Hi it’s Vegan Tami here to debunk some of the myths you heard about why you should not go vegan. I decided to make my vegan lifestyle change in May of 2015. After considering it for several years I just jumped in; deciding in one day and never looked back. I’m an “all or nothing” person so for me the biggest issue was just getting starting. Many books say you should ease into, but I know ME very well. I would still be transitioning if I had tried to take baby steps. When I considered changing over to a completely plant-based diet, I was worried about all the bad things I had heard about being vegan. Prior to going Vegan, I was Pescatarian (meaning the only meat I ate was fish or seafood) for 2 years. I want to share with you some of the Myth’s that prevented me from going vegan for so long. I’m going to share the reasons why the myths below are not true:
Many people believe that only people with deep pockets can afford to be vegan. If you decide that all you want to eat is vegan processed/frozen meals from the grocery stores, then this might be true. On the other hand, if you are willing to follow plant-based recipes and purchase your own ingredients you will find that being Vegan is less expensive than not being vegan. A big portion of a normal grocery bill is meat and dairy. If you cut out cow milk, cheese, and meat purchases you will find that you will save a great deal of money on your grocery bill. I can go to the store and make an entire meal that will last my husband and I 2 – 4 days and only spend $5. Rice, beans, and veggies will always cost a great deal less than meat, milk & cheese.
When I decided to go vegan, I watched the documentary Forks over Knives and then I purchased the book to reinforce what I had learned in the documentary. It is a great guide on how to transition into your new Vegan lifestyle. It also has a lot of great recipes to get you started. Because I love Indian food so much, I then purchased Vegan Richas, Indian Kitchen. None of the recipes I made and ate left me or my 6’4″ 270lb husband hungry. We both felt full, satisfied and energized without the lethargic feeling you often get when eating meals containing meat and dairy. I purchased a few other recipe books and still experience the same full feeling after eating a meal. The biggest challenge with being vegan is knowing what to eat. You can’t just eat fruit, vegetables, and salad every day all day or you will most definitely be hungry. Forks over Knives discusses how including beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and potatoes to your meals will ensure you are fully satisfied.
If you are worried about being hungry I want you to try my Vegan Curried Black Eyed Peas. This is my own personal recipe that I LOVE and my family loves even more. I guarantee you won’t be hungry when you have finished it.
Most restaurants have vegan options but if you are worried that you will get there and find you have nothing to eat, research the menu of the restaurant you want to visit before you get there. Most restaurants have their menu’s online. If you can’t find the menu online, it is normally safe to order a salad or ask that a salad have certain items removed from it. For instance, when I go to O’Charley’s I don’t want the side salad. I will order the Pecan crusted chicken salad and ask that the chicken and blue cheese be removed. Now I have a big delicious salad that is now vegan and still filling. When I go to Applebee’s I order the Thai Shrimp Salad and ask the waitress/waiter to remove the shrimp and add more edamame and lettuce. I leave the restaurant satisfied because I had a good meal and I enjoyed time with my friends and family as well.
This myth I was anticipating. I am not the fittest woman. I have gotten lazy in my later years and just don’t work out like I used too, so losing weight would have been great. With any meal plan change, you do you will initially lose weight, notice a difference in your body, etc. Unless you are a strict alkaline vegan you are not going to lose a bunch of weight. I initially lost 10lbs and my husband lost 40lbs until we learned how to snack vegan. Vegan snacks are just as awesome as non-vegan snacks and they can pack on the calories and pounds. We easily gained those pounds back eating vegan cookies, chips, and cakes. If you don’t eat right and you don’t exercise you will not lose weight, therefore, if losing weight is your goal it is important to eat sensibly. Cut out cooking with oil, monitor your carb intake, cut out white sugar and sweets, and include a daily exercise routine. Being Vegan does not equal being fit.
Being protein deprived was one of my main concerns but after I did some research before I transitioned and found that this is where beans, legumes, seeds, and nuts come into play. In the past, I had never been a big fan of beans even though I ate bean burritos from Qdoba and Chipotle every few weeks. When I started cooking from my Forks over Knives cookbook and even my other vegan cookbooks, such as Vegan’s Richa’s book. I found that beans were the main ingredient in many of my meals. I’ve been vegan now for 2 years and I have yet to have a day where I feel protein deprived. Being vegan does not mean eating just veggies and fruits every day. I eat veggies, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, quinoa, and lentils. If you need a chart of vegan protein sources see the image to your left or click the link here for an alternate source.
Do you know that we are the only animal that drinks milk from other animals? Most animals, including humans, drink milk from their mothers after birth but once those animals are weaned they no longer drink milk. So, what makes us any different? We aren’t! We do not need to drink milk to ensure we are not calcium deficient. Did you know that many fruit and vegetable juices contain 200+ mg of calcium? Green leafy vegetables contain 100+ mg of calcium. Chickpeas, great northern beans and almonds contain 50+ mg of calcium. Once you change your diet to a plant-based diet you will not have to search out foods that contain calcium, you will find yourself eating these items naturally just like you would have walked to the kitchen to drink a glass a milk. Please check out this list of calcium rich plant-based items that will naturally replace the animal-based foods and drinks in your diet.
If you like bland food, then most certainly your vegan food will be bland. I love the rich flavor of Indian dishes therefore many of my meals are Indian. Flavor is not something I am missing in my plant-based diet, in fact, it has been quite the opposite. All my meals are flavorful and satisfying. Even the ones that aren’t Indian. I have a broad variety of recipes that are Thai, Chinese, Ethiopian, Latin, Persian, & Indian. Not to say American food isn’t tasty but I have broadened my palette by trying options from other countries. If you didn’t know I was vegan and I cooked for you…. You wouldn’t even know my meals are completely plant-based.
Don’t let Vegan myths keep you from taking the leap to changing your diet to vegan. If you have any other myths you’d like to share and are wondering if they are true, please feel free to share them below in the comments. I look forward to sharing more benefits of being vegan with you in the future.
Let’s do this together. I’m here to help.
Indy Hip Chic is a lifestyle blog following the amazingly awesome lives of 4 Indy natives. Originally created to be a creative outlet and place to try new things we thought why not share this experience??? And with that Indy Hip Chic was born. From cosplay to vegan recipes we cover a little bit of everything while showing off the place we call home.