Being vegan is great, but here are some things to consider.
Welcome back to MyHolisticStrength. My name is Sandro and this post is actually a follow up to our "Why I'm a Vegan" post from last week.
If you haven't watched that yet, I'm going to go ahead and link that here.
Go check that out. No, go ahead. We'll wait. Good, you back? Did you catch the easter egg for this post? :P
Family and Friends
This post was actually inspired by an article I read on nomeatathlete.com. It was called "10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went Vegan." It's a great read. Here is a link if you want to check that out.
In the article, the author talks about many things, including how his decision to become vegan effected his relationships with his parents, family and friends.
And that is one of the major reasons why I don't consider myself a strict vegan.
I typically become a relaxed or loose vegan in social settings. When my decisions on what I eat effect other people. It's easy for me to be vegan when I'm home and when I dictate my meals. I don't want to be put any unnecessary burden on other people. This is not about a lack of will power or disciple on my end. I just want to avoid any unnecessary tension. I wouldn't want to disrespect anyone or go into a lecture about why I eat they way I eat or have to regurgitate facts to defend my stance. It kills the mood. So I typically try to stay away for these types of conversations.
The way I do that is by becoming an "undercover vegan." A vegan at home, but when you are around other people you relax a little bit and do whatever everyone else is doing.
Some of my closer friends know I eat more vegan, some are even vegetarians themselves. So it's easy when we get together in a smaller group and just hang out. Maybe watch a movie. We will be accommodating. So that's cool. But in bigger settings, particularly if the host doesn't know I eat this way, I don't make it a big deal. My goal is not to passive aggressively let someone know I that I disapprove of their food choices, that's the last thing I want to do. That just seems very unkind to do to someone who was generous and hospitable enough to invite you into their home and provide a meal for you.
Often if they find out during the evening, I think most people are quick to make sure that they didn't offend you, at least that's what I've observed. You're experiences may vary. But I think that's very sweet. And if you can get upset at someone for that, then maybe you priorities aren't in the right place. :(
Besides, if you have seen my previous post, you know that the reason I am vegan, is not a reason you can offend me with.
So look at dinner parties, picnics or any others gatherings where someone invites you and provides food for you, as a justifiable excusable "free-pass." An opportunity for you eat some foods you normally wouldn't.
If you're worried about what these little cheats will do for your health and body, just remember your body reflects what you do most often and most consistently. If that means you eat healthy when circumstances are more in your control, and have a few exceptions here and there for the sake of friends and family, that's not going to sabotage all your hard work. Don't make it a big deal, don't stress over it, don't put tension between you and your loved ones. Enjoy the food and when you back home, get back on track.
Another point, ironically is health. While there are volumes that could be said about minimizing meat consumption, especially red meat, and dairy products. There are still concerns to keep in mind if you do decide to go meatless. A Vegetarian almost has to be his own nutritionist, always balancing the scales to make sure he is getting exactly what he needs to stay healthy. The reason for this is because a vegetarian diet typically lacks some important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Some of these include: Vitamin B-12 (caused by a bacteria and thought to only be in animal products. Extremely important for our health), Omega-3 (found in fish and very important for brain development and our nervous system), Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin), and Iodine.
Strict vegetarians and vegans needs to be diligent about getting their complete proteins. With a meatless diet, this is more of a balancing act, they are going to have to combine different types of amino acids and incomplete proteins so they can get their complete proteins.
If you don't quite understand what I mean when I say "amino acids", "incomplete protein" or "complete protein" then be sure to come back next week see our post all about protein. Or, you could just subscribe to our channel and get notified that way.
This video will talk about proteins and also a little bit about where we can find proper protein. Particularly if you are a vegetarian or a vegan, where can you find some of these ingredients that you need in order to make a complete protein.
What I Do
So, my kinda of compromise is that I eat small amounts of lean proteins, such as poultry, fish and I also eat, eggs. I do this to make sure I get all my necessary nutrients. But I what I do is a little bit different. I limit myself to having one meal a day with some kind of lean protein. And that said meal, will only have up to 25% of meat. What I mean by that is, my "meat meal" for a day, if I even have one, won't be a pile of steaks. But rather, a mostly vegetarian or vegan meal with only a small amount of meat in it.
Even a small amount of these foods is plenty to cover all the bases and get your body what it needs.
Sure I could supplement, but I believe in the old saying that "food is our medicine." So If I can get what I need from my diet, through real food. I prefer to take it in that way. Only in an instances of something that I can't get in my diet, will I consider supplementation.
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