Is A Vegan Diet Healthy?

Recently while talking to someone I had only just met, she asked me "You are a vegan? But you look so healthy!" This remark got me really thinking about the many people who fail on a vegan diet and then blame the vegan diet in general for their failures.

As someone who has been involved in the vegan food industry for the last 5 years, I have seen and heard many success stories from people who have switched over from a regular diet to a vegan one. I have also heard many stories of failure and reasons why a vegan diet does not work.

I have actually heard many stories of people who have ended up pretty sick after switching to a vegan diet. What I aim to do with this page is to help people who choose a vegan diet to succeed with their health by eating more nutritious foods while still retaining their ethical values.

Why do people choose a vegan diet?

There are many different reasons why people choose to eat this way but the most common are for environmental reasons, their ethics or their health.

Environmental Reasons:
The farming of hoofed animals for mass food production leads to soil degradation and loss as their heavy feet and eating of plant matter causes erosion. This soil ends up in waterways that eventually get silted up and are dying through lack of flow. The massive amounts of water needed to maintain these farms, also contributes to these rivers dying. This industry also has a massive carbon footprint on this planet as huge amounts of fossil fuels are needed to transport the animals and everything else related to it.

As there is a lot of cruelty in the mainstream meat and dairy industries (look up factory farming) a lot of people choose not to participate towards furthering that cruelty by abstaining from animal products totally. These vegans tend to not even wear any animal products or use anything derived from animals in any part of their lives at all.

Many people end up with digestion issues and other health problems due to the fact that our bodies are not designed to eat the amount of meat that modern western societies eat. We are naturally more suited to eating grains, greens, fruits, nuts and seeds. People also have health issues related to eating dairy products. That is widely known so I will not go into it here.

A Delicious, Nutritious And Very Colourful Salad

Salads do not have to be boring. This salad recipe is definitely both tasty and bright as well as being quick and easy to make. It also shows that eating healthy does not take too much time.
Rainbow Salad
by RawPleasureAustralia | video info
9 ratings | 2,431 views
curated content from YouTube

So why are people getting sick eating vegan?

Growing up on a regular diet in Australia, there was always meat on the plate along with lots of vegetables. A meal of meat and veggies is a pretty standard home cooked meal throughout the western world. I think we can all agree on this. When people switch to a vegan lifestyle they give up the animal products that contain lots of vitamins and minerals. This meat is full of these nutrients because the animals eat lots of leafy greens and are sometimes fed supplements.

Many then replace this meat with dishes that are heavy in grains such as rice or pasta dishes. Rice and pasta contain little nutrients, but are great for filling you up and causing you to overeat. The other downside to this type of meal is that the vegetable content is usually reduced from the amount found in the traditional meat and veggies meal.

Another product that is widely used throughout the vegan world is soy. Soy may be alright in small amounts, but in large amounts it is harmful and most vegans consume way too much of it in their daily diet. They might have soy milk, tofu made from soy, vegan meat replacement (fake meat) products made from soy as well as soy sauce. Soy beans may be a complete source of protein but as most of the world's soy food production these days is done with genetically modified soy beans I would avoid it unless it is organic and fermented soy.

Vegetable Medley

This is a very healthy dish that has been warmed on a low temperature in a food dehydrator.
Vegetable medley
by RawPleasureAustralia | video info
6 ratings | 1,433 views
curated content from YouTube

So what can vegans do to stay healthy?

Eating plenty of fresh produce is the key to any diet, not just a plant based vegan diet. Instead of relying on rice or pasta dishes and soy products, I recommend vegans eat mostly fresh organic vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds and cut down on the amount of grains that they are eating. I can hear you thinking now “Hmm, this sounds pretty easy in theory but what can I eat? Salads get boring if I have them too often.”

Yes, salads do get boring if you make them the same way each time, but I am going to give you some reference materials here that show you how you can make loads of interesting salads every day and never be bored by them. Smoothies are also fantastic inclusions in a healthy vegan diet. They can contain any number of healthy foods and the variety is endless. You could quite easily make a different smoothie every day for a month without too much effort. You will also find some links to delicious smoothie recipes throughout this page too.

What about Pizza? Did you know that you can create delicious and very nutritious pizzas without using grains and animal products. Living a healthy vegan lifestyle does not mean that you have to miss out on Pizza!

Click Here For An Amazing Pizza Recipe

Another Yummy, Yet Basic Salad

This video has instructions on how to make a delicious dressing to go over the salad as well.
Basic Salad with Phenomenal Dressing
by RawPleasureAustralia | video info
12 ratings | 1,526 views
curated content from YouTube

Why Organic?

Organic Foods Cost Too Much.

“Organic food is too expensive” is a line that I often hear from people when I tell them that I eat organic. I also hear terms such as “It is a rip off” or “I cannot afford to eat organic foods.” Well the way that I see it is that we cannot afford to NOT eat organic foods. Organic foods are higher in nutritional values and boost your immune system more effectively, so you are getting more bang for your buck. You are also avoiding toxic chemicals which are found in conventional foods from the supermarket.

Some organic produce may cost more financially up front, but you end up saving on doctors visits and other medications that you might need for colds, flu and other illnesses along the way. I used to get sick with a cold at least once per year, but now have not been sick in the slightest since I started eating this way 5 years ago. So, I am actually saving money by eating organic. Being self employed too, I cannot afford to be sick.

Organic food actually does not have to cost much at all. Growing your own is very rewarding both financially and spiritually. You can save seeds from a crop and then plant again for free. Most of the time you will actually find that plants self seed all on their own either through the dropping of seeds or from composting fruit and other plant matter months before. Growing your own food brings a sense of joy and also brings you closer to nature. Your food is fresher and therefore nutritionally superior than store bought produce that was harvested days or even weeks before.

You can visit farmers markets too for savings on produce that you cannot grow yourself. Buying directly from the grower makes it cheaper as you are cutting out the middle men plus you are getting fresher produce. Most of the time our farmers harvest on the same morning that they sell. Once you become a regular at the markets and get friendly with the farmers, you also get further discounts and even free food often too. Our local banana grower was selling us organic bananas at the same price as he always did right through the banana shortage in Australia which saw prices above $15 per kilogram. We were still paying less than $3 throughout that time.

So, as you can see. Organic food is not always more expensive and has many benefits.

Healthy Vegan Pizza Recipe

Pizza does not need to be junk food!
How To Make Raw Pizza
by RawPleasureAustralia | video info
1,889 ratings | 161,610 views
curated content from YouTube

Becoming A Vegan

Maybe You Are Already One?

Is this something that you would try?


Yes, it is very ethical, great for the planet and my health.

LauraCarExpert says:

i tried it, loved it but its not sustainable for me. I like having my protein dense meals with a slab of top-end beef or toxin free chicken. Yes it costs more, but id rather pay more now instead of a medical bill later in my life.

KathyT says:

Although I'm not vegan, I totally enjoy a number of vegan meals, and think that overall the less animal products consumed the better for the planet in general. I do tend to crave meat - but I'm getting fussier about what I choose. I admire you!

erbeaz says:

I am vegetarian all the way - vegan means you don't use any animal products at all including things like honey. I do not use meat, dairy, or eggs. I am 13 years post cancer, like to eat a most raw fruit & veggie diet. I am healthy and will never eat meat again.

annayjo says:


SheWinksMI says:

I'm working my way toward becoming a vegan. In the past I've had a very poor diet, but since I've seen the movie "Forks Over Knives" I've decided to do some more research. I love meat, but I've decided to commit to a better way of eating for my health, and I am alarmed at the way animals are raised and treated with antibiotics and hormones. Because I love meat, I am worried about sticking to this diet. I guess that is why I am gradually moving into it. First, no red meat. Then, no poultry. Then, only fish. All the while, I'll be ramping up my bean, nut, and vegetable use, and having more meatless days. Then I will try vegetarian with eggs and dairy, and then I will wean myself off of those as well.

No, I believe that animal products are needed for good health.

Jolene_Belmain says:

I could never just choose to live a life without eating meat. If I were forced to I suppose I wouldn't have a choice, but I love my meat far too much to give it up.

gardenerdon says:

Sorry - this is definitely not for me. I believe in balance and i don't see much balance in being vegan.

rattie says:

Like you I am into organics. If I lived in a hot climate (NOT Canberra!) I think I would be a raw foodist. As it is we eat a high-raw diet with a little organic meat and wild-caught fish, but absolutely no grains. I have learned to experiment and come up with some terrific dishes. The best part is that we have turnned so many niggly little health issues around. So perhaps not a vegan, but somewhere in between.

gigglinggranny says:

For me, I like a variety of food. Organic foods are important and worth the price to me, though I will eat, pretty much, any foods. I feel if you eat enough variety, you will end up with enough nutrients. If you eat enough variety, the bad stuff you may consume will not be in too large a dose. I've seen people eat a terrible diet and live a long healthy life and others, who watch their intake, die young. It is mostly a matter of genetics and luck. I do like vegetarian meals though. I just don't want to give up on meat entirely. Variety!

genuineaid says:

I like to have a normal balance.
I Love organic or home grown fruits and vegetables :)
At the same time I love organically taken care meats and dairy :)

The life is boring in my opinion if you chose to be on only one of those sides :/

view all 32 comments

Making A Green Smoothie

Eating lots of leafy greens is one of the best ways to get essential minerals, protein, vitamins and other nutrients into our bodies. But there are only so many salads you can eat per day before you will get tired of them. So the best way to get a variety of leafy greens into us is to drink them.

Yes, You Drink Them In A Green Smoothie!

Blending leafy greens in a blender alone with just water and then drinking that is a pretty horrible thought and not very palatable. But when you add fruit to the mix, then you have the taste, texture and smell of a fruit smoothie but with the added benefits of the greens. I have at least one green smoothie daily. I always use bananas as my base fruit, but there are many others that I add in from time to time as well to get variety into my diet. You can use mangoes, berries of all sorts, oranges, pears, apples for sweet smoothies and then tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums etc for savoury smoothies. The list of green smoothies that you can make is endless and is only limited to your imagination and creativity.
How To Make A Delicious Green Smoothie
by RawPleasureAustralia | video info
12 ratings | 3,253 views
curated content from YouTube

My Favourite Healthy Kitchen Appliance

The Vitamix Blender

We have had our Vitamix for five years now and it has performed fantastically during this time. It is the most used appliance that we own, being used at least 3 times each day for smoothies, soups, dressings, nut milks and nut cheeses.

A Day In The Life Of Our Blender

This video gives you an idea of the kinds of uses that our Vitamix Blender goes through on a day to day basis. Enjoy the awesome music too!
A Day In The Life Of Our Vitamix
by RawPleasureAustralia | video info
143 ratings | 25,338 views
curated content from YouTube

What Percentage Of Your Diet Is Plant Based

Just a rough guess will do.

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  • StThomasBoatRentals Apr 11, 2013 @ 10:55 pm
    all thumbs up! I don't know what to call it, but I refrained from eating pork, beef, and other kinds of red meat a long time ago, and until recently brought poultry to my diet. I am inspired by your lens, especially vitamix video to start planning taking all the meat out altogether, and brave the effort that comes along with it.
  • TransplantedSoul Mar 02, 2013 @ 5:10 pm
    I am pesco-vegetarian, I still eat fish, eggs and dairy. I have been thinking about veganism. I always get asked "Is it hard being vegetarian" - so feel silly for asking of you... how much trouble do you have in restaurants (say you are out for business with a crowd) finding vegan selections?
  • RawBill Mar 04, 2013 @ 2:25 am
    Luckily for me being in the vegan industry, all our business meetings tend to be with other vegans at vegan restaurants and cafes when we do have these types of meetings. We are also blessed to have a large range of vegan eateries in our city. For those vegans that do not have these options though, I always recommend not to get too stressed about what they are eating. If they are vegan 360 days of the year but have to resort to being a vegetarian for 5 days of the year or whatever in order to fit in with others or make things easier, than I think that is alright. I am all for taking the extremism out of veganism and making it more flexible. Stressing about food options does no one good.
  • Jogalog Feb 08, 2013 @ 8:13 am
    I eat lots of fruit and vegetables but I think I would find it very difficult to live a vegan life.
  • karen-stephens Jan 21, 2013 @ 7:29 pm
    what about B17.

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Other Vegan Issues Harmful To Health

A lot of people come into a vegan lifestyle because they are passionate about animals and are fed up with the way that voiceless animals are treated in mainstream societies today. Now, it is good that people want to stand up for the rights of animals by giving them a voice, but often this care for animals leads to stress and anger which are not ingredients for a healthy lifestyle.

It is a well known fact that stress does lead to major health concerns such as depression, obesity, diabetes, cancer and even death. So while it is a good thing to get behind animal rights issues, it is not good for our health to stress about these issues while trying to encourage others to do the same.

Unfortunately vegans are labelled as radicals and extremists by the media and members of mainstream society due to the actions of a select few who choose to push veganism onto others like it is a religion. This does no good for the animals in the long run as most people just shy away from these types of advances by vegans. The best way is to lead be example by gently showing people the benefits of living this type of lifestyle, not trying to force it upon them.

Recommended Healthy Pages


The Keys To Good Health

Eat a diverse plant based diet that is largely fresh organic produce.

Maintain a positive and happy attitude.

Get regular daily exercise and sunshine.

Grow your own food wherever possible.

Rotate your foods. Do not eat the some things week in and week out.

Avoid processed foods and anything grown using chemicals.

Replace chemical based household cleaners and personal care products with natural organic plant based products.

More Healthy Vegan Recipes And Help

Raw Pleasure Recipe Section
Raw Pleasure - Australia's largest raw food community & superstore
Raw Pleasure's You Tube Channel
This is where all of these great recipe videos came from. Find more here.
A Healthy Vegan Forum
Here you will get lots of great support and advice as well as more healthy recipes.

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Share Your Vegan Stories Here

Or just let me know your thoughts on this page :-)

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  • paynui Jul 21, 2013 @ 6:41 pm
    I have a vegan friend and he is constantly hungry. I will send him this link
  • KathyT Jun 27, 2013 @ 8:41 pm
    Bill, this is a really, really well-done lens! BTW, I saw you had stopped by mine as well - I was so overwhelmed by everyone's support, that I fear I have neglected thanking everyone properly. Anyway, we also have a Vitamix, and LOVE it! One of our friends is full-vegan and she loves it.

    I'll be making another lens on another particularly favorite vegan meal we enjoy, an Indian style spinach and lentil meal. YUM! :) Anyway, you're awesome!
  • FitAndFab Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:23 am
    I'm very impressed with this lens. You have a great grasp of Veganism. I'm almost vegan now but I have only been vegetarian and high raw for about 5 years. My health improved dramatically with the change. I could never go back to eating meat and even though my reasons for going veg were based on health, I cannot kill animals to eat them. Thanks for a great lens and for putting an honest message out there.
  • Torrs13 Apr 16, 2013 @ 8:40 pm
    This was a great lens! Very well written. I don't think I could ever go vegan or fully vegetarian. I don't eat red meat that much anymore, but I do like having steak every once in awhile. I think it's great that people can make this lifestyle work for them, though!
  • hntrssthmpsn Mar 19, 2013 @ 10:51 am
    I went vegetarian at eight, when I figured out the chicken on my plate was really the same kind of chicken as my sweet little pets. I must confess to a serious weakness for dairy, but we are, at least, blessed with an abundance of local backyard goat enthusiasts and tiny family farms.

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