I have been part of the vegan community for 11 years, so I have gotten many questions about what it is like to be vegan—from a diet perspective and a lifestyle perspective. I love to share this education and passion with anyone who is curious, even when they ask the embarrassing questions. These are some of the questions that come up most frequently. Want to know more? Visit my blog for more info on thriving with a vegan lifestyle.
P.S. I am passionate about my husband, travel, food, cooking, environmental sustainability, human wellness and protecting animals. I throw monthly events with drinks, delicious vegan food, fun friends for networking, and adoptable rescue dogs—so if you’re in the Bay Area, please come party!
1. Where do you get your protein?
So many plants are packed with protein. Broccoli, for example has ~4.6 grams of protein in one stalk. Other plant-based foods that are also high in protein are tofu and quinoa. My husband and I joke that I’m quinoa’s spokesperson because I’ve probably said a million times, “Did you know quinoa is a complete protein?” One cup of quinoa has over 8 grams of protein, and one cup of tofu has about 20 grams of protein! That means with one delicious bowl of tofu, grains, and broccoli, you can get more than a day’s worth of protein.
Another great way to get protein in is to add delicious and healthy protein powder to your smoothies. You can get protein powder that is high in protein, low in fat, carbs, and sugar, made out of soy, rice, or pea protein. I love integrating these powders into my morning smoothies and nighttime “nice cream.”
2. Is vegan food more expensive?
It depends. Veganism is beginning to grow like crazy. People are changing their lifestyles at remarkable rates. This means three things: 1) Vegan food is somewhat seen as a health/luxury/trendy lifestyle right now, so there are many premium products that have a higher price point. 2) It is totally possible to eat organic whole foods that you buy at the grocery store and spend less on vegan foods. 3) As more people switch over to a vegan lifestyle, the smaller start-ups and low-quantity-production products will be able to lower their prices as they become the mainstream and standard options.
Also, when I consider the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, the cost reduction in medication and health problems makes the scale tip far toward veganism being a lower cost way of life.
3. Are vegan farts worse?
People love to ask this! This is the down and dirty. Food products that cause worse flatulence (you can call me “Dr. Seyks” because I used that word instead of farts) are things like beans, cashews, and lentils; vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, and garlic; and dairy products. So, while you cut down on farts from dairy, sometimes eating all those vegetables can make you tootier than before.
However, while this is funny to talk about it has not been something that has disturbed my life or my vegan-friend’s lives. And after some adjusting of your gut, it’s not a noticeable side effect for anyone I’ve known.
4. Has your period changed?
My period has become lighter and I’ve had less cramping.
5. Don’t you care about humans suffering more than animals suffering?
I care about humans and animals suffering. Practically each day, I learn new ways that I can alter my choices for a better world for everyone and I take great joy in integrating those into my life.
Veganism has an enormous impact on reduction of human suffering. There are many scientific articles (such as this one by Yale University) that discuss the forgotten victims of the meat industry: slaughterhouse workers. The link between working in slaughterhouses and traumatic disorders such as PTSD is very clear. Slaughterhouse workers are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs and are more domestically violent than those in other lines of work (which were chosen for comparison because they were nearly identical in other variables and predictors of crime). Slaughterhouse workers had highest overall crime levels, and disproportionately high rates of sexual and violent crimes.
Additionally, we hear daily the shocking reports about lack of water and food for humans around the world. One pound of feedlot beef requires 2,500 gallons of water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and one gallon of gasoline. If the world went vegan, we could eliminate world hunger while also saving the animals from suffering.
Then there is the unimaginable amounts of pollution, waste, runoff, methane and more that pour into our environment daily from the massive scale animal farming industry. This adds to global warming, and frequent outbreaks of e-coli and other pathogens find their way into our food supply, and sicken and kill humans every year.
Lastly, by educating people about the enormous health benefits of a plant-based diet reduces human suffering through medical issues (heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and strongly linked to meat consumption) and daily inflammation problems.
6. Isn’t it hard to travel while vegan?
I won’t say it’s easy. That’s a huge part of why my husband and I do the traveling that we do. We want to find the places to go, ask the tough questions of the restaurants, and figure out tricks along the way to reduce that barrier. Check out my blog for travel tips, tricks, and full itineraries that show you where we ate and what we recommend.
7. How do you live without cheese?
I don’t. Here are some of my favorite cheeses, and they are ever expanding.
8. Do you ever feel full and satisfied?
Yes! This was my wonderful husband’s biggest struggle. He’s a big eater, so when my Midwest sweetheart saw my meals of veggies and grains, without any meat and cheese, he wasn’t sure how his body would respond.
If you have a body that loves carbs, make sure to pair your meal with oatmeal, whole grain bread, rice and beans, quinoa (did you know it’s a grain that’s a complete protein?), garbanzo beans, and hearty things like that.
If you are more of a keto lover, you can make crispy tofu, hearty avocado sauces, coconut cream soups, and lots of nuts to fill you up.
9. Does meat gross you out?
My tongue tells me I’m a meat eater, but my heart and mind tell me differently. I loved the taste of meat—meats were my favorite foods by far. However, knowing the immense pain and suffering that I’m paying for by purchasing meat keeps my cravings from winning over.
However, many vegans do find animal products truly repulsive, so it can be very hard for them to eat at tables and from restaurants where animal products are nearby.
But for vegans who miss their meat, there are amazing new products coming on the market at a rapid pace—many of which can fool the most certain meat-eater into thinking he is actually eating meat.
10. Why are you vegan?
11. What are your favorite vegan documentaries?
- Forks Over Knives