Are Vegans Malnourished?
Are Vegans Malnourished?
The question might be better asked; are Americans malnourished? Obese Americans eating at fast food restaurants are certainly malnourished. It’s not as apparent, as they are not undernourished! Yet, many vegans get a bad rap for being malnourished.
Veganism, for some, evokes an image of sickly, waif-like gray skinned hippies. Not a thing, for sure. We see this myth perpetuated in the media as celebrity parents Like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith cry for help over their son’s vegan diet causing him malnourishment and fatigue. I’m sure we have all heard similar tales of concern over a person’s diet.
It’s not the veganism, folks.
Unfortunately, sometimes there are people who may use an extreme version of a diet to hide an eating disorder, such as religious fasting or veganism. The problem is not the vegetables or lack of meat- it is in the lack of eating altogether.
Total side note, I love using the term Plant Based instead of Veganism. It has an air of health and empowerment, like you would trust a person who says they are plant based and expect them to be athletic. That said, let’s not leave our vegan brethren out in the rain to be judged. No man left behind.
Another Celebrity Outrage
Miley Cyrus is all over the news this week as she came out on the Joe Rogan podcast and declared that she is no longer vegan because she had to eat fish for her health. Vegans armed up.
Let me help all of you out.
Number one, let’s stop villianizing Miley. I did the EXACT SAME THING when I was exactly her age. I wasn’t eating right, and I needed nutrients I wasn’t getting. (I was NOT eating enough, period) I am ASSUMING by her body type, that neither is she.
I started a fish oil supplement and felt better. A little placebo, a little beggars can’t be choosers. Here’s the breakdown, the benefits from getting Omega 3s from fish are far outweighed by the negative effects from eating the fish. So the total effect is negative on your health, even if you do get some Omegas.
Read more about the whole fish omega thing here: Is It Ok to Eat Fish?
There is an Omega solution!
There are plenty of plant sources of Omega 3s. You can get them from Walnuts, Chia Seeds, and flax meal. I highly recommend the flax meal over seed or oil. The seed must be broken down or it will pass right through, the oil is stripped of cell structure and is a refined food: pure fat.
There are some vegan Omega 3 alternatives for you pill-popper types, no judgement, but I prefer food for optimal delivery. However, look for a vegan algae form. What do you know, the Omegas you get from fish come from the plants the fish ate! So we can skip the toxic middleman!
Keep It Clean!
When it comes to diet, let’s clear up all the things and ensure that eating meat and dairy free are encouraging optimal health in every way. Let me please help you out, because I have made ALL of the mistakes and done ALL of the research and promise you- I have gotten to the bottom of it.
Getting to the bottom of nutrition is a hard thing to do, as there is so much conflicting information and tons of propaganda scaring us into thinking we need meat and dairy. Oh Lord, where to start with that. Yikes. (Different soap box, different day) Trust in the actual existing data. Not a bended version of an interpretation of a study. Facts Only.
How much do we need? Aren’t we going to starve to death without it?
Plant Eaters: A Strong, Sexy, Healthy Bunch
Surviving on plants alone is the ultimately best way to survive. Yes, you need to eat. Do not use any dietary lifestyle as a means for hiding an unhealthy relationship with food. If you are eating plant based, you never have to restrict calories, you are much more likely to need to eat enough.
It is not that difficult to eat enough. You do not have to be eating all day long. If you are only eating greens (which you should eat lots of) it will take a lot of greens to make you full. These are so many filling foods to eat. Like whole grain pasta. You can’t be starving when you eat pasta!
Here’s a handy list of things to eat every day:
- Supplements: B-12, flax meal, chia seeds, walnuts
- Beans: including tofu, tempeh, hummus
- Grains: Whole grains, Oatmeal, Brown rice, quinoa, grits, whole grain breads and pastas
- Greens: Spinach, Kale, Salads, Chard, Collards tons a day, ABSIG: Always be sneaking in greens
- Fruits: darker the pigment the better, vary your choices, buy seasonally. Always berries! Frozen, too.
- Veggies: go for pigment. Get cruciferous, get some starch, try all the weird ones. Mix it up!
- Spices: Garlic, Turmeric, Cumin, Cinnamon, Nutritional Yeast, all the spices! Use liberally and often
Plan your meals around these pillars. Ask yourself at every meal and snack if you have these things, and if not, how can you add them?
If you are lazy in the morning and pouring a bowl of cereal, make a light bulb go off: How can I add value to my calories? Answer? Fruit and cinnamon!
If you are poor and living on Ramen noodles, add some frozen broccoli. (The boiling hot ramen thaws the broccoli as the broccoli cools it to eating temp- what a win!
See where I’m going? You can always add value to a meal. Think of it like the drive through window asking “Would you like to supersize that?” Ask yourself every meal, How can I Nutrasize It?
ok team- let’s keep it healthy out there, and keep it strong!
XOXO KV Loves ya!
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