Going vegan

It’s about to happen for me for the first time this week. I thought I would try this, and wanted to get more information on what foods you can actually eat. What better person to ask than my friend who is a practicing vegan.
I grilled Laura, in an interview, on the sofa whilst sipping tea to find out more…
What inspired you to change your diet?
I had been considering going vegan for a while. When I watched a couple of compelling documentaries about the benefits of vegan living, so this is when I started.
What exactly is the definition of veganism?
According to the vegan society, veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. There are many ways to embrace vegan living. But essentially it’s a plant-based diet, avoiding all animal foods such as meat including fish and shellfish, dairy, eggs, and honey as well as products such as leather and any tested that are on animals.
What are the benefits?
Everyone will have a different reason for considering a vegan diet, for me the impetus was moral, but for others, the reasons might be nutritional or medically inspired. There are many benefits to veganism including those based in animal welfare, environmental concerns or health issues. The most important things are to do with what fits your lifestyle — it might suit some people to follow a vegan diet for part of the week, for example. There are no rights or wrongs; individuals must be true to their own conscience first and foremost without feeling pressured.
Is the vegan diet restrictive?
I haven’t found it difficult at all. I have really enjoyed discovering different recipes and ingredients and have been cooking and preparing delicious and healthy food at home. It is true that eating out is more difficult, although with a little planning most places are very accommodating nowadays.
How have you made sure your nutritional needs are met?
The most commonly asked question is ‘Where do you get the protein?’ It is very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetable, beans, grains, nuts and seeds contain some protein, and often lots of it. I had already dropped meat and fish from my diet, so it was less of a big step for me to move away from dairy products.
Any regrets about going vegan?
None at all. I am really enjoying this way of eating and can’t see myself ever going back to my decision. Good planning is the key to make sure I don’t miss out or go hungry. I would recommend veganism to anyone who is keen to give a try…
And that’s where I step back in… that’s me! I’m going to support Laura and try it for a week! Why don’t you try it with me!

Sayeh Woodman
sayehwoodman@outlook.com