VEGAN EDUCATION

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The Vegan Diet: How to Make It Work for You

Transitioning from your current diet to a Plant-Based one can be taking a healthy step in the right direction. You may have questions about how to start changing your diet, and how to make this type of diet work for your lifestyle.

The purpose of the information here is to help you learn more about how to successfully incorporate a Vegan diet into your lifestyle. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about starting a Plant-Based diet that will be addressed:

This information will guide you through what a Vegan Diet is, and how it may help you.

Changing your current diet to a Plant-Based one does not have to be as challenging as it may seem. The first step to changing the way you eat is to have a plan. By giving yourself time to put the necessary pieces of the puzzle in place, you will find it easier to transition from one way of eating to another, making it much easier to achieve the success you want.

The best way to change your diet is by gradually reducing the elements in it that you wish to eliminate. 

To start your plan when transitioning from an omnivore to a Vegan/Plant-Based diet, the following plan is recommended:
  • Start slowly   it is not necessary to remove everything you want to eliminate from your diet at once. You will need time to adjust to a new way of eating to create healthy, new habits. Try eliminating ONE particular element at a time for 1 week. Then progress as you feel comfortable.
  • Begin by removing 4-legged animal meats from your current diet for 1 week.
  • After successfully completing one week with eliminating 4-legged animal meats, remove 2-legged animal meats from your diet for 1 week.
  • Once you have eliminated 4-legged and 2-legged animal meats successfully for 1 week, remove fish for 1 week to start a vegetarian diet. (*vegetarian is not Vegan- eggs and dairy are allowable on a vegetarian diet)
  • The successful removal of all animals and fish from your diet for 1 week, can help you transition to a Vegan/Plant-Based diet. This is the stage of your transition where you would now remove all eggs and dairy products from your diet.
  • Please note that there are no hard and fast rules for applying this to your own lifestyle. Each person is different and should adjust the timeframe of removing/eliminating all meat, eggs, and dairy to suit your own lifestyle.

Planning your meals is a crucial step when transitioning to any new diet. Selecting the ingredients and having a few recipes on hand, can make it easier for you to prepare your fresh, healthy meals throughout your day.

The idea of donating foods that you want to avoid can be an ideal solution to throwing unwanted food items in the trash. Check with your local food banks about acceptable donations.

Please keep in mind that the full elimination of all animals/fish, eggs, and dairy products from your diet may take longer than the month-long suggested plan mentioned above. The recommended plan is a guideline- everyone will need to feel comfortable moving at their own pace when transitioning to a Plant-Based/Vegan diet. (1)

The decision to start a Plant-Based or Vegan diet is a healthy one! When transitioning to a Plant-Based/Vegan diet, you may wonder if your body will still get all of the vitamins and minerals you need to feel your best.

A Vegan/Plant-Based diet is a healthy choice; however, by removing certain animal sources from your diet, you also may reduce your daily intake of certain vitamins and minerals. The best way to address this concern, is to compliment your new diet with a few recommended supplements to help keep your body in top form.

Why do you need additional supplements if you are eating healthy? Due to declining soil quality; the fruits and vegetables that we eat cannot sufficiently produce the necessary amounts of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals we need to avoid supplementation in our diets.

These are a few of the recommended supplements that can assist anyone who chooses a Plant-Based or Vegan diet: 
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Long-Chain Omega-3s
  • Iodine
  • Zinc

Vitamin B12 is important for helping our bodies produce red blood cells, DNA, and helps support a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B12 also benefits our memory, energy level, heart, hair, skin, and more. A vitamin essential to health and well-being.

People who transition from an omnivore diet to a Vegan or Plant-Based diet, can have difficulty achieving the daily recommended dose; as vitamin B12 is largely found in meat and dairy sources. This vitamin is thought to be a common deficiency among Americans, Studies conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2000, have found that up to 39% of U.S. population may suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency.

A vitamin B12 supplement is highly recommended to help those adhering to a Plant-Based or Vegan diet to assist with getting the necessary daily requirements.

Vitamin D plays a significant role in our bodies. Our immune function, memory, mood, and our muscle recovery. Registered dieticians like Lona Sandon, RD, who is an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, know that the benefits of vitamin D do not stop there. Vitamin D is also effective in helping to promote strong bones by assisting with the absorption of calcium. 

As we age, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked with type 1 diabetes, muscle and bone pain, and cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, ovaries, esophagus, and the lymphatic system. Since very few foods naturally possess enough vitamin D to meet our daily needs, supplements are usually needed, regardless of what kind of diet you follow. There are Vegan vitamin D options that are available to help you get the necessary requirements you need every day.

Long-chain omega 3s are a vital group of fatty acids that are crucial to the health of your brain, eyes, and brain development. They are also key in preventing inflammation, depression, breast cancer, and ADHD.

Omega 3 fatty acids are categorized into two different groups:
  1. Essential omega-3 fatty acids: Alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, is an omega-3 fatty acid that you can usually get from your diet.
  2. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids: this group includes eicosapentaenoic (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Our bodies do not sufficiently convert enough of the ALA in our diets to make the EPA or DHA that is required daily for our bodies.

Studies conducted at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, and Nutritional Sciences Division at King’s College in London, England, have shown that the conversion of ALA to EPA may be as low as 5%, and the conversion of ALA to DHA may actually be near 0%. 

Research from the Sanitarium of Health and Wellbeing in Berkeley Vale, Australia, and the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy at the University of Newcastle in Newcastle, Australia, have consistently shown that people who adopt a Vegan or Plant-Based diet, can have up to 50% lower blood concentrations of EPA and DHA than people who follow an omnivore diet. Supplementation of these all-important fatty acids are highly recommended for most who adhere to a Plant-Based or Vegan diet.

Iodine is a micronutrient that is a key factor in the healthy function of your thyroid. Your thyroid plays a crucial role in controlling your metabolism. Insufficient levels of iodine over time can lead to hypothyroidism. Most of our daily iodine intake is through our diets with foods that are fortified with iodine, iodized salt, seafood, dairy products, and bread. 

Studies that were conducted at the Boston Medical Center in Massachusetts, and the Nutrition Research Centre of South Bank University in London, England, show that a Plant-Based/Vegan diet can result in a 50% lower blood iodine level than vegetarians (eggs and dairy products are allowed in a vegetarian diet).

Iodine is important to those who follow a Vegan or Plant-Based diet; as they may be at risk for an iodine deficiency. The recommended dose of iodine for healthy adults is usually 150 mg. daily. However, there may be an increased risk for iodine overdose in the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing thyroid disease.

 *Please check with your healthcare provider before starting iodine supplementation.

Zinc is an important mineral for our bodies. An insufficient intake of zinc may lead to hair loss, developmental problems, and delayed wound healing. Zinc plays a key role in our eye health. Zinc deficiency can alter out vision, and severe zinc deficiencies can lead to unwanted changes to the retina as well.

There are a few plant foods that contain zinc. Any zinc absorption that you do acquire from these plant foods may be quite limited, due to their phytate content.  A vegetarian or Vegan diet may not be able to give you the recommended levels of zinc for your daily needs. People following a Plant-Based diet should try to increase their zinc intake by eating zinc-rich foods throughout the day.

A few examples of these foods are:
  • Whole Grains
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Sprouted Breads
  • Wheat Germ
  • Tofu

Supplementing zinc naturally by adding key foods throughout the day, will allow your body to take advantage of this key mineral. (2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

**A side note: Levels of calcium and iron may also be lower in some people who transition or adhere to a Plant-Based/Vegan diet. Please check with your healthcare provider to see if you are a candidate for taking these supplements.

This can depend on where you purchase your fresh produce, and if you buy only organic fruits and vegetables. 

Both organic and conventionally grown produce are healthy choices. Most elements of a Plant-Based/Vegan diet can be relatively inexpensive since bulk purchases of beans and grains generally cost less per pound than meat, poultry, and certain types of fish/shellfish.

Prepackaged Vegan options, or processed Vegan options like imitation meat products, may be appealing while you are transitioning from an omnivore diet to a Plant-Based one; however, they are not the healthiest option for you long-term.

These types of items are often costly as well. Your best and healthiest option is to buy fresh produce and bulk items like grains, nuts, and seeds when you can.

Eating a Plant-Based diet can be a smart, healthy choice that doesn’t have to be high-cost to give you high benefits. Planning your meals in advance, and taking advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables, can help you create healthy, delicious meals. Your meal preparation is more than simply having an idea of what you want to eat. Preparation for those meals can make all the difference and can save you time and frustration by having everything you need right at your fingertips.

To make things easier during the week, plan to set aside some time on the weekend to prepare foods to see you through the week if possible. Thoroughly read through each recipe that you plan to use, so you can gather all the necessary ingredients you will need for your meal.

When you are ready to start prepping your ingredients, have all the miscellaneous items you will need to complete the meal (i.e. cookware, bowls, plates, utensils, measuring cups and spoons, etc.)

Make sure to chop, trim, cut, or dice ingredients beforehand; this allows you to add them as needed to your meal as you cook. A lot of recipes can yield more than one or two servings, so be sure to store and reheat (when necessary) your leftover food properly; allowing you to use your leftovers for quick and easy meals later in the week.

When it comes to storing your fresh fruits and vegetables, placing them in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator for more than a few days can speed up spoilage. There are several companies that make special containers and bags you can store your produce in; this will allow you to keep them fresh for much longer than by just placing them in the crisper drawer alone. By using these containers, your produce will last longer- and save you money.

Here are a few tips to keep your produce its freshest:
  • For wilting greens, place them into a freezer bag and freeze them for soups or smoothies later.
  • Keep fresh ginger in the freezer- then grate or chop off only what you need, when you need it.
  • Freeze your fresh herbs in a resealable bag- it can save you time and trips to the market. Rinse and fully dry herbs like rosemary, oregano, parsley, and place them in a freezer bag to store for later use.

Freezing foods like herbs and leftover portions can be a time saver by making everything easier throughout your week. From meal prep to grabbing last night’s leftovers for lunch at work. Just thaw and go!

Cooking for yourself if you are the only Vegan in your household may seem challenging at first- but it doesn’t have to be.

Forcing other members in the household to conform to your new way of eating is not ideal. Instead, let the other members of your household see how easy, healthy, and enjoyable a Plant-Based diet can really be. Preparing foods that everyone will enjoy just takes a little planning.

Many recipes that include meat, fish, or poultry can also easily be adjusted to fit your new dietary needs as well. Recipes calling for items like meat, cheese, fish, or any other ingredients that you do not use in a Vegan diet, can usually be modified. By cooking the items separately and adding them at the end of your meal preparation, this allows you to add meats, poultry, and other items to household members’ plates; while still letting you enjoy your Plant-Based diet.

There are several books and websites dedicated to helping you choose healthy, delicious recipes that will appeal to everyone in your home. One of the best resources for anyone starting a Plant-Based diet is The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. A book teaming with fact-filled information about healthy diets, recipes, and more. This book is also recommended for other members of your household, or anyone wanting to know more about the connection between diet and long-term health.

Vegan diets include lots of fresh, healthy greens, but this does not mean you will be limited to just eating salad every day. There are numerous recipes to satisfy your cravings for salty, sweet, and savory foods. Having a few easy, delicious recipes on hand saves you time, and takes the mystery out of “how do I start cooking Vegan?” Heart-healthy, and full of flavor- these recipes will give you some insight on just how versatile a Vegan diet can be.

Yes, kids can eat a Plant-Based diet and still be happy and healthy. Children may have questions about which foods are healthy and which are not; teaching them about a Plant-Based diet can help them understand how health and diet are connected to one another.  Before your child gives up all the animal sources in their diet, it is best to talk with them to make sure they know what foods they will be eliminating.

Many sweets, like baked goods, may be off limits for them, since most are made with ingredients like butter and eggs. There are Vegan treats they can have that can be just as delicious. Having Vegan options, or modifying several current recipes for baked goods, can make it easier for children to adapt to a healthier Vegan diet.

Sweet treats may not be the only concern you have about how your child will transition from their current diet to eating a Plant-Based one. How will your child still get the nutrients he or she needs for healthy growth and development?

Pediatricians like Stephen Lauer, MD, at the University of Kansas Health System agree that children use vital nutrients differently than adults do. Before your child transitions from his or her current diet, having a plan in place to include the necessary elements that children need to stay healthy and strong is key. 

Make sure your child’s diet will have enough:
  • Calories – children need higher amounts than most adults to maintain healthy energy and growth. Try to incorporate foods that are high in “good” fats, like nuts, nut butter, and avocados.
  • Protein – meat and dairy are not the only sources for kids. Nut products, beans, seeds, and 100 % whole grains are just a few good examples of Vegan proteins.
  • Vitamin B-12 – this vitamin is crucial for blood cells, and a healthy nervous system. Soy drinks, veggie “meats” like tofu, and cereals are all good choices.
  • Iron – fortified cereals, beans, and leafy greens provide much-needed iron to their diet. Your child will absorb the iron better if he or she eats it with foods rich in Vitamin C.
  • Calcium – your child needs calcium for strong bones, muscles, nerves, and helping blood to clot. He or she may get calcium from many foods- like collard greens, tofu, and calcium-enriched orange juice.

Overall, as long as your child’s transition to a Plant-Based diet includes enough of the micronutrients that they need to be healthy, eating a Vegan diet can be an excellent choice for children. A Vegan diet can be a wonderful way to show your children that what they eat affects their health now and for years to come. (9)

While soy is a popular protein choice for many Vegan diets, it’s not the only one. Typically, when we think of dietary protein choices, we often assume that animal sources like meat, fish, and poultry are the best options.

People who are transitioning to a Plant-Based diet may initially wonder how they can get a sufficient amount of protein into their diets to meet daily requirements. Registered dieticians like Toby Smithson, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, agree that everyone needs protein, regardless of what diet you choose to adhere to. Protein is a vital nutrient that your body needs for many different functions, from supplying our bodies with energy to repairing and building muscle tissue.

Finding Vegan protein options are easier than you think, soy is just one of many options for Plant-Based diets.

Here are 10 Vegan-friendly protein options that you can add to the diet to keep you healthy and strong:
  1. Quinoa – (8 grams of protein per cup) a grain that is loaded with vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate. Quinoa also has the 9 essential amino acids your body needs. This makes quinoa a “complete” protein choice.
  2. Edamame – (16 grams of protein per cup) packed with protein, these beans are also chock full of fiber. A great protein option for Vegans.
  3. Kale – (4.5 grams of protein per 2 cups) one of the most nutrient-dense foods around. Kale is full of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. A powerful protein choice.
  4. Chia Seeds – (9.4 grams of protein in 2 Tbsp.) a whole-grain protein option that also offers a healthy dose of omega-3’s, iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Small size- big benefits.
  5. Lentils – (18 grams of protein per cup) full of fiber and flavor, these beans also give you B vitamins, folate, and plenty of protein. A little bean that goes a long way.
  6. Tempeh – (31 grams of protein per cup) this is a soy-based ingredient that is firmer than regular tofu. Mild in flavor, it takes well to sauces and marinades. A protein-packed option for Vegan-friendly burgers, meatballs, and more.
  7. Seitan – (21 grams of protein per cup) made from wheat gluten, this is a Vegan meat-alternative with a texture similar to chicken or beef. Takes on any flavor you pair it with. A great option for poultry and meat. * Some varieties of seitan can have almost 13% of your daily sodium intake.*
  8. Peanut Butter – (32.5 grams of protein per ½ cup) delicious, high-protein, and full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Great with breakfast, to dress up vegetables (like celery or carrots), and a perfect sweet treat.
  9. Chickpeas – (14 grams of protein per cup) legumes loaded with fiber that are great in soups, salads, pureed for hummus, and more.
  10. Hemp Seeds – (10 grams of protein per 3Tbsp.) 25% of hemp seeds’ total calories are protein. They are rich in fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6.

A great source of vitamin E, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, and sodium. Powerful protein in a little package.

These are just a few of the many Vegan-friendly protein choices you can use to make delicious, healthy meals. Variety is the spice of life- so try them all! (10,11,12)

Years ago, eating Vegan at some restaurants could be somewhat challenging. There weren’t many choices besides salad. Now many restaurants have menu items that are specifically for, or can even be modified for Vegan diets.

Some restaurants may include a salad bar, but please be aware that there can be many other food items that are also ready-to-serve at that salad bar. Salad bars at restaurants can also have meat or meat flavored toppings for their salads like imitation bacon bits (or even real bacon crumbles).

Since restaurants are now trying to cater to different diets, there may be several Plant-Based menu items that you can readily choose from. 

Vegan restaurants are also gaining popularity and should be relatively easy to find if you live in or near a very populated area. 

Here are 10 TIPS to make it easier for you, the next time you are dining out:
  1. Use the internet – simply search “Vegan Restaurants” and check to see which are located closest to you.
  2. If you know which local restaurant you will be going to, call ahead and ask if they serve Vegan entrées.
  3. If you wind up at a restaurant that you did not choose, ask if the chef is able to make something Vegan for you using the ingredients he/she already has on hand.
  4. Ask your server if it is possible to modify your entrée to eliminate any meats, poultry, fish, and dairy.
  5. Try ethnic cuisine – there are usually a lot of different, Vegan-friendly menu items for you to choose from.
  6. If you decide to try a restaurant salad bar, try to avoid any toppings other than nuts or seeds, and steer clear of creamy dressings.
  7. If there aren’t Vegan options on the menu, ask your server if you can order a double portion of any steamed or grilled vegetables that they offer.
  8. When in doubt- order a house or side salad without creamy dressing- choose oil and vinegar, Italian, or any dressing that does not include dairy, meat or fish (i.e. Bacon-Flavored Ranch or Caesar).
  9. There are dedicated websites that will give you a list of foods at any type of restaurant you may go to that are Vegan-friendly. Use this list as your guide to ordering food items when you are dining out.
  10. When dining out with a group at a restaurant that severely limits your options, eat beforehand. Then you can adhere to your diet and enjoy being with friends and family.

You may experience cravings now and then, especially in the beginning stages of transitioning from your old diet to a new one. Should you give in to the cravings? There are ways to deal with your cravings and still adhere to your Plant-Based diet. Plenty of websites list numerous Vegan desserts, snacks, and treats that feel like a “cheat”, but are all Vegan-friendly. 

There are Vegan choices to indulge your sweet tooth. Try dairy-free chocolate pudding, Vegan carrot cake, or Vegan brownies. Craving salty snacks? Try edamame with sea salt, pretzels, kale chips, etc. What about savory items? Roasted chickpeas, hummus, corn tortilla chips, and guacamole, etc. There are many Vegan options to satisfy every taste bud.

You will adapt to eating and craving fresh and healthy foods soon enough, and your old cravings should disappear in time. 

If you do happen to indulge your cravings, do not be too disappointed, old habits take time to completely break, and it does not mean that you can’t get right back on track with your next meal.

Going out with friends and family doesn’t mean you have to abandon your Plant-Based diet. Be upfront and honest. Tell your friends and family that you have chosen to eat a Plant-Based diet, and make sure they understand what you will and will not eat. 

Offering to bring your own Vegan-friendly foods can be helpful for whoever is preparing the meal, though it may not always be necessary. Your host may elect to make something that is Vegan-friendly or can be modified to stay within your diet.

There are usually more choices available to you than you might think. You can indulge in baked potatoes, roasted eggplant, grilled vegetables, sweet potatoes, and many more!  There are many options that are usually classified as side-dishes that you can eat, and still eat Vegan.

The most important thing is to be prepared. If you don’t want to ask your host to make a special dish for you, and modifying the dish is not possible, eating a light meal beforehand may be your best option. This will allow you to not focus on what is being served, and to just enjoy the company.

  • It can really depend on where you are traveling to. You have many options when you travel within the United States, like store and restaurant chains that you are familiar with and have a basic idea of what food items they offer.
  • Traveling abroad may pose more of a challenge. Being in unfamiliar territory can make it a little difficult when trying to choose a store or restaurant that will offer you Vegan options.
  • Your best option is research. Before you travel, either in the United States or abroad, search online for restaurants and stores that offer Plant-Based options near to where you are staying.
  • There are many options within the United States – from Vegan restaurants to stores that carry Vegan-friendly foods and may even have salad bars inside. Traveling to another country can usually offer a few different options for you as well. Local restaurants that may offer you the opportunity to try new dishes of regional/ethnic Plant-Based cuisine.

If you are unsure about how some foreign dishes are prepared, or find only limited options on their menu, there are usually fresh fruit and vegetable stands, or local markets that you can explore to find delicious new discoveries.

In most cases, you will find enough options overall to satisfy your dietary needs – you may even discover a few new ones!

A healthy Vegan diet will not hinder your athletic performance. In fact, many athletes feel that transitioning to a Vegan diet improves their fitness levels. The perception that individuals who train intensively, require meat-based protein to build muscle mass. This is not entirely true.

According to reports from the American College of Sports Medicine located in Indianapolis, Indiana, a Plant-Based diet is nutritionally sound and is adequate for all stages of athletes. An antioxidant-rich diet that is high in micronutrients may give athletes a performance advantage.

An example of today’s Vegan athletes – like Tony Gonzalez (Kansas City Chiefs), Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier, Track & Field Olympian Carl Lewis, and bodybuilder Kenneth Williams – demonstrate that high athletic performance is more than achievable without animal sources in their diets. 

Intense training for athletic individuals can result in diminished immune system function. This can lead to an increased risk for viral infections, and interruptions in training and exercise sessions. A healthy Vegan diet, which is rich in vital nutrients and high in antioxidants strengthens the immune system and therefore, can support improved immunocompetence, which can assist athletes in not missing training sessions or competitive events.

By including a sufficient amount of Plant-Based proteins into a Vegan diet, and with proper supplementation of vitamins and minerals (i.e. vitamin B12, iron, etc.), athletes can avoid animal proteins and still support high body mass. The report concludes that a Vegan diet is not only a healthy choice overall; but that athletes can maintain and even may improve their performance levels by adhering to a well-constructed Vegan diet. (13)

• People decide to “GoVegan” for many reasons- some from a health standpoint, and others may choose to transition their diets due to personal beliefs. Whatever your reason, there may be times that you struggle with the idea of remaining Vegan in the future.

• Whatever your motivation for transitioning from an omnivore diet to a Vegan one, know that you are not alone. There are Vegan support groups that can help answer questions, offer advice, and even boost morale if you feel you are struggling with your plant-based diet transition.

• When you have doubts, reaffirming the reasons why you decided to change your diet in the first place can help. Reinforce your commitment to a healthy lifestyle by discovering new sources of information about Vegan nutrition, and why your choice to eat a Plant-Based diet is a healthy one. The book Vegan For Life, by Jack Norris, RD and Virginia Messina, MPH, RD, can be a reputable source for helping new Vegans with updated Plant-Based nutrition guides.

• There are many online sources that also lend support to Vegans through discussion groups. Websites that offer Vegan forums with an open Q & A section can be very useful if you want to know more about recipes, local Vegan support groups, new Vegan specialty food stores, etc.

• New dietary information is important, and so is having support from others in the Vegan community. Feeling connected with friends and family who aren’t Vegan, as well as Plant-Based diets being accepted as “normal”, is important to people transitioning to a Vegan diet.

• The food industry is changing for the better by focusing on making their products healthier.  As grocery stores start carrying a selection of more diverse foods and Vegan options, it does more than just make Plant-Based options easier to find for those who eat a Vegan diet. It also encourages inclusivity for Vegans. This allows the public at large to view Plant-Based proteins like quinoa and chia seeds, to be seen as a staple in healthy diets, instead of seeing these types of foods as “special” and meant for specific diets.

• Having seeds, grains, sprouted bread, tofu, and other Vegan options being offered at larger chain stores, can make it much easier for Vegans to have a variety of foods to choose at regular grocery stores. This can also change the perception of Vegan foods to simply be just another “choice” and become widely accepted by everyone.

• As dietary needs shift and change in our society, the overall acceptance of unique needs and choices are becoming the standard. People needing or wanting to change their diets for health reasons, personal beliefs, or just wanting to achieve better overall health and well-being, will have the access and support to make and keep these dietary changes long-term.

• Beyond experiencing what a Plant-Based diet can do for your health, eating a Vegan diet is a choice. Your choice. How your body responds to eating a Plant-Based diet may be the motivation for you to stay the course. Diets are habitual- practice makes perfect. Plant-Based diets are a healthy, wonderful choice for your body that you can feel good about now and in the future. (14)

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