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Help, I'm So Confused!

Today is about helping you discern the differences between certain lifestyles and eating habits out there. I have had several conversations, texts, and emails with folks who are downright confused, and the media/celebrity input sure doesn’t help.

VEGANISM: As you see by the name alone, this is NOT a diet. It is an “ism” which means it is a practice, political ideology, or lifestyle.

“Veganism is currently defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it from food, clothing, or any other purpose. It is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products and attempts to limit the exploitation of animals as much as possible.”

In speaking with some long-time vegans, their main concern is not about how healthy the food is that they consume, it is all about the animals. This explains why so much of the convenience vegan food in supermarkets are cruelty free choices, and not necessarily healthy choices. For purposes of a diet, to eat “Vegan” would mean the exclusion of all animal products and by-products, including honey in one’s diet.

PLANT-BASED or PLANT-FORWARD: these are eating patterns which focus on foods primarily from plants. “This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy.”

There are also those who follow a WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED style of eating, which is the same as Plant-Based, but omits all animal products, oils of any kind, and limits consumption of fats like avocados and seeds. They also focus on removing the use of convenience items, like commercial meat replacements and the like.

Let me briefly describe some other alternative “diets” out there:

PESCATARIAN – does not eat meat but does eat fish.

VEGETARIAN – does not eat meat or fish but does consume dairy products.

GLUTEN FREE – unable to consume gluten which is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Where does the MER MADE WAY fit in to all of this? We follow a Plant-Based eating style as stated above, limiting processed foods and animal products. Our focus is to begin avoiding commercially prepared food items and focus more on whole foods in our daily diets. As stated, we LIMIT our intake of animal products, but do consume some meat and fish on occasion. Remember, occasionally means infrequent or irregular intervals; now and then – NOT every day.

I hope this helps explain some of the differences in these popular eating styles, and offers you a chance to make a better informed decision about your health, and what you choose to put into your body.

Please drop me a comment, which can be found in the Contact section of my site and let me know what you think. Questions? Ideas for future blogs? Let me know.

Stay Healthy,

Merlinda (September 2021)

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