The Vegan Food Pyramid
What do vegans actually eat? That's a question I hear more often than you'd think. And the answer is very simple.
Vegans eat plants!
Now obviously there are lots of ways to achieve that. High or low carb, raw or cooked, whole foods or junk foods, vegans eat it all.
Me? I like to eat a whole foods high carb nutrient dense plant based diet. Bit of a mouthful, right? (Pun intended.)
So what does that actually look like?
Let me show you!
To make it super clear for you, I made this handy-dandy graphic to show you exactly what I mean!
My diet is based off of YEARS of research into nutrition, and is a culmination of all of the most compelling evidence I have seen. I've written quite a few posts here on my blog on the topic of nutrition exploring protein, iron, calcium, and more (see every post I've written on nutrition here) and have also listed many of my favourite books and other resources here!
Let me break it down for you.
My focus is on whole foods, as I believe the less processed a food the healthier it is for our bodies. Food science has come a long way in a short period of time, and I guarantee our bodies have not evolved at the same pace. Our cells don't recognize processed foods and therefore can not utilize and expel them in an efficient manner. If you want your digestion to be a well-oiled machine (and top-notch health) whole foods are the way to go!
I eat high carb because carbohydrates are the fuel our bodies need! We run on carbs. Carbs are not the enemy! They give us energy and make us feel good. Ever wonder why you love sweet things and crave sugar? Because sugar is our fuel, just like gasoline in a car! You wouldn't try to run a car on sugar water any more that you'd try to live off of gasoline. Why force your body to do extra work to get the energy it sorely needs to keep your vital functions going? Especially when carbs taste oh so good!
I aim to eat lots of foods that have a high nutrient to calorie ratio, because the more nutrients I can get the better! Which foods pack the biggest nutrient punch? Vegetables and fruit. I encourage anyone trying to improve their health to start with increasing their consumption of vegetables of all types (including starches), fruit, and especially leafy greens (the most nutrient dense of them all!)
Lastly, I eat plant based because I truly believe that animal products are deleterious to our health. Plant foods provide everything we need without the negative health effects that come with the consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy. I also eat this way because it aligns with my ethical beliefs. I have written loads of posts both subjects, which you can find in my blog post archive!
Now, I'm human (just like you, I presume!) and I don't always eat a perfect diet. That's why I included the 'other' category. This is for those times when you just REALLY want a vegan brownie chock-full of oil and sugar. And you should have it! We only live once and treats should definitely have a place in our lives. The biggest thing to remember is that a treat doesn't happen every day!
I also want to remind you to DRINK ENOUGH WATER! Yes, I am yelling. It is so important. Don't complain. Just do it. Your body will thank you a thousand times over. And then you'll thank me!
Oh, and don't forget to stay on top of your B12 and vitamin D intake. If you don't know why B12 is important, read my post on the subject here. And vitamin D is a problem we are all facing as a species, now that the majority of us spend our lives indoors or slathered in sunscreen. Get out in the sun every single day or be sure to take a (vegan!) D3 supplement!
What kind of vegan diet do you eat? I would love to hear about it in the comments! Also, let me know if you would be interested in a 'what I eat in a day' video on my YouTube channel!
Until next time,