In January this year, Vogue asked me for my healthy New Year resolutions and I said “going vegan and partially raw”. Brave words for someone with my lifestyle. Pretentious too. But the words were out there in the Jan fitness issue and it was a good time to recalibrate.
Veganism, sustainability, gluten free, low carb, Paleo diets and so on have all been bundled up into one amorphous whole though they are all quite distinct .
Vegans have no eggs, dairy and other animal products in their diet including honey and will not wear any animal products i.e. leather, fur etc. The diet is plant and grain based. They usually have no processed stuff . (See the official definition at the end )
Veganism is a lifestyle and ethical choice and I am an outlier at best . I do believe “take an egg, break an egg” is the easiest way to get protien and I do like yoghurt.
So I took the easy way out. I ordered Mayavi Khandelwal’s dabba. I am a firm believer that unless you have a little elf in the kitchen serving up all your sustainable, orgainic, locally sourced , virtuous meals you are likely to lapse fast. So the wonderful Indian option – order a dabba or packed tiffin. God bless our dabba culture !
Mayavi’s cakes, vegan pizzas and almond milk ice cream are well known in Mumbai’s organic markets. She and her husband Shishir also run My Pure Path which is a food service that propogates the culture of healthy eating .
I attended Nandini Gulati’s workshop with Mayavi Khandelwal on healthy living and eating a few months ago. They both have interesting stories you can read on their websites.
Both have battled weight issues, diabetes, hypertension and want to help others with their experiences and learnings.
Nandini has also published a super vegan cookbook with Mala Barua in Delhi who runs immersive psycho spiritual tours. http://www.mystic-asia.in/
There is a growing community of people who are questioning and making lifestyle changes and I find them all very interesting. Fortunately I get to meet a lot of them though my own position as I said earlier is that of an interested outlier.
More on My Pure Path’s dabba. They send healthy fresh food that arrives on the dot daily. You get a weekly menu so you know what to expect. Here is a sample menu
Naturally when you try something new – less processed, less spicy, less sugary, less fried, no dairy it needs time for taste buds to adjust. There is stuff I still don’t like in the dabba but it is the composition I like -one soup, one juice or cooler and one raw salad – that are all plant based- then one grain based main core. Ad there is a lot of stuff I really like.
But what I do like is the post- prandial feeling – lightness, fewer food cravings especially those five pm pangs and less craving for sweets. My hair definitely feels better. This is something I noticed when I had fresh wheat grass juice for a while – your hair gets amazingly healthy However it was a pain so I abandoned it but presumably plant based diets work on hair. I don’t miss diary – i had switched to almond milk in muesli earlier. Eggs are still a challenge – I can’t find anything as easy to whip up.
I haven’t lost any weight yet but the dabba has given me one regular vegan meal and made my lunch hour more contemplative so I am not complaining. It has been three months.
I am not fully converted to veganism but I buy into many of the food choices. Perhaps my New Year’s resolution will last !
From the Vegan society’s website : “A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”