Hi friends! I’m Holly and I’m new here, nice to meet you! I passionately follow a plant- based (aka vegan) diet and will be sharing some of my thoughts and experiences with you over several blog posts. First up, dispelling five myths I hear ALL. THE. TIME. about being vegan.
Myth 1: It’s not possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet!
Reality: Sure it is! Now, I’m not a physician or nutritionist, but if you eat a typical American diet you’re probably getting more protein than is necessary. As a vegan you may need to pay more attention to how much protein you’re consuming, but there are lots of yummy vegan protein options out there! Some of my favorites are all-natural peanut butter, hummus, and spinach. ;)
Myth 2: It’s too expensive to be vegan!
Reality: It CAN be expensive, but it doesn’t HAVE to be! Many vegan staples (think grains, beans, and legumes) can be purchased in bulk, and are much cheaper than a steak. You can also find store brands of canned beans and vegetables, in addition to frozen fruits and veggies which are less expensive than fresh but often maintain the same nutritional quality. Finally, if you buy fresh produce while it’s in season it will be less expensive.
Myth 3: You’ll definitely lose weight if you switch to a vegan diet!
Reality: Some people actually gain weight when switching to a vegan diet, usually because they don’t have a plan for eating healthy as a vegan. Many junk foods just happen to be vegan, from potato chips, to cookies, to ice cream. Whether you’re adopting a vegan diet or not, it’s always important to eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, and healthy fats. Be sure to do some research (such as here) to plan nutritious vegan meals that minimize excessive amounts of sugar, salt, and fat.
Myth 4: I could never give up cheese!
Reality: If I can do it, anyone can do it! After the inevitable questions about protein, this is the next thing people ALWAYS say to me when they learn I don’t eat animal products. While I do believe that people can be “addicted” to cheese (I think I was during my 6 years of being a vegetarian before going fully vegan), it can be overcome. It may not happen overnight, but it is, in fact, something that anyone can do.
Myth 5: It’s just too hard to be vegan!
Reality: Change in general can be hard, but it’s ok for change to be slow and incremental. During my first year of exploring a vegan diet I was only vegan during the week, and ate things like cheese and eggs on the weekends. I gave myself the time and space I needed to navigate the frequently food-based weekend plans that always arise. I spent that year reading about the many aspects of what it means to be vegan, figuring out why it was right for me, trying new recipes, and learning what worked for me and what didn’t. Planning ahead and packing snacks are essential for me to stay on track, and when I do that it’s always easy being vegan.
I hope this post helped shed some light on the realities of eating a diet free of animal products, and answered some questions you may have yourself. If you’re interested in trying a vegan diet, I encourage you to start with just a few meals a week. You can also explore all the benefits of being vegan, for yourself, our animal friends, AND our environment here. And stay tuned for more posts about how awesome it is to live a plant-based life!