I have met MANY unhealthy vegans. Those who shouldn't be vegan long term are those not willing to put in the discipline to take care of their bodies the right way. It's not about potato chips, sugar, and processed food, just because it doesn't have animal products in it. Go here to discover what to do if you have recently become a vegan and although started feeling better, are now feeling fatigued, and generally unwell.
1. Just ELIMINATING animal products
Just because you eliminate meat and dairy, doesn't make your health optimal. Yes, it will take you SO far in your health! There is now no question how dangerous these foods can be for our health. We now know the ill effects of eating the product of a cow meant for a 75lb calf to gain weight on - not to mention the quality of the Meat and Dairy Industry today. The Book, "The China Study" alone is a great read to realize how dairy is not the way to go in nutrition. But, eliminating bad foods is not enough. You need to ADD proper nutrition, not just take it away. I have met MANY unhealthy, Raw, vegans who work so hard to eliminate, yet forget to add, add, ADD!
2. Not adding *PROPER* Nutrients
So, there's no doubt about it, if you're a Raw Food vegan, you NEED B12! Heck, even many MEAT-eaters need B12!!! But, don't stop there. Lets face it, I would want you to get ALL you need from your food. But, especially here in Canada, we are definitely not receiving top nutrients in our food. Foods sent to the North are picked upripened and travelled thousands of miles to get to your plate, and that's not considering the type of soil the food is mono cropped (think planting seeds over and over again in the same soil year after year after year). Eventually, there will be little nutrients left in the soil for your veggies and grains to grow. The end result, minimal nutrients! Whether you're a vegan or non-vegan you will need support in nutrients, ESPECIALLY Vitamin D, which I talk about here.
Also, if you cook ALL of your food you should invest into a multi nutrient yesterday! Most water-soluble nutrients are lost when you cook them and some fat soluble vitamins are lost depending on how you cook them. Do yourself a favour and invest into WHOLE food vitamins today as you research how not to destroy your nutrients and sprouts (which I talk about in the next section) so that you have fresh, living food for your home throughout the non-growing season.
In addition, investing into a balance in Omegas is crucial, which many vegans AND non vegans alike are lacking in. Most experts agree we should have our Omega 6's and 3's at a 1 to 1 ratio and 2 to 1 at the least. Here in North America, we are typically at a 21 to 1 ratio!! What!?
We get our Omega 3's from Algae (where the fish get theirs) and other plant-based sources like seeds, nuts, and even beans. We all need less Omega 6 and more Omega 3's.
Of course there are other nutrients like sea vegetables, which are also crucial. Bottom line is to research which nutrients our bodies need, not taking for granted that we need a proper balance of nutrients for our health; Not just some fad diet.
3. Forgetting Powerful Proteins
This mistake may happen if you are not SPROUTING.
If you are not sprouting, then you are not a healthy Raw Vegan. And that's that! The amount of proteins in sprouts is crucial, especially for our growing young ones.
3. Not properly preparing your Food
I remember how shocked I was when I learned about toxic phytic acid, lectins, and polyphenols in my beans, nuts, seeds, and even grains if I didn't soak them before I ate them. Here I was thinking I was replacing one protein for another and then I find THIS out!
Phytic Acid, for one, is an enzyme inhibitor designed to prevent the nut from being broken down and in turn, for us humans, prevents us from being able to digest them to even USE thier amazing nutrients. These toxins can even block absorption of vitamins and minerals in your food like zinc, iron, magnesium calcium, and other needed nutrients. To learn more about how to soak your nuts and beans go here. You have NEVER tasted an Almond so good as when you soak, sprout, and dehydrate it. To die, er... LIVE for! We use wheatgrass, algae (VERY important proteins), dark, leafy greens, potatoes, broccoli, beans, nuts, seeds, you name it for proper proteins. Just make sure you get a balanced diet and for protein, definitely don't forget to take your algae (chlorella, blue-green algae, spirulina) every single day.
If you are an active Raw, vegan, consider adding a raw, sprouted, vegan protein powder!
5. Not chewing your Food
I don't do this as well as I could. Since getting rid of animal products, many vegans resort to a high-carb diet. Not only is this unnecessary as we need carbs, protein, and fats every day, but any carbs you ARE eating needs to be CHEWED regardless of whether or not you are a vegan - and at least 30-50 times each small bite you put in your mouth! We have our highest amount of carbohydrate enzymes in our saliva, which are activated when we chew. If you don't chew those carbohydrates, you're missing up to 80% of that carbohydrate digestion.
6. Drinking more Water
So, we've all heard that in order to be more healthy we need to drink more water. This is for vegans and non-vegans alike but many who go down the vegan path also seem to be the type who look deeper into other aspects of their health. Drinking more water is necessary, but that all depends on what KIND of water.
You may not be doing your body a favour if you're drinking absorbitant amounts of the water found in your tap or certain water bottles. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
Question "What does the chlorine and chloramine added to our tap-water meant to DO to our water?"
Answer? Kill bacteria, among other things and prevent it from regrowth.
Question: "Does it just affect the bad bacteria or also the good?"
Question, "What is found in the colon in higher numbers than the very cells in our body?"
Answer? Good Bacteria.
Now, simply ask yourself if you want to drink the very thing that is meant to kill them AND prevent them from regrowth. 'Nuff said.
We have a Living Water System and have loved the affects in our health because of it. Health is, after all, also about prevention.
7. Being more stressed about what you CAN'T have than what you CAN have
This is a common mistake and one that might make you more sick than eating animal products. Think of food as running toward health, rather than running away from poor health. This is so powerful. When we are stressed, our body actually has a physical response and creates inflammation in your body. Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases. We definitely do not need this in our lives while we are venturing toward health.
Absolutely avoid eating food that his bad for you, but if you cheat, enjoy the cheat while you're cheating!
Laugh a little!! If you're stressed out about WATER your body will find a way to reject it. Your thoughts are powerful. You only have to check out here to see that.
8. Simply not loving yourself
None of us are perfect. Who wants to be, really. How boring! :D In every health endeavour you embark upon, love yourself with honour and respect. So what, you didn't get it right. So what, you didn't soak your nuts and beans all this time. Bottom line is that you're healthier today than yesterday and that you have begun to love yourself enough to invest into your health. Even with any mistakes you've made along the way, your body feels the love you've invested into trying. Now let it go and move forward. Keep learning and researching and do what's best for your body.
To learn more about how to venture toward a vegan diet in the healthiest possible way for you, contact Dawna for a free, 15 minute consultation via phone or ask her a question in the contact form below.