Veganism is now considered to be one of the fastest growing lifestyle choices. There has been an overwhelming 350% increase in people following a vegan diet in Britain alone during the last decade. Interestingly, nearly half of all vegans (42%) are aged within the 15-34 age category, which include stars such as Natalie Portman and Russell Brand. This is compared to just 14% of over 65 followers. However, this does not mean that veganism appeals to just younger audiences, high profile celebrities such as Bill Clinton and Morrissey also follow the vegan lifestyle. Furthermore, sportsmen such as Mike Tyson and Carl Lewis are vegans too, still managing to maintain highly nutritious diets to stay strong and fit.
During the formative years, our bodies are still developing and growing; therefore it is important that you consume all the nutrients that your body needs. A vegan diet could potentially lack key nutrients as you would eliminate a number of food groups, yet many people may be unaware of the substitute foods available to replace them. Our nutritional cookery classes and vegan cookery classes are a brilliant way of learning more about our nutritional needs and where to find them.
When contemplating a switch to veganism, it’s a struggle to find healthy and appetizing ways to replace calcium and protein in your diet. For women, your daily recommended allowance is around 46g of protein and a slightly higher 56g for men.
How to get your vegan proteins?
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, and incredibly easy to incorporate into recipes or as a healthy snack. Pumpkin seeds contain a staggering 32g of protein per 100g! Nut butters are a close second, the most well-known being Peanut Butter which contains 8g from just 2 tablespoons. Almonds and Pistachio nuts contain between 21-22g per 100g and are also good to snack upon while on the move. Vegetables are an excellent source of protein, foods such as Mushrooms, Broccoli, Spinach, and Cauliflower all have around 5g of protein per 180g serving.
When cooking hearty family dishes, opt for cooked Tempeh which contains 20g of protein per 200g, nearly half your daily intake. Tempeh is a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia and works well marinated or as a meat substitute. Sweet and Sour Tempeh is a dish that looks and tastes incredible. Tofu and chickpeas also have good protein counts, and these are excellent together when incorporated into Indian dishes.
How to get your vegan calcium?
Calcium is a really important nutrient for healthy teeth and bones, no matter what your age, and particularly important for a vegan diet as you are eliminate all milk and cheese sources from your diet. Calcium can be found in Kale, soybeans, and calcium- fortified alternatives to milk, such as soya, almond and rice. Sesame seeds ergo Tahini is an excellent all round ingredient to add to recipes. Wholemeal breads are often fortified with calcium.
It is surprising that with such a vast range of ingredients open to a vegan diet, it has such a poor rep for tasteless, bland food. I believe that the problem is often not knowing what to do with the ingredients to create such tasty dishes. With the increasing popularity of veganism, vegan cookery classes are a great way of educating and inspiring people of how to make nutritious and delicious meals very simply. A number of Asian cuisines naturally lend themselves to a vegan diet, yet does not compromise on flavour or texture, creating tempting dishes, completely animal free, yet still eat food that is vibrant, satisfying and tastes great.
Vegan food and vegan cookery has come of age and thanks to resources such as cookery schools, blogs, and social media, this trend is being embraced. Vegan or not, you can still enjoy wonderful, yummy recipes, that are nutritious and delicious. Come along to our vegan class where we can teach you useful facts and tips, and guide you on cooking amazing vegan recipes you can take home and try with friends and family.
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.