Authors of “The Vegan Cheat Sheet,“ Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey have been vegan eaters for many years. Amy teaches vegan cooking classes and is founder of Vegan Eats which produces grab- and- go vegan meals sold in Whole Foods stores and online. Lisa is an avid marathoner, cyclist and widely published freelance writer. They live the vegan lifestyle.
Or at least they did. In their new book, “Seagan Eating” (Tarcher Perigree) Amy and Lisa explain their choice to go “seagan,” as in adding fish to their vegan diet.
Here is a big reason these two veggie heads decided to cheat on plants and why you may want to reconsider an all vegan diet as well: Fish provides the healthiest source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids – EPA and DHA- which are important for your heart, for cell growth and for you body’s tissues, immune functions and more.
Deficiencies in Omega 3 can lead to autoimmune disease, cardiovascular risk, arthritis, allergies, asthma, macular degeneration, circulatory problems and skin conditions. Page 19 of Seagan Eating lists many other conditions as well as these.
Fish is low in fat and high in protein. It’s a great complement to eating vegetable and grains. It’s not that vegan eating doesn’t offer up Omega 3 fatty acids, It’s just that a piece of fish delivers a home run on your plate in this area of healthy eating. Plus, a 100% commitment to vegan eating can be a challenge for some who just want more diversity in their diet.
You don’t have to convince me. I love eating fish! Heart disease runs in my family. Recently my primary care physician told me to take fish oil capsules to help reduce my slightly elevated cholesterol. Oh, just give me more fish! We eat fish at 4 times a week, grilled, poached, sautéed or broiled with a little lemon, fresh herbs and olive oil (also heart healthy). I feel “clean” eating simply prepared fish, and have learned to like the oilier fish I once turned my nose up at, like mackerel and sardines that are super heart-healthy.
Vegan eating is still one of the best ways to eat well and improve your health, but if you can’t bear the thought of eating solely from the ground up, dip into the seas and lakes.
Both Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey join me on Fearless Fabulous You! Monday, August 1, 4pmEST on W4WN.com. We’ll discuss how to buy and cook fresh fish and best choices for eating sustainable sourced fish, as well as their best tips for eating vegan at home or dining out. There are plenty of great tips and resources in “Seagan Eating.” I chapter 15: “Twenty-three Vegan Foods You Should Ditch, and Their Healthy Replacements.”
Here are five store bought foods I’m dumping right away:
- “Healthy” store bought cereals. Make your own for less sugar,
- Bags of vegetable chips, potato chips and popcorn. Make your own with less salt.
- White rice. Replace with brown rice, quinoa, freekah, wheat berries or millet.
- Prepackaged juices and iced teas. Save your money, the sugar and the calories and make your own. It’s summer! Make sun tea.
- Canned foods. We love canned chick peas in our home. But many cans and other manufactured containers contain the chemical BPA which is not good for your health. Look for cans that are BPA free or for food packaged in glass jars or bottles. Even better, eat fresh or fresh frozen. We chop and freeze fresh fruits and vegetables to use during the winter when the available produce is less plentiful (and for me less desirable).
Melanies books are available nationwide on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CureDiva and at independent booksellers. Great gifts!