Veganism isn’t just a fad, it’s a global movement that is shaping modern culture, health, food production, and markets. There are merits to the claims that vegans are reducing their impact on the planet, surely, because plant proteins require far less land, water, and time to go from farm to plate than plant proteins. The health claims about veganism can be mixed, however, because people have a wide variety of dietary preferences - not just because people like the taste of meat, but also because some essential nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, and iron are easier to include in the diet from meats than from plant based sources.
What if veganism doesn’t need to be a full-time dietary choice? If people were to eliminate meat consumption for even 2/3 meals they may still get the dietary benefits of eating meat while reducing their impact on the planet. And thus the idea of “Vegan Before 6” was cooked up by foodie and author Mark Bittman in his book of the same name. VB6 for short, the idea is that one can eliminate animal-based products from their diet until 6pm, and then after that there are no rules (or whatever self-imposed rules one prefers).
I’ve always liked the idea of a flexible vegan diet (akin to flexitarian) because veganism in itself is not always a healthy choice. In my life I have known some people who either gained or lost a remarkable amount of weight when switching to veganism, and their health outcome wasn't improved even if they saved money and reduced their impact on the earth. For myself, I eat meat almost daily because it digests well in my body while most protein alternatives like peas and beans cause me severe bloating. Especially chick peas! Even though I love falafel, I will avoid it if I know I'm going to be around other people later in the day.
This is where hemp comes into the scene. Hemp seeds are high in protein, and a complete protein with all essential amino acids at that! So how can hemp help you try a VB6 diet? Read on to find out.
Start your day right with hemp and fruit instead of bacon and eggs
The old saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" holds true when hemp is on the menu! There are so many ways to incorporate hemp into breakfast: try hemp butter on toast, tasty hemp protein powder in morning oats, or just by sprinkling hemp hearts onto muesli or avocado on toast! Don't hold back, add as much hemp as you want. That way you're still giving yourself the boost of morning energy you need without relying on any animal products. Fresh fruit is also a great way to add fibre to your morning, which will keep your gut moving too.
Pictured above: a bowl of rolled oats mixed with Hemp Connect chocolate protein powder; also, a slice of bread spread with Vanilla Hazelnut Hemp Butter.
Enjoy a protein-packed fruit smoothie for lunch
Lunch can feel like the most tedious meal - right in the middle of the day, you’ve got to stop what you’re doing to rest up and eat up to keep going. Without meal planning it can be easy to default to takeaways for lunch, but takeaways can be full of processed ingredients and meat to satisfy the lunch craving. Instead, a smoothie made with hemp protein powder can give you the strength you need to keep going without relying on any animal products. Why include hemp protein? Well, most protein powders are derived from whey which is a byproduct of the dairy industry - cows! So that’s a no-go for VB6. A mid-day smoothie with seasonal fruit, frozen berries, frozen banana, and hemp protein will add a healthy dose of dietary fibre, vitamins, protein, and most importantly the ease of getting a quick meal without much fuss. I also add 2tsp of hemp seed oil into my smoothies because it helps keep the finished smoothie from sticking to the inside of my drink container, which means more of it goes in my tummy.
Pictured above: a smoothie made with apricot, frozen banana, blueberries, matcha green tea powder, Brothers Green Banoffee protein powder, Hemp Connect Organic Hemp Seed Oil, and oat milk.
Replace your fish oil capsules with hemp seed oil capsules
Veganism doesn’t just mean cutting out meat from our meals, it means cutting out animal products from all of our consumption. The degree that one goes to to fulfil this pledge is up to them: eg, foregoing leather goods. Many dietary supplements on the market are derived from animal by-products, and one you may be taking are fish oil capsules because of their omega fatty acid contents. Well, I’m happy to inform you that if you want to be VB6 you need to replace them with hemp seed oil capsules! Hemp Connect's Hemp Seed Oil Capsules have all of the omega nutrition you could want and are made from hemp seeds grown and manufactured in New Zealand. Compare that to fish oil capsules, which are a by-product of the chronic overfishing industry and have gone through who-knows-what process to get from sea to shelf at the store.
So, with the help of hemp based supplements and easy plant-powered additions to my food, I've been able to improve my diet and reduce my impact on the planet, all without completely upending my lifestyle!
Give hemp a try for yourself and see how you could implement a VB6 into your day. Plus, when you buy hemp products from HempHub you know you're getting the highest quality hemp products from New Zealand which means there's less transportation involved in getting your nutrition from the farm to your plate.