Could I be vegan? It's a question many people ask themselves.
Vegan essentially means cutting out any food that involves animals in the production.
Whether it's meat, eggs, milk, even honey - all of these products have been produced by an animal in some way. Interestingly though, more and more people are choosing a plant diet.
Veganism isn't just taken up by hippies and anyone living in Hackney...
Veganism is seen by many as a very extreme, very intense lifestyle, that is usually taken up by hippies and anyone living in Hackney.
Living off a plant based diet however, has many convincing arguments for a healthier body and planet.
While no one is saying that anyone should be vegan, we can say that anyone can be one, without too much difficulty.
Here are a few facts to help you decide whether the vegan lifestyle could actually work for you...
While we don't want to spend too long on the reasons why people become vegan, but here are a few facts that people who give up animal products have a problem with...
1) Society eats too much meat
Around 56 billion animals are killed each year in factory farms that use cruel, inexpensive methods of rearing and slaughtering to keep up with society's demands.
2) Obesity and high cholesterol are among the biggest killers in the Western world
Plant-based diets are rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals.
They tend to be low in saturated fat and high in fibre, helping to combat against some of the modern world's biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
3) The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment
There are many ways meat production harms the planet that you can read up on here, if it interests you.
1) Don't Cut Out Carbs
While a slab of meat and a plate full of carbs is bad news for your health, a plate full of veggies and carbs are a different story.
As your body adjusts to a low fat and cholesterol diet, don't cut out rice and potatoes.
You can get carbs from veg, but to begin with give your body a chance to figure that out.
2) Eat Fruit With Other Fruit To Avoid Digestive Problems
You're going to be eating way more fruit and veggies than you ever have before - and that's great!
Stock up on dark leafy veg like kale, broccoli and spinach to make sure you're getting enough calcium and iron.
Your body will need a little time to adjust itself to processing so much fibre. So, until it starts working as a productive plant burning machine, you might have a few days of gas and possibly even diarrhoea.
To avoid this, only eat fruit with other fruit, preferably at the start of the day. Start with a homemade fruit smoothie before work and then wait till lunch before eating anything else.
Not only is a tonne of fruit in the morning great for energy and nutrition, eating it on its own will give your body a chance to process it properly, leaving your first few vegan days a lot more pleasant.
3) You Don't Have To Give Up On Cakes & Chocolate
Being vegan doesn't have to mean you give up cakes and chocolate.
There are vegan treats now that are just as tasty as their dairy counterparts.
Did you know you can be a vegan and still eat Oreos? Some biscuits and cake are naturally diary free.
Coffee shops like Starbucks and Costa now have vegan cakes on offer as a common practice, so you're probably eating them already without even knowing it.
If you are hoping to live a healthier, low fat diet through veganism, you should definitely treat these vegan snacks with the same caution as any other sweet treat.
You'll be a lot healthier sticking to fruits and nuts for your treats.
If you want to be vegan for purely ethical reasons however, go ahead and discover all the awesome treats out their that are free from animal products.
4) Eating Out Isn't As Tricky As You Might Think
You don't need to worry about going out for dinner with friends - there is often more options than you might think.
Prepare yourself before you go. If you know what foods you can and can't eat before you sit down at the table, it will make things a lot easier for you.
Indian and Turkish restaurants are generally fantastic when it comes to providing vegan options and there are a plethora of fantastic veggie restaurants in most cities.
Even if you end up at Meat Liquor, it's not impossible to find something to eat. Just check the menu online in advance.
Trust us, you don't just have to order the garden salad!