Ever since vegan and vegetarian diets became popular, corporations turned their marketing energy to luring newcomers to these lifestyles to buy their products. They claim these products make the transition from animal foods easier when the reality is they are creating food addicts. These “transitional” products are often made from the most antagonistic food allergens in the modern food supply. It is becoming well known that there is a direct link between food allergies and food addictions. Many consumers switch over to these meat and processed food replacements only to find that not only is their health not improving, it is further compromised.
Consider that abstaining from animal products (especially meat products) is not about joining a club or fitting into a label (vegan). It’s about health, vitality, and ease of body, mind, and spirit. It’s about refurnishing our inner environment from a morgue to a flourishing garden. Mimicking old food habits can keep us stuck in an old way of thinking. The idea of moving towards natural foods helps us move away from unnatural commercial foods such as hamburgers, bacon, hot dogs, fries, and milkshakes. Transitional foods can have an adverse effect by keeping us in a perpetual state of transition instead of crossing the bridge of optimum health.
If health for ourselves, animals, and the eco-system is our primary aim, then skipping the processed vegan junk foods is a must. One of the reasons raw plant food is so powerful is it creates no additional pressure to the environment (nondegradable packaging) yet supports all life because of what it does leave behind (compost). It’s time we bypass the processing plant and go straight to the root of the matter.
As you continue to upgrade your diet and lifestyle, be aware of these common vegan transitional processed foods to completely avoid.
Seitan: One of the most popular meat substitutes is seitan. In Japanese seitan means“wheat-gluten.” It is no shocking revelation anymore that glutinous foods have a haphazard effect on our health, ranging among digestive inflammation, cognitive decline, nervous system dysfunction, and a compromised immune system. It’s important to note that just because you may not have an “overt” reaction to gluten, this does not mean you are not being affected by it. When I was in the transitional phases of my raw food and meatless journey I turned to this substitute numerous times. The responses from my body were subtle: bloating and a decline in energy and mental focus. Now after years of cleansing my body of old food residues, I feel the effects almost immediately.
Skip the seitan (and other gluten-rich foods) and focus more on non-processed plant proteins and fats such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, avocado, olives, walnuts, brazil nuts, pistachios, black rice, and quinoa.
Soy Replacements: Those who have followed my work over the years know I focus a bulk of my research on hormones and neurological health. For this reason (and many others) I advise against large amounts of soy consumption. It has been estimated by The Institute of Responsible Technology that 94% of soy in the western world is genetically modified. Due to the publicized dangers of consuming pasteurized, homogenized, hormonally injected, grain fed dairy products, the soy replacement craze took over. I was convinced during my transitional years that soy milk represented the holy grail of healthy “milk” replacements. This was until I began to seriously research subjects like andropause (male menopause), estrogen dominance, and cancer.
Replace the soy substitutes with organic nut and seed milks such as almond, hemp, pine nut, cashew, brazil nut, and coconut.