Veganism: all the Kool Kidz are doing it, so should I?

I was talking to a particularly slim and attractive, and therefore somewhat intimidating, vegan foodie the other day, and I found myself slightly distorting the truth to try and win favour with this clearly superior being (no, not you Bea!). She asked about my diet, and I replied: “wherever possible I try to eat Vegan”. Chips, crisps and Oreos are vegan, so strictly speaking I was telling the truth, but deep down inside Moral Mel was feeling a little guilty for stretching the truth.

I’d love to be vegan, really I would. Despite the small problem of flatulence that I find an unfortunate side effect of this way of eating, Veganism really appeals to me. A vegan diet consists of vegetables, grains, nuts, fruits and other foods made only from plants. Many argue that we should all be making a conscious effort to reduce consumption of animals and animal products for the sake of our health and for the planet.

The health benefits of eating a predominantly plant-based diet are well documented. Vegans naturally have a much higher fibre intake, explains Professor Ian Rowland, head of nutrition at the University of Reading. Pulses, whole grains and starchy vegetables are all common staples of a vegan diet and are naturally rich in fibre. Eating these regularly will naturally improve your digestive system.

“This is good for laxation,” Rowland told The Independent, who added that most omnivores don’t eat enough fibre, so veganism can be advantageous in this respect.

Another upside of fibre rich fruit and veg based meals is that they can leave you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the overall frequency of snacks / meals. When meals are more satiating, then overall less food is consumed. This helps explain why vegans tend to have a lower BMI and lower body weight than non-vegans.

By avoiding animals altogether though, there are some watch outs. To help with brain and nervous system functions, vitamin B12 is key, and iron. Since B12 only occurs naturally in animal-sourced foods, vegans often take supplements. Vegans also have to be mindful that they are getting the right daily quantities of protein. As long as you understand RDAs then I think this is easy enough to do NB Too much animal protein is also a bad thing.

The proteins that feature highly in vegan diets are also quite cost effective: grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, can all be purchased fairly cheaply, especially in bulk. Buying in-season veggies and fruits is quite easy on your wallet.

At the end of the day, vegan or not, a diet high in fresh fruit and veg, is a good starting point for a healthy lifestyle. So I’m up for it. Talking of ‘up for it’…there was a great quote on one of the pro-vegan websites I visited when doing my research:

“Veganism for me has changed my life. I met the man of my dreams at one of the many Vegan Singles Events that are held across the country. We plan to marry in 2018.”

So, if a bit of windy pops doesn’t scare you, or if it’s romance you’re after, a healthier lifestyle, or if out of principle you don’t think we should eat anything with a mother, then maybe this might be a way of eating that’s just perfect for you…


NB: Those coming along to our first ever Pilates Day Retreat will be enjoying a fantastic Vegan meal prepared by Naomi’s Kitchen. We are fully booked on this retreat already, but if you’ve missed out this time, then fret not, there will be other opportunities.