While vegetarians don’t consume meat products, vegans exclude all animal products and their by-products such as milk, egg and cheese.

Can you go vegan and maintain a well-balanced and healthy diet? Kayla Itsiness, an internationally renowned fitness trainer and author of The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide, breaks it down: “Vegans eat only plant foods such as grains, dried peas, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, soy products, vegetables and fruit.

“For anyone who hasn’t tried a vegan diet before, it can be difficult to understand which foods to substitute. There are plenty of alternatives to dairy, such as rice milk, oat milk, almond milk and soy milk, soy or dairy-free yoghurt, and soy or dairy-free cheeses," she said in the June issue of TRUE LOVE.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Intermittent fasting

In the TRUE LOVE BODY issue, Real Housewives of Johannesburg star and health coach Mercy Mogase shared the major benefits of a plant based diet. 

“Half the food we eat is processed and overcooked, meaning we lose the bulk of the nutrients and minerals. The more fruit, vegetables and legumes we eat, the more we rebuild our internal system, thus leading to a longer, healthier life. Veganism has made me more aware of the world and the environment. I feel lighter, energetic and radiant. I rarely fall ill now because my immune system is as solid as a rock. I try balancing my nutrient intake by eating a wide variety of veggies. This variety helps me supplement all the nutrients that I no longer get from meat. Legumes, beans and chickpeas are a great source of protein. I get my healthy fats from nuts and avocados, which I love snacking on.”

WANT TO READ THE REST OF MERCY'S VEGAN JOURNEY? GRAB THE TRUE LOVE BODY ISSUE, ON SALE NOW!