While I think eating vegan is one of the best ways to take control of and improve your health, there are many ways to eat "junk food" in the vegan world. Just because you eat vegan doesn't mean you are eating healthfully.
If you live on an endless rotation of fries, non-dairy cheese pizza and Oreos, you aren't doing your body much of a favor. You're just exchanging one type of food for another.
Vegan Hope wrote a great post today titled: "Say good-bye to vegan junk food" where she states -
... As much as we want to believe that consuming the vegan version of our old favorite junk foods is healthier, it is really not that much healthier. (except of course, it is healthier for the animals).
But what message does it send to our friends, family and close circle if we as vegans start to get the very diseases that we keep saying that vegans don’t get? And what if our doctors see this in us and tell us it is the vegan diet that is making us sick?
I think as vegans, often we think that we have already given up SO much just by going vegan. And it is true, we have given up a lot. But at the same time, I don’t think we should see being vegan as a sacrifice, but more as something that set us free from a horrible industry. Giving up junk food should be seen in the same light. It is not a sacrifice, it is not a punishment, rather, something that sets us free from some pretty awful industries.
Read the rest of the article above because she makes some great points.
This post really hits home.
We are vegan as, but I would say were somewhere in the mid-way point of eating whole foods and healthfully all the time and eating junk. We go out to eat and will eat Daiya-filled calzones. Maybe once every few months I'd eat some Oreos. I don't really like Tofurkey but we will get stuff like Smart Ground for tacos. And I know I use way to much EarthBalance on my toast. Plus I bake a lot, roast veggies in oils etc.
The challenge we have is sugar and oil. The stuff we add when we cook at home. We cook a lot and eat out a fair bit (where I can't control what's in the food as easily) and I think that is where I am going to face the biggest challenge. It was easy to adapt the foods that I made before to being vegan. But we were big "gourmet foodies" and used lots of rich ingredients. Now I'm just doing that same thing with different vegan options that are possibly just as "junky" in their own way.
I've been a good cook and known how to cook my whole life. Now I feel I need to scrap that and start over. It feels like we made a big change and now we need to do another whole overhaul. It's kind of exhausting to think about and being a busy couple who works long long hours, its daunting. And, of course, no one likes change.
That said, I know this is more the direction we should go in. I just need to find a way and time to clear my head and preconceived notions of how and what to cook and add in some new meals that are even better for us than what we are doing now.