WORLD VEGAN MONTH | FAQs & Food labels

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It’s World Vegan Month, and what better way to celebrate it than dedicating the WHOLE month to it by posting about recipes, advice and so much more every single freaking week for the month of November. We are starting off the month by talking about al the questions people tend to ask when they0’re looking into becoming vegan or when you meet someone who’s vegan. 

But, before we get into that whole segment, let me quickly explain why the heck n’ bob people celebrate this month and how it’s celebrated. As the name states, it is celebrated around the world, and it’s basically a time to recognize how far the veganism has come, how accessible it is nowadays and how beneficial this lifestyle is. Vegans around the world take upon themselves to educate the ones around them who are vegan-curious but sharing recipes, information, recommendations, and other stuff. 

Some Vegans celebrate the month by hosting vegan lunch or dinner parties to introduce veganism to their friends, others offer recipes on social media (like this gal over here), share your fave restaurants and so much more. Celebrating this month does not include rough talking or any making people feel guilty for eating animal products.

Oh, make sure to have a lil look at The Vegan Society website for this month’s events in your area, there’s some cool stuff happening this month. https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/events

Frequently asked questions

What do vegans eat?

That’s the first question everybody asks when talking about veganism. In short, vegans eat everything except animal products or foods containing animal products. So, if vegans don’t eat meat, fish, dairy, is there anything left?

Well, turns out there are heaps of things you can eat on a vegan diet, and oh boy they’re delicious. Vegans eat tacos, Asian food, burritos, lasagna, pancakes, pizza, cakes, cupcakes, burgers and so much more. Now off course they’re made out of plant-based ingredients but I can assure you that they are just as yummy!

Try o learn a bit more if you’re serious about turning vegan. The art of knowing is gold! So, you’re already doing good by reading this blog post, but be sure to research a bit more because as you know more the easier it becomes to maintain this lifestyle.

What about protein?

People tend to focus a lot on protein when talking about veganism or plant-based diets. Protein is a macronutrient that is made up of chains of amino acids, now, both plant-based foods and animal foods contain the amino acids that are the building blocks of protein. While eating a vegan/plant-based diet, you can get your protein by eating beans, lentils, chickpeas, soy, tofu, tempeh, hemp seeds, quinoa, nuts, nut butter, spirulina, seaweed, nutritional yeast (full of Vitamin B12), seitan (not suitable for gluten intolerants), and so much more.

If you are counting for whatever reason or you’re an athlete, you can add protein powders, BCCA, pre-workouts, vegan protein bars and of course the “fake meats” or meats substitutes. You don’t need to obsess over counting the amount of protein you eat a day!

Is it even healthy?

Like any other diet, it can be either healthy or unhealthy. It just depends on what you eat. Are you eating a balanced vegan diet? Then yes! Are you eating junk vegan food? Then no!

The best way to answer this question is by adding a quote by the American dietetics association: “Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

Now, does that answer your question?

Do vegans have to take supplements?

Supplements are a grey area, whether you are a meat-eater or on a plant-based diet. By grey area, I mean that it depends, if you’re eating a consistently balanced diet whereby you can get all the nutrients then the answer is no. But if your blood tests show that you are deficient in any of the vitamins or nutrients, if your doctor recommends or if you find that you’re not eating properly then yes.

I take supplements now and then when if I find that I’m not eating a properly balanced diet, when I’m working loads, when I’m stressed and when I’m not sleeping enough.

Is it expensive to be vegan?

Generally speaking, the answer is no. A vegan diet tends to be cheaper since whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables are usually less expensive than animal-based products. However, some of the “fake meats” (that’s what like to call them), dairy-free milk and cheese, can be a bit expensive.

But aren’t we supposed to eat meat? We’ve been eating meat forever? Our ancestors did too!

Funnily enough, I ear this one a lot. In a way I understand the question, since eating meat is so intrinsic in our lives, especially if you come from a country where it’s gastronomic is mainly animal products. But we can’t keep on looking back to what used to be our culture, traditions or heritage. Now, I don’t mean this in a bad way but if we were to look into all perspectives when it comes to “traditions” or “heritage” than we would have to look at other things that were at one point part of it. ie: determination, women had to access to voting and other weird stuff.

And nope, I’m not being radical, just making the point that saying that our ancestors ate meat is just dumb. Like many other things that our ancestors used to do.

What’s the best way to transition to a vegan diet?

Do not do it cold turkey, I repeat, DO NOT!
Take it to step by step, start by cutting down the amount of meat/fish meals you have a week, gradually. Buy a vegan cookbook, you’ll see that it makes life easier and it’s so much fun to try new things.

Swap your milk for oat or almond milk, I find these similar to the taste of milk. It might be my taste buds but I think the other dairy-free alternatives don’t mix or taste great with coffee. Dairy-free yogurt tastes exactly the same as dairy yogurt, so that’s an easy one.

Read, read, read! Be sure to look up recipes and don’t be afraid to try new things. Keep a positive attitude and don’t be upset if you cave in, it’s ok, it’s a learning curve.

Labels

Yup, I mean labels, food labels!

There are so many foods that you eat daily that are vegan and some that look vegan but actually aren’t. I’m gonna give you a list of things that if you see on a label then it means they’re not vegan and lastly to make you a bit happier, I’ll give a list of all junk food that vegans can eat that are store-bought. 

 

Ingredients that are NOT VEGAN:

  1. E120, E322, E422, E 471, E542, E631, E901 and E904.
  2. Cochineal or carmine: Ground cochineal scale insects are used to make carmine, a natural dye used to give a red color to many food products. Red velvet is a no, no! 
  3. Gelatin: Comes from the skin, bones and connective tissues of cows and pigs.
  4. Flavorings: Some of these ingredients are animal-based. One example is castoreum (ie: vanilla extract), a food flavoring that comes from the secretions of beavers’ anal scent glands. Learned about this one the other day, omg! Yup, no thank you!
  5. Most vitamin D3 is derived from fish oil or the lanolin found in sheep’s wool. 
  6. Whey and casein are all derived from dairy.

 

VEGAN FOODS WE LOVE:

  • Doritos heatwave
  • Original oreos
  • Skittles
  • Kettle chips salted
  • Mcvities hobnobs (choc chip and original)
  • Millions
  • Tesco churros
  • Guinness rich chilli beef chips
  • Cadbury hot chocolate
  • Lotus biscoff biscuits and spread
  • Betty Crocker – Devils choco cake
  • Sainsbury’s bacon crispies
  • Fox party rings
  • Unfrosted pop tarts

There are so many others, however, there are my faves.

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