The always funny, talented, and entertaining Jason Wrobel, vegan chef , author, and super star, talks about the top five biggest pitfalls of a vegan diet. You didn’t think it was all rose petal salads and fields of endless quinoa dreams, did you? Don’t worry; he isn’t trying to talk you out of anything. He’s been vegan for two decades and counting. J-Wro just wants to share his knowledge gained from many challenges, so you can be healthy and safe, whether you’re considering going vegan, just got into the vegan world, or want to incorporate more plant-based foods into your current diet and lifestyle.
1. Too much processed foods. When Jason first went vegan in 1998, he leaned on processed foods to ease the transition. A lot of vegan foods that mimic other foods, like burgers, cheeses, milks, eggs, and meats, tend to be highly processed. A little of these are a good way to transition, but don’t overdo it. You will mess up digestion, slow you down, and decrease your energy. Eat fresh, whole foods more often, like organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes.
2. Net enough variety. This isn’t just to make things less boring. You need a variety of nutrients in your diet too. When transitioning from animal products to vegan, there are some nutrients you need to keep an eye on as they aren’t as readily available or absorbable in plant-based foods. You can still get them from plants, but you should pay attention. Vitamin D3, vitamin B12, vitamin K2, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, and magnesium can be found in plant sources from algae, lichen, seaweed, sea vegetables, nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast, chlorella, and many other superfoods will help you take care of yourself. Eat a large variety of these and more.
3. Being too self-righteous. It’s easy to fall into, especially when you first go vegan because you want the world to agree with you and your exciting new lifestyle. This goes against spread compassion and acceptance or leading by example. The best way to spread anything you believe in is living by example and being all around awesome. Be healthy, fit, happy, and vibrant. Let that impression convince the world.
4. Spending money on convenience. You’re a busy person. We all are. It is easier to buy the prepared convenience foods, but they cost a ton more and they tend to be more processed. Once in a while is okay, but your wallet will thank you for planning out your meals. J-Wro takes Sunday afternoons to do batch cooking. That stores up extra meals he can eat throughout the week that save him money. He recommends you do the same.
5. Avoiding doctors and dentists. Being vegan can be a healthier way to live, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need checkups, cleanings, and other health maintenance. You can go to naturopathic doctors and even dentists that are more open to alternative medicine, but you need to go. It’s important to make sure you truly are getting all the nutrients you should be getting too. Then you can dial in your nutrition to stay as healthy as possible.
You can do it right!
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