Vegan and plant-based diets are highly nutritious and packed with health benefits. For plant-based and vegan meal delivery services in Vancouver, book a call with Fresh in Your Fridge. We can meet all of your dietary needs and craft meals that you and your whole family or household can enjoy.
In this article, we talk all about veganism and plant-based diets, including what these diets entail and why people choose to practice them. Keep reading to learn how to get started with Fresh in Your Fridge and start receiving awesome, fresh-made meals delivered straight to your doorstep.
What is a Vegan?
Though almost everyone has likely heard the term vegan before, not everyone knows exactly what that title means and represents.
Looking at the basic definition of the term, vegan is a noun used to talk about a person who does not eat any animals or animal byproducts.
However, “vegan” is also used as an adjective to describe a person’s diet and lifestyle. Additionally, vegan is a descriptive term used to refer to different foods, clothing items, furniture, makeup, and other tangible goods that are made without any animal parts or byproducts.
While on paper the word vegan is just another word, to many people who practice veganism, it represents an entirely different way of life.
What Can Vegans Eat?
The hard and fast rule of veganism is to not consume anything made from animals or their byproducts.
For example, a vegan would avoid eating beef, as it is meat that comes straight from a cow’s body. In addition to not eating beef, this vegan would also avoid consuming any dairy-based products (cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, butter, etc.) because these items are considered byproducts of a cow.
While avoiding all animal products and byproducts involves cutting quite a few foods out of your diet, with some proper planning, there are plenty of plant-based and meatless options to still create a wholesome and healthy diet.
Here is a list of vegan-friendly foods that are great for crafting weekly meals:
- All Fruits & Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables tend to make up the majority of a vegan diet, as they are easy to come by and have many different uses. When avoiding dairy-based products, new vegans often lose their main source of carbohydrates. Many fruits offer a healthy dose of carbs (such as bananas, apples, or mangoes), while both fruits and veggies are excellent sources of dietary fiber and vitamins.
- Legumes: When meat is cut out of a person’s diet, one of the most important nutritional considerations to keep in mind is where they can get the recommended daily amount of protein. Protein is important, as it helps to fuel and heal muscles and keep bones healthy. Luckily, many different types of legumes are packed with protein, including almost all varieties of beans, lentils, edamame, and chickpeas.
- Nuts & Seeds: Nuts and seeds make fantastic vegan snacks while also being packed to the brim with vitamins, nutrients, dietary fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Additionally, many nut-based butter products (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.) are made vegan or have vegan alternatives available.
- Dairy-Free Carbs: Carbohydrates may sometimes get a bad rep in diet culture but they are incredibly important in a healthy and balanced diet. Carbs keep your gluten stores full, helping you to feel more energized throughout the day. Some of the best dairy-free carb options include oats, dairy-free bread, and most types of rice.
- Dairy Alternatives: Though vegans typically avoid any foods that contain dairy, several types of dairy alternatives can help supplement a diet (and a recipe book). For milk, some of the most popular alternatives include oat, almond, and coconut milk. These alternative types of milk can also be used to craft other dairy-free products, like ice cream and yogurt.
- Vegan Oils: Oils are not only great for cooking with but they also provide you with healthy fats you may be missing out on by avoiding dairy. Both olive oil and avocado oil are popular choices amongst vegans. Other vegan oils include sesame, coconut, and vegetable oil — however, vegetable oil can sometimes be considered non-vegan depending on the manufacturing and processing methods used.
What Can Vegans Not Eat?
For anyone on a vegan diet, you are probably all too familiar with the sneaky animal byproducts that render many tasty processed foods non-vegan.
If you do purchase processed foods, always make sure to read labels thoroughly for any hidden dairy or animal ingredients.
Some of the top foods to avoid include:
- Gelatin: Almost all candies these days contain gelatin — along with many other sweets. Treats like gummies, marshmallows, and jello are all off limits to vegans, as gelatin contains animal products (typically from cows or pigs) that can include skin, tendons, ligaments, and bone broth. Although, if you are dying for some gummies, the very popular brand Sour Patch Kids is vegan.
- Coffee Creamer: Many coffee creamers are labelled as dairy-free or lactose-free but still contain animal byproducts in their ingredient lists. Luckily, many major brands do offer fully vegan coffee creamers for the coffee fanatics out there, including Starbucks non-dairy creamers (in the flavours pumpkin spice, caramel, and hazelnut) and Trader Joe’s Soy Creamer.
- Certain Dressings: While salad dressings may at first seem like a safe bet for vegans, many actually contain milk products and fish. For instance, ranch dressing heavily uses dairy products, while dressings like Caesar or some vinaigrettes contain anchovies.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet
Although it is possible to still have poor dietary habits despite being vegan, most people who practice veganism do so in part to gain all the benefits associated with this type of diet.
Veganism offers several key health benefits, including:
- Extra Nutrients: Since most vegan diets typically have more servings of fruits and vegetables than non-vegan diets, this also means that vegans often eat more vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber overall. A 2020 study shows that vegan diets tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber than non-vegan diets, though it is important to note that most vegans took supplements of some kind.
- Weight Loss Assistance: Vegan diets are generally packed with nutritional value while still remaining low-calorie, making this type of diet ideal for anyone trying to lose weight. According to Healthline, several randomized controlled studies have shown that people trying to lose weight tend to have more success on a vegan diet.
- Disease Prevention: Balanced vegan diets have a higher quantity of nutrients that help protect your body against disease and prevent illnesses. Some of the most compelling research shows that a vegan diet can help reduce the risk of heart-related diseases and diabetes.
Is a Vegan Diet Healthy?
A vegan diet is not inherently healthier than a non-vegan diet. Like with all diets, the healthiness of veganism depends on the personal responsibility of individual people when planning out meals.
For example, one person could be a vegan who exclusively eats peanut butter and jellies on dairy-free bread. Sure, this may be a fully vegan diet, but it does not provide the person with the proper nutritional value and balanced meals needed to maintain good health long-term.
The reason why many people view veganism as healthier than other diets is that it restricts the amount of processed foods you can eat, as many of these foods contain dairy or other animal products.
As such, someone coming from a diet of overly processed foods may view veganism as a way to cut these foods out of their diet and focus on creating a healthier lifestyle.
Why are People Vegan?
When it comes to why people are vegan, the reasons can vary. Some do it out of respect and compassion for animals, while others do it to create better dietary habits for themselves. Veganism is even a cornerstone of some cultures and religions.
Some of the most common reasons include:
- Animal Rights: Probably one of the most well-known reasons behind veganism is advocacy for animal rights. Animal production and farming processes can vary drastically in their ethicality, leading many to believe that the raising, slaughtering, and selling of animals should not take place at all. People who hold this belief typically practice a vegan diet.
- Health Benefits: Though a good portion of vegans participate in the diet for animal rights, many vegans also follow the strict diet for its health benefits. As discussed above, key health benefits gained from veganism include consuming extra nutrients, losing or maintaining weight, and preventing disease.
- Sustainability: Along with animal rights being put at risk by large-scale animal production operations, there is also a negative environmental impact. When meat is avoided and fruits, vegetables, and other vegan ingredients are locally sourced, it is easy to reduce one’s own carbon footprint while also not supporting corporations that do not prioritize environmental safety.
- Budgeting: Believe it or not, a vegan diet can often be one of the most affordable diets when you shop smart. There are many pricey vegan brands out there that offer alternatives to meat and dairy products. Yet, if you stick to the basics (fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc.) this diet is generally much cheaper compared to meat-based diets.
- Cultural or Religious Reasons: In some cultures and religions, vegan or plant-based eating is practiced out of respect for all living things and cultural traditions. For instance, practitioners of both Buddhism and Hinduism often engage in a vegan diet due to a belief that all living things should be met with non-violence.
Vegan vs Plant-Based: What is the Difference?
You have likely heard people describe themselves as either vegan or plant-based, but what exactly is the difference between these two terms?
Vegan refers to a diet that is devoid of all animal products and byproducts. The person practicing a vegan diet will generally put extra effort into abstaining from these products out of a commitment to the vegan lifestyle, which is often rooted in a deeper belief such as advocacy for animal rights or sustainability.
On the other hand, someone who describes themselves as plant-based is likely to have less strict rules associated with their diet. Most people who follow a plant-based diet do so for similar reasons to vegans but with less intensity, allowing themselves to slowly shift into a vegan diet.
Overall, these two diets are similar, but the term plant-based is ultimately more casual and carries less meaning than the term vegan in most scenarios.
Fresh in Your Fridge Meal Delivery Services: How It Works
For anyone living in Vancouver who is on a vegan or plant-based diet, our team at Fresh in Your Fridge has the talent and technical skills to craft quality meals that fit your dietary restrictions.
Fresh in Your Fridge’s personalized meal prep and personal chef services are customized to your dietary needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Plus, we make sure to use 70% to 100% organic ingredients, holistic cooking practices, and zero waste services to ensure our meals are ethical and sustainable.
Getting started is easy and only takes 5 simple steps:
- Complete a Free Call: The very first step to begin receiving weekly plant-based or vegan meals from Fresh in Your Fridge is to complete a free initial consultation call. In this call, our nutritionists will go over all of your needs and match you with the ideal holistic chef.
- Plan & Personalize Meals: After matching you with a nutritionist and chef, the next step is planning and personalizing your meals. In general, we handle this step for you — however, if you have specific requests or preferences, we always try to accommodate those for you.
- We Cover the Shopping: Say goodbye to tedious trips to crowded grocery stores. When you work with Fresh in Your Fridge for plant-based or vegan meal delivery services, we handle all of the shopping for you. We even aim to purchase a majority of organic ingredients!
- We Do the Cooking: Once we have all the ingredients needed to create your weekly menu, our team of chefs gets to work crafting your meals from scratch. If you are using our delivery service, then we will deliver your meals straight to your door at the beginning of the week. The other option is to use our personal chef service to have your meals cooked fresh in your own home.
- You Enjoy the Meal: Voila! We have planned, shopped, cooked, and delivered your weekly meals — now all that is left is for you to enjoy them.
Click here to book your free initial call today.
Benefits of Vegan or Plant-Based Meal Delivery Services
Eating a vegan or plant-based diet can be tricky, as there is a lot of food preparation involved and not a lot of wiggle room in terms of subbing in processed goods.
Comparatively, vegan or plant-based meal delivery services offer many key advantages, including:
- Convenience: When your meals are delivered straight to your door, there is no need to take extra time out of your day to shop or cook.
- Efficiency: With your meals already prepared, your mealtimes will be more efficient than ever. Simply pop your meal for the day in the oven or microwave and then enjoy.
- Simplicity: No more overthinking your next vegan or plant-based meal — all you need to do is tell us what you like and we will cover the rest.
Final Thoughts: How We Cater for a Plant-Based or Vegan Diet
At Fresh in Your Fridge, our meal delivery services are centred around your needs.
When you get matched with one of our professional holistic chefs and nutritionists, they will go over all of your needs with you — from the type of diet you practice and your dietary restrictions to your favourite and least favourite foods.
No matter how complicated your vegan or plant-based diet may be, we have the expertise to provide you with satisfying and satiating meals.