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Beyoncé and Jay Z Go Vegan for 22 days…Should You?

rs_600x600-131205134214-600.Beyonce-Jay-Z-Instagram.ms.120513Right. So word on the street is that the ‘royal’ couple have gone vegan for 22 days! Jay Z has informed the world that “On December 3, one day before my 44th birthday, I will embark on a 22 Day challenge to go completely vegan, or as I prefer to call it, plant-based!”. Interesting enough, public figures in the media have such influence over what many choose to eat or what new diet craze to follow, but in this case, should we really make the switch? Here’s a bit of insight as to what you should consider…

Vegetarian diets are those that avoid meat and meat alternatives, but depending on the type of vegetarianism, different restrictions apply. Vegans will only consume foods from non-animal sources – so NO eggs, meat, fish or dairy products. By choosing the right balance of foods, vegetarian diets can be healthy and nutritious, however, depending on which foods are avoided, you can be at a very high risk of becoming deficient in some essential nutrients. As a vegan, you may have a high risk of becoming deficient in protein, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12.

Another important issue to be aware of (which actually appeals to many) – is that plant foods are bulky and low in calories. They fill you up yet, may not provide the right amount of energy your body requires. This could result in weight loss and in severe cases, muscle wasting. If calorie intake becomes too low, your body might start using dietary protein to sustain your energy levels rather than for the repair of muscles and body tissues. So make sure you do consume foods that provide the extra energy your body needs such as nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Other important ‘To Dos’ include:

  • Including adequate sources of  meat alternatives such as beans, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds.
  • Taking a B12 supplement if you are strictly vegan.
  • Consuming calcium fortified soy milk, and soy products.
  • Including fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C as this aids iron absorption from cereals and legumes.
  • Choosing wholegrain breads and cereals, brown rice, oats, barley and quinoa to get you share of protein, fibre, zinc and B-vitamins.

So what did the music moguls have on Day 1 of the challenge?

  • Breakfast: Vanilla chia pudding with 1 cup fresh berries
  • Lunch: Crunchy red cabbage and green apple sesame slaw with 1 cup steamed, cubed sweet potato (or 1 small sweet potato, baked)
  • Afternoon snack: 1/4 cup hemp hummus with fresh vegetables (carrots, celery, romaine leaves, bell pepper, etc.)
  • Dinner: Black bean and quinoa salad with quick cumin dressing
  • Dessert: Dark chocolate

If you do consider making the switch, then I would highly suggest consulting an accredited dietitian for some guidance. You could also send an email to info@nutrition-az.com to learn more about how to become a healthy vegetarian. 

 

 

 

 
2 Comments
  1. Dear Ms Mikhail,

    I think it is good that you recommend people are careful to make sure they are eating a healthy balanced diet.

    Did you know there are a lot more illnesses caused by too much protein than too little? Did you know that calcium can be derived from many vegetables? Did you know you can eat a fairly ordinary diet as a vegan?
    You can get a lot of insight by looking at the “vegan” topic in the wordpress reader.
    It is not fair to write an article which suggests it is dangerous to be vegan or vegetarian.

    Look at society. People getting heart disease and cancer and diabetes from the unhealthy meat and dairy foods they eat. Having poor immune systems from not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Unhealthy people are everywhere – it is not uncommon to see people who are unhealthy in this world, deficient in so many things. But as soon as somebody goes vegan, it is blamed on this.

    Thousands of healthy people out there, completely vegan.

    Share the love. Go vegan.

    • Thank you A. Priestly for you comment.

      Please do know that I am, by no means, suggesting that being vegetarian or vegan is dangerous!
      Many patients and clients that I have worked with are vegetarian or vegan due to many reasons including health, culture and religion. My post is to simply raise awareness about the importance of finding the right balance and ensuring that people are not missing out on important nutrients, which as medical science has shown and from experience, could be detrimental to one’s health. Too much or too little can lead to imbalances.
      Going vegan is not to blame…not finding the right balance of nutrients is.

      Sandra Mikhail

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