Posted on December 16 2019
Happy world vegan day!!!!
You might want to read my article on 'Top ten things to consider before going vegan in India' before diving into this one.
One of the best decisions I made for my body was to go on a plant- based diet. Do I ever think about going back or ‘miss’ any food that is non- vegan, you bet I don’t. And this comes from a hardcore food lover and an ex cheese pizza addict. If you have met me in person, you have seen how my eyes spark up at even the talk of food. For me, if something does not taste like unicorns in your mouth then its not part of my diet. My entire career is built on making people fall in love with food and building a healthy relationship with food. Trust me, you cannot meet any other person who loves food as much as I do. The first thing I do when I am booking flights to visit a new place is research the best food out there.
So how did an addict like me give up cheese, paneer, ice creams, ghee, butter, milkshakes forever? I have always said, do not “give up” anything but instead find an alternative that you love more than what is currently causing harm to your health. I have delicious food just like you do. No, wait, I lied. My food tastes better ;). And I am not talking about baked chips tasting better than deep fried or anything. Remove the health aspect out, plant- based food actually tastes better! Meat has no flavour. Try eating raw meat and you will know what I am talking about. Plants have a distinct taste to them. Meat has to be cooked using herbs and spices (plants!) to make it flavourful. I attended a talk today where the speaker said that if you had raw meat and a juicy mango in front of you, which one would you choose? Think about it.
So now that I have convinced you that plant- based food is flavourful, let's talk about how you can start making a switch to a plant- based lifestyle.
- Give yourself enough time to fall in love with it. Give your taste buds time to transition and be consistent with small changes you make. Do it long enough for you to start enjoying the taste of vegan food. Trust me, you will.
- Make only one change at a time. Maybe starting your day with a smoothie like this . And no, these are NOT only for your post workout but can be had anytime. Or maybe switching just your lunch into dairy/ meat free?
- Find an alternative you like! Now do not expect to fall in love with almond mylk and soy curds from the very first time you try it. If you make curds at home, even store bought curds will not taste good enough for you. So obviously try multiple alternatives and choose one you like the best. Why only cow titty milk when you can have hemp mylk, soy mylk, cashew mylk, almond mylk, rice mylk, peanut mylk, oats mylk and the list goes on and on.
- Be ready for some trial and error cooking at home. Soy curds clicked the very first time I made it at home. Check out my recipe link here but almond curds made at home was a disaster. Hey you live and learn.
- Reach out! Follow some inspirational vegans on facebook and Instagram. Trust me the recipes and pictures they upload will make anyone want to turn vegan.
- Try a rainbow of fruits and veggies. Especially if you travel and see something exotic that grows on trees, EAT IT! Colours excite us and the plant kingdom has such a wide range of flavours to offer. An apple tastes so different from an orange or a papaya. Try them all!
- Go spice shopping- actually. I love Food Hall for this but if you find a cheaper alternative please comment below. Spices add the excitement to your food. Go shop for spices and experiment with it. I just made a herbal tea with cut apples, cinnamon and cloves and it was like magic early cold- rainy Bangalore morning.
- Explore all the vegan restaurants in your town and eat from each one of them, twice. This will open up your mind to the kind of options available. Restaurants also cook for the best taste and you will learn how to make your food tasty.
- Try at least one new recipe per week. This way you are constantly learning new flavours and keeps food fun. I love the youtube page 'Hot for food' if you want to try new recipes.
Hope these steps help you to take your first step!