Tuesday, 3 November 2015

5 Ways You Can Benefit From Eating More Plant-Based Foods

The decision to stop eating meat came to me suddenly at six years old while I was home sick from school. There was a segment on the news that showed a clip from inside a slaughterhouse. It was the first time I had ever seen an animal being killed. I haven't eaten meat since and have been vegan for the better part of ten years.

I was lucky that my parents didn't force me to eat meat. They knew how much I loved animals and perhaps they were surprised at my compassion at such a young age. I grew up as the only vegetarian in my family and in my class at school. I remember my mother telling my doctor that I didn't want to eat meat anymore. Her response? "There's nothing wrong with that, vegetarians are probably healthier than the rest of us." Which turns out to be true.

A recent study has emerged linking the consumption of processed meats to cancer. Though the link between meat and cancers is not new, it has become more  prevalent lately. People who follow a plant-based diet have lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and some types of cancers.  There are plenty of health-related benefits associated with a vegan diet or by consuming less animal-products. You can even lessen your environmental footprint by cutting back on them. I often encounter people who are curious about the vegan lifestyle or want to eat less meat, but don’t know where to start. My goal is to help make this transition easier. My focus is on encouragement over criticism. 

It is a common misconception that it is difficult to be vegan. This could not be farther from the truth. It is easier than ever. Nearly every major supermarket has a variety of mock-meats, tofu and dairy-free alternatives. My suggestion is to try a variety of different brands of mock-meats and dairy-free milk substitutes, you are sure to find products you enjoy. Mock-meats can be helpful when transitioning to a vegan diet. They are generally high in protein and easy to prepare. 

In future posts I 'll share tips and tools to live more compassionately, reviews on vegan-friendly products (including food and skin care), and some of my favourite recipes. Any major animal-welfare related news and victories may be featured.

With over twenty years of meat-free living, I have encountered many challenges along the way but the rewards have been much greater than any obstacles I have faced and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you.

5 Ways You Can Benefit From Eating More Plant-Based Foods

  1. Save money. Plant-based foods are generally more affordable than meat products. Staples like beans, tofu and grains are inexpensive and nutritious. Even replacing one meal a week can save you money. Meatless meals at restaurants tend to be less expensive too.
  1. Be healthier. Eating more vegetables and fruits are linked to a lower risk of some cancers, lower cholesterol levels and lower risk of diabetes. Having more energy is another positive side effect many people experience when eating more plant-based foods.
  1. Peace of mind. Every time you choose a meatless meal, you are reducing the demand for meat products and saving lives.  According to PETA, vegans save 198 animals per year! If you are not ready to make the switch to a fully vegan diet, even cutting back on your meat and dairy consumption will make a difference.
  1. Lessen your environmental footprint. Meat and dairy production have a negative effect on the environment. Cutting back or eliminating these products helps the environment by lessing the demand.
  1. Influence others. Compassion is contagious. Leading by example and sharing knowledge will make an even bigger difference in the lives of animals and the environment.

I strive to inspire others to live a compassionate lifestyle and make changes to support animal-welfare, the environment and their health. Feedback is encouraged and appreciated. I welcome any comments you may have about my posts, suggestions for future topics you would like to see covered, or any questions you may have. 

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