Whenever people ask me what my diet is, I always reply vegan – vegan because I don’t eat meat or dairy, but only because I don’t enjoy eating either of them and what it does to my system, not so much because of the food production industry (although don’t get me wrong, I really don’t support or like the idea of killing animals of any domestic or ‘livestock’ category). Up until a few months ago, I would eat halloumi if I was out or at a person’s house who didn’t have anything else to bulk up my lunch with, it was simply the lesser of two evils (the other being a hangry Lauren who would tear the fridge to shreds, not pretty) but now I’m pretty much set against dairy and soya – the tummy and skin says no.
It was only recently when I was venturing into the world of supplements that a nutritionist asked about my diet and I replied naturally ‘vegan’ to which they hesitantly asked if I’d consider fish oils because, yanno, it’s fish and that’s not vegan is it? After explaining my lengthy reason as to why I say vegan but might not be 100 vegan, I thought to myself ‘what kind of diet am I then? Am I vegan at all? Why so many categories of diet but none of them fitting?!’. A quick Google search later I finally resolved my food questions – there are actually four main types of vegan diets (even one to match my eating habits huzzah), and whether you are vegan yourself or looking to move towards a more vegan lifestyle, there may just be one to suit you!
I say ‘regular’ vegan as this is the definition most people draw on when you say ‘I am vegan’; the common and original type of vegan, where most people start and later fledge from or stick to for a lifetime. Regular vegans do not consume any animal by-products: meat, fish, cheese, dairy, honey, if it comes from an animal, then a vegan won’t eat it. Usually regular vegans will only use vegan beauty and skincare products that are free from animal testing, refrain from wearing animal based materials and shopping in stores that do so. Fully championing animal rights and a balanced world, I have to say I have so much respect for people who can live like this, fully dedicated to a lifestyle aimed at helping the world and the creatures we share it with.
A lot of people when contemplating being vegan see this and panic they won’t be able to do it themselves, which is why you may find it easier to follow one of the next three vegan lifestyles….
Raw Vegan takes regular to a new level, as anything cooked over 46 degrees celsius is out, as food cooked above this temperature can lead to a loss of nutrients and enzymes from the over-heating. There are many benefits of this type of lifestyle, including clear skin, amazing digestion, weight loss, and increased energy. Raw vegans also abstain from processed foods such as refined sugars and bread, believing that our food should be as natural and unprocessed as possible – no killing, no cooking.
Types of raw vegan food:
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, roots, fresh herbs and spices, seaweed, raw nut milk, raw nut butter, cold pressed oils, raw maple syrup, dried fruits, raw cacao powder.
Now this is what I identify with most, as Plant-Based Vegans eat a natural whole plant based diet (#spinachlovers5eva). As well as removing animal by-products, Plant-Based Vegans cut out anything processed, greasy or refined including white starches such as rice, sugar and bread, and also chips, crisps, fries – basically anything processed. I don’t eat tofu myself because, eh I can do without really, so it was interesting to see that Plant-Based Vegans also skip out tofu, tempah and any vegan eat substitutes but obviously depending how dedicated to the cause you are, you might have the odd tofu dog or something.
A big difference between Plant-Based Vegans and Regular Vegans is that PBV usually choose this lifestyle for health reasons over ethics, although still concerned with animal welfare and the planet, there is some leeway. This is a big reason for why I personally identify more with PBV, as I can admit I’m not an animal person but find the treatment of any animal in a neglectful manner shocking. I’m not 100% against leather, but then again, I live in my comfies 80% (okay, 90%) of the time. I don’t believe this makes me any less ‘vegan’, it’s just another way of viewing the original layout for a vegan diet, but I’m glad now I have a type of diet to actually fit into!
Junk Food Vegan
Now you may be thinking, is this even a thing, but it is! People tend to assume that vegans are ultra healthy, clean eating machines, but sometimes it’s not the case. Tailoring off from Regular Vegan, Junk Food Vegan is more for people who care highly about animal and plant welfare over health, and believe me there’s a lot of vegan junk food out there (vegan cupcakes you are a heavenly sin).
So what classes as ‘vegan junk food’?
Oreos (yep, they’re vegan), white bread, fizzy drinks, chips, crisps, faux cheese, faux meat, anything synthetically made for a began diet.
JFV may also drink and smoke as long as it doesn’t contain any animal by-products, so it goes to show that you can be vegan and never eat something that resembles a plant.
Bet you’ve come out that a bit more enlightened right? Being vegan might seem like a popular thing at the moment but it is more than a way of eating, it’s a way of life for many people. Even though mine is mainly health related, I prefer to use vegan cruelty-free skincare when I can and of course support any cause for a sustainable planet, however the accessibility of becoming vegan these days is much easier – more restaurants are catering towards vegan diets, food that was once segregated to the aisles of Whole Foods is becoming available in supermarkets, and a recent study showed that between 2007 and 2014, 400 million fewer animals were eaten due to the rise in vegan diets – how incredible is that?!
Whether you want to know more about being vegan, what kind of vegan diet would suit you, or just want to discover what cheeky vegan junk food you can get your hands on, there’s definitely a way to incorporate the lifestyle into your daily routine – just go easy on those Oreos though okay?
Have you ever considered a vegan diet? Did you know there were several variations of vegan living? Would you like to see more posts on vegan lifestyle?
Lots of Love,
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