Where do you get your......?
Episode 4 - Feeling good, body and soul
So, I had given up eating animal products, but was I going without? At the time I didn’t really care. Millions of people around the world were living on a diet that included little or no animal-based foods and they were surviving. I became vegan for ethical reasons anyway, so I was fully prepared to forego optimal health for the cause. Perhaps I saw it as a small sacrifice for past mistakes. Even so, I was confident that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables would satisfy most of my nutritional needs. My first priority was the protection of innocent animals. I’d work the rest out as I went along.
After being a happy herbivore for some months my health actually seemed reasonable. I would even go so far as to say there was a significant improvement in my energy levels. By this stage I was becoming confident that my vegan diet wasn’t doing me any harm at all. Many others begged to differ and they happily lined up to share their newly-discovered dietary expertise with me.
My new lifestyle saw a growing number of voices join a chorus of scepticism. In contrast, I had a strong conviction that their position was supported only by cultural biases and food industry propaganda. According to those standing for the anti-vegan anthem I was headed for a dangerous lack of protein, iron, calcium and omega 3. Could all this be true? I wasn’t convinced.
The weight of social consensus is often brought to bear on plant-based diets by those in the meat-eating majority. I was repeatedly quizzed about my iron levels and whether my blood had been tested for those inevitable deficiencies. This line of questioning seemed to be wholly reserved for the crazy vegan radical. Where was this concern back when I was scoffing fried chicken and chugging milkshakes, when my arteries were gluey with saturated fat?
Unfortunately, my case for a plant-based diet relied entirely on personal experience and anecdotal evidence. Needless to say, nobody was swayed. Even though it wouldn’t be long before I discovered a wealth of scientific evidence in support of healthy vegan eating, I had to save the nutrition argument for another day. Instead, I was more than happy to explain that the reason I became vegan in the first place was for the animals.
I knew in my heart that I had become vegan for the very best of reasons and I knew in my body that my new diet was doing me good. In actual fact, I was flying!
What really struck me was that I had never felt this well before. My drive to exercise was ever-present. I could enjoy going for a run without my usual back and knee pain. Stubborn body fat fell off and was staying off. Added to this, my eyes and skin were clear, I felt happy, without anxiety, and best of all, I loved being me.
That’s all well and good, I hear you say, but where’s the evidence?
Well, as it turns out, not only was my vegan diet good for my soul, it was far superior for my body than the one I had grown up on. I discovered compelling research findings that showed the links between animal-based food products and the increased risk of heart disease, cancers, obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammation and auto-immune illnesses. The pieces were finally falling into place. What I was reading in journals, books and papers reflected what was going on inside me. It was exhilarating.
Nowadays I answer all of those nutrition questions with confidence.
Where do I get my protein? Why legumes, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains of course!
What about iron? Glad you asked - dairy free-dark chocolate, lentils, parsley, cashews and oats.
Surely you can’t get calcium from sources other than dairy? Oh yes I can! – From almonds, tofu, dried figs, kale, sweet potato, cabbage, black beans and many other plant foods.
Now, as far as my blood work is concerned, I have taken the full range of tests, and all of my results are smack-bang in the healthy range. Needless to say, I am thrilled with my numbers!
So here I am, with a well-nourished body providing me with new-found energy. I have no need for prescription medications and the only supplement I take is vitamin B12. Contrast this with the growing number of people my age that have become reliant on a battery of drugs to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and stave off other nasties like type II diabetes. In many, if not most cases, these medications have been prescribed to combat the very diseases brought about by consuming the standard western diet built around junk food and animal products. This need not be so.
I am happy to say that a number of those original sceptics have begun to change their thinking. Slowly, the good news is seeping in. This gives me great optimism for the future and encourages me to do more to share the benefits enjoying delicious plant foods.
Choosing a whole-foods vegan diet has changed me profoundly. My health and happiness are at an all-time high and I have discovered a deep inner peace after aligning my actions with my ethics. Such is my passion for this way of life, I am compelled to share my personal experiences and research with you. You are the reason I have created Ethical Being. There is no better time to begin your own life-changing journey than right now!
What are you waiting for?
We are ready and waiting to help get you started.
Resources and recommended reading:
Joseph Mann, 31st October 2018
"I was headed for a dangerous lack of protein, iron, calcium and omega 3. Could all this be true? I wasn’t convinced."
"I knew in my body that my new diet was doing me good. In actual fact, I was flying!"
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