There is so much propaganda, information and misinformation going around at the moment about plant-based, and it appears to me that many people are misinterpreting it all and coming to the wrong conclusions. So here are some of my thoughts on the Vegan V Plant-Based debate, and hopefully this will bring some clarity to the table!
Firstly, the misunderstanding that they are the same thing – NO they are not!! Let me explain:
PLANT-BASED – the majority of what you eat is from plants. This is usually upwards of 80%. But here’s the thing. All these celebrity doctors and health nuts go on and on about plant-based diets and we think they are all vegan? No, they aren’t!
I eat a plant based diet. I also have small amounts of animal protein and healthy (ie raw) dairy.
e.g. Bread is a wheat-based food – it is made mainly of wheat, but has a few other necessary ingredients in small quantities (usually water, bicarbonate, salt, yeast)
Plant-based eating is normally uptaken primarily for health. In line with this, artificial sweeteners, chemicals, additives and processed foods, particularly highly refined foods, are omitted. When done correctly, a plant-based eating plan will consist of plants in their wholefood state, with the minimal of processing.
VEGAN – is an entire lifestyle. Not only are animal products or derivatives not consumed, but to be a true vegan one would not buy animal products or use or buy anything that was tested on animals. This means most pharmaceutical medications, and certainly no vaccines. It also means no leather shoes, sofas, or any fur on clothing, etc. I have literally only ever met a small number of true vegans in my life who follow this through with absolute integrity.
The Vegan diet has become quite popular and almost mainstream recently, however this has led the way for (or maybe even because of) the manufacture of highly processed, extremely unhealthy vegan alternatives. The vegan diet when done properly can be very healthy, but it is not for everyone. However, these soy-laden, GM containing meat alternatives can make for an extremely unhealthy diet, I would say even more so than making no changes whatsoever in many cases! The propaganda leads the uneducated public to believe that vegan is healthy, and I even had someone offer me highly sweetened and artificially flavoured chocolate sweet once and when I refused they looked shockingly and stated ‘Well it’s vegan’ as if that meant it was fine to eat! This is the point at which I realised what people who didn’t understand food actually were being led to believe.
Tips and Thoughts to Consider on Eating Plant-based or Vegan
At the end of the day, we need to eat what is right for our body, regardless of our beliefs or wishes (see the Vegetarian / Vegan Debate article). Many of us do not fair well by eliminating animal products completely, however we will all do well to increase our unprocessed plant-based foods and reducing our animal products, while choosing wisely – i.e. good quality, organic, free range, grass fed, local, raw. My clients will often test very strongly for the good quality meats such as organic grass fed beef, and organic raw milk, unpasteurised butter and organic double cream.
Plant based fermented foods such as sauerkraut, water kefir and kombucha are very beneficial if you prefer a plant-based alternative to milk kefir and live yoghurt.
Local honey has great benefit in naturally immunising us against the local pollens to prevent us from having hayfever. However, vegans will not eat honey or propolis. A plant-based alternative is maple syrup, but although this is healthy, it would not have the same therapeutic effects. I would strongly advise frustose based sweeteners are avoided (such as agave) as these have a very unfavourable impact on our blood sugar levels and are worse than eating sucrose!
If you are looking to reduce meat, do not use processed meat alternatives. You need to be using vegetables and possibly some plant-based protein such as lentils, chick peas, butter beans, etc. Take care of ready made products which can be high in wheat and other ingredients you may wish to be avoiding for your health. You will often find that ingredients such as sugar and unhealthy fats are added in place of animal-based products which have a far bigger negative impact on your health.
If you have a disease or serious illness, the general concensus seems to be to ‘go plant-based/vegan’. Yes go plant-based, but protein is actually very much needed by the body in some of the healing and recovery phases of many conditions (often the protein that is required is animal protein, as it is the type of protein that is high in purine which we are unable to get in plant sources). This is especially true in the ‘symptom’ phase of cancer when the tumour is being broken down (usually by TB bacteria or Candida fungus) to be removed naturally by the body. There is often some sort of discharge in this phase.
What I do – a Plant-Based diet with a Vegan lifestyle!
As I mentioned, I eat a diet high in unprocessed, plant-based foods (ie whole fruit and vegetables), along with small amounts of good quality meat (I aim for just 1 portion a day at my main meal). I also include some eggs in my protein intake, and half a pint of raw milk each day as my body thrives on it. Raw milk replaces the bacteria and fungus our body uses to clear disease which is often wiped out from overuse of antibiotics and vaccines. I also consume bone broth, though not as regular now as when I was healing myself. I also try to include at least 1 fermented food per day.
As far as toiletries, cleaning products and cosmetics, I will not use any that are tested on animals or harmful for the environment when they are discarded. I am very strongly opposed to the unnecessary use of animals, and will only eat the animal protein and dairy that I need which is sourced as responsibly and ethically as is possible.
I always opt for non leather furniture, no-fur clothing etc. Some of my shoes are leather (I use Fit-flops a lot due to previous foot problems caused with the fibromyalgia) , but I choose as responsibly as I can and if there is a non-leather available I will always buy that.
I do not use medications and certainly no vaccines, as these are almost always tested on animals and vaccines actually contain mixed species DNA including cells from aborted human foetus, so by no means will I be having any of that in my body, nor will I contribute to this industry.
Though I may be called hypocritical for eating meat while being ‘vegan’ in all other areas of my life, my defense is that I choose responsibly and consciously. In my opinion, the ‘vegans’ who still line up for their vaccines, are funding the GM industry by buying highly processed junk vegan products and blindly take medications are the most hypocritical. Yet it is these ‘vegans’ who often shout loudest and go preaching to those like me who make conscious decisions, but really they are seeing a reflection of their own frustrations at their own lack of integrity.