A few summers ago, I tried going vegan. I wanted to do this for multiple reasons, but the biggest push for me was that I had a constant post-lunch coma. I’m sure you’ve experienced this too. At the time I was in grade 12, a competitive dancer, super involved at school, and had an incredibly full course load, while applying for university. Sandwiches were, and still are, my go to lunch of choice (or any meal for that matter). My lunch would usually encompass a sandwich (ham, turkey, chicken, whatever) with lots of lettuce, on a fresh bun or rye bread with whatever spread paired the best. I would also have a few veggies and fruits on the side. My breakfast at the time was always a smoothie. Fast, easy, yummy, and kept me full. Most importantly to me, it was healthy. It’s also important to know that in my grade 12 year, I tried really hard to cut out dairy. This was my first experience doing this and really hearing about it all together. Being dairy-free was not as popular three years ago as it is today, but I’m glad I made it happen.
Anyways. I remember wanting to try the vegan diet specifically because every day after lunch by the time third period English rolled around (1:00 ish), I would fall asleep nearly every day. It didn’t help that my teacher would literally read to the class, so it’s safe to say it was penciled in as designated nap time. So, there I was – constantly tired, unable to focus, and feeling like my head was in the clouds. I knew something needed to change, and fast.
I think, at the time, veganism was starting to take off. My big sister/cousin had just come off the vegan diet and I obviously want to be like her, so it was something I looked more into. I thought that going vegan would be a piece of cake. I already cut out dairy, and all I had do to now was not eat meat. Simple right? Let me explain my thinking.
Firstly, my reason for going dairy free. I don’t want to put this in your head, so you didn’t hear it from me, but cheese is absolutely disgusting. Don’t hate me. Think about it for a second. Think about how it’s made, and what it’s made from. Think about how its literally mold and bacteria. Cow puss, if you will (I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist or a dairy farmer for that matter, but I watched a documentary (What the Health if anyone’s interested) and this is where my opinion comes from). I hated how it made my skin look. I didn’t have an intolerance, rather an addiction, but I wanted to see how my skin would clear up and what almond milk was all about. So, I made the switch, and I’ve never looked back.
Next, I had to take an even bigger step. Here’s my biggest reason for wanting to cut out all thing’s animal: I wanted to eat from the earth. I wanted to eat what could be grown and harvested and come straight out of the ground. I wanted to know what was in my food, where it came from, and every step in between. And I did it. I think, for being so busy, I did a pretty good job. My biggest struggle was quantity. I have a big appetite, and dancing so much made me so hungry. On these days, I caved. I did the unspeakable. Meat alternatives, protein bars with added chemicals, and honestly sometimes just chips and Oreos. Going vegan, especially when my family still ate meat, was tricky. Suddenly my mom couldn’t make my favourite tuna casserole, or taco night or anything. So that was that. After about 5 months of doing my best, I decided to switch back to a “typical” diet. I made the switch back because I wanted ease. I wanted to eat with my family and with friends. Personally, I’m not a picky eater, and I don’t like when I can’t eat the same things as everyone else at say thanksgiving or a barbecue. Vegan hotdogs just aren’t the same. I like to call it “food fomo”.
So now that I’ve explained that to you, I can tell you about my real problem with the health industry. Two words. Synthetic products. Beyond meat. Chikn strips. Beef Crumbles. Plant based. Again, one more time, I want to reiterate that I’m not a health professional and my knowledge and opinions just come from me, so I don’t know what these are really doing to your insides, but I have a whole lot of ideas.
These products that are being marketed to you so incredibly well are NOT a healthier option. Just look at some of the ingredients in the Beyond Beef burger: canola oil, coconut oil, methylcellulose (a laxative to make the food easier to pass), maltodextrin (an additive to improve shelf life), ascorbic acid (to maintain colour), annatto (a type of food colouring), vegetable glycerin, the list goes on. (information from Food Navigator USA . You can compare this to a beef burger from Presidents Choice: beef, water, toasted wheat crumbs, salt, spice
These ingredients are synthetic. Do your research if you want more information, but it’s clear that the ingredients in the beyond beef burger are not as “real” as the PC burger. Yes, added to maintain the colour and texture and probably shelf life of these “meat” products. But these are not a healthier option. I do understand, though, that you can argue the other way. Cows are not fed the right food. They are not kept in sanitary or large spaces, causing them so much stress. Their cortisol levels are then increased and go right into your bloodstream when you eat it. I know. I’m not trying to say that one is better than the other. But I want to help you see what’s going on right in front of you, and how you can make a better choice.
Before you go an decide to make a larger portion of your meals plant based, I really hope you’re thinking of:
- The reason behind making the shift.
- Where the products that you’re buying are coming from.
- What’s really in these products and are they really better for your health than eating “real” beef (or your meat of choice)?
Beyond meat products are marketed to you as healthy. They help you reduce your carbon footprint, which is a good thing. But do you know how else you can reduce your carbon footprint? Don’t eat any beef, real or synthetic. Reduce your trash output; a big culprit of all of that trash is those Styrofoam containers and plastic wrap that any meat comes in. Take public transportation when you can, stop shopping fast fashion, I could tell you one thousand more ways, but that’s not my point today. I hope you take away from this post my anger here towards the food industry. I hope you can see now, maybe a little more than you could see before, how this industry is causing more health problems than it is solving. I hope you can realize that meat isn’t the problem, it’s how its kept, treated, killed, and mass produced to consumers that’s the problem. Please don’t put your trust in a fake meat burger to fix all of your problems. Please do your own research before making the switch, and please, please, please think of your health and the planet before you go shopping again.
If this is your first time to my page, thank you for being here, reading through this post and supporting me by visiting my blog! I still have a lot of work to do but your support means more than ever. Until more parts of my blog are up and running, follow me on my Instagram, @allexxyoung so you can find all of my updates about GirlBoss Pending, and my life! Leave a comment below and let me know if there’s anything you want me to hear from me, let me know, or leave some kind words! You can also send me a message directly from the contact page. I appreciate you always, go be the best you can be!