I’m often asked if I’m a vegan and and recently my response is that I eat plant based or plant strong. The term “vegan” has so much energy around it and there are so many misconceptions about what it means. I learned years ago that if I said “yes” it led to a zillion other questions about “where do I get my protein,” “what about calcium” or a statement of “I could never do that!” I’ve also discovered that most people don’t understand what “vegan” means. I can’t count the number of times I’ve ordered a vegan meal and had it come with cheese on my salad or a dollop of sour cream on top of my veggie burrito. And, as Jeff Novick points out in When Vegan Is Not Enough!, just because it is labeled “vegan” on the restaurant menu doesn’t mean that it is healthy. When my steamed vegetables are delivered dripping in oil all I can think of is what all that fat looks like when it hardens…… No, thanks!

When Vegan Is Not Enough!

by Jeff Novick, MS, RD

…. about a year and a half ago, I was speaking at an event along with Dr Campbell, Dr Diehl, Dr Esselstyn, Rip, Dr John Kelley, Dr Roger Greenlaw, Dr Demas and several other notables and at the end of the event, we had a panel discussion with all the speakers.

The question was asked about the word vegan and its appropriateness in describing this way of life and diet and the person asking the question asked if everyone on the panel could respond to how they felt about it.

As the microphone went down the line from one speaker to the next, everyone, no exception said they did not want to be associated with either the vegan word or the vegan movement as they felt it did more to distract from their main focus and to confuse people then it did to help them as by using the word it associated them with a movement that does not have the same specific focus, goals or details and is often heavily involved in other areas (ie, animal rights) that are not related at all to their specific focus.

I travel about 60% of the time and so am on the road and eating out often. I have found that some of the worst restaurants for me are ones that promote themselves as serving vegan and/or vegetarian options, with those promoting the concept of “raw” being the worse. I rarely if ever can find anything to eat at these restaurants that is healthy. And, if I have to go through the same process of special ordering to get something healthy, then why did I even have to go to a veg/vegan/raw restaurant to begin with as they usually charge more. At our local (and famous) vegan restaurant (at which I can not eat), you are charged extra if you want your food made with whole grains. The most popular item on their menu is their fried cauliflower.

I was at a recent health conference put on by a traditional group. For dinner there was a choice of fish, chicken or vegan. I asked what was the vegan choice and they said a lasagna dish made with vegan cheese, etc. No sides of veggies (as they were supposed to be in the lasagna). So, I asked what was the chicken dish. They said, grilled chicken, with sides of steamed vegetables and sweet potato. I ordered the chicken dish and traded my piece of chicken with the person next to me for their steamed veggies and sweet potato. The non vegan choice was the better choice.

Read When Vegan Is Not Enough!

I am trying to be more clear with people that I eat vegetables, whole grains and fruit and that I do not eat dairy and I do not eat fish, beef, pork or chicken. (And no, I don’t eat eggs or yogurt!) And, no, it is not hard – in fact it is easy. What is hard is the obesity and disease caused by dairy, chicken, fish, beef and pork.

Eating plant based or plant strong is amazingly simple, quick and very affordable….and it can taste delicious. Often you can take food and not have to worry about refrigeration and something like a banana is a delicious fast food. If you haven’t already checked out the 15,000 free recipes at Slender For Life™ you will want to click here.

Check out Slender For Life™ and call (206) 903-1232 or email for your free consultation.

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