You've probably heard about the advantages of eating more veggies and less meat by now. Root Kitchen's mission is to make plant-based food accessible to everyone, even if it's just for one meal a month, because we believe that every little bit helps. Some of you may discover, as you experiment with plant-based eating, that it is not only delicious and filling, but also not as difficult as you would have assumed at first. So, when you convert more and more to a plant-based diet, here are some unanticipated negative effects you might notice that you hadn't considered:
1. You talk about vegetables to everyone:
Yeah yeah, you never dreamt you'd be that person at a dinner party, discussing your dietary preferences in great detail, but it simply happens. People will respond in a variety of ways: some will be encouraging, while others will take some time to warm up to the concept of eating more plant-based, but most will be genuinely curious. I've recently found it amusing to go to restaurants and listen to other people talk about their diets, because vegans and non-vegans alike chat about food all the time, especially whilst they are eating.
2. Vegetables are EVERYWHERE.
To be honest, being from near Blackpool up in the North West of England I had never met anyone who followed a vegan diet and just one or two vegetarians before I switched plant-based in 2021. In fact, if I went out to dinner with my mates, someone would have to be sick or queasy if they didn't choose a meat or fish meal, preferably both. To be honest, I was probably the first my friends to go to a plant-based diet, but once I did, I noticed vegetables everywhere! How could I have missed the fact that non-dairy milks take up more shelf space in the supermarket than dairy milks? Was there always a vegan option on the menu at Nando's? How did I end up meeting so many guys who were interested in eating a plant-based diet all of a sudden? I began to feel as if new foods were being introduced on a regular basis, and it's still difficult to identify how much of this is attributable to the shifting landscape of the food chain vs my own views.
3. You begin acting strange.
If, like a lot of people, you've grown up without giving much thought about animal welfare, environmental sustainability, or your role in protecting both, you may find that once you start reading and thinking more about veganism, you begin to care about things you didn't care about before. For example I've always been into cars and could recognise most cars by their headlights alone when I was six years old. My dream ride has gone from an Aston Martin DB11 to an electric Tesla with a vegan interior since going plant-based.
4. You crave different things and your sense of taste changes
If, like me, you've never craved vegetables and fruit before, you'll be startled when you start craving them after a heavy weekend. Or, if you're a chocolate addict like Rishma, you might notice that your chocolate cravings start to disappear! Also, if you begin experimenting with plants in the kitchen you'll see that vegetables have a lot of flavour. In reality, a perfectly roasted cauliflower or miso-glazed aubergine can be incredibly gratifying, especially if you make it yourself.
5. Your life is taken over by hummus, and peanut butter.
There is hope if you (like me) believed you'd never be able to give up cheese. Hummus, and nut butters will become your new best friends in addition to several awesome vegan cheeses. So much so that you'll start including one of the above in almost all of your meals, as well as buying for a variety of quirky bowls to serve them in.
6. Animal products are no longer taken for granted.
Whether you eat plant-based all the time or not, you may notice that certain foods include animal ingredients as an afterthought rather than to add anything in terms of flavour profile, and that the dish is still really tasty without them. I initially discovered this in a restaurant called Banthai, which is one of our favourite Thai restaurants in Lytham. I'd always eaten their Penang curry with beef, but one time we skipped the meat and found that I couldn't recall how it tasted with beef and neither didn't miss it when it was no longer there.
7. You begin to take better care of your body.
Following a plant-based diet will push you to cook more and think more about what you're putting into your body if you didn't already think about what went into your mouth previously. I'm a big one for enjoying my food, and have desserts with most evening meals but you'll find that being concerned with where your food comes from and nutritional value go hand in had. Indeed, simply by attempting a new method of eating, you will become more aware of how you feel after eating various foods. It's a never-ending journey for me, but I've certainly began to recognise when I'm truly hungry, and how to best nourish myself.
8. You begin ordering large quantities of food from Amazon.
When you're ready to make your first cashew cheese or have a go at making tofu, you'll find that buying bulk goods from Amazon is considerably less expensive and easier than buying 100g packs of soybeans or cashew nuts from the local supermarket every few days. Maple syrup, dates, cashews, nutritional yeast, almond flour, all kinds of grains and cacao are among the items that regularly find their way into my Amazon basket.
My Wife is a great cook, as is Rishma so I love to eat meals from scratch but for those nights when you just don't have the time or the energy to cook make sure you have some of our vegan ready meals in the freezer to help you stick to your plant based diet.