Vegan Variations - Series Introduction
Veganism has more than one meaning. I have found that there are as many variations of how and what to eat as there are people with different eating preferences and needs.
At first when I started eating vegan, I ate by a strict list of rules and allowed myself anything that was labeled vegan. As I studied processed food and different diets, I realized that there’s more to it than that. My biggest discovery was that vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. So, I decided to do some reading and experimenting and to make my own decisions rather than go by a list of what someone told me to eat and not eat.
Now, I consider my likes, dislikes, and nutritional and health needs when making eating decisions. I have had some luck in shaping a workable food regime that I can fit into my lifestyle. I hope this series will help you do the same.
In the next few posts, I'm going to write about some of the variations of eating as a vegan. I hope this series will give you a framework of possibilities and help you avoid some of the problems I encountered.. Here are some of the broad categories I’ll cover.
Vegan - Many people think that being vegan consists of one rule: Don't eat animal products and don't eat anything that contains animal products. This is veganism in it's broadest sense. That means in addition to whole foods and prepared foods, this group eats all the vegan processed foods as well. The first post will get into the ins and outs of all of this and how I struggled with it.
Vegan with no processed baked goods, cookies, candy, crackers, chips, etc. Yes, there are vegan versions of all of these yummy things. People in this group eliminate the vegan version of the same things (usually falling under the category of junk food) eliminated by folks eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) when they decide to “eat healthy.”
Vegan with the elimination of processed foods listed in #2 as well as many canned goods, boxed goods, processed foods that substitute for animal products, such as vegan cheese, vegan meat substitutes, vegan butter, etc.
Vegan with minimal processed foods and some other strict rules thrown in to placate health eating issues, such as gluten free, or the special restrictions for those with reflux, etc.
Vegan and elimination of salt, sugar, or oil - or all three.
Vegan eating a whole food/plant based diet. These folks eat only those things classified as real food. It’s essentially being able to identify the food in nature rather than having to read a food label to name it.
I hope you enjoy this series and will share it with interested friends. Soon, I’m going to start posting more book reviews in case you might be interested in reading a little more about these vegan variations.