Why did we chose a vegan/ vegetarian lifestyle?
Jane and I have been vegan/ vegetarians for a while now, and more than two years ago, I decided to take the plunge and become full-power vegan (Jane is still eating her homemade Kefir and loves a proper Indian Railway style Chai). Avoiding meat and dairy seemed a very natural choice when based on environmental and ethical evidence. The closer we get to nature and the more we learn about the impact of large scale meat and dairy production and more we realise that this is the only way for us to express our hopes and dreams for the future. Leaving meat and dairy off your plate is a powerful message and a stance against cruelty. The suffering that animals endure to provide generally unnecessary nutrients to humans seems utterly wrong. Meat and dairy not only harm the body by labouring it with saturated fats, which lead to a long term degradation of health, but also see us collectively condoning the destruction of our planet (told you it was a powerful message!!!!!!).
When we sat down and looked at it, there seemed so many reasons to move away from a meat based diet. We feel great about being veggie; our digestive systems are better, we feel lighter and have a greater sense of well-being. Our whole lifestyle and outlooks has changed, we have higher energy levels and its cheaper!
We are more conscious now of what we eat, we don’t just wolf it down anymore. We feel more in tune with our bodies and far more creative with our cooking; having to combine a greater number of ingredients and textures to create delicious dishes. We have also learnt a lot more about nutrition and have come to realise that we are what we eat! And most mass-produced food is just not up to scratch. Food made in factories by machines just seems wrong, for a start, there is not love there. Our food needs love!
We both found that when you begin to give up foods that are doing you no good (we all instinctively know what these are) fatty nibbles, alcohol, caffeine, sugar etc, it is tough. But the cravings gradually slip away and you feel uplifted and generally look back in wonder at how you kept going before, filling your body with junk! You body needs good fuel.
A friend of mine said to me “Where the fun in it!” refering to a healthy diet. I can assure you, there is still plenty of fun in the Beach House, just minus the lamb chops. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be stuffy and rigid, there are endless recipes that are absolutely delicious and an incredible palate of ingredients and flavours to play with. It does take a little change of the palate and a new approach to the way that you eat and subsequently live, but after a while it is normal. Your palate becomes more sensitive, with less exposure to rich and overly seasoned foods and you can enjoy the subtle flavours of cooking and simpler foods.
This is not a puritanical vegan/ vegetarian blog, we ate meat for years ourselves and enjoyed it very much. We do however feel that there is a shift, people are realising that plants have to take a larger role in our diets, not just for our own sake, but to attempt to reverse the damage that we are doing to the earth.
We try to make our dishes appeal to all tastes and most of our carnivorous friends love dinners at the Beach House (even my Dad, who suffers from acute pork addiction!).
You’ll find these dishes are bursting with flavour and nutrients and we love a good plate of food so the portions are always hearty and satisfying. Our food is cooked from the heart, it’s real (good for the) soul food!
If you interested in learning more about a vegan/ vegetarian lifestyle, please see the ‘links’ section which is full of interesting veggie related blogs and sites or contact us at the B.H.K. We’d love to hear from you.
With a little bit of nutritional know-how, we believe that anybody can leave meat and dairy off their plates and live a very healthy, balanced and energetic life.
Lee and JaneX
Here are some recent BHK posts about veganism: