Not only a type of diet, but also a lifestyle, The Vegan Society describes veganism as “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”
Following a well-planned, plant- based, vegan diet, has many scientifically proven health benefits, such as preventing and lowering your chances of experiencing obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, cataracts, arthritis, osteoporosis and cancer. It also has other benefits, including increased energy; healthier skin, hair and nails; fewer migraines; and less severe PMS symptoms. For these reasons, it makes sense that veganism has been increasing in popularity over the years.
What is not very well known is that veganism is not only good for the human body, but also for the environment — and consequently, for animals’ well-being. The meat industry uses 2,400 gallons of water to produce 453 grams of meat, while growing the same amount of wheat requires only 25 gallons of water. And it is also estimated that 700 million tons of food that could be consumed by humans (and could combat word hunger) goes to livestock each year. Not to mention the terrible conditions that animals are kept prior to their death (during their whole lifetime) and the terrible ways they are sacrificed.
Knowing that, there are many people interested in trying out veganism, either as a diet or a lifestyle. However, they often feel frightened about the common misconception that this decision may affect their finances or expenses negatively. To answer this question, we talked to Beatriz Passarelli, a vegan influencer that believes — and is living proof — that it is absolutely possible to have a vegan lifestyle while not spending much money, and even spending less than non-vegans.
Beatriz chose veganism when she noticed the many positive impacts it would have on the environment, her health, and most importantly, on the animals’ lives. She created an Instagram account called “veggieralizando” where she shares tips and her opinion on restaurants, recipes and her day-to-day vegan lifestyle.
When asked about the diet’s financial matter, she told us that she spends much less with food now than when she wasn’t vegan because fruits and vegetables are less expensive than meat and cheese.
She also states that veganism is only expensive if you keep your options very industrialized, which tends to not be cheap (and healthy!). For that reason, her best tip is to keep things simple: she really likes cooking and her day-to-day meals include: grains (brown rice, corn), beans (baked beans, chickpeas, lentil), vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, kale) and a salad (lettuce, tomato). For breakfast and afternoon snacks, fruits and seeds are always a good fit. For easy vegan recipes, make sure to check her Instagram posts and her daily Instagram Stories!
She also recommends looking for vegetables at street-markets and buying nuts and flours in bulk, which tends to be less expensive than shopping at super-markets.
She also encourages those that have a very busy schedule to spare at least 2 hours on the weekends to cook their meals for the week and then freeze it, so when you want to consume it, the only thing you have to do is warm it up! (Remember that vegetables cook much faster than meat, chicken and fish!)
However, if cooking is not your thing, she also shared with us a few of her favorite cheap vegan restaurants in São Paulo, such as:
- Pop Vegan Food (at night they have the amazing “all-you-can-eat pizza”)
- Loving Hut
- Prime Dog
- Casa Raw
“Visiting these four restaurants you can taste a big variety of food, including pizzas, oriental food, hot dogs, sandwiches and also fresh and healthier options.”
For cosmetics, her favorite brands are Tracta and Vult. “It is very affordable, the quality is amazing and it doesn’t test on animals. The majority of their products don’t have components of animal origin, but just remember to pay attention and read the components!”
When asked about vegan clothing and shoe brands, she states that this is a growing market in Brazil and it is not very popular yet. Here are some of her favorite stores:
- Insecta Shoes
Another tip she gives to vegans, vegetarians, vegan aspirants and even non-vegans is to make an appointment with a nutritionist. “It is extremely important since each body is different and unique and requires special care. A nutritionist is going to help you with portion sizes and what you should be eating to be the healthiest version of you.” For vegans and vegetarians, she strongly encourages searching for a professional who specializes in those lifestyles.
Beatriz Passarelli also recommends to always have a snack in your handbag. Even though the movement is growing in Brazil, there are still many places that don’t have vegan and vegetarian options.
Finally, she says that being a vegan is extremely fun and gives her many opportunities to discover new flavors. “You may be surprised with how much you end up liking it!” She encourages on having a vegan diet not only because it is delicious and affordable but also because it is the best option for the environment, our health and the animals!
For more tips, recipes, incredible food pictures and encouragement, make sure to follow Beatriz Passarelli on Instagram (@veggieralizando). I’m sure you’ll learn many things and will love veganism!