It seems like everywhere I look I see the media or a famous actor or artist promoting the vegan diet. Most of them don’t seem to maintain it for a very long time, which brings us to the question? Is a vegan diet too difficult for the mainstream population to maintain for any significant length of time?
Those who espouse the benefits the loudest often are looking for a quick fix in their physique. Changing it up from the Standard American Diet, often referred to by the euphemism SAD, produces astounding results. From a nutritional standpoint it’s not a wonder. The Standard American Diet is loaded with all the "bad stuff" that not only raises blood pressure and cholesterol levels, promotes heart disease, and nudges cancer cells to have a party, it thickens our waistlines, and that’s what we really care about. Usually health awareness comes with a crisis or at an age when our immortality becomes more fact that myth. Body awareness happens the second our favorite pair of jeans takes a little longer to pull on or we see a muffin top hanging over our bathing suit. When the media notices those in the rich and famous category have turned from sloppy to svelte and sexy, it asks why. Lately, the answer is often a vegan diet.
Personally I don’t think that the vegan diet is difficult to maintain. But then again, I’m vegan for a plethora of reasons, none of which have anything to do with my waistline. My point of view may be a little warped because of my food philosophy. Regardless, I have a really good idea of what a healthy diet is comprised of, and whether you are a vegan or a carnivore, the answer is the same. The bulk of your food should be plant-based. This missing piece of information is what makes healthy diets difficult for many to follow. Though I think vegetables are the royalty of the table, they don’t seem to come off as sexy and sensational as the latest diet fad. And let’s face it, many are using the vegan diet as a magic pill. Those who are embracing it without learning the basics of Nutrition 101 don’t have a clue how to continue when the last page comes in the book, or they stop paying the diet guru. They are doing it mindlessly instead of with purpose and intention.
Education is part of the answer. Hopefully we will teach our children how to eat right, our children will teach their children, and generationally we will have healthier people. Simultaneously, if we spread the word about why we eat the food we eat, and if the plight of animals and our planet don’t sway our audience, our glowing skin and radiant energy will. As for the rich and famous who get on the band wagon for a short while, I’m hoping that their results will encourage them to dig a little deeper and speculate about the possibilities of eating vegan at least part of the time. I think that the absence of animals on your plate strikes a chord in your heart, and at the very least, plants the seed for more peaceful eating.
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons.