Going Vegan; A Beginners Guide
So you have decided to make the change and go vegan. Firstly, congratulations! This is a very exciting first step. Are you feeling overwhelmed or not sure where to start? Let us guide you with a few simple suggestions.
What is veganism?
Veganism, or a plant-based diet, means that you do not eat any animal products, including insects, fish, shellfish and even honey. Veganism is a way of life; this doesn’t just apply to eating. True veganism excludes exploitation of and cruelty to animals for clothing (silk, leather and furs) and other purposes (Zoos, aquariums and horse racing).
Start making changes.
Make small changes first, like replacing your coffee cream or milk with almond or rice milk and butter for coconut oil. When you’re feeling ready, after a few weeks, start removing meat and eggs and increasing the amount of plant-based foods each meal. By now, you should be able to try changing one meal at a time–having a vegan breakfast during the first week, then adding a vegan lunch during week two and eventually eating all three meals as vegan. You may already know this, but there is a plant-based alternative for almost anything you can think of.
Why go vegan?
I would like to point out that you can embrace as much or as little of veganism as you are comfortable with, as people have many reasons why the have chosen to go vegan. But I would like to share some of the benefits not just to your health, but to the environment, veganism has.
Plant-based diets are rich in nutrients–things like iron and calcium–and protein. A plant-based diet is also low in saturated fat but high in fibre and packed with antioxidants. This drastically decreases common diseases like high cholesterol, heart disease and cancer. Another benefit is you will experience more energy and younger looking skin. Who could complain about that?!
By going vegetarian, we can reduce the impact of climate change, rainforest destruction, and pollution, while saving water and other precious resources.
Here is a yummy vegan recipe from Monique Luci, to get you started and hopefully now you are set to embracing veganism whole-heartedly!
Potato, Squash & Asparagus Frittata
Who said you can’t have frittata if you’re vegan! Try capsicum, mushrooms, zucchini or spinach for different varieties. This is delicious served warm with crusty bread and a crisp green salad. Serves 4-6
- 400g / 14.10 oz potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 250g / 8.80 oz butternut squash, cut into large chunks
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into thirds
- 1 large onion, thickly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 250g / 8.80tofu
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp savoury yeast flakes
- 1 tsp mild paprika
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp vegan margarine
- 1 Tbsp Tofutti sour ‘cream’ or cream ‘cheese’
- 1 handful parsley and/or chives, chopped
- Fry potatoes and squash until golden brown, then add onion, garlic and dried herbs and continue cooking until onions are soft and brown. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Tip vegetable mixture into a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
- Place tofu and remaining ingredients (except the fresh herbs) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, stir in fresh herbs.
- Pour the tofu mixture over the vegetables and smooth with a knife.
- Bake in a medium hot oven for 30-40 minutes.