So you’ve taken the first steps towards a vegan lifestyle, congratulations!
But this is just the beginning and now you’re feeling a little bit swamped. To give you some help with making the transition, we’ve chatted to Jay Gardner, committed vegan of over 18 years and founder of Jay G Fitness. From his favourite products to take on holiday to some great recipes, here are his top tips for keeping up that momentum:
What inspired you to be a Vegan?
I'll try and keep my answers short as I can waffle on all day when it comes to everything vegan, Health & Nutrition. I hit a point in my life where I was sick of my diet, and I guess my lifestyle. I wanted something new that was healthier. I wanted a diet that would minimise my risk of chronic disease later in life. Within a very short time I went vegan. When doing so I researched the best and healthiest diets on the planet and reducing animal products seemed to be the way forward. I then came across the vegan diet and switched to that the next day after reducing meat for around 3 weeks. At the time I was seeing the Dr for a couple minor things which they 1. Couldn't find what it was and 2. Always said I was young and healthy (a great line for the GPs). However, since turning vegan, those issues disappeared, my BP went to normal levels, and I haven't had a headache since. I felt like I was on some limitless drug when first turning vegan. It's worked very well for me. Keep in mind I was eating meat 3 times a day, 12 eggs, bottles of milk (literally) cheese and biscuits full of dairy. You name it, I ate it. The switch to vegan came at the perfect time for me and has made me a lot healthier both physically and mentally. It’s that much healthier for me I wouldn't think about going back to eating meat or dairy.
What's the biggest challenges of a Vegan lifestyle?
The biggest challenge would have to be when you're away from home. Although plant-based diets are widely recognised and available it can still become restrictive when eating away or eating out. You'd always have to plan your restaurant trip or check where you can get your nearest vegan meal. If you don't there's a possibility you will go hungry. Having said that there are more vegan restaurants, options, and foods available than ever before. This will only ever increase over time. I've said before that the future is vegan. I still believe this. Meat alternatives will become the mainstream and farms as we know them will no longer exist forcing meat to be produced in a lab.
What's the biggest benefits you have seen by being a vegan?
The biggest benefits would be my health. As previously mentioned, I don't have a higher BP. I don't get headaches and my diet solved something the Drs couldn't find. I look better now than I did years ago, and I feel great as well.
What are your top tips of anyone doing the Veganuary this month?
My 1 tip would be to remember that there is a vegan alternative for everything so don't think you're very limited, you're not. Going vegan now is better than when I did that’s for sure. When I went vegan, I thought a steak would never exist it seemed too good to be true. Now we have different options. My advice would be to taste everything. Whatever you eat normally you can eat vegan. Go to different restaurants taste different vegan foods and look online for recipes and cook your favourite meals you'd normally have at home, but with plant-based ingredients.
My fitness app at www.jaygfitness.com has so many recipe choices that caters for any dietary requirements and allergies. The options are endless they really are. Try everything!
Jay has just launched JG Fitness where he’ll be offering tailored Nutrition Plans and tailored workout plans specifically designed to achieve your health goals. You will be able to track our progress and have a 24/7 support function.
“After changing my lifestyle around over 3 years ago to become the healthiest I've ever been, I’m now wanting to help others, ultimately making them healthier both physically and mentally. It’s amazing to see people achieve their health & fitness goals and the smile on their face is priceless knowing you've helped them to become the best version of themselves. If you're looking to make a change head over to www.jaygfitness.com.”