Like that title? I’ve been searching for opportunities to use those agonizing SAT analogies circa 2004 in the real world. Eleven years later and I’ve finally done it!
Just wanted to quickly clear something up for anyone who has been too scared to ask me, because as I mentioned before, I haven’t always been so open to your perfectly reasonable questions.
Gluten Free comes from a completely different planet than Vegan. While some people have adopted both labels, the two have absolutely no relationship to one another.
In the last couple of years, I’ve had a lot of conversations that go something like this:
Friend: “Oh, but vegans can’t have pasta right?”
Me: “As long as it doesn’t have egg in it!”
Friend: “You must miss bread so much!”
Me: “Nope. I’m 75% water, 25% bread.”
Friend: “But doesn’t bread have…?”
Me: “Vegan means I don’t eat animal products.”
Friend: “What about wheat?”
The popularity of going gluten free and going vegan have skyrocketed in the last couple of years. People often mix up the two terms because they equate both gluten free and vegan as being “restrictive fad diets.” New celebrities are going gluten free raw vegan every day! Lots of spiralized zucchini noodles and green juice in People Magazine are probably contributing to this confusion, so I know that it’s not unfounded when people ask me. I’m not offended, I’m happy to share the difference between the two!
Gluten free means that you avoid gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and the ever-popular triticale (a hybrid of wheat/rye.) People with Celiac disease have an inability to process these proteins, causing serious damage to their small intestine. This leads to pain, weight gain, and if left untreated, the potential development of a variety of other autoimmune disorders. Those who are not diagnosed with Celiac but still experience negative symptoms from eating gluten are labeled as having a “gluten sensitivity.” Gluten has no negative impact on people without Celiac or gluten sensitivity. If you’ve never thought about the impact of gluten on your diet before, chances are YOU’RE FINE TO KEEP EATING BREAD. Obviously listen to you doctor and not to me, but many needlessly self-diagnosed gluten-phobes are out there. No judgment. Just sayin’. I guess people make up stuff sometimes to feel included in the latest, hippest autoimmune disorders? Don’t ask me why.
Being vegan means that you are solely plant-based in your diet and clothing & home product purchases.
Here’s the definitive list of things that vegans do not eat:
Butter, Casein (protein from animal milk), Cochneal/Carmine (red food dye made from bugs!) Confectioner’s glaze (made from other bugs!), Cream from animal milk, Eggs from an animal, Goat’s milk, Cow’s milk, Cheese made from Goat’s milk, Cheese made from Cow’s milk, Cow/Beef, Pig/Pork, Chickens, Turkeys, Wild Game Birds, Lambs, Sheep, Goats, Fish, Shellfish, Shrimp, Lobsters. Gelatin (made from Hooves/Bones.) Honey. White Processed Sugar (processed with bone char.) Lard. And any/all animal body parts and secretions that I forgot to list. Anything from an animal or made by and animal is not vegan.
Here’s the list of everything that vegans CAN eat!
Fruits: Apples, Apricots, Avocados, Bananas, Bilberries, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blood Oranges, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Currants, Cherrys, Cherimoyas, Clemtines Cloudberries, Coconuts, Cranberries, Damsons, Dates, Dragonfruit, Durians, Elderberries, Feijoa, Figs, Goji berries, Gooseberries, Grapes, Grapefruits, Guavas, Honeydews, Huckleberries, Jabuticabas, Jackfruits, Jambuls, Jujubes, Juniper berries, Kiwi fruits, Kumquats, Lemons, Limes, Loquat, Lychees, Mandarines, Mangoes, Mangosteen, Marion berries, Miracle fruits, Mulberries, Nectarines, Olives, Oranges, Papayas, Passionfruits, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Physalis, Plums, Prunes, Pineapples, Pumpkins, Pomegranates, Pomelos, Quinces, Raisins, Rambutan, Rasperries, Redcurrants, Salal berries, Satsumas, Star fruits, Strawberries, Tamarillo, Tamarinds, Tangerines, Tomatoes, Ugli fruits, Watermelon
Vegetables: Acorn squash, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Banana squash, Beets, Bell Peppers, Bok Choy, Broccoflower, Brussels sprouts, Butternut squash, Cabbages, Calabrese, Carrots, Cassava, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chard, Chili Pepper, Chives, Collard greens, Corn, Daikon radish, Delicata, Eggplant, Endive, Fiddlehead ferns, Frisee, Garlic, Gem squash, Ginger, Green onion, Habanero, Horseradish, Hubbard squash, Jalapeno, Jicama, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Mustard greens, Nettles, Okra, Onions, Parsley, Parsnip, Potatoes, Radicchio, Radishes, Rhubarb, Rutabaga, Salsify, Shallots, Skirret, Spaghetti squash, Spinach, Sunchokes, Sweet potatoes, Taro, Tati soi, Topinambur, Turnip, Water chestnut, Watercress, Yams, Yautia Zucchini
Legumes: Alfalfa sprouts, Adzuki beans, Bean Sprouts, Black beans, Black-eyed peas, Borlotti beans, Broad beans, Chickpeas, Green beans, Kidney beans, Lentils, Lima beans, Mung beans, Navy beans, Pinto beans, Runner beans, Split peas, Soy beans, Peas, Snap Peas
Commercially Available (i.e. Not Wild) Fungi: Blewitts, Chanterelles, Cooked False morels, Gypsy mushrooms, Hedgehog mushrooms, Horn of Plenty, Lion’s mane mushrooms, Maitake, Matsutake, Morels, Oyster mushrooms, Porcini, Saffron milk cap, Tube chanterelles, Truffles
Grains: Barley, Bulgur wheat, Corn meal, Durum wheat, Fonio, Kamut, Millet, Oats, Popcorn, Quinoa, Rice, Rye Semolina wheat, Sorghum, Spelt, Teff, Tritcale, Wheat, Wild Rice
Nuts & Seeds: Acorns, Almonds, Beech nuts, Brazil nuts, Candlenuts, Cashews, Chestnuts, Chilean hazelnuts, Cycads Filbert, Ginkgo, Gnetum, Hazelnuts, Hickory, Indian beechnuts, Juniper, Kola nuts, Macadamias, Malabar almonds, Malabar chestnuts, Mamoncillo, Mongongo, Monkey-puzzle, Ogbono, Pecans, Pepitas, Pine nuts, Paradise nuts, Pilis, Pistachios, Podocarps, Walnuts
Most importantly: cane sugar, cocoa/pure dark chocolate, tea, & COFFEE
Herbs & Spices: let’s just let Wikipedia take it from here.
AND THESE ARE JUST THE WHOLE VERSIONS OF THESE FOODS. Shout-out to Tofu/Tempeh/Seitan. I acknowledge you but you’re technically soy & wheat so I felt that it’d be redundant to list you. That’d be like saying both Oats and Oatmeal. I digress…
You get my point, right? Eating vegan is not restrictive. You may have to start eating foods you’ve never tried before, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a restrictive way of eating. I encourage anyone considering going vegan to add in NEW foods they’ve never tried while avoiding animal products. This will help you see that there is so much more out there for you as a vegan than you think!
Ok. Let’s recap:
Veganism = An abundance of plant-foods with no animal parts or secretions.
Gluten free = No proteins from wheat/barley/rye/triticale
Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions. I’m here to help!