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I Tried A Strict Vegan Diet And Here’s What Happened: Beauty Book Tried & Tested

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This is a part of our 'Beauty Book Tried and Tested' series where our team of editors explore and experience the hottest trends and formulas in the beauty and wellness space.

A friend told me once that veganism comes naturally. It’s simple: you love animals, you stop eating them. I’ve been trying to battle my cravings for years to switch to being vegan. Honestly, I’ve been waiting for someone to challenge me for this. After watching the documentary called ‘Gamechangers’ I wanted to join the millions who switched. But it’s harder, much harder than I imagined it would be. So, instead of committing completely for this – I chose to take smaller steps. 10 days seems like a good start, doesn't it!

The Vegan Rulebook: NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS.

- No Meat: everything from poultry to all kinds of red meat is forbidden. Fish, seafood & eggs are also avoided at all costs.

- No Dairy: milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, ghee, ice creams, milkshakes – the works

- No other animal products: honey, gelatin, whey protein etc.

Challenges: I knew it would be hard, considering everything I eat has a little bit of dairy in it – I love ghee and butter. Also, I’m a Bengali and that means I love fish, milk-based sweets (read Sandesh, roshogulla, payesh) & I eat meat at least twice a week. Another biggie: my go-to breakfast has been eggs and toast for over 4 years now.

I also admit, I’m a little stressed that veganism costs more than what I usually spend on food. But, turns out, that was a myth.

Here’s a list of 7 things I learnt from my tryst with veganism

  1. You crave milk products a lot more than meat. At least, I didn’t miss eating meat or fish at all over the small period of 10 days. But eating bread without butter is heartbreaking
  2. Veganism is NOT expensive, especially if you’re Indian. It’s basically sticking to dal, roti and sabji minus the ghee – and that’s doable. I ended up eating a lot more veggies and fruits.
  3. Vegan food does NOT have less protein. In fact, it has a lot more. All you need is a daily dose of greens, legumes and soy, which by the way are very tasty and easy to switch to.
  4. You’ll have to put in a lot of effort for desserts. Everything sweet (and I mean everything) in the market has dairy in it. Whether it’s classic ice cream or chocolates, or any mithai made with ghee or milk.
  5. You’ll start appreciating the taste of coconut milk, almond milk and soy (because you never tried it before). Trust me when I say – they’re godsent. They’re a lot more delicious than normal milk.
  6. You’ll learn to read the back of any pack habitually. You’ll get to thinking things like are chips vegan? Or coke? Or the wada paav at the end of your street? And if the food is all plant-based, sometimes their plastic wraps are made in gelatin!
  7. Vegan food WORKS! You’ll feel much, much lighter than you could imagine. Within 2-3 days without any dairy and a lot of veggies, you’ll get more active. And to top it all, with less desserts to binge on, you may lose a few kilos too!
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