One good thing that has come out of everybody being on lockdown is that I have found more time for cooking healthier meals. Each day used to be such a rush that we would often grab quick and easy dinners like frozen pizzas and chips.
I ordered a huge box of market fresh fruit and vegetables just over a week ago from a local family which was delivered to our door. It has lasted well over a week and a half and we still have some left. The kids found this to be a huge novelty, they were constantly going to the overflowing fruit bowl instead of eating other snacks and I had enough vegetables and salad to go with every meal.
My teenage daughter has discussed with me before about changing her diet, maybe trying out being a vegetarian or a vegan, she said it would help clear up her skin and make her feel better in general. I do however worry about her missing out on certain nutrients from fish and meat, especially while she is still growing.
We have tried vegan hotdogs in Brighton earlier this year and honestly we couldn't tell the difference. But what should you know before changing to a plant-based diet?
What do vegans eat?
A vegan diet contains only vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits - any plant-based foods.
Vegans do not eat foods that come from animals this includes dairy products and eggs.
For someone like myself who is a meat eater, would I miss certain nutrients from red meat? I often crave a steak and I have recently started craving eggs, I never used to like eggs but my body is obviously telling me that I need something in them. As we know red meat contains iron and eggs contain vitamin D amongst many other things. I would imagine I am slightly lacking in iron.
There are tests available to see if a plant-based diet would suit you. These tests will check for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These tests will also determine if you're allergic to any animal-derived foods such as meat, poultry or dairy. I stopped drinking milk when I was very young, maybe six years old as I really do not like the taste of it, I don't like cream, yogurt or butter either. I only started eating cheese when I was probably 20 as I really didn't like the taste beforehand - maybe I have a slight dairy allergy, who knows?
I think I could manage a vegan diet, I would maybe give it a trial first. I love vegetables and always have done but I also love fish. There are lots of vegan substitute foods out there such as vegan bacon and sausages which I should really give a try. I do hate that I am eating animals!
If you are considering becoming vegan you should certainly take this advice on board:
Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day
Eat potatoes, wholegrain bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbs
Drink soya, rice or almond milk and soya based yogurts
Get your protein from beans, pulses, nuts and lentils
Drink plenty of water
Take a multivitamin supplement
If you are a vegan I would love to hear some of your recipes for inspiration and for my readers in the USA here is a 15% discount on vegan testing.