The other day my sister, whom I hardly ever see, invited me over for lunch. We were catching up on many things and she was enthusiastically regaling me with stories from her latest overseas trip. It was great to see her and she was glowing with excitement and was full of energy. As we were chatting away, a bell rang from the kitchen. Lunch was ready. She unenthusiastically led me to the dining table. I casually grabbed a seat and within less than a minute, she placed a tray full of plain, baked potatoes on the middle of the table. Now, don't get me wrong, I love potatoes. Mashed potatoes, chips and baked potatoes with garlic and herbs are some of my favorite foods. But, those were just plain Jane potatoes.
"Where's the salt?" I asked casually.
"Oh, no. There's no salt in this house" She strictly replied.
I was a little confused, but not too surprised. Salt ain't for everyone.
"You have some sauce or something I can add to this?"
Nope. No sauce either. She proceeded to explain to me that she's on some potato only diet, or the 'spud diet' as it's more commonly known. It didn't make any sense, so I asked her the one question anyone would ask after learning that, which was WHY? Well, truth is, I don't think she even understood why. Apparently, some dude went on it for a whole year and lost loads of weight. Now, it's a sensation and every person intending to lose a pound or two is giving it a shot for a few months.
Fast forward a week from then, I was catching up with one of my closest friends for a light game of HORSE (basketball shooting game). We were chatting away and catching up on life; sharing the latest gossip in conjunction with some friendly banter. At some point, he mentioned that his cousin is trying this thing called the 5:2 diet. I curiously asked what it is. He explained that it's some popular FAD in which the person consumes whatever he or she desired in 5 days and on the other 2 days, they effectively fast by only consuming a mere 500 calories per day. It sounded terrible. I'm no nutrition wiz, but even I had the common sense to know it's nonsensical and clearly unhealthy.
A week later, I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed a lengthy post by a friend who's commonly known as the tacit type. He was announcing that he's going on a 10 day fast. Yes, you're not misreading this. A 10 day fast in which he does not consume any food or nutrients at all. Just 8 liters of water. It's meant to obviously help him lose weight and revitalize the body. I sent him a private message stipulating there are better ways to go about it without having to torture his body, but he didn't reply.
WANNA CONNECT TO THE PLANT-BASED COMMUNITY?
It then dawned upon me how many people in my life will go through extreme, unhealthy lengths to lose a few meaningless pounds. It utterly frustrates me to see people I love, care about, and respect endure such destructive eating habits. And for what? A quick fix! It irritates me that people will try every stupid diet under the sun, but when you casually suggest they try a vegan diet, they go off and tell you how hard it is to give up cheese, bacon or eggs. For God's sake! You're eating potatoes for a whole frigging month! You're fasting like an idiot for 10 days, or you're on some dumb, random fancy sounding ratio diet. None of which are backed by any scientific merit or hold any valid credibility. They are just 'cool' or 'popular'. Do the founders of those diets care about your health? Absolutely not! They don't give two pretzels and a bagel about your health. In fact, they don't care about anything other than their own bank accounts and personal legacy.
Veganism, on the other hand, isn't owned by anyone. There's no ONE way to go about it. There's no ridiculous time frame. No compromise. And yes, no risk associated with it. I did eventually tell my sister to quit her ridiculous spud diet and try a different kind of diet. I told her to go vegan. All she'd have to do is cut off meat, eggs and dairy. She'll be eating less fat and more nutritious foods. She said she'll consider it. My blood instantly began to boil. Not because I'm an angry man, but because I genuinely care about her and don't want her to harm her body. I'm seeing her tomorrow and we'll be watching the film 'What The Health' together; a documentary which I believe EVERY human in this world should watch. Hopefully, it will help her come to her senses.
The point of this article is to highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of people. Veganism will not only lower your risk of heart disease, help you lose weight or attenuate your diabetes; it will give you something more intangible than any diet this world has ever embraced: a guilt-free conscience which will, in turn, make you feel happier, emotionally lighter and more energized. That in itself should be enough.
So, to any of the Omnivores or Veg-Curious folks reading this- ditch the fads. Dump the Atkins diet, juice only diet, spud diet, Paleo diet or any of those ridiculous, restricting, nonsensical fads that are barring you from truly enjoying your life, and go on the one diet that will actually work without having to sell your soul to the devil or compromise your lifestyle. I challenge you to give veganism a go. 2 weeks, 30 days... Just try it. I'm pretty sure you'll not look back.