Five Hardest Things About Being A Vegan

[ReviewAZON name=”esselstyn” id=”100″ display=”inlinepost” asin=”1583333002″ trackingid=”mywebsource1-20″ country=”us” width=”200px” float=”left” imagetop=”10px”]Have you seen the movie-documentary Forks Over Knives?  It is about living on a Vegan diet and becoming heart-healthy.  Two months ago, I started a similar, very strict vegan diet. I am following the Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn diet where you cut out all animal products and oils. This means that you are allowed to have only plant-based foods that don’t contain oil. Zero fat. You would think that this may be one of the items on this list, but it isn’t. The food intake part of the diet is pretty easy, but there are other pitfalls that I’ve come across from being a vegan. Most of them are regarding other people. While the diet works great, putting up with others is often the challenging part…Here are the five hardest things about being a vegan.

Being A Vegan

myfivebest -1YOU EAT CHICKEN AND FISH, THOUGH, RIGHT?

Psst…A chicken sandwich isn’t vegan. “How about yogurt or eggs?” or “But, there’s oil in plants, too…” I’ve been asked all of these questions several times since I went on this eating lifestyle. Seriously? Those are variations of vegetarian. Not my vegan one. My simple rule is if it has a face or a mother, you can’t eat it. That includes: cheese, eggs, milk, chicken and fish.

No Oil, either...

myfivebest - 2OIL IS IN EVERYTHING

Getting rid of oil and eggs is probably the most difficult part of being on this heart-friendly diet. Everyone cooks with oil. Going out to a restaurant is really tough. You can always order a vegetable-only salad, but many restaurants don’t serve a non-oil based dressing. It defeats the purpose of the diet if your lettuce is soaked in blue cheese dressing. We’ve circumvented this problem by bringing our own balsamic vinegar with us when we go out. Remember: vinaigrette has oil in it! Baked potatoes with salsa and onions are always good choices, as well.

Vegan Food

myfivebest - 3YOU MIGHT HAVE TO PACK YOUR OWN

When we are going out for a long day on the road, it is sometimes necessary to pack your own food. There is a lot to eat that you can have on this diet. Our food pack usually contains some of the following: Balsamic vinegar, salsa, an apple or banana, no-oil crackers or rice cakes, herbal tea, and carrots. You can substitute or add in any other raw vegetables that you want, but having these essentials with you can mean sticking with your diet. Most places will give you hot water for your tea and you can make a meal out of the fruit and veggies. The above pack is about 400 calories or 40% of your food intake in a day.

Vegan Tempeh burger with black beans and mushrooms

myfivebest - 4HOW DO YOU GET PROTEIN?

This is another question I am constantly asked. As Americans, we usually eat too much protein in our diets.  You don’t need to eat a pound of meat every day to survive. It was needed when we hunted everything we put in our mouths, but sitting at your computer requires less.  Plus that, protein is in just about everything. Not just meat. As a vegan, I get plenty of protein from beans, soy, and other vegetables. For example: 5.8oz of Tempeh Soy has more protein than a similar sized ribeye steak – and 100 less calories! Both have over half the protein you should consume in one day.

Everything Is Centered Around Food!?!?!

myfivebest - 5EVERYTHING IS CENTERED AROUND FOOD

I think this is probably the biggest problem of all. Everything we do is centered around what we put in our mouths. Christmas dinner, Fourth of July picnics, Birthday parties with cake and ice cream…You cannot go to any social gathering of people without being deluged with high-calorie food items. The next time you go somewhere with a group of people, look around you. It is a guarantee you will find when ten or more people are in one location that someone has food. We bring it everywhere, too. Go to a business meeting or baseball game or a parade – someone is selling or serving food! It is no wonder America has a weight problem…