• sangeetaangelakumar

My Vegan Transition

I call myself a closeted vegan in my many posts on Instagram because going from being a meat-milk-sugar eater to vegan is harder than it seems. 


In all honesty that battle was lost to a middle path which I now follow where I go through modes of healthy vegan eating. Now in our home we include many vegan principles but still struggle with the meat-milk-sugar aspects of the diet.


But if you want to transition into a Vegan Diet there are many books and websites which help with that transition. I'm going to share the best I know which help with this dietary transition. Most of these ingredients are available online and in organic stores. They are expensive but so are hospital bills, so you do the math. 


My influences for plant based diets are The Beauty Diet by Shonali Sabherwal which I read a few years ago. I tried her recipe for one week and lost 3 kgs (although the change wasn't really for weight loss but that was welcome) but the truth is, I found her methods very difficult to manage with no house help and a new baby (during those years). I didn't have the stamina to do so much of the prep work. so instead of strictly following it, I found ways to add elements of her book into my daily diet and my family and I have seen the change in our health and eating habits. I joke and say that day by day I'm moving closer to veganism but in true confession I do find it REALLY hard to let go of pork, chicken and meat and milk and sugar. Shonali recipes have a more Indian twang to them, and are easier to make. She breaks down sauerkraut really well her other books The Detox Diet and The Love Diet are nice books but definitely not as nice and informative like the first one (The Beauty Diet).  If flavour is important to you (and you're indian then please try Shonali's recipes) .


It was Sadia from Pick Up Limes who really got me interested in being the wholistic change in baby steps last year. We began watching her youtube videos when she was posting more, (I miss her videos which now are posted every two weeks). I began to understand the importance of prepping food for the week so its easier to maintain your plans throughout the week.


So any change takes time, and in my journey with food, this is were I'm at. There are days when I apply the vegan transition and there are days when I can't but that said Macrobiotics has been applied to all our food in our home. 


A normal day for me begins with: 

Morning: Chai (tea with milk and sugar) 

The Vegan Alternative: No Tea/Coffee because of the caffeine and dehydration that happened. Alternatives would be Hot Almond Milk (with almonds and dates) or Cashew Milk or having Green Tea (which is also high in caffeine and helps kickstart your day as coffee or tea does). with a spoon of soaked Chia seeds 

My Non Vegan Transitional Alternative: Having a Warm Glass of Water Immediately after you wake up and then your cup of tea (with almond milk and stevia) 


A normal breakfast would be: 

Breakfast: Cornflakes/Oats with with milk and sugar, or toast and eggs and bacon (the works)

The Vegan Alternative: Whole Grain Porridge,  

My Vegan Transitional Alternative: Cornflakes/Oats with Almond Milk*, granola with cashew milk (*recipe below) Sourdough Bread with peanut buttered pickles. 


I enjoy a mid morning snack  

Snack: a croissant, a meat patty  

The Vegan Alternative: Cut vegetables with hummus, sweat potato pancakes (recipe in The Beauty Diet) 

My Vegan Transitional Alternative: Cut vegetables, Chips dipped in hummus and with a silken tofu tdil dip.


Lunch isn't my favourite meal, though in many Vegan diets Lunch needs to be HUGE. 

Lunch: Rice, Dal, Roti and a Vegetable dish   

The Vegan Alternative: Brown rice, whole dal, whole meal roti, beans, salad and sabzi  

My Vegan Transitional Alternative: Chapati, bean salad and vegetable dish  


Tea Time: Chai (tea with milk and sugar) 

The Vegan Alternative: Green Tea, Tulsi Leaves in Ginger Tea with Coconut Cane Sugar 

My Vegan Transitional Alternative: Chai (with almond milk and date syrup)


Rekha the actress told my colleague once when I was in Filmfare that one of the biggest secrets of beauty was to not eat after 7:30pm. I was so diligent at following that, that when I went to Shah Rukh Khan's house once and he kindly served me dinner and dal, I said no thank you because I didn't eat after 7:30pm.  


Pre 7:30 Dinner is easy I normally eat by 5:30 thanks to my boarding school days. That habit never left me.

My Dinner: Left over from Lunch  rice, dal, roti and a vegetable dish  or if i'm ordering then its a burger, shawarma or chinese take out.  

The Vegan Alternative: Soup, Roti, Brown rice, Lentils (dal) and a steamed vegetable.    

My Vegan Transitional Alternative: Soup and Sourdough bread with butter or else a bowl of brown rice mixed with sauerkraut mixed with the sabzi (left over from lunch) (not heated eaten cold)


Now ideally you're not supposed to have a post Dinner meal, but if you're up late, according to Sadia you will surely get hungry. If I'm awake post 11pm I will eat a small snack. Depending on my emotional state (lol) sometimes its another dinner with rice and dal, a slice of cake (tut tut tut) or Maggi. 

The Vegan Alternative: Hot Water and Kalongi Oil 

My Vegan Transitional Alternative: Popcorn 


What you can't do without in a plant based diets 

Whole Grain: Brown Rice, Millet (Cheena), Jowar, Nachni, Barley, Pearl Millet, Buckweat, Ragi, Amaranth, Quinoa. Whole dal 

Beans: Rajma, Chickpeas, Bengal Gram, Chickpea green, Black eye peas, Dals

Soya: Soya Granules, Nuggets, Tofu (Silken)*, Tofu (like Paneer)

Silken Tofu is great for desserts and curry bases and its yum

Seeds and Nuts: Almonds, Sesame, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Flax, Walnuts, Chia

Noodles: Udon, Soba

Fruits and Vegetables

Sea Weed, Nori Sheets, 

Tahini, Hummus, Granola, Sea Salt

Oil: Kalongi Oil, Cold Pressed Coconut Oil, Mustard, Canola, Ghee, Peanut oil 

Sweetners: Date Syrup, Maple Syrup

Tea: Any Herbal Tea (Tulsi, Cranberry, Mulethi) 

 

Tips: 

Almond Milk at home: Handful of Almonds (soaked/unsoaked) 2-3 seedless dates and water (2-3 cups, depending on how thick you want the milk) Blend it and strain it. DONT THROW THE ALMONDS AWAY. The Liquid you get is almost milk. The same goes for cashew milk (my favourite) and other milk types. I used to make a small batch in the mornings and use the milk throughout the day, don't keep it in the fridge imore than a day it because it gets spoilt fast). 

Pre Soak a small quantity of beans the previous night and pressure cook them together in separators so your prep work is minimum. 



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