At Vertese® we’re very lucky that we get to work with many different experts and specialists in the field of nutrition. We asked our friend and well-known food expert, nutrition therapist and author Ian Marber, to share his thoughts on reducing or excluding meat from the diet.
Back in 1999 when I first started my career as a nutrition therapist being a vegan was considered a little extreme and alternative, but just as nutrition has become more mainstream and accessible, so has a vegan lifestyle.
Whilst I am not a vegan myself I have worked with countless clients who are and come to me for guidance to ensure that they are not missing out on any vital nutrients. Moreover they might come to see me to find a nutritional approach for day to day health issues just as anyone might whether they have a vegan diet or otherwise. More recently I have noticed an increase in questions, be they by email or to LBC or BBC radio where I have call in shows, about flexitarian diets. To the committed long term vegan the notion of being vegan sometimes must seem like an anathema but one could argue that this flexible approach is better than having no awareness at all of the amount of animal products in the diet. Recent media coverage of the World Health Organisation advice about processed meat and cancer risk certainly helps highlight this even for people who won’t change to a vegan diet but do want to cut down on how much animal derived product they consume. Now that it’s World Vegan Month, perhaps we might all consider making some changes.
I have become more aware myself and have one day a week – usually Thursdays – where I follow a vegetarian diet. Doing this has made me far more aware of what I eat the rest of the time and as I exercise a fair amount helps focus my mind on getting enough protein and omega 3 from vegetarian sources. Admittedly it’s fairly easy as it’s only one day but it is a weekly reminder not to eat on autopilot.
Whether you are a long term vegan or a carnivore considering making some changes there is always a way to make nutrition work for you. Whilst food should always be your first port of call there is often a role for supplements too – not taking them by the handful without appropriate consideration or advice, but taking the right supplements for your age and current diet.
Our thanks to Ian for sharing his views and we’ll bring you more from Ian over the coming weeks.