Op-Ed: Why I Decided to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet

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I have been plant-based since October 2016, and I couldn’t be happier. Three and a half years wasn’t what I expected when I initially tried it for a week, but clearly the benefits weren’t worth giving up. The first change I made was switching from cow’s milk to almond milk, and even that simple swap changed my life (even if it did require some getting used to). Cereal is almost an everyday occurrence in my life, and it feels much healthier now that I am consuming plant-based. I have noticed a significant change not only in my appearance but also my happiness and “inside” health.

So, why did I go plant-based?

Animal welfare

white-sheep-animals
Sam-Carter | Unsplash

I’ve always been an animal lover. But what better way to show this than to prevent cruelty?

The Environment

small-plant-environment
Matthew-Smith | Unsplash

If you love the environment, you need to love the plant-based diet. Nowadays there seem to be flaws in everything we do, and I’m sure eating plants is no different. However, research has shown that it does make a huge difference.

Related Article: A Nutritionist’s Guide to Vegan Health During COVID – 19

Better Food

plant-based-diet-foods
Brook-Lark | Unsplash

If you want a non-political answer, then here it is. Plant-based food is just so good! Take a look at our recipes and see for yourself. Here are two of my personal favorites:

Vegan Carbonara

  • Cook 500g spaghetti in a large pan of boiling water for 10-12 mins or until al dente, adding peas for the last 3 mins. Drain then return the spaghetti and peas to the pan.
  • Creamy sauce: Heat 75g of dairy-free butter or olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 medium diced onion and 4 sliced garlic cloves and fry for 3 mins. Stir in 60g plain flour then gradually add 200ml wine. Whisk in 700ml soya or almond milk, 1 tbsp of miso paste,  ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic granules, and simmer for 5 mins. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan and reheat over low-medium heat, stirring regularly.
  • Mushroom “bacon”: Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Stir mushrooms with 4tbsp soy sauce, 2tbsp olive oil, ¾ smoked paprika, 1tsp garlic granules, and black pepper, then marinate for 15 mins. Spread evenly over a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 mins.
  • Parsley! Chopped and fresh.

Mushroom-Based Bolognese

© Christina Holmes

This recipe is much more simple and leaves more freedom for you to cook however you like. However, I recommend that these ingredients and steps:

Related Article: Our Top 5 Plant-Based Comfort Foods

enginakyurt | Unsplash
  • Mushrooms, lots of mushrooms! Slice these however you like. For a mince effect, I tend to cut them quite small.
  • Put red onion in a bowl with the mushrooms, and any other flavoring that you would like.
  • For flavoring, you could add rapeseed oil, sal fat, basil, black pepper, dehydrated onion, garlic granules, garlic powder, oregano, salt, paprika extract, and garlic extract.
  • Stir in the ingredients with a garlic and herb marinade. I usually use store-bought, though you can attempt to make it yourself if you’d like more of a challenge.
  • For the final step, add cooked pasta, vegetables, vegan cheese, and anything else of your choice!

With meals as good as this, you won’t even realize they’re alternatives. They’re better than the “real” thing (in my opinion, at least!). I hope that you try these recipes and let us know what you think. Be sure to check out our other articles for more delicious recipes and great content!

Check out Health and Wellness to have more information about plant-based diet.

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