Tag Archives: health

Vegan Week : Reflections

9 Mar

So, my short-lived veganism has come to an end and, whilst I picked up some useful knowledge about home cooking and health, I have to admit I probably won’t be keeping it up full time.

Vegan Health

I certainly found that I didn’t go hungry on a vegan diet – as I had previously expected – and I didn’t feel I was lacking in protein, with many protein-enriched foods on offer such as lentils, beans and chickpeas. I had secretly hope to feel some of the health benefits; to be filled with a some kind of feeling of a higher consciousness that comes with a virtuous, cruelty-free lifestyle, smugly looking down on the little omnivorous types. Of course, this didn’t actually happen. But I do believe that veganism is a great diet – although I only lost a small amount of weight in the week, I’m sure if I’d have kept it up for a month the results would have been much more apparent. Cutting out fatty, processed dinners such as cheeseburgers, fried breakfasts or steak and chips has to make an immense impact on a person’s health and weight.

Home Cooking

As mentioned previously, one of the main things I noticed in the vegan diet was the amount I had to cook from scratch. No more could I reach for a jar of shop-brought sauce to accompany my pasta, as many of these often contain traces of egg, milk or other animal by-products. Instead it was back to basics, using a base of tinned chopped tomatoes for many of my dishes, which I could then build upon and season however I wished. There’s definitely advantages to cooking in the traditional way – from scratch – as it gives you a lot more control over your food, to season it to your personal taste.

Conclusions

Having only attempted the vegan diet for a week – and I have to confess I have already succumbed to a tasty Steak and Ale pie since – I am nowhere near an expert in the matter. But for any people starting out in veganism, I’d still like to offer advice that I found useful; so below are my top 3 tips to life as a vegan.

1.  Cook food from other cultures – in order to ensure a varied and enjoyable diet this is a really handy tip. Check out the International Vegan Union for inspiration.

2. Trial and Error – not all vegan foods will be right for you personally. I hated rice milk but really liked Soya milk – it’s best to experiment to find out what you like.

3. Eat a colourful variety – of fruit and vegetables. This is important to ensure you get all the nutrients you need; simply eating the same fruit and veg over and over again won’t cut it.

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