If you are on social media, love jumping on YouTube or just read the news in general, the odds are you’ve heard a fair bit about veganism and the vegan lifestyle already. 

Here at La Española, we love diving into varying food trends, getting to the nitty gritty of what each involves, and the various benefits and potential drawbacks to undertaking a switch to the dietary lifestyle at hand.

This week we are tackling one of the biggest, most enduring, dietary trends out there, by shedding some light for you on what it takes to become a vegan

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What exactly is veganism?

For many, veganism is a lifestyle change that doesn’t just fall within the confines of your dietary choices. This is what truly sets it apart from most diets that focus primarily on the food choices you make to fuel your body and mind. 

To put it simply, veganism is defined as “the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet.” In short, if a food or everyday product is sourced from an animal in any fashion - vegans won’t go there. It is considered a highly ethical lifestyle choice, with a high degree of discipline involved, and one that puts the needs of animals first

The many facets of becoming a vegan

There are various spectrums of how people choosing to undertake a vegan lifestyle go about it. The strictest form involves completely removing animal-sourced food from your diet, as well as any other products in your life that are made from - or created from - the produce of animals. 

This means meat, dairy products, eggs and the like are all out the window - as well as household or fashion choices, for example, that are derived from animal products - such as leather, fur or wool. Being a full-on vegan can be a complicated lifestyle to undertake, as your purchase choices in most areas will be seriously limited. 

Individuals interested in the vegan lifestyle, but aren’t ready to go “all the way”, may introduce smaller changes to their lifestyle to undertake part-vegan philosophies. This may mean that they take on a vegan diet, but don’t apply to same rules to the items surrounding them - or vice-versa.

It’s all down to what you feel comfortable with, and how you think the best way to approach this change is. 

What do vegans eat?

Ah! The most important question for many. After all, food is fuel and will dictate how you feel overall.

Vegans suffice on grains and legumes, beans, vegetables and fruits, but now that large brands have come on board with the massive worldwide trend that is veganism, they don’t have to miss out on other favourites. Many food brands now offer vegan alternatives for tasty treats such as ice-cream and cheese. Many household brands have also jumped on the bandwagon, with a number of cosmetics companies for example, also making the switch. 

We obviously love olive oil here, so we are happy to point out that olive oil does fall under the vegan umbrella, as it is naturally-derived. 
 
Many people from the outset consider a vegan diet highly restrictive, and not a good choice for those who suffer from a number of dietary deficiencies, such as anaemia, as well as other diseases or disorders. However, many converts to this big life change claim to have never-ending energy, optimum health (both physical and mental) and weight loss as a result of implementing the changes. 

If you are considering joining the masses and becoming a vegan, ensure you thoroughly research your options before making your final choice. Good luck!