“I just don’t think I could ever go vegan.”
I honestly can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this statement since going vegan. Just mention the fact that you choose to eat this way, or that there’s no butter or eggs in the cookies you brought to the BBQ, and it’s guaranteed that at least one person will say this.
If you’re someone who has said this or feels this way, there’s good new for you: You don’t have to go vegan.
I’m not being sarcastic, so please, hear me out!
I want to start this by making it very clear that I will always advocate for people to eat a whole food, plant based diet to promote better health. This is especially true for anyone dealing with chronic diseases such as heart disease.
The biggest complaint I hear people make is about how they feel physically – aches, pains, inability to do simple things anymore. So frequently what is on your plate is contributing to feeling great or feeling terrible. I want people to know this simple truth and be able to apply that principle to their own eating habits.
But, I also realize that we are all on our own journey and need to make our own choices about the food we eat. That being said, I’m okay with simply encouraging people to include more whole food into their diet. If that happens to lead to going completely vegan, then great!
Even if eating more healthy for you looks like you are simply using spinach to make your salad instead of iceberg lettuce or switching from white rice to brown rice, I’m a happy coach. You’ve added more micronutrients to your diet and have hopefully crowded out some of the foods that can leave you feeling poorly.
As you begin to include more whole foods into your diet, you’ll hopefully notice that you feel better when you eat those things and it may become easier to leave the meat, dairy, and eggs off your plate. At first, that may only be for one meal each day or one full day per week. That’s okay, just don’t get complacent – keep striving for feeling your best.
So what’s the takeaway here?
If you truly feel like you could never go vegan but you’re looking to make healthier choices, that’s okay. Just be sure that you are including a WIDE variety of whole, plant foods into your diet every day. Possibly even crowd out some of the animal foods with more nutrient-dense plant foods.