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Posted at: Jun 30, 2016, 12:28 AM; last updated: Jun 30, 2016, 12:28 AM (IST)

Going great, vegans!

They would say no to anything that has to do with animals—be it a glass of milk or a leather jacket. For these youngsters, attracted to the vegan way of life, veganism is much more than just a dietary preference

Hog on this...

  • Dietician Pallavi Jassal from Live Life More Diet and Wellness Clinic lists out some best bets for vegans:
  • Soy milk and almond milk are good replacements for cow milk
  • Consume generous amount of green leafy vegetables, cereals and grains
  • Go for soy paneer and tofu

Manika Ahuja

Call it whatever—the latest fad, a new-age ‘food Puritanism’ or a genuine environmental and ethical concern. Of late, there has been a surge in the number of people adopting the ‘vegan’ way of life.

While many people confuse vegetarianism with veganism, there is a thin line that separates the two. Ever seen a girl or a boy repeatedly turn down your offer of a glass of milk, or a pure leather jacket, for that matter? Voila! He/ she might just be a vegan!

While vegetarianism has more to do with dietary preferences, veganism is a lifestyle. In layman’s language, veganism—an excessive form of vegetarianism, is a silent vow to steer clear of usage or consumption of animal products of any kind.

For the planet

A wave of pride rushes through 24-year-old Rubaina Seth, as she declares “I am a vegan.” The young girl had been meaning to change her lifestyle for quite some time now, “but quitting chicken, milk and all the ‘fancy’ stuff was not a cakewalk for a glutton like me,” she chuckles.

Leading a happy vegan life, rich on green leafy vegetables, nuts, soy milk—a typical vegan diet, a previously overweight Seth, is now 27 kg lighter. But according to her, the weight loss is just one of the perks of a vegan diet. “Going vegan is the best thing one can do for the planet,” Seth beams.

Rewarding lifestyle

Born and raised in Chandigarh, Geetanjali Iyer is a pure Punjabi dame, now married off in a South Indian family. Much like typical Punjabis, she was utterly fond of her milk and butter diet, but soon after taking the plunge, a glaring lifestyle change awaited her— “I found that my husband is a vegan!”

As she puts it, back then, it was difficult for her to metamorphose into a vegan by shunning all sorts of dairy products. “But now that I reflect on it, I can safely conclude that the small efforts I made have been very rewarding. Thanks to veganism, my entire perspective towards life has changed,” shares Iyer, who claims to have developed a deep-rooted love for animals apart from losing oodles of weight after her big switch.

Goodbye, medication

Struggling with multiple health problems like high blood pressure and chest pains, was soon becoming 27-year-old Sahil Jassal’s daily routine, until he decided to alter his diet. “Much like a true vegan, I started eating healthy food such as tofu and sprouts, and voila! I dropped 20 kg in just a few months!” Nods Renu Mahajan, who embraced veganism six years back, “It is common to see thirty plus women relying heavily on medicines. But ever since I turned vegan, I have managed to keep health troubles at bay.”

Respect animals

After his vegan switch, Gaurav Sharma has proudly overcome his frequent indigestion and respiratory issues, but for him, “More than anything else, I love the vegan philosophy as it respects every living breathing soul.” Agrees Samvadini Nagar, who, in consonance with vegan ideology, has stopped using animal-based products. She contends, “I don’t get the urge to wear fancy leather jackets anymore. My vegan streak has made me respect animals.”

Busting myths

Dietician Nalini from Be-Lite Diet Clinic, Panchkula, undos some misconceptions about veganism, “It is wrong to believe that vegans miss out on necessary nutrients, as cereals, nuts and plant-based food are nutritious substitutes. It is the perfect way to detoxify your system.”

While dietician Neena, from Nutri Solutions, recommends veganism to people leading a sedentary lifestyle, “Inactivity coupled with consumption of saturated fats spells bad news for one’s health. In such cases, going vegan works wonders!”

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