World Vegan Day
It's November the 1st so that means it's World Vegan Day!
All around the world there are events happening to celebrate Veganism, however I see nothing was listed for NZ - If anyone knows of anything happening, let me know, otherwise it's a plane ride to Aussie to join in the festivities.
For those of you who are thinking about becoming vegan, or are wondering what it involves here's a bit of info: A vegan diet consists of no animal products or products made by animals, and that includes - meat, eggs, fish, milk, cheese and honey. And products containing ingredients such as whey (from dairy), gelatin (animal protein), lecithin (if not derived from soy). This list isn't comprehensive, and if you wanted to become a strict vegan then you would most likely be interested in how food is processed and whether it had used any animal derivatives during processing, but not necessarily in the finished product.
A vegan diet is rich in nuts, fruit, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, seeds and soy products (eg yoghurt, cheese, milk). Anything you can make with animal products, you can make with vegan foods. For example, lasagne can be made with a bean and vegetable based sauce instead of meat and you don't have to go without the cheese sauce, as you simply use vegan substituted cheese and milks instead of dairy. Even if you aren't keen to go Vegan most of us could stand to reduce animal product consumption to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive and bowel health and increase our fibre intake.
Many hard core meat eaters see Vegan or Vegetarian diets as boring rabbit food, but once you've googled your way through a few websites and recipes like this one you can start to build up a database of foods that tickle your tastebuds. And if you're wondering if you are going to become nutrient deficient. The answer is no, provided you eat a cross section of all vegan foods and don't scrimp on the portions. B12 and iron are two nutrients that can become low in Vegan's, but when looking at these 2 nutrients it's also important to understand that things like excess excretion of them and poor absorption also contribute just as much as low intake. And I've seen a lot of meat eaters who are low in these nutrients also.
If you are concerned about nutrient intake, just hire a good nutritionist to help ensure you're getting everything you need and if there are any issues with digestion and stress which may lead to poor absorption or excessive loss. I myself aren't vegan, but I love vegan food.
Here's my favourite vegan dish Homemade Baked Beans and Kumara Mash.
In a bowl mix together Cannelini Beans, green beans, onion and chopped garlic, and coat with a good helping of tomato paste, smoked paprika and a little salt to season. Spread the mixture in a roasting dish and bake in the oven for around 10-15 minutes on 180 degrees. (mix the beans up half way through cooking). While that's cooking, boil up some kumara, drain and mash with a little flaxseed oil (I prefer garlic flaxseed oil). Serve the beans on top of the Kumara mash. Have a Happy World Vegan Day!!!