Veganism is a lifestyle, whereby you abstain from consuming or purchasing goods that contains animal products. Whether it be as a food source, clothing or even products tested on animals.
People adopt a vegan lifestyle for various reasons. Usually, it is for ethical or environmental reasons. However, more and more people are 'converting' for increasing health benefits.
Fitness Manager Maxim turned vegan in 2016. He is often asked what his dietary habits are. When he explains he is vegan, the following questions and statements follow:
- Where do you get your protein?
- You need milk for calcium?
- Isn’t it unhealthy?
- Do you have enough energy to work out?
- It must be so hard!
Maxim's first response is "You don’t need to consume meat for protein. Quinoa, buckwheat, lentils, soy, rice and various beans, all contain considerable amounts of protein." Likewise, leafy greens such as kale, spinach and pak choi are all good sources of calcium as well as dried fruit, almonds and okra." A well-planned and balanced diet that limits processed foods and replaces them with nutrient dense sources is the key to good health, vegans and non-vegans alike.
It is true, he says, "veganism can be unhealthy, if you do not plan for it. Insufficient blood levels of vitamins B12 and D, deficiencies in omega 3s and iron can occur when people adopt a vegan lifestyle. Genetics also play a part in your ability to derive nutrients from a vegan diet. However, a well-balanced vegan diet will lead you to being the healthiest ever version of yourself."
Maxim has followed a vegan lifestyle for a little over two years and he feels fitter and healthier than ever. He trains up to three hours a day for triathlons and his diet gives him all the energy he requires.
If you are interested in adopting a vegan lifestyle or would like further information, speak to Maxim in the gym, he will be more than happy to help. Please note it is recommended to seek professional medical and nutritional advice before changing your dietary habits.