What we eat has never been so important. We are blessed with the choice to eat what we want. At the B.H.K., we believe that going vegan is the most important decisions you could make in terms of your own health, the planets health and the welfare and prosperity of our animal friends. Veganism is the ultimate expression of peaceful intent for the future. We will never judge anyone for doing otherwise, we were both very much into bacon sarnies, but here is how we feel…………..
Veganism is just a name, we all eat loads of vegan food everyday. If you eat vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits, you are part vegan already! Hoorah!!!! Choosing a vegan diet, even if its just every now and again, is not about sufferance. You are not giving anything up, you are actually gaining loads! Vegan food is outrageously flavourful and moreish, naturally leading to weight loss and energy gains. Thinking vegan leads to new and healthy habits and highlights the importance of a balanced and nutritious diet. Taking a step towards veganism leads to a giant leap forward in our collective sustainability. All we need are open minds (and mouths!)
TAKING THE PLANT-BASED PLUNGE
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 very occasional Indian Railway style Chai). If you look back into the Beach House Kitchen library, you will find vegetarian dishes with cheese and egg, but no more. We are full plant power and loving every plateful! We have gone through the whole process, from carnivore to herbivore and we know exactly what its like to be curious about a vegan diet, to giving bits and pieces up and finally blooming into full blown vegan-hood.
We were first attracted to vegan food by its creativity and vibrancy. It really seems like the food for a brighter future. It all seemed so beautifully fresh and tantalising. In our experience, eating vegan food has made us feel lighter and brighter, with oodles of well being and energy. I know we all say that, but its true! We have never felt so darn healthy and vivacious.
As a cook, vegan food takes you to a new levels of plant-based deliciousness, it is cooking that is laced with constant surprises! Rich, robust, refined, raw, ravishing…….all that and much, much more. Organic plant foods are clean and superbly nutritious, there is no need for dairy or meat in our diets anymore. We can choose a new way to eat. Munching and cooking a balanced and creative vegan diet is such a joy and is never, ever dull. It is inexpensive and simple. Anyone can do it (we did!) Vegan food worships good produce and is constantly looking for fresh and interesting ways of creating magical meals. Hopefully we tap into that enthusiasm here on the B.H.K.
A NATURAL PROGRESSION
Avoiding meat and dairy all together seemed a very natural progression, especially when based on environmental and ethical evidence (some of the challenging facts and figures can be found here). The closer we get to nature and the more we learn about the impact of large scale meat and dairy production, the more we realised that this is the only way for us to express our hopes and dreams for the future. Becoming a vegan has a massive effect on the environment; our own health and the well being of animals. It is a no-lose decision and can only lead to a more peaceful existence for all.
Leaving meat and dairy off your plate is a powerful message and a stance against all forms of 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 and cholesterol, which inevitably lead to a long term degradation of health, but also see us collectively condoning the destruction of our beautiful planet.
A MINDFUL DIET
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. Veganism has made us focus much more on our diets and how they effect our body and mind. 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 bags of 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. Our bodies need good, clean, easy to digest fuel. Namely, plant based food. Foods that make you shine!
WHERE’S THE FUN IN IT?!
A friend of mine said to me “Where’s 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 short while it becomes perfectly normal. Your palate becomes more sensitive, with less exposure to rich and overly seasoned foods and you can enjoy the subtle flavours of ingredients and simpler foods.
NO PURITANS PLEASE
This is not a puritanical vegan/ vegetarian blog, we will never preach from an upturned potato crate. We ate meat for years ourselves and enjoyed it very much. We do however feel that there is a collective shift taking place, we are all 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.
VEGAN FOR ALL!
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 our recipes 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 leave a comment beneath a post or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’d love to hear from you.
With a little bit of nutritional know-how and bags of glorious veggies, we believe that anybody can leave meat and dairy off their plates and live a very healthy, balanced and energetic life.
Here are some recent BHK posts about veganism:
And some interesting and informative vegan websites based in the UK:
Veganism makes the world a better place for us all, one forkful at a time.
Lee and Jane