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5 Differences Between a Plant-Based Diet and a Vegan Diet

For the world to function properly and provide us with the perfect conditions for life, we have to respect it and any other beings that inhabit it. Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten how to do that. Modern man has become way too familiar with animal abuse and the overall disregard for Mother Earth’s well-being.

Fortunately, there are plenty of lifestyles nowadays that strongly support beneficial change. Both vegetarianism and veganism advocate for varying degrees of animal product elimination from one’s meals, while at the same time taking a strong moral and philosophical stance for the rights of our little furry friends.

Many trendy diets also consist of reducing and even eliminating meat, dairy and other derivates from dishes altogether. However, these shouldn’t be mistaken for the aforementioned concepts because they function on different sets of ideas. And yet, many people still seem to do just that.

The Differences

It’s no secret that people nowadays tend to put veganism and plant-based diets under a single category and even go as far as claim they are one and the same thing. While it is true that the two share considerable similarities between them, there are also plenty of differences that prove they are separate concepts. Here are the five most notable ones.

Plant-Based Is a Diet, Veganism Is a Lifestyle

The first clear differentiation that needs to be made between plant-based diets and veganism, is that the former is a meal plan, much like Paleo, keto or the GOLO diet plan, while the latter is a lifestyle. Being vegan implies changing a lot of aspects of your daily existence, not simply cutting out animal products from the diet.

Paleo food pyramid chart – http://www.wellwisdom.com/keto-vs-paleo-diet-which-is-best-for-me/

Although people who adopt this way of thinking are usually portrayed negatively in popular culture, their beliefs are born out of sheer dedication to a cause. Plant-based diets are more about that food than anything else. They involve strict recipes with limited ingredients so that the goals of the plan are met entirely.

Veganism Also Implies Strong Ethics

On the one hand, veganism is all about ethics at its core. People who turn towards this lifestyle are usually guided by a strong moral imperative to protect both animals and the environment. On the other hand, those who start a plant-based diet are more so determined to live a healthier, more sustainable life that benefits their own well-being.

Thus, adopting a new meal plan certainly means that you are looking out for yourself while being vegan has to do with more of an interest to save the world around you. There is nothing wrong with either approach, but there is a clear difference as far as purpose is concerned. Simply put, plant-based is personal and veganism is ethical.

Plant-Based Excludes More Ingredients

It’s no secret that people assume the two are one and the same thing, when in fact, not all vegan food is also plant-based. For example, Oreo cookies are 100% vegan because they don’t contain any traces of animal products whatsoever, but you won’t ever see them on a plant-based ingredient list.

While it is true that the diet also aims to eliminate animal products from one’s dishes, it also prohibits that consumption of any processed or refined foods. Thus, vegan junk food is strictly off limits regardless of its animal-free ingredient list. In this sense, you could say that plant-based is a lot more restrictive.

Thus, this approach is catered towards healthy life enthusiasts that also want to get in shape, which is why unhealthy fats, added sugar and any other additive that isn’t organic is unquestionably off limits. Veganism, on the other hand, doesn’t involve anything of the sort because the only thing that matters is making sure no animals were harmed for your food.

Veganism Has to Do with More Than Just Food

Although both veganism and the plant-based diet involve a lot of delicious and healthy recipes, at the end of the day going the animal-friendly route involves more than just the food you eat. As previously mentioned, veganism is more of a lifestyle driven by strong ethical and moral imperatives than a simple restrictive meal plan.

Thus, vegans also refrain from purchasing any fur or leather clothing items, settling for the faux alternatives instead. In addition, many of them choose to use cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics and skincare so that no part of their daily routine promotes the abuse of other living beings. If they don’t do this, then they haven’t truly adopted this way of living.

Plant-based practitioners can also choose to do these things, but it has nothing to do with the diet itself. Just like any other meal plan, this one is also limited to the food you eat, which in this case has to be whole and unprocessed at all times. But besides that, you have no other obligations once you decide to go down this road.

Plant-Based Sometimes Involves Animal Products

Although the plant-based diet in its purest form does indeed imply completely eliminating animal products from your daily meals, it is subject to personal preference. Many practitioners believe that certain meats, dairy, and other derivates are in tune with the whole-food approach as long as they are free-range and as organic as possible.

Needless to say, veganism doesn’t have such loopholes. Once you choose to consume anything that came from another living being, you can no longer consider yourself a vegan. With the plant-based approach, the situation is a lot more lenient and permissive. You can go the fully restrictive route, or you can incorporate natural animal products in some meals as well.


To conclude, it can be clearly seen now that veganism and plant-based diets aren’t one and the same thing. While the former is an ethical lifestyle that encompasses a lot more than what one chooses to eat, the latter is a diet aimed at healthy living and potential weight loss. Nevertheless, they are both beneficial in their own ways, despite their many differences.

Post by Luke Mitchell


The 30 Minute Rowing Machine Workout

The rowing machine is one of the most effective yet most neglected pieces of equipment in the gym. The reason for this probably that it takes a bit of practice to get the technique right, but it is essential that you do.

Have a look at this before you begin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ82RYIFLN8 and then spend a bit of time trying to break the stroke into its four components. The biggest mistake I see people make is using the arms too much. The stroke starts with the legs, then the back and finally the arms. The recovery, that’s the way back, goes in reverse – arms away from the body first, then lean forward and bend your knees until you are all the way forward to the beginning. Once you’ve cracked it, you will be training your whole body during a cardio session. There are very few machines that can offer that!

There are of course many different workouts that you can do on any cardio machine. In the boathouse, during the winter season, we often row at a low level for up to two hours to build a deep core aerobic fitness. This will be coupled with strength training on the other days. In the race season, much more time is spent on the water with a few short session on the ergo to work on strength endurance. The workout I am going to share with you is a pyramid session, which is where the intensity builds to a peak and then drops off again towards the end and is designed to build on strength endurance.

Before you do this workout first make sure that you have spent a few gentle sessions on the ergo making sure that your technique is up to scratch. Get the trainer in the gym to watch you and give you advice. You should set the monitor up so that you can read strokes per minute (SPM) and pace over 500 metres.

Set the resistance to somewhere in the middle range and then row for 15 minutes at a level which makes you breathe a bit harder but where you think you could keep going for an hour… the equivalent to a gentle jog. Try to keep the stroke rate down to less than 23 SPM at the same time a pushing enough with the legs to keep the pace up.

This is your staring level – take note of the pace over 500m and the SPM.

The 30 minute pyramid workout

Set the resistance to a middle range – 5 on a Concept2. You will begin at your starting level and row for ten minutes. At ten minutes, up the pace by 5 seconds per 500m. After two minutes, up the pace again by five seconds. Do the same four more times, to take you to the 20 minute mark. Keep this up for one minute and then start to slow down again, dropping the pace by five seconds every two minutes until 30.

Here is an example. Let’s say that your starting pace is 2 minutes 20 seconds for 500 metres (2’20” / 500m). You would warm up at this pace for 10 minutes then increase to 2’15” /500m until minute 12. Keep increasing by 5 seconds every 2 minutes until minute 20, where you will be rowing at 1’55”/500m. Keep that going for 1 minute and then drop the pace back down to 2’00”. Keep dropping by 5 seconds every two minutes until 30 minutes are up.























This is a cardio workout that is best done after a short session on the weights where you are working more on chest and shoulders than back, legs and arms. It will not only improve your stamina, but also give you the ability to workout harder for longer as it concentrates on strength endurance. I would build this into your usual routine twice a week for six weeks and then change your cardio to another machine for six weeks. Keep changing your plan every six weeks to encourage the body to develop muscle through different planes of movement and also to prevent cardio session becoming predictive and stale.



Poor Old Lactic Acid – the Pain is Not His Fault!!

Lactic acid gets some pretty bad press, but it doesn’t exist in the body for more than a few seconds. It is quickly converted into lactate and hydrogen ions and it is these little guys that drop the pH in the muscles making them acidic and painful. This article from World Rowing explains more..

Lactic acid has been cast in the role of nemesis, as the necessary evil to higher athletic performance; not just in rowing, but in many sports over the years. The scientific knowledge, however, has advanced in recent decades and lactic acid seems to play a more complex role than is often assumed.

“First of all,” explains Dr Trent Stellingwerff, lead of Innovation and Research at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, “we should call what we are measuring lactate and not lactic acid. Within the muscle, 99 per cent of the lactic acid (LaH) separates immediately into lactate (La-) and hydrogen ions (H+). It is the H+ that is the problem.”

“Lactate is both fuel and metabolic waste product,” says Alex Hutchinson, author of the Sweat Science articles for runnersworld.com. “The body has different ways of mobilising its fuel stores and it all depends on when you need the fuel.”

“When you are performing over your V02 max (maximal aerobic capacity),” says Stellingwerff, “you have to draw on anaerobic metabolism to provide the required energy. A 2000m rowing race is done at 98 to 110 per cent of power at V02 max. This is why rowers produce so much lactate.”

“Professional marathoners, by comparison, run at 85-90% of V02 max and would probably never have a lactate measurement over 4 mmol (millimoles),” he says, “but in rowers it can be around 15-18 mmol and sometimes even a bit higher.”

Measuring lactate, however, is an indirect measure, since it is not the lactate itself that causes the acidosis (or drop in pH inside the muscles). The hydrogen ions (H+) produced with the lactate cause the drop in the muscle’s pH. Normal pH in the body is 7.2, but can drop as low as 6.6 if it were to be measured in rowers after a race, according to Stellingwerff. Continue reading Poor Old Lactic Acid – the Pain is Not His Fault!!