There may be various reasons why a vegan diet isn’t the right fit for you. Everyone is different, we all have different tastes, tolerances, food allergies, etc. So you don’t need to feel guilty or “unhealthy” if it’s not for you. Variety is the spice of life after all, and we can’t all be Lenny Kravitz.
Many foods that aren’t vegan can have great health benefits, so if your body says no to a vegan diet, or it’s simply not your thing, read on for alternatives.
Meat gets a bad reputation but the truth is that if it’s prepared in the right way, like grilling on a gas bbq, it can be some of the most nutritious foods out there. This way of serving meat really should be the mainstream.
Meat is often associated with greasy takeaways and whilst cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and kebabs make tasty treats, they waste the potential that meat has.
The truth is, if you take away the bread, cheese, and generous dollops of sauce that most meat is hidden underneath, you can get some great meals that are good for you.
Consider swapping fried fillets for skinless, breadless chicken, grilled and seasoned. Combine this with rice and broccoli, a delicious and protein rich staple favoured by exercise lovers of varying intensities, as well as actors for action and superhero movies.
Beef and Steak
Swap cheeseburgers for a juicy grass-fed steak and it could be one of your most nutritious meals.
Beef is especially favoured by those on a carnivore diet, which bases its food around the healthy benefits of pure unprocessed meat and animal products like eggs and some dairy.
Many people on this diet have claimed to experience amazing results, with steady weight loss and muscle maintenance thanks to high protein, low carb and good fats. These factors go especially well with an active lifestyle.
Some versions of this all-animal products diet have close relations to the paleo diet. Paleo consists of the lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds that would’ve been hunted and gathered thousands to millions of years ago. It excludes things like dairy products, legumes and grains that emerged alongside farming 10,000 years ago.
It’s argued that the foods in carnivore and paleo diets helped cavemen’s brains to evolve to the human standard of today. With some versions of the carnivore advocating “nose to tail” eating and incorporating animal organs like liver into our diets, though liver might be a tough food to get most people to try out.
However, as mentioned at the beginning, rather than going along with restrictive diets, it’s all about food tolerances and allowing everything in moderation. This includes sticking to your calorie requirements and having a good mixture of meat and veg if you can.
Fish and Pescetarianism
Meat and poultry isn’t everyone’s thing. A pescatarian diet allows for animal protein but still helps reduce things like intake of meat, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions as there’s no need for farmland. An environmentally friendly diet without too much of a restriction.
Fish is a great source of protein, one of the most essential macronutrients for strengthening muscle, tissue, hair and nails. Protein is usually hard to find on a vegetarian diet, so pescetarianism could be the next best thing.
Fish contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which helps fight against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. It is also great for brain health, improving memory and reducing cognitive decline, which is why fish is known as “brain food”. In addition, it’s also good for reducing dry eye syndrome.
Much like with meat, you’ll want grilled fish and not the battered kind from the chip shop.
Vegetarianism, Dairy and Eggs
You might not like fish, have allergies, or choose not to eat animals for personal or ethical reasons but still find a vegan diet too restrictive. Luckily with vegetarianism you can still enjoy animal products to go along with fruit and vegetables.
Cheese, eggs and yogurt are great for protein, with the calcium in cheese known for strengthening bones and teeth. Eggs are good for concentration and contain vitamin D, which is hard to source from food. Grilled halloumi is a popular option.
Find The Right Diet for You
Remember, even some vegan products can be unhealthy. Whatever foods and diets you align with, just make sure they’re right for you and that you feel good and energised.