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Vegan Diet Failure

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Is A Vegan Diet Healthy?

Recently while talking to someone I had only just met, she asked me "You are a vegan? But you look so healthy!" This remark got me really thinking about the many people who fail on a vegan diet and then blame the vegan diet in general for their failures.

As someone who has been involved in the vegan food industry for the last 5 years, I have seen and heard many success stories from people who have switched over from a regular diet to a vegan one. I have also heard many stories of failure and reasons why a vegan diet does not work.

I have actually heard many stories of people who have ended up pretty sick after switching to a vegan diet. What I aim to do with this page is to help people who choose a vegan diet to succeed with their health by eating more nutritious foods while still retaining their ethical values.

Why do people choose a vegan diet?

There are many different reasons why people choose to eat this way but the most common are for environmental reasons, their ethics or their health.

Environmental Reasons:

The farming of hoofed animals for mass food production leads to soil degradation and loss as their heavy feet and eating of plant matter causes erosion. This soil ends up in waterways that eventually get silted up and are dying through lack of flow. The massive amounts of water needed to maintain these farms, also contributes to these rivers dying. This industry also has a massive carbon footprint on this planet as huge amounts of fossil fuels are needed to transport the animals and everything else related to it.

Ethics:

As there is a lot of cruelty in the mainstream meat and dairy industries (look up factory farming) a lot of people choose not to participate towards furthering that cruelty by abstaining from animal products totally. These vegans tend to not even wear any animal products or use anything derived from animals in any part of their lives at all.

Health:

Many people end up with digestion issues and other health problems due to the fact that our bodies are not designed to eat the amount of meat that modern western societies eat. We are naturally more suited to eating grains, greens, fruits, nuts and seeds. People also have health issues related to eating dairy products. That is widely known so I will not go into it here.

A Delicious, Nutritious And Very Colourful Salad

Salads do not have to be boring. This salad recipe is definitely both tasty and bright as well as being quick and easy to make. It also shows that eating healthy does not take too much time.

So why are people getting sick eating vegan?

Growing up on a regular diet in Australia, there was always meat on the plate along with lots of vegetables. A meal of meat and veggies is a pretty standard home cooked meal throughout the western world. I think we can all agree on this. When people switch to a vegan lifestyle they give up the animal products that contain lots of vitamins and minerals. This meat is full of these nutrients because the animals eat lots of leafy greens and are sometimes fed supplements.

Many then replace this meat with dishes that are heavy in grains such as rice or pasta dishes. Rice and pasta contain little nutrients, but are great for filling you up and causing you to overeat. The other downside to this type of meal is that the vegetable content is usually reduced from the amount found in the traditional meat and veggies meal.

Another product that is widely used throughout the vegan world is soy. Soy may be alright in small amounts, but in large amounts it is harmful and most vegans consume way too much of it in their daily diet. They might have soy milk, tofu made from soy, vegan meat replacement (fake meat) products made from soy as well as soy sauce. Soy beans may be a complete source of protein but as most of the world’s soy food production these days is done with genetically modified soy beans I would avoid it unless it is organic and fermented soy.

Vegetable Medley

This is a very healthy dish that has been warmed on a low temperature in a food dehydrator.

See all 4 photos

So what can vegans do to stay healthy?

Eating plenty of fresh produce is the key to any diet, not just a plant based vegan diet. Instead of relying on rice or pasta dishes and soy products, I recommend vegans eat mostly fresh organic vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds and cut down on the amount of grains that they are eating. I can hear you thinking now "Hmm, this sounds pretty easy in theory but what can I eat? Salads get boring if I have them too often."

Yes, salads do get boring if you make them the same way each time, but I am going to give you some reference materials here that show you how you can make loads of interesting salads every day and never be bored by them. Smoothies are also fantastic inclusions in a healthy vegan diet. They can contain any number of healthy foods and the variety is endless. You could quite easily make a different smoothie every day for a month without too much effort. You will also find some links to delicious smoothie recipes throughout this page too.

What about Pizza? Did you know that you can create delicious and very nutritious pizzas without using grains and animal products. Living a healthy vegan lifestyle does not mean that you have to miss out on Pizza!

Click Here For An Amazing Pizza Recipe

Healthy Books That I Recommend

These are all books that I personally own and have gotten great value from.

Another Yummy, Yet Basic Salad

This video has instructions on how to make a delicious dressing to go over the salad as well.

Why Organic?

Organic Foods Cost Too Much.

"Organic food is too expensive" is a line that I often hear from people when I tell them that I eat organic. I also hear terms such as "It is a rip off" or "I cannot afford to eat organic foods." Well the way that I see it is that we cannot afford to NOT eat organic foods. Organic foods are higher in nutritional values and boost your immune system more effectively, so you are getting more bang for your buck. You are also avoiding toxic chemicals which are found in conventional foods from the supermarket.

Some organic produce may cost more financially up front, but you end up saving on doctors visits and other medications that you might need for colds, flu and other illnesses along the way. I used to get sick with a cold at least once per year, but now have not been sick in the slightest since I started eating this way 5 years ago. So, I am actually saving money by eating organic. Being self employed too, I cannot afford to be sick.

Organic food actually does not have to cost much at all. Growing your own is very rewarding both financially and spiritually. You can save seeds from a crop and then plant again for free. Most of the time you will actually find that plants self seed all on their own either through the dropping of seeds or from composting fruit and other plant matter months before. Growing your own food brings a sense of joy and also brings you closer to nature. Your food is fresher and therefore nutritionally superior than store bought produce that was harvested days or even weeks before.

You can visit farmers markets too for savings on produce that you cannot grow yourself. Buying directly from the grower makes it cheaper as you are cutting out the middle men plus you are getting fresher produce. Most of the time our farmers harvest on the same morning that they sell. Once you become a regular at the markets and get friendly with the farmers, you also get further discounts and even free food often too. Our local banana grower was selling us organic bananas at the same price as he always did right through the banana shortage in Australia which saw prices above $15 per kilogram. We were still paying less than $3 throughout that time.

So, as you can see. Organic food is not always more expensive and has many benefits.

Healthy Vegan Pizza Recipe

Pizza does not need to be junk food!

Becoming A Vegan - Maybe You Are Already One?

Is this something that you would try?

Yes, it is very ethical, great for the planet and my health.

LauraCarExpert 13 months ago

i tried it, loved it but its not sustainable for me. I like having my protein dense meals with a slab of top-end beef or toxin free chicken. Yes it costs more, but id rather pay more now instead of a medical bill later in my life.


writerkath 15 months ago

Although I'm not vegan, I totally enjoy a number of vegan meals, and think that overall the less animal products consumed the better for the planet in general. I do tend to crave meat - but I'm getting fussier about what I choose. I admire you!


erbeaz 16 months ago

I am vegetarian all the way - vegan means you don't use any animal products at all including things like honey. I do not use meat, dairy, or eggs. I am 13 years post cancer, like to eat a most raw fruit & veggie diet. I am healthy and will never eat meat again.


annayjo 16 months ago

Mmmmmmmmm!


anonymous 17 months ago

I'm working my way toward becoming a vegan. In the past I've had a very poor diet, but since I've seen the movie "Forks Over Knives" I've decided to do some more research. I love meat, but I've decided to commit to a better way of eating for my health, and I am alarmed at the way animals are raised and treated with antibiotics and hormones. Because I love meat, I am worried about sticking to this diet. I guess that is why I am gradually moving into it. First, no red meat. Then, no poultry. Then, only fish. All the while, I'll be ramping up my bean, nut, and vegetable use, and having more meatless days. Then I will try vegetarian with eggs and dairy, and then I will wean myself off of those as well.


nhotdeals 18 months ago

I am not a Vegan but I cut out a lot of products from my diet. I drink wheat grass juice just about everyday and I have not had a cold in over a year.


MelloKnitty LM 19 months ago

Great lens! Veganism doesn't have to be a "regime" - it's much easier than many people think!


anonymous 19 months ago

I have been a vegan approximately 35 years. It would be nice to have a female partner, who practiced a similar lifestyle. Or, meet couples who do not flip flop with their eating regime. As a Black African American, I have met very few vegans; they are few and far between.


mstcourtjester 19 months ago

I'm working on doing it full time. I'm about 80% the way there! Great Lens and great info, thanks :)


anonymous 19 months ago

I'd like to try growing my own vegetables...it sounds fun!

I stopped eating red meat, but occasionally I eat fish....I'm gona cut out fish too this year....


anonymous 19 months ago

I'd like to try growing my own vegetables...it sounds fun!

I stopped eating red meat, but occasionally I eat fish....I'm gona cut out fish too this year....


karen-stephens 20 months ago

Great pizza video! Is that you?


anonymous 20 months ago

I have been pursuing the vegetarian lifestyle for most of my life. While still in college I got books on the subject, drew up protein charts and visited health food stores at every opportunity. But to my dismay the daily grind of nine-to-five plus, with barely time to grab a quick lunch each day kept me going to fast-food chains where, amazingly NO ONE so much as acknowledges the existence of our kind in the least. Not just double-bacon cheeseburgers but even seven-layer burritos which have no actual meat but are loaded with cheese and sour cream. I was forced to become a poultry and fish -aterian for most of my thirty-year career, only resorting to tofu and veggieburger recipes while doing my own cooking at home. Now retired, however, I am able to make up for lost time by going 100% vegan. And I do not miss meat one bit. Simply put, the technology is now here for making it virtually obsolete. Look it up. This is the internet. No more excuses.


anonymous 20 months ago

I have been pursuing the vegetarian lifestyle for most of my life. While still in college I got books on the subject, drew up protein charts and visited health food stores at every opportunity. But to my dismay the daily grind of nine-to-five plus, with barely time to grab a quick lunch each day kept me going to fast-food chains where, amazingly NO ONE so much as acknowledges the existence of our kind in the least. Not just double-bacon cheeseburgers but even seven-layer burritos which have no actual meat but are loaded with cheese and sour cream. I was forced to become a poultry and fish -aterian for most of my thirty-year career, only resorting to tofu and veggieburger recipes while doing my own cooking at home. Now retired, however, I am able to make up for lost time by going 100% vegan. And I do not miss meat one bit. Simply put, the technology is now here for making it virtually obsolete. Look it up. This is the internet. No more excuses.


Toy-Tester 20 months ago

Definitely feel better not having the processed or fried food of the SAD.


Shadrosky 20 months ago

Absolutely!


sonnydayze 24 months ago

I just wish there was a quick and easy way to eat vegan.


anonymous 2 years ago

great lens


anonymous 2 years ago

Yes, I have tried eating vegan off and on during the last year or so. Giving up meat is not as hard for me as giving up cheese, milk and butter.


Mandy Stradley 2 years ago

I would love to be a vegan, but I need to learn how to do it!


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    No, I believe that animal products are needed for good health.

    JoleneBelmain 18 months ago

    I could never just choose to live a life without eating meat. If I were forced to I suppose I wouldn't have a choice, but I love my meat far too much to give it up.


    GardenerDon 19 months ago

    Sorry - this is definitely not for me. I believe in balance and i don't see much balance in being vegan.


    rattie lm 19 months ago

    Like you I am into organics. If I lived in a hot climate (NOT Canberra!) I think I would be a raw foodist. As it is we eat a high-raw diet with a little organic meat and wild-caught fish, but absolutely no grains. I have learned to experiment and come up with some terrific dishes. The best part is that we have turnned so many niggly little health issues around. So perhaps not a vegan, but somewhere in between.


    JuneNash 2 years ago

    For me, I like a variety of food. Organic foods are important and worth the price to me, though I will eat, pretty much, any foods. I feel if you eat enough variety, you will end up with enough nutrients. If you eat enough variety, the bad stuff you may consume will not be in too large a dose. I've seen people eat a terrible diet and live a long healthy life and others, who watch their intake, die young. It is mostly a matter of genetics and luck. I do like vegetarian meals though. I just don't want to give up on meat entirely. Variety!


    genuineaid lm 2 years ago

    I like to have a normal balance.

    I Love organic or home grown fruits and vegetables :)

    At the same time I love organically taken care meats and dairy :)

    The life is boring in my opinion if you chose to be on only one of those sides :/


    KimGiancaterino 2 years ago from California

    I like to include dairy products in my diet.

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      Making A Green Smoothie

      Eating lots of leafy greens is one of the best ways to get essential minerals, protein, vitamins and other nutrients into our bodies. But there are only so many salads you can eat per day before you will get tired of them. So the best way to get a variety of leafy greens into us is to drink them.

      Yes, You Drink Them In A Green Smoothie!

      Blending leafy greens in a blender alone with just water and then drinking that is a pretty horrible thought and not very palatable. But when you add fruit to the mix, then you have the taste, texture and smell of a fruit smoothie but with the added benefits of the greens. I have at least one green smoothie daily. I always use bananas as my base fruit, but there are many others that I add in from time to time as well to get variety into my diet. You can use mangoes, berries of all sorts, oranges, pears, apples for sweet smoothies and then tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums etc for savoury smoothies. The list of green smoothies that you can make is endless and is only limited to your imagination and creativity.

      My Favourite Healthy Kitchen Appliance - The Vitamix Blender

      We have had our Vitamix for five years now and it has performed fantastically during this time. It is the most used appliance that we own, being used at least 3 times each day for smoothies, soups, dressings, nut milks and nut cheeses.

      A Day In The Life Of Our Blender

      This video gives you an idea of the kinds of uses that our Vitamix Blender goes through on a day to day basis. Enjoy the awesome music too!

      What Percentage Of Your Diet Is Plant Based

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      Just a rough guess will do.

      • 100%
      • Around 75%
      • Around 50%
      • Around 25%
      • Nothing. I hate eating plants.
      See results without voting

      Other Vegan Issues Harmful To Health

      A lot of people come into a vegan lifestyle because they are passionate about animals and are fed up with the way that voiceless animals are treated in mainstream societies today. Now, it is good that people want to stand up for the rights of animals by giving them a voice, but often this care for animals leads to stress and anger which are not ingredients for a healthy lifestyle.

      It is a well known fact that stress does lead to major health concerns such as depression, obesity, diabetes, cancer and even death. So while it is a good thing to get behind animal rights issues, it is not good for our health to stress about these issues while trying to encourage others to do the same.

      Unfortunately vegans are labelled as radicals and extremists by the media and members of mainstream society due to the actions of a select few who choose to push veganism onto others like it is a religion. This does no good for the animals in the long run as most people just shy away from these types of advances by vegans. The best way is to lead be example by gently showing people the benefits of living this type of lifestyle, not trying to force it upon them.

      The Keys To Good Health

      Eat a diverse plant based diet that is largely fresh organic produce.

      Maintain a positive and happy attitude.

      Get regular daily exercise and sunshine.

      Grow your own food wherever possible.

      Rotate your foods. Do not eat the some things week in and week out.

      Avoid processed foods and anything grown using chemicals.

      Replace chemical based household cleaners and personal care products with natural organic plant based products.

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       Last updated on June 12, 2014

      Useful Funny Awesome Beautiful Interesting 

      Share Your Vegan Stories Here - Or just let me know your thoughts on this page :-) 35 comments

      BLouw profile image

      BLouw 2 years ago from France Level 2 Commenter

      I think this is a great lens. Easy to read, concise but with all the basic info. I'm not vegan but I wouldn't be that put out if I had to eat vegan food. My favourite vegan cookbook is "What Else is Cooking" by Eva Batt. Small book, lots of recipes, economical, no fuss, little washing up - my dream.


      ChrissLJ profile image

      ChrissLJ 2 years ago

      Unfortunately I've seen too many people... teens and college students... fail the veg lifestyle bc they became french-fry-atarians. People have the idea that it's healthy to substitute ANY plant based food for meat.


      KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 2 years ago from California

      I've been a vegetarian for most of my life, and would find a vegan diet too restrictive. I'm not a fan of soy-based products or mass-produced vegetable oils. We purchase high-quality food and stay away from pasteurized products as much as possible. I do enjoy going to vegan resaurants, and there are lots of good ones here in Los Angeles.


      RawBill1 profile image

      RawBill1 2 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia Hub Author

      @ChrissLJ: Yes, this is a great point ChrissLJ and my main reason for creating this page. Just because a food is derived from a plant does not mean that it is healthy. Far too many people rely on processed foods that they assume are healthy.


      RawBill1 profile image

      RawBill1 2 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia Hub Author

      @KimGiancaterino: Too Restrictive? Why is that Kim? I am looking forward to checking out many of those places when I visit LA next year. It should be fun! :-)


      oivatco profile image

      oivatco 2 years ago

      Not a vegan, but eating more greens daily and not as many meat as I used to. I think is a start!


      verkeerd profile image

      verkeerd 2 years ago

      Thanks pal, this is yet another very useful and inspiring lens from you! Keep up the good work!


      earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Level 1 Commenter

      Great information. I really like what you said about soy. I tell my kids mock meat, veggie dogs are vegetarian junk food, not unlike near dogs.....over processed. I'm vegetarian, 99% vegan, I eat eggs on occasion, no dairy. Raw is what I strive for, but once in a while a veg stir fry with roasted garlic is hard to say no to.


      jimmyworldstar 2 years ago

      I know some vegans who eat for religious or ethical reasons. While I think that meat tastes delicious and offers more to the palate, I respect the decision to go vegan.


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      SandyDell 2 years ago from Lenore, Idaho

      Love it, but I honestly don't believe that a vegan diet is for everyone. After going through Dr. Mercola's metabolic diet typing, we have found that I do best on vegan, but my husband does best on low-carb. We are both happier and healthier that way!


      Diana Wenzel profile image

      Diana Wenzel 2 years ago from Colorado Level 6 Commenter

      One thing I need to start doing is to vary my meals more. I think I'm eating too many of the same salads, fruits, and vegetables. I've pretty much cut out nearly all processed foods from my diet. That has to be making a difference. Always appreciate your focus on a healthy lifestyle. Thanks!


      RawBill1 profile image

      RawBill1 2 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia Hub Author

      @Diana Wenzel: Thanks for your valued input once more my friend. It is so easy to fall into the trap of eating our favourite foods over and over, I know this is an area that I need to focus on more myself. I do vary my diet, but could definitely do more.


      squidy21 lm profile image

      squidy21 lm 2 years ago

      Wohh precisely what I was looking for, appreciate it for putting up.

      I always was concerned in this topic and stock still am, appreciate it for posting

      visit my blog at Vegan Diet Weight Loss


      anonymous 2 years ago

      I am making progress :) I eat way less meat now, When I do eat meat, it's in very small portions. I have a lot more fruit and vegetables in my diet and have even starting juicing fruit and vegetables. Thanks for this lens!


      happynutritionist 2 years ago

      My husband and I just started eating vegan a few months ago...he is thriving on it, I struggled to the point that I added seafood and some chicken breast at lunch time. It play havoc with my IBS...was miserable on it. Though it would be nice to think that the IBS might heal, I have to find the right blend of things to make that happen. So happy for this for my husband, though, he is doing great and losing belly fat, and hopes to get off some of his meds...diabetic with heart issues. I'm doing this more for him than me:-) If blood type diet factors in, I'm O, a carnivore:-)


      Snakesmum profile image

      Snakesmum 21 months ago from Victoria, Australia Level 5 Commenter

      Have recently started eating fresh fruit for lunch several days a week, and have to say, it's more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Getting quite fond of apples too! :-)


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      Linda BookLady 20 months ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA Level 4 Commenter

      I've cut out just about everything I could. Now I'm eliminating coffee.


      TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 20 months ago Level 4 Commenter

      I simply love veggies! I never eat without any green on my plate. I'm excited to have found this lens! I love the colorful veggie salad recipe. I want to try it! Very much enjoyed the videos, too! Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)


      anonymous 20 months ago

      Being vegan is easier than it looks. But it does require being informed, aware and reading labels carefully. One paradox is that some key "vegetarian" foods like margerine are actually more harmful to plant and animal life than their dairy counterpart. "Palm fruit oil" is a universal substitute for key ingredients found in dairy butter and is responsible for the destruction of entire tropical forests in such crucial habitats as that of the only remaining Orangutan populations. I find non-dairy products not guilty of using this resource few and far between, Parkay® margerines and their copies being among them.


      anonymous 20 months ago

      @happynutritionist: Being vegan /vegetarian means digesting more carbs, and that means using the bacteria in our systems that produce gas. A healhy countermeasure to that is the product Bean-O, actually an enzyme that helps the bacteria do their job without making gas. Gaging how much to use is a matter of trial and error but when properly applied can eliminate most or all the discomfort you might have been experiencing.


      CatJGB profile image

      CatJGB 20 months ago

      I eat paleo/primal but love me some good veggies!


      rasnasah profile image

      rasnasah 20 months ago

      Great informative lens.


      rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 19 months ago Level 1 Commenter

      Lovely, informative lens


      walkingstick profile image

      walkingstick 19 months ago

      Love this lens! I found that using quinoa is very satisfying, instead of rice or pasta. Chia seed doesn't have to be cooked and backpacks readily.


      anonymous 19 months ago

      I went veggie at the start of the year and thinking about moving over to being vegan.... although I think if I could source products that I knew were ethical (eg, eggs from local free range flock or get my own hens) then I wouldn't switch to vegan


      TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 18 months ago Level 1 Commenter

      I was talkign to a vegan a few weeks back - did not know that honey was on the list of no no's too!


      RawBill1 profile image

      RawBill1 18 months ago from Gold Coast, Australia Hub Author

      @TransplantedSoul: Yep, a lot of vegans do not eat honey. I still do, but I choose to only eat raw honey from local sustainable bee keepers.


      RawBill1 profile image

      RawBill1 18 months ago from Gold Coast, Australia Hub Author

      Glad to be of assistance. It is a very rewarding transformation. :-)


      JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 18 months ago Level 3 Commenter

      I think that it's great that you are helping the people wanting to be Vegan out there who aren't too sure how or what to eat to be healthy while living a Vegan lifestyle. Excellent tips :)


      RawBill1 profile image

      RawBill1 18 months ago from Gold Coast, Australia Hub Author

      @JoleneBelmain: Thanks. I am always glad to share my experiences and help others.


      hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 18 months ago

      I went vegetarian at eight, when I figured out the chicken on my plate was really the same kind of chicken as my sweet little pets. I must confess to a serious weakness for dairy, but we are, at least, blessed with an abundance of local backyard goat enthusiasts and tiny family farms.


      Torrs13 17 months ago

      This was a great lens! Very well written. I don't think I could ever go vegan or fully vegetarian. I don't eat red meat that much anymore, but I do like having steak every once in awhile. I think it's great that people can make this lifestyle work for them, though!


      Fit And Fab profile image

      Fit And Fab 17 months ago

      I'm very impressed with this lens. You have a great grasp of Veganism. I'm almost vegan now but I have only been vegetarian and high raw for about 5 years. My health improved dramatically with the change. I could never go back to eating meat and even though my reasons for going veg were based on health, I cannot kill animals to eat them. Thanks for a great lens and for putting an honest message out there.


      writerkath profile image

      writerkath 15 months ago Level 3 Commenter

      Bill, this is a really, really well-done lens! BTW, I saw you had stopped by mine as well - I was so overwhelmed by everyone's support, that I fear I have neglected thanking everyone properly. Anyway, we also have a Vitamix, and LOVE it! One of our friends is full-vegan and she loves it.

      I'll be making another lens on another particularly favorite vegan meal we enjoy, an Indian style spinach and lentil meal. YUM! :) Anyway, you're awesome!


      paynui 14 months ago

      I have a vegan friend and he is constantly hungry. I will send him this link

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