Did I tell you guys that I am vegan now? Well, since a while I have been thinking about it. I was on and off dairy since quite some time. After a lot of trial and error I have finally decided to quit dairy and embrace veganism which I believe is a much better way to eat and live. I have been a vegetarian all my life and have been consuming milk since I was a little child. Things have changed and I am not a child anymore and milk and milk based food isn’t going well for me. It caused breakouts every now and then. I also suffered from skin rashes and irritation for few months. It was only after cutting off dairy from my diet completely did I get rid of my skin problems!
The weird thing is that my body has been cool with dairy since forever. But ever since I have been reading about the cruelty inflicted upon milch animals and the horrendous practices that have become commonplace to meet the increasing demand for dairy products, my body has been turning averse to it. It is probably the mind-body connection.
In fact, after understanding the link between adult acne and milk a long time back, I had cut off diary completely for two months before my wedding last year in May. The only motivation then was to look flawless. I remember my skin looking and feeling absolutely amazing.
No sooner did my wedding functions and the photography and the staring at me from top to bottom got over, I was back to having my two cups of chai. Also, who can have lunch without a big bowl of curd or a tall class of buttermilk and sometimes even both? And off course I had to do justice to the newly opened Baskin Robbins in my God forsaken small town. Belgian chocolate over there with the husband post-dinner was only romantic. Sometimes I even asked for a second helping!
And bam! I had acne again. Adult acne as they call it. I went through my teenage years with not a single pimple or breakout. I always thought I was the blessed one who never had to spend a penny on Clean n Clear or Climniskin or those other bad-smelling medicated skin creams in my teenage and growing years like my friends and cousins. But shit happens and people change and hormones change and we get adult acne!
Cutting a long story short, I can’t take dairy anymore for I love my body and for I want to help the animals and the planet in my small way. Its saddening how our choice of crust with cheese burst and extra cheese is making their life worse. This time my motivation is a lot more than flawless skin.
Recently after having seen the documentary What the heath? on Netflix, I got my final kick and I am never going back to dairy in any form again! I’ve never been able to eat meat in my life, never-never! Even when I was in hostel, even when my friends asked me to taste at least the gravy, even when they called my food ghaas phoos! Never. My parents raised me a vegetarian and later I chose to remain one never being tempted to try an anda bhurjee or chicken biryani in hostel even when the vegetarian food was bad!
Although I have read most of what is shown and talked about in the movie, What the Health, it was like a closure I needed. Like ending an affair with a bad boy! As the movie finished, I knew my obsession with Belgian chocolate and cream cheese was over and it didn’t feel bad. It felt comfortable! I have a say in the choices I make in my life and the way it impacts the rest, I choose being vegan.
So that’s my story folks! That’s how I became Vegan. I also remember how my acupressure teacher/doctor used to say that the cow’s milk is for its calf and not for humans! I never took her very seriously then but now I know what she meant.
My journey into veganism began around two weeks back. Honestly, I am amazed how easy it is for us Indians to follow a dairy-free and plant-based diet as we weren’t anyways so dependent on it. Off course I don’t say giving a miss to ghar ka desi ghee, a dollop of makhan on a parantha, cold coffee and milk shakes when out with friends and off course my do cup chai *sighs* is an easy feat! It’s not! But it’s also not undoable or super inconvenient.
I am already setting soy curd for myself at home and developing a taste gradually. There is also cashew curd that I make occasionally. But a lot of what I already love doesn’t need any dairy! I actually thought of the things that I COULD eat instead of the ones I could not. It’s always good to look at the brighter side, isn’t it?
I am I no mood to look for using any ground breaking dairy substitutions. I am just off dairy and I am going to make the most of it with all that I can have and there is so much! Its challenging but exciting at the same time.
All my upcoming recipes are going to be vegan. Or should I say plant-based as that is the latest and trending buzzword! #plantbased. I had also posted on Facebook how we Indians have been eating plant-based for years and didn’t even know about it or bothered making a big deal about it! Now when the west is going bonkers over lentils, legumes, pulses and seeds, its high time we realize how incredibly rich our food heritage is. And I am talking about everything from Rajma Chawal to Idli Sambhar, Kadhi Chawal to Pyaaz Kachori, Varan bhaat to Dal Baati Churma! I am drooling already! Though I will be posting only vegan recipes now, my older posts will still be there on the blog. I like the transition.
I welcome you all on this journey with me. I hope you are as excited as I am. I am going to post recipes very often. As you can see on the homepage, I’ve added THE VEGAN FOOD OF INDIA below Foodly Madly Deeply. That’s because I am still madly and deeply in love with food and will always be! This love affair is here to stay;)
Drop your comments and tell me what do you think!
Picture 1(Top of the post); James Haskell (http://www.jameshaskell.com)
Picture 2 (Below the post): Getty Images