly. I aim for around 85-90% vegan. Well, I prefer the term whole food, plant-based (WFPB.) Being vegan is not the answer, because you could subsist on potato chips and be technically "vegan," but it wouldn't provide the nutrients your body needs.
Since September of 2019, I've consumed a *mostly* WFPB vegan diet, but a more accurate term could be Flexi-Vegan. Why did I do this? After delving into all kinds of diet debacles, this seems to be the thing my body likes.
It has resulted in a significant drop in my triglycerides, LDL, and blood pressure numbers. In the future, I'd like to talk more about that, as well as the diet coach that helped me so much along the way. (I also dropped quite a bit of weight. Sadly during the quarantine, I gained some of it back after succumbing to the standard American diet. So here I am back at it. But I know it works, this time.)
The majority of the time a whole foods plant-based diet means a diet focused on whole grains, legumes, berries, nuts, seeds, and of course, lots of green and colorful veggies. Occasionally, I will enjoy some wild salmon or organic poultry, etc. Oh, and I try to take it easy on the oil. On special occasions, holidays, and when I really need a bit of honey in my tea, I indulge. It works for me. I also love that there is such variety of food and I don't really ever feel hungry.
Some people wonder if eating becomes boring when you're not eating high-fat animal products at every single meal. As someone who came out of the womb cleaning her plate, I assure you that is NOT the case. It's amazing how many different flavors you didn't realize you were missing when you're including such a wide range of foods you've never had before.
I have also found many restaurants more than gracious about creating something amazing that works. Some people enjoy having more animal protein in their diets. That's the thing about a "flexible" approach--it is more of a spectrum than a law book.
Several months ago, I read this article from The Daily Mail website reporting a new study and subsequent recommendations to take a look at this Flexi-Vegan diet and thought "hey, this is similar to what I'm doing, give-or-take a bit."
The article reports that"scientists say you don't have to go vegan to be green as you can have the occasional steak or piece of blue cheese and still do your bit. Just a moderate shift away from red meat, diary and high calorie foods all goes to helping save the planet and our health."
So, even just cutting back on the high-fat, cream-filled, and overly decadent animal foods can be an important first step for your health--and the health of the planet. That's encouraging news--and we could all use a bit more of that. If you read it, let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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