So I just finished 7 days of a vegan diet and wanted to write an honest and open review.
For those of you that don’t know the reason I went vegan for a week is because I got a really interesting question from a follower who asked me if she should go vegan or not. She had watched a documentary called ‘What the Health’ which made some strong health claims about going meat free. The long and short of the conversation was “Let’s go on a vegan week together to see if it makes a difference to our health”
Here’s what I found…
The beginning was really hard! My cravings for meat were pretty severe and the food prep took over slightly. But after day 3 the cravings subsided (luckily) and I got more equipped in my kitchen. I have to thank avocados here because without them being a vegan would be impossible.
I honestly thought that my energy levels would not change at all - but to my surprise they were actually really good during the whole week and I didn’t crash once. So now I’m tempted to continue on for another week but Im not sure I can last that long without some flesh between my teeth (sorry!)
So all in all I was pleasantly surprised.
After watching the document myself here are my thoughts:
- They claimed that PROCESSED meat and dairy foods are directly linked to high risks of cancer and CVD. This I totally agree with largely because the statistics are all based on the SAD (Standard American Diet) So that didn't come as a shock to me.
- It’s FAT that builds up in the bloodstream and blocks insulin from working which causes diabetes and NOT sugar excess. This I totally agree with too.
- The candidates they filmed with these illnesses were people who were extremely unhealthy in the first place. It was not people who are health conscious and uneducated about food i.e. you and me. Meaning:
We don't need to throw ourselves into a panic and cut out meat completely in an attempt to be as healthy as possible and prevent illness. It's about being sensible. For example, the number one source of saturated fat is dairy and dairy is linked to CVD. OK. Sure. But this doesn’t mean we have to cut out ALL meat and ALL dairy and NEVER eat it again because it is the enemy ! It just means we need to make an educated decision to MONITOR the amount at which we eat and do what is right for our bodies and our values.
Equally I don't think the majority of people on instagram live or eat in the way an American eating a SAD does! Everyone I meet at events, at talks, in my clinic has a healthy diet with good intentions. Mostly their diets just need tweaking. They do not need to be revolutionised or radical or restrictive.
For me the most fascinating part of the documentary was the people from Duplin Country who were debating the environmental issues that cause health issues. The fact that despite healthy diets, no smoking and no alcohol EVERYONE on the farm who were exposed to toxic chemicals had a high diagnosis of cancers. That to me says that it’s not just diet that contributes to illness! It’s multi faceted.
What didn't shock me was the fact that the sponsors of these health associations like the BDA and AHA were the food companies that are making us sick! It's like the supplement industry - they don't care about your health they care about making a lot of money!
So in conclusion three things are for sure:
1) Don’t eat PROCESSED meat.
Processed meats are implicated in cancer and CVD. They are packed with toxic chemicals such as sodium nitrites.
2) Limit dairy intake.
I've always believed in a dairy free diet and consistently see good results with my clients. This is largely because most people don’t have the enzyme to breakdown lactose (the sugar in milk) and because it is meant for calves who have four stomachs - not one.
3) Eat more plant based foods.
The evidence is stacked and consistently proves that eating vegetables and plant based foods has major and systemic health benefits.
And as for me going 100% meat free. Im afraid not. BUT I’m definitely going to eat more of a plant based diet. I’m just not ready to give up meat for good.
Thanks for reading and thank you joining me on this vegan week