More people are turning to a vegan lifestyle to not only transform their health, but to better serve and save our planet and to end cruelty to animals. Within this mix, you may hear the term "Plant-based" or "Wholefood plant based." What do they mean exactly? Are they the same? It might seem confusing to someone on the outside or to anyone who is looking to become vegan or plant-based.
So, are they the same? Yes, but not exactly.
Let me explain.
**First, let me say that when I refer to the term "diet" here, I am talking about what someone is eating and what food is in their diet, I am NOT talking about diet in terms of weight loss or calorie restriction.
What does it mean to be vegan?
In terms of diet alone, vegans eliminate all animal based foods. No meat of any kind, seafood, dairy, eggs or honey. While eating vegan is in fact the healthier option to animal product - because of the risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes etc. - it still is open to all other vegan processed foods. Like vegan meats, cheeses, cakes, cookies, pizzas and beverages. Yes, Oreos are vegan by default, but living off of Oreos is not ideal. If you are not careful and you are in the process of adopting a vegan diet, you can become that vegan junk food junkie. These foods can be highly processed, high in sugar, sodium, oils, calories and fats and can be quite expensive as they add up at the register. Still, mock meats and cheeses are healthier than the alternative, but these foods should be avoided and at the very least consumed with caution. Vegans typically avoid all products that contain animal ingredients and those that are tested on animals - including but not limited to cosmetics and household items. Those that do decide to go vegan and exclude any form of animal product and cruelty of any kind are due to morals and ethics, therefore termed "ethical vegan." Oftentimes, for this very reason is why people decide to go vegan to begin with.
Vegan powerballs - made with dates, raw cacao, nut butter, oats, coconut.
What is vegan whole-food plant based?
With that said, let's take a closer look at what a vegan wfpb diet is. A whole-food, plant based diet is a vegan diet where it avoids all animal product, but also encompasses adding in the nutrient dense foods. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and spices. Eating to satiety without counting calories (unless advised by your doctor). Still allowing plant based minimally processed foods like whole grain breads, pastas, cereals, and plant milks - but keeping those to a minimum. A vegan wfpb lifestyle also recommends avoiding that highly processed vegan junk food like meat substitutes, white bread and refined flours and sugars. And yes, all oils. This means all added oils in cooking, dressings, and added oils in processed foods. It is a lifestyle of fueling your body for optimal health by choosig to feed it with nutrient dense foods and leaving out the harmful and nutrient deficient. It's eliminating the animal based product, and focusing on the abundant of healthful foods available and incorporating them daily.
Where to go from here?
Don't worry, I got you.
Now that you know the differences and similarities between these two terms, for the sake of this website and my purpose with Vegan Fun and Easy - it is my goal to bring awareness to this vegan lifestyle while giving you the tools you need for a seamless transition without relying on mock meats, processed cheeses and added oils.
I am realistic in knowing that change takes time. I do encourage you to go at your own pace and start by eliminating animal foods from your plate, even if that means just one day a week. Starting can can sometimes be the hardest part, but I encourage you to do so.
I know that you are visiting this website because you have your reasons and I want to help you. Getting your taste buds accustomed to new foods might be a little challenging, but with persistence in learning new ways to cooking, creating your own meals with real Whole Foods, and getting creative with different spices and seasons, it will transform your life.
Don't get caught up
in labels either. I know I talked about vegan and whole food plant based, but there is no need to label yourself. If breaking free of the endless cycle of supply and demand and you want to end the cruelty of animals and their ultimate slaughter - then I encourage you to start right now. Once you get started you will find that it really isn't that hard to do.
I'm here to help you on your journey!