Episode 130: Virginia Messina, The Vegan Registered Dietician

In this episode of the Vedge Your Best podcast, I’m pleased to welcome Virginia Messina, a registered dietitian with a master’s in public health. Known as The Vegan RD, Virginia has had a long career working with various groups and is an advocate for making ethical food choices while ensuring nutritional adequacy, discusses several aspects of vegan nutrition and lifestyle.



Key points from our discussion include:

  1. Vegan nutrition and health  A vegan diet is not a cure-all for every health issue. Virginia advocates for a balanced approach to veganism, focusing on ethical choices and nutritional adequacy.
  2. Books and resources   Virginia has co-authored several books, including Even Vegans Die, which addresses the misconception that veganism guarantees perfect health. She recommends her book, Vegan for Life, as a comprehensive guide covering various aspects of vegan nutrition for different life stages.
  3. Challenges in veganism  We discuss the challenges people face when transitioning to a vegan diet, such as dietary restrictions, social support, and learning new cooking methods. Virginia advises against adding too many restrictions and emphasizes the importance of a balanced approach.
  4. Advocating for veganism in healthcare  It’s important to be proactive and positive when discussing vegan dietary choices with healthcare providers, ensuring they understand the individual’s knowledge and commitment to vegan nutrition.
  5. Eating disorders and veganism  There is a complex relationship between eating disorders and veganism. It’s important to distinguish between health-conscious dietary choices and disordered eating patterns.

It is Virginia’s wish that veganism be widely accepted worldwide and promoted for its ethical, environmental, and health benefits, with mainstream nutrition and medical communities providing more resources and support for vegan choices.

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