Yep, ljk11 I've achieved my bod as a vegan. Thanx for your compliments
- as you will have noticed there's quite a few of us with good physiques on this forum. Contrary to popular perception, there is no reason why as a vegan you cannot have a fit and healthy body.
I will have been vegan for seven years in the New Year. I've never regretted it or looked back.
I found fish harder to give up too, and I ate fish for over two years after stopping eating meat. As much as I liked the taste of seafood, marine life still suffers and dies at the end of the day.... That's why I had to stop eating fish.
I had been running for six years and weight training for nearly two years when I went vegan. Of course I was concerned about the effect it would have on my physique, my fitness and my basic overall health. I thought I would be OK, but until you try you don't know do you?
I've had no problems at all. My physique hasn't suffered - it has been bigger than my avatar in the past, when I used to run less and lift more. I occasionally feel under the weather, but doesn't everyone. I attribute that to factors other than my diet - tiredness, overtraining, stress, winter bugs etc.
I will not deny that they can be a bad vegan diet - like any diet, if done badly, your health and well being will undoubtedly suffer. If done properly though, making the conversion to veganism will not be an issue at all. I predict you will notice little, if any difference. Any differences will be for the better too - well in nearly all cases.
So long as you eat a balanced a diet as possible it is possible to get all the nutrients and proteins you want. It is probably best to supplement with B-12 though. Yes, you will be giving foods up, but you will also be discovering new foods. I eat a lot of Middle Eastern food which I never did before - humous, cous cous, aubergine etc. You will enjoy loadsa new foods. When people say to me 'But don't you miss_____', most of the time I don't at all, or I answer yes I do miss x food but I am now eating y food instead which is just as nice, if not nicer, and healthier too.
Being a vegan has never been easier, and is getting easier all the time, as it gets ever more popular. Being vegan can be easier in some places than others - i.e I live in London, where being vegan is a doddle, but if I lived in the Outer Hebrides, well that would take more commitment - but no matter where you are there is no reason for not being vegan. It jst takes a bit more hard work, that's all.
I strongly believe that being vegan encourages a healthy, fit body/physique. It is the diet we are most suited to. We don't waste all our energy trying to digest dead and rotting flesh. A plant based diet is what our body responds to better. A vegan diet encourages a lean, relatively fat free ( compared to the average carnivore ) body.
If you are worried about your health or exercise performance levels, try supplementing initially. Most of us here do to a greater or lesser extent. We don't believe you need to per se, we just choose to as an insurance policy if you like. Most of us give up some or all vitamins and minerals
as we realise they are not necessary.
Carnivores take vitamins too - but no-one ever turns round to them and says 'Do you have take that because of your diet', 'Are you lacking in x' etc etc.... Those of us that take vitamins, most would probably still do so if we were not vegan. To me it's more of a lifestyle choice, less of a dietary choice.
Protein and calcium are the main concern's for most potential/new vegans. Calcium is easily obtained from green vegetables, dried fruits and oats. Protein defiency is just not an issue - you know how you always read about veggies swamping doctors with cases of protein defiency. It just doesn't happen. So long as you eat a sensible, balanced diet you will get more than enogh protein - beans, nuts, seeds, avocado's, tofu and soya products etc etc. If you wanna be on the safe side though there are numerous vegan protein powders available on the market.
Ljk11 - I'm glad my avatar gave you more of an encouragement to try veganism, and I hope my words above also encourage you. It's not exhaustive by any means - just a general summary - so feel free to get back to me on anything. I'm not as knowledgeable as some of the people on the forum, but I'm happy I can inspire and motivate peeps. I can do it - no reason then why you can't either.