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