A vegan relationship requires serious commitment
The no-meat, no-dairy diet has secured a firm place on social media and a spot in menus across town
Until a few years ago, I, a vegetarian, didn’t exist. When I received a dinner invite from an acquaintance or even a close friend, I was certain that there wouldn’t be much to whet my appetite. It was no different in restaurants where I requested the chefs to remove the meat from the spaghetti. It got me upset and furious to be sidelined because I wasn’t a meat-eater.
Fast forward to 2020, I get asked if I could ‘manage’ with cashew cream (oh yes!) and am considering making a switch from a vegetarian to a vegan. The world is now woke with veganism, and with the World Vegan Day (November 1) celebrations in the air, I am rooting for almond milk, chickpea burger, and coconut meat.
Personal preferences, health concerns, dislike for animal products, ethical reasons, or beliefs that plant-based foods are healthier are just a few reasons why people are moving to veganism. “Whatever your diet choice, you have to know which foods to avoid and which ones to include in your plan. A healthy eating pattern is essential to obtain the benefits of becoming a vegan,” advises Suzan Najem, clinical dietician, GluCare Integrated Diabetes Center, Dubai. Yes, it would do good to your body, and experts do believe that with a rise in favour of sustainable practices, the trend may soon become a lifestyle change as well.
The big question to ask yourself is, are you ready to make that kind of commitment? For true loyalty may include not just giving up cheese — but also investing in a new range of skin care and more. Here’s a word of advice: make the change at your pace, especially if you are a meat-eater. Make a list of the foods you like in your current diet, with attention to vegan foods. Follow up by incorporating these foods along with whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits. And yes, read all the labels on food, cosmetics etc carefully to stay dedicated.
All is well here, but amidst all the hype and benefits, here’s what I am not cheering for. I am away from meat out of a choice I made for health reasons, so why pity or tempt me with meat-free products like soybean proteins, vegan sausages and meatless burgers?
To help you get started
Sandwich: Grilled portobello with BBQ sauce, crisp vegetables, pickled carrots, cucumber, and aromatic herbs; Banh Mi & More.
Burger: The Vegan Burger, a black bean burger, with salsa verde, pickled onions, cilantro, vegan mayo on a vegan potato roll; Black Tap, Dubai.
Drink: Saba Kombucha, a 100% raw, organic, low-sugar & unpasteurised Kombucha (naturally fermented tea), locally brewed in Dubai; sabakombucha.ae
Ice cream: Haagen Dazs Raspberry Vegan Sorbet Pint, a sorbet made with raspberries, with a squeeze of lemon; Haagen Dazs outlets
Soap: I Am Abundance Organic & Vegan Soap, scented with fresh notes of lime, basil and mandarin; saffronsouk.com
Sauce: Zafi, an artisanal hot sauce brand locally made in Dubai from Scotch Bonnet peppers; zafihotsauce.com