Originally posted March 20/17
Pondering my monthly budget, I realized that I had never researched how much money could be saved, eating less meat.
I think everyone generally believes eating healthy is expensive (organic foods included). A recent study actually shows otherwise.
If you look at total grocery costs, animal products are the most expensive items, costing more than double the cost of a serving of vegetables or legumes and 60% more than the cost of a serving of fruit. Ref. Drewnowski A. The cost of U.S. foods as related to their nutritive value. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92:1181–1188. [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar] illustrates that, when compared, a plant-based diet saves you approx. $750 a year.
As per Dietitians of Canada, Vegetarian diets usually exclude meat, chicken and fish. Some vegetarians choose to eat eggs and dairy products, while some exclude these foods too.
Like any other style of eating, the nutrients you take in depend upon the food choices you make. It is important to know how to replace meat with nutritious alternatives like legumes, nuts and seeds and soy. Not to worry, the recipes I feature on our site, will always try to incorporate these items.
For example, I am currently working on a recipe where (ground sunflower seeds) will take the place of panko, for coating/breading zucchini sticks. Another idea might be replacing ground beef with lentils, in a lasagna dish etc... have fun with it, be creative!
Originally posted April 21/17
As Vegans we need to ensure we get the protein, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B 12 and Omega 3's that are required.
This is not an easy task, when trying to feed yourself or your family and ensure you/they get all the nutrients needed daily.
Keeping track of Recommended daily Intake values (RDI) can be extremely difficult.
I confronted Susan Mcfarlane, Registered Dietitian, with this dilemma. She is a Vegan herself, and understands our concerns.
Her advice was simple and complete. "Use a list" of foods that should be eaten every day. By "default" you are accomplishing a balanced diet, and taking in a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and oils. Using the list daily, meal planning can be made easy and more enjoyable.
In addition, including a rainbow of colours, when choosing fruits and vegetables, can vary your intake and achieve more balance.
Susan also mentioned, it is a great idea to seek out a Registered Dietitian, as a Vegan.
I agree, having a daughter who is 9, loves being Vegan, but is "picky at best".
Thanks go to Susan Mcfarlane (RD) Ottawa, Ont. Canada, for her collaboration, and welcome advice.
I have this list available in pdf form as well (great for your purse/refrigerator) . If you wish to have your own personal copy,
let me know via the CONTACT page:)
Originally posted on June 27/17
Yesterday, I had the extreme pleasure of speaking with Vegan Psychologist, Clare Mann.
She is no doubt, a lady of true inspiration to us all, including Vegans all around the world.
She had just arrived back home, after joining a panel of medical experts at the Canberra, Australia premier of the popular documentary, "What the Health".
I had a few questions for her, that you might find interesting....
What type of person becomes a Vegan?
According to Clare, she believes that there is a possible correlation with The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Firstly, we must define ‘ethical’ in the context of veganism/vegetarianism.
Veganism is a philosophy which influences a person to take every action not to be part of using animals in any way. Therefore, they do not eat or wear animals nor do they use products that have been tested on or have used animal substances. Many vegetarians stop eating animals because of ethical reasons as they too learn about the animal abuse, often but not always becoming vegan when they realize that their dietary choices to include dairy and eggs sadly collude with animal abuse to a great extent.
The MBTI is an introspective self-report questionnaire claiming to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions.
It outlines the two rational functions people possess "thinking" and "feeling". It also explains that either a person is a "thinker" or a "feeler" and uses this to guide themselves in decision-making, judging, and perception. Those categorized as thinkers tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, looking at something as logical, consistent, following long-standing rules etc. Those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it 'from the inside' and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved. Thinkers usually have trouble interacting with people who are inconsistent or illogical, and tend to give very direct feedback to others. They are concerned with the truth and view it as more important. (Wikipedia)
With this definition of personality preference, Clare believes ethical Vegans are more likely to be “Feelers”. This doesn’t mean people with a preference for Thinking are not ethical, nor that they won’t become vegans or vegetarians, but that a high component of Feeling preference is likely to be correlated with such beliefs/actions.
What are some Psychological Benefits?
There are tremendous benefits. When someone makes the decision to become Vegan, they are joining the rising tide of social awareness, and for themselves, experiencing an expansion in their compassion beyond human beings. One can experience finding their chosen path, or purpose. Something beyond themselves. Their actions are focused toward a common goal of a new larger community or "family". Kindness and Compassion also appears to activate different parts of the brain with areas associated with empathy, becoming enlarged. All these things no doubt have direct health benefits.
What is the best way to advocate Veganism?
"The best way to change the world is to change yourself". That is first priority according to Clare. Get your house in order. If you have experienced larger amounts of ridicule and resistance to your choices, you may have anger issues that need to be calmed. The same goes for those who could be traumatized due to awareness of animal abuse etc. Your grief needs to be processed, not anger encouraged.
Calmness, and its counterpart anger is contagious so we can’t be a voice for animals if we are angry and despairing inside. If you open a conversation, in a non-judgmental tone and with the intention to be open-minded, good things often come. Clare believes, if we can give people a nudge in the right direction on a consistent basis, people will are more likely to open their minds.
She also states, "You don't have to do everything." You can choose one thing and be part of millions of people around the world who are contributing to a kinder world. For example, you might like to make "Vegan cupcakes", and that could be your contribution. Bake them, talk about them, give them out, bake them for your next get-together. This will provide ample opportunity for discussion and is a great form of advocacy.
Many resources including books, films, and articles are available for someone to distribute to their friends and family.
There is hope for the animals, the planet and our health; quite a bit actually. The road to ethical plant-based living is paved with wonderful works being done, every day.
My daughter and I give great thanks to Vegan Psychologist, Clare Mann, for providing such powerful insight.
Vegan Psychologist, Author and Communications Trainer
* Be sure to check out Clare's Essential Skills For Vegan Advocacy: Free Course
as well as the smartphone App with free training on how to talk about veganism
on Google Play Vegan Voice