Ve­g­an­ism perks in a nut­shell

Herald on Sunday - - IN OTHER NEWS -

ben­e­fits to eat­ing a plant-only diet. Re­search shows a well-planned ve­gan diet can be ex­cep­tion­ally healthy, bring­ing low­ered risk of many chronic dis­eases.

I found it thought-pro­vok­ing to prac­tise a week of ve­gan eat­ing re­cently, at the urg­ing of the team at Safe (Save An­i­mals From Ex­ploita­tion).

Be­cause I am a lover of eggs and cheese, my seven-day ex­per­i­ment had its ups and downs.

The ups were around cre­ativ­ity. I en­joyed cre­at­ing in­ter­est­ing and healthy recipes with some con­straints on in­gre­di­ents. It made me very fo­cused on flavours and tex­tures and achiev­ing a good bal­ance with­out an­i­mal prod­ucts.

I tried and en­joyed some new plant­based foods. I was in­tro­duced to cashew cheese (mis­named — it’s not like cheese at all, but tasty in its own right) and dreamy co­conut yo­ghurt — a se­ri­ous ex­er­cise in sat­u­rated fat, so a little goes a long way.

And I sam­pled some ex­tremely good food when eat­ing out — food ev­ery bit as good as an­i­mal-based dishes. The downs of my ve­gan week were less about food and more about the men­tal chal­lenge. When you start re­strict­ing some foods, there’s a men­tal shift. For bet­ter or worse, you are on a diet. I didn’t en­joy hav­ing to say no to things I oth­er­wise wanted to eat.

That meant I some­times had to eat what­ever was avail­able, rather than what was tasti­est/health­i­est — which could eas­ily mean a ve­gan diet, as with any diet, could be un­bal­anced.

I won’t be go­ing ve­gan for good, al­though that’s not to say I didn’t learn some­thing. Eat­ing more plants and fewer an­i­mals is some­thing we should all work to­wards.

But I’ll still en­joy my vege omelettes.

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Cashew cheese (here, with hazel­nut dukkah and to­ma­toes), was a tasty ve­gan find.

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