Veganism is becoming a huge movement; it has grown by 700% in the UK in the past two years and you just know that someone, somewhere, is Instagram-ing their avocado on toast. With it being World Vegan Day today, let’s talk about what all the hype is about. Why are people throwing out the chicken nuggets and opting for a green smoothie instead? Here are the benefits of making the swap to a vegan lifestyle!
It can be done on a student budget
You can definitely live a vegan lifestyle on a budget. Plant-based essentials such as chickpeas, pasta, and rice are very cheap. To save money on fruit and vegetables, most supermarkets have a huge selection in the frozen isle. You can even pop down to the fresh produce markets to get some great deals. Cheap ready-meals are also really easy to get hold of, for example, Aldi stock Soulful, which are cheap vegan ready-meals that are perfect for busy students!
Shock horror – you CAN get all the nutrients!
There is a huge misconception that you can’t have a full nutritious diet whilst being vegan. A lot of people think that without meat, you will be protein deficient; in contrary, there are actually lots of ways you can get your protein without meat. What about the lack of calcium in cow’s milk? One portion of kale actually has more calcium than a glass of milk and you can get calcium in so many other foods too!
The China Study is the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and it outlines how the vegan diet can bring optimum health. So, if science says so, then vegans must be doing something right, aren’t we?
Help the planet
Eating a vegan diet can really help you live a green lifestyle, just by doing something as simple as cutting out meat, dairy, and eggs! Let’s hear the hard facts: animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction globally. Livestock and their by-products account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year – that’s 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions! Facts like these shows why choosing dairy-free cheese or a veggie burger can cease contribution to the huge global impact of animal product consumption. After all, we all call this planet home, so we should me making it better instead of destroying it.
There are now lots of restaurants with vegan options
Big food chains such as Pizza Express, Wagamama, and Zizi’s all have entire vegan menus so eating out with your pals is easy. If you’d rather give a vegetarian diet a go, almost every restaurant nowadays has a veggie option.
Leeds is especially great for vegan food finds! There’s Mods pizza who have dairy-free cheese, LS6 who make a killer vegan brekkie, and Mardin Café who do incredible takeaway pizza (topped with plenty of vegan ‘burger’ and cheese). It’s an absolute win. Essentials in the LUU also has great vegan lunches so you’re never stuck for options.
You could become the new Gordon Ramsey (hopefully without the shouting and wrinkles)
Whilst it’s incredibly easy to swap to plant-based alternatives, going vegan means you’ll switch up your usual cooking a little. Trying all these new foods and flavours will really make you find a love for cooking and tasting new things. You can experiment with new meal ideas and see what works best for you. Before you know it, you’ll be making scrambled tofu bagels all the while feeling like a cooking goddess!
Hopefully this has helped you learn a little more about the vegan lifestyle. Even doing something as simple as a meatless Monday would be a great way to introduce more vegetables into your diet and make a healthy change that helps you as well as the planet!
If you want to give the vegan life a go, take part in the Veg Pledge this November to help raise money for Cancer Research UK. It’s an incredible cause and might give you a motivation to kick-start your vegan adventure.
To get some vegan cooking inspiration and vegan food finds, follow my Instagram @LivinKindly.
Images: mikimottes.com, @LivinKindly