31 Jul 2017
3 min read
There was a time when I thought that veganism was just a trendier term for vegetarianism. Increasing media attention on veganism—largely due to celebrities’ endorsement of this lifestyle—slowly made me realise that adopting the vegan diet demands a whole new level of discipline. And we are not just talking about simply avoiding meat-based items, but also forgoing anything that comes from animals, which, of course, includes dairy products, eggs and any other animal products.
I recently talked to Kathryn Sunantha—proprietor of Bliss Raw Café and also a holistic and wellness Coach, who has practised food nutrition under the renowned David Wolfe—about veganism and the myths surrounding it.
- It is too costly
“One thing is for sure: if it is cheap, it comes with a greater price at the end,” says Sunantha. She further explains that opting for organic, healthy food is comparatively more expensive, but you are paying for a healthy lifestyle, which will result in less money spent on medical bills.
- It is difficult to practice veganism in Nepal
Sunantha says that it is actually easier for her and fellow vegans here in Nepal than in some other countries. “For instance, many people here already have a piece of land at their premises to make a small garden to grow vegetables. Replace chemicals with organic compost, and you have fresh, organic produce without much added cost.” She adds, Nepal is home to various superfoods like hemp seeds and buckwheat—you have easy access to vegan foods to practice a healthy, vegan lifestyle.
- Veganism=Protein deficiency
“This is one of the biggest misconceptions people have regarding veganism. Being a vegan and not consuming meat does not equate to protein deficiency in your diet. There are many vegan alternatives that are packed with protein goodness,” she says. Some examples? Lentils (dal), black beans, hemp seeds, broccoli, spinach and nuts.
For Sunantha, whose passion is food, veganism is not just a label but a lifestyle. “How you eat should not be about putting yourself into boxes and should not be taken as a special club/privilege. Instead, you should choose to eat healthier. It should be a conscious decision that you make to be a better you.”
- Mental clarity
For Sunantha, this is something that she has personally experienced and which is why she continues pursuing veganism. Eliminating toxic food and sticking to clean, vegan options has always helped her sharpen her focus, and subsequently, up her productivity.
- Overall health boost
Research has continually proven the link between diseases—like cancer, cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure—to fast food and meat. Combat them with a vegan diet. Eliminating non-vegan foods has also been proven to boost one’s energy level.
- Weight loss
This is actually a no-brainer. After all, eating vegan removes most of the issues that result in weight issues. Moreover, since the diet requires a long-term commitment, practising it will always keep your weight gain in check.
VMAG’s five-day vegan challenge
After doing my extensive research, and consulting with Sunantha, I cannot deny the amazing positive effects a vegan diet can have on my overall health—physical and mental. That is why I have decided to take up this one-week challenge, and I request you to join me.
- Include a serving of greens with at least one/two meal(s) a day. Gradually replace a meal (lunch/dinner) with a huge portion of healthy salad
- Avoid meat
- Cut down on dairy milk. Make do without it eventually or make your own nut milk (more on that next week)
- Cut down on white foods like sugar, white bread and white rice
- Include superfoods like hemp seeds, nuts and oatmeal in your meals
- Say no to MSG
You can buy organic, vegan and raw food items from Bliss Raw Café at the Le Sherpa Saturday Farmers’ Market