A friend from America once told me about a slogan that exists over there for a popular supermarket that describes itself as ‘at the corner of happy and healthy’, and although the cringe factor of that is eye-roll-worthy, there is an important concept in there. What we eat isn’t just a matter of giving our bodies some kind of energy, it’s about giving them good quality energy; energy that is compatible with us. In this way, we’re much like cars in need of gas. I’m no mechanic but I’m pretty certain that if you filled up a vehicle with the wrong kind of petrol it wouldn’t run at all, let alone at its best.
We’ve all experienced this ourselves, I’m sure. You know, that day you ate fast food twice, an extra piece of cake and somehow forgot fruit existed? Yep, we’ve all been there. And most of us can feel the impact of that either straight away or the day after: the tiredness, the sluggishness, the mood swings, the irritability… Even if you never linked these things to what you were eating, it is likely that the food you choose to fuel your body with is leaving its mark on you through how you feel physically and mentally – whether that’s positive or negative.
Since going vegan in April 2015, I have become a lot more interested in how the food we eat impacts both our bodies and our minds. I’ve learnt about the devastating impact meat and dairy can have on the body and more recently started looking into the intricacies of eating plant-based. So when HealthLabs.com contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in collaborating with them in order to bring awareness to the importance of fueling our bodies with food that’s compatible with us, I got excited.
Who are HealthLabs.com?
HealthLabs.com are an online service for people in the US to order all kinds of tests to be carried out at certified local labs – from allergy testing to disease testing. They’ve recently launched a new test that specifically relates to figuring out the ways in which animal products impact us individually, allowing people to make an informed decision about their diet based on personalised information. For those who are already vegan, there’s another test which will help people determine if they’re eating the right balance of plant-based foods to get all of their vital nutrients. Both of these tests are giving people the power of knowledge, and that’s something I can certainly get behind!
Considering going vegan?
Everyone’s relationship with food is different. If you’re looking to change what you eat, you’ve probably turned to Google at some point in the hope that you’d be enlightened in some way. And then become overwhelmed. There is so much information out there, how could you possibly ever sort through it all, work out what’s scientifically-based fact and what’s sensationalist? You desperately want to be a little healthier and in tune with what your body needs, but how?
Chances are, you’ve come across the concept of veganism. Eating plant-based foods has exploded all over social media and is reflected on supermarket shelves too. The variety of vegan options, outside of the basic staple foods that have always been there (fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, bread, etc.) is growing month on month. Milks are being made out of things you never thought could become a palatable liquid (yeah, quinoa milk exists) and falafels are filling up grocery store fridges at an extraordinary rate.
So if you haven’t been living under a rock in the last few years it’s likely you’ve come across it. But you might be apprehensive about the whole thing. For a lot of people, going vegan is a paradigm shift. It shakes the foundations they’ve grown up on and can seem like a radical diet change. As information flies at you from the screen, it can make you want to run and hide. How is eating plants going to help? Is that the path your body craves?
These are the questions HealthLabs.com is trying to help us answer. Many people, including me, advocate for plant-based eating, claiming that it is better for our bodies. But hearing other people’s opinions is not always the most reassuring way to make a decision, especially when it comes to something so personal as your body.
HealthLabs.com have designed an allergy test which will let you know how your body reacts to up to 38 animal products (with the comprehensive test, 18 for the basic one). This gives you knowledge, personal to your body, with which you can make an informed decision. People can be allergic to things without necessarily realising it – in fact, around 65% of the world’s population have a reduced ability to digest lactose, yet I’m pretty sure a lot of those people consume dairy.
Already vegan but not sure you’re doing it ‘right’?
For me, going vegan wasn’t necessarily a health choice. I decided to follow a plant-based diet three years ago simply because I didn’t want anything to die in order for me to eat. That’s still my main priority, but now I am a lot more interested in the health side too and if I was in the US I’d certainly be intrigued to do HealthLabs.com’s vegan nutrition test.
This tests you for 11 common deficiencies that many people can suffer from, whether you’re vegan or not. This will then allow you to make appropriate adjustments to your plant-based diet to ensure it’s as well-rounded as it can be!
So to summarise…
As humans we can be susceptible to intolerances, allergies and deficiencies. By testing for these you have the ability to make informed choices about your lifestyle and diet. Of course, I’d encourage everyone to look into veganism regardless, because I believe it’s a great thing to do for yourself and the planet, and it can be done in your own time.
If you are interested in checking out any of the vegan HealthLabs.com tests (either for allergy testing or deficiency testing), you can get 25% off with the code ALYSJOURNAL25 🙂
As cheesy as it sounds, we’re all on our own journeys to ‘the corner of happy and healthy’; if anyone thinks veganism could be a good path for them then feel free to ask questions – I’d be more than happy to do my best to answer them ❤
This post is in collaboration with HealthLabs.com. All views expressed are my own.
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