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  • Rukmini Ravishankar

Vegan Tales II - How Veganism?

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

While considering going vegan, most people have some compelling queries that push them further and further away from the choice. Where will I get my protein? Will plants give me enough energy? What about calcium? Although a good 50% of these people are genuinely worried about the implications that veganism could have on their health, the other half is simply scared that they’d miss their daily meat. (If you're not sure why you should go vegan, I've written about it right here)

I thought it would be useful to answer some of these questions, despite the fact that I’m completely unqualified to do so. However, I will talk about my experience and my vegan regime. Remember to consult a nutritionist before you go ahead with any diet plan, not just this one. Here's a comprehensive pre-diet guide:

17 things you should know before you go vegan

The first thing to know is that quitting anything cold turkey is not an option. It is very difficult to wake up one day and change everything about your lifestyle. So take it slow. Start with one vegan meal a day. My shift started when my family decided to follow a new diet plan to support one of us in our naturopathy treatments. Whatever we cooked we all ate and whatever we shouldn’t eat, none of us ate. That way, not only did we all adopt a healthy diet, we also made sure that no one felt left out or tempted to consume something they weren’t supposed to.

We start the day with 200 ml of a green juice made from coriander, curry leaves, cucumber, apples, lemon and mint. The idea is to drink the green juice on empty stomach – it serves as a cleansing agent, and it tastes really good too. This juice along with dried apricots and soaked almonds and black currants is pre-breakfast. After that comes a normal breakfast – cereal with almond milk/ dosas and idlis or what have you. My mother makes sure to mix flax seeds in the day’s chutney to disguise the seeds’ unappetizing consistency.

flax seed chutney recipe

Another concern many people typically have is the expense. Vegan replacements and plant based milk and milk products are very costly. The way around that is to manufacture the products by ourselves. Almond milk is made from a simple recipe that involves a kind of paste/butter that is prepared and stored, and then blended with water whenever required. Here’s the recipe:

How to make almond milk at home

For lunch, we have our typical meal comprised of rice, vegetables and a gravy, except with two additional components – one curry made from any green leafy vegetable and almond curd to replace our normal curd. Almond curd is much thinner and is made by fermenting the vegan milk with some lemon. Although the consistency is slightly different as is the taste, it serves as a passable replacement for curds. Additionally, I also eat a whole raw carrot a day – to keep my ophthalmologist away (stop cringing).

And dinner is simple – fruits. Two hours before bedtime, one full bowl of assorted fruits – apples, bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, and any other fruit available. With the fruit bowl, 200 mils of any juice. At home, this juice is typically of citrus fruits, but the juice can be anything, really.

And then two hours later, promptly fall asleep.

Much of this game is all in the mind. A whole bowl of fruits fills us much more than if we were to bite into one apple, one banana and one guava, even if the amount we consume is technically the same. Similarly, it is much easier to increase our water consumption when it is disguised in the form of juices. Almond milk works just as fine as normal milk with coffee and tea. Yet if you tell a non-vegan that the milk doesn’t come from a cow, they would wince. But if you don’t tell them, they remain oblivious to any difference. Whenever you’re hungry in between meals (vegan or not), have two bananas or maybe one glass of milk. If you’re still hungry, then you’re probably just bored.

The bottom line to anything of this sort is that you can do it if you want to. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If you get into it thinking that you’d never be able to, then you’ll never be able to. Fallbacks are okay. My cousin dropped a bombshell on my plan when he brought back Reeses from Canada. I threw my oath in the bin that day. But really, it’s okay. If it really comes to that, there are milk-free chocolates, faux-meats and around a dozen other vegan replacements available.

Here are some really cool Instagram pages to help you with vegan recipes, replacements and more advice:

1. @vegspirationfeed for droolworthy images and recipes. 



2. @yumveganvideos for vegan Buzzfeed Tasty. 



3. @veganinformation for diet plans, memes, climate change scares and more. 


References: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq2E1mIwUKMWzCA4liA_XGQ 

That ends my veganism series. If you have questions, suggestions, rants or anything else you want to tell me, fill up the form below or hit me up on Instagram @title.credits. Again, make sure to consult a physician before going the vegan way. 

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