On this week’s edition of the Sisters Without Shame podcast, a listener says that she’s ready to test the vegan waters, but rather confused about where to start. So, we hooked up with programme manager for ProVeg International in Mzansi, Dr Nanine Wyma, to give clarity on plant-based lifestyles.
ProVeg International is a food awareness organisation with the mission to reduce the global consumption of animals by at least 50% by 2040.
First up, know your stuff
Before considering a plant-based diet, it is important to establish your “ism’s”: That is vegetarianism, flexitarianism and veganism.
Veganism is more of a lifestyle than a diet, Wyma explains. “It is a broader lifestyle that aims at reducing and eliminating animal suffering,” she says.
“Looking at the diet of vegans you won’t find any meat, fish, chicken no animal bi products such as eggs cheese etc. the diet extends to even smaller animals in form of insects like your bees, so vegans wouldn’t eat any honey. Individuals who follow this lifestyle would not have any leather and for them, cosmetics would not and should not be tested on animals.”
Vegetarianism excludes the consumption of meat with or without milk products and eggs. “It is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and it may also include by-products of animal slaughter.”
Flexitarianism is a diet encourages mostly plant-based food while allowing meat in moderation. “One week they might want to eat pure vegetables with no meat and the other week they would go a full week with food containing both vegetables and meat with some other products that don’t form part of the other lifestyle but the other.”
Carbs were never the enemy
If you are considering the transition, it is also important to not the challenges in the shift. One she believes is changing your perspective around food and toxic diet culture.
Carbs, for one, were never really the enemy.
“When going for a plant-based diet, you are going up against many myths. For people, like me, who were born in the 90s, we were born into diet culture and back then models were too skinny and there were very unrealistic beauty expectations, as a result we grew up to those unrealistic diet and body expectations,” she says.
“When you begin to live off a plant-based diet you need to eat substantial amount of carbohydrates so that you get full, and you get enough sugars. This does not mean you need to eat processed unhealthy carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are contained in starch containing vegetables like potatoes.”
Listen to the full interview on Sisters Without Shame
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