Veganism is definitely a movement on the up as people become more aware of what they are eating and where is comes from. For me, the rise of this healthy eating and lifestyle philosophy has been one of the few pluses of the information overload age.
In the past year or so, I have experimented with elements of veganism myself and I can honestly say that I have seen improvements in my general health and well-being. Yes, there have still been moments where I have felt run down or tired but overall I feel much better.
It is important to realise that a vegan diet will not suddenly turn you into a superhero. Neither will it be easy in a world packed full of fast foods and sugary snacks. Most vegan advocates acknowledge this fact when they encourage others to make slow, subtle changes to diet rather than becoming militant overnight.
This is the approach that I have taken and while I will probably never consider myself as a bona fide 100% vegan, I have tried enough to see and feel the benefits. Here are a couple of vegan role models that I suggest you investigate further:
I recently read Roll’s autobiography, Finding Ultra, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about his journey from overweight, overworked lawyer to a lean, green, running machine. His book is an excellent read because it perfectly encapsulates the huge potential for transformation that can come with a change of diet and lifestyle. Rich did this late in life which makes his story even more inspiring. I am currently flicking through Roll’s cookbook, The Plantpower Way and hope to get some more ideas from this great man.
Scott Durek is a legend of the ultrarunning and vegan world. I loved how his book told a great story while also interspersing it with diet and training tips throughout. Like Rich Roll, Durek wrote his story in a brutally honest manner and this makes his story all the more loveable. I wrote a full review of his book Eat & Run previously this year that you can read here.
The Happy Pear
I love these guys for the enthusiasm and energy that they bring to every aspect of their lives. If you are ever in Dublin, a quick trip on the DART to Greystones is a must to visit their flagship restaurant. (Also, take a walk along the beautiful Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk)
I own both of these guys’ cookbooks and many of their recipes have become staples of my weekly diet. As well as cooking ideas, both books are great for giving an insight into their overall attitude to life. Whatever your beliefs, The Happy Pear instagram account is a must follow.
Their YouTube account is also the stuff of legend for its easy-to-make recipes. They go out of their way to suggest recipes that are quick, cheap and healthy. The video below is particularly worth a watch as it includes some of my favourite dishes and is enough food to feed you for a week!
Yuri Elkaim’s Eating For Energy
Last but not least, I include this informational recipe book from Yuri Elkaim that deals with the nuts and bolts of a plant-based diet. If, like me, you have some gaps in your knowledge of healthy eating, this book is for you. I also liked how Elkaim created useful lists of recommended superfoods and dietary supplements.
I read this book at a time when I was suffering from a massive energy slump and it definitely helped turn things around. It might be the hardest of them all to source, but it will probably teach you the most about living a healthy lifestyle.