Most of us have already heard about vegetarianism and veganism, but what is exactly the difference between those two? And what are the implications for your health and your fitness level?
Jerry Blackburn has decided to take the plunge and became a vegetarian 15 months ago, he will share with you his experience. But first of all, the Blackburn Athletics's team will tell you a bit more about what both words truly mean.
The Basics: Vegetarianism vs. Veganism
It's important to clarify both terms.
Whether you're a vegetarian or a vegan, you don't eat meat. But a vegetarian will still eat animal products like dairy products (cheese, milk, eggs…) meanwhile a vegan will avoid all animal products, not only in his/her diet, but also in life in general.
For example, a vegan might decide not to wear clothes made of leather, silk, or even wool.
So how can we sum up the difference between being a vegetarian and a vegan? Being a vegetarian can be only a diet, while being a vegan is a lifestyle. And the reason for this is that most vegans are acutely aware of how the animals are treated, or rather mistreated, prior to being killed.
How Can You Get Started?
Switching from a "normal" diet and lifestyle to being a vegetarian or a vegan usually doesn't happen overnight. Jerry simply started by buying a mainstream book about veganism with a few recipes you can try at home. You will notice that even without meat, it is still tasty. You can also find several documentaries on the web or even on Netflix to help you in your transition.
In terms of health and well-being, you won't see the results right away. But in the long-term, you will notice that you are less prone to being sick, having a cold, or a sore throat.
Moving to a plant-based diet will impact your body positively over time and you won't feel heavy like you used to do before after a meal that includes meat. Your body will undergo some changes too and you might lose some fat and become leaner. You still need to exercise and train your body of course, and you will feel lighter and in better shape.
What about Relapsing?
The smell of meat can be still very tempting, and Jerry is no exception. Relapsing is a real danger, but don't worry, if you do nothing bad will happen. Just make sure to get back on the veggie track as soon as possible and pursue your journey.
Less chemicals, less pollutants, less processed foods…you got the recipe for a healthier life, that is also full of energy. Not eating animal-based products doesn't mean eating less or eating bland food with no flavor, far from it.
If you are subject to food allergies or simply have certain values that you want to reflect in your lifestyle, veganism might be for you.
In conclusion, you will need to make the transition slowly, get the necessary information first by reading, watching documentaries, asking questions to the vegans you know, starting by eating less meat and dairy products. Becoming vegan is a process, and it can take months.