It’s been almost a year now that I have ditched non-vegetarian, and this change was just out of my personal preference. Lately, I have felt the need to make more drastic diet changes for my overall well being. I have decided to try Veganism. And I say try cause I am pretty sure turning Vegan is going to be a long and demanding process for a food lover like me (and I think I speak for most of my fellow Indians when I say this). After all, I have grown up drinking milk, having “aloo paratha” with butter on top and buttermilk on the side as the breakfast staple and cherishing paneer in all forms and oh honey!
Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs, and honey. Vegan diets are based on grains and other seeds, legumes (particularly beans), fruits, vegetables, edible mushrooms, soybean(tofu) and nuts. There are several philosophies behind veganism, ethical, environmental, religious that you can read about to gain more insights.
For me, however its just about 2 lists:
- All foods I have to quit
- All foods that will make way to my kitchen
So I researched a bit about both and off the top of my mind found this:
- The most difficult would be letting go of my love for Masala Chai.
- Aerated Drinks and my occasional alcohol at parties.
- Eggs (to be substituted by tofu/ mushrooms)
- Sugar (natural organic sugar, unbleached cane sugar, date sugar)
- Milk (to be substituted by soy milk, oat milk, hemp milk, almond milk, rice milk or other based varieties)
- Paneer (to be substituted by tofu)
- Yogurt (soy, coconut, almond curd)
- Honey (to be replaced by maple syrup or agave nectar)
Quite a challenge isn’t it! But the benefits seem to be totally worth it, to name a few:
- Helps in excess weight loss
- Lowers blood sugar and improves kidney function
- Lowers risk of heart diseases
- Reduces arthritis pain
- And finally, Vegans have been found to enjoy longer and healthier lives
While ditching meat came easily as I never loved it, the choices to be made for turning Vegan are gonna be harder but totally worth it. I am going to take one step at a time and ditch the foods slowly or else it could all get too overwhelming. Do let me know if you have any tips for a newbie Vegan that could make my transition a tad bit easier in the comments below. And I will keep you posted as and when there are any remarkable changes or learnings in the process. See you soon.