We recently spoke to Iris Cohen on the day to day challenges a vegan faces when it comes to the transition of becoming a vegan, and how to say goodbye to the common meals many eat weekly.
Iris is Dutch born, London based vegan entrepreneur with a strong passion for sustainability and a healthy lifestyle. With a vegan diet and lifestyle, we wanted to bridge the gap between the perceptions many have of a vegan diet to the reality.
Surprisingly, there are options within a vegan diet that replicate the familiar comfort foods many have within their own meal plans including a full English fry up, a Sunday roast and comfort food to name a few!
Here’s the variety of dishes Iris helped us identify that are regularly found in a vegan diet, as well as hints and tips on becoming a vegan.
Everyone has a guilty pleasure of cooking an English breakfast every now and then, however, the traditional English breakfast consists of the meat (as well as eggs) therefore becomes off limits to vegans.
However times are changing and so is the food on our plate – vegans can now enjoy a full English fry up, without missing out on anything.
Vegan Sausages – Easily replaceable, looks and tastes delicious
Vegan Bacon – A bit less commercial than vegan sausages and harder to recreate however there are replacement available so you would not have to ditch the sandwiches in the morning.
Fried Tofu – The tip with fried tofu is to trick the mind. By adding spices and seasoning fried tofu could look equivalent to scrambled egg.
There’s now no excuse to cook yourself up a healthy English breakfast to get you through the day.
With 1.3 billion roast dinners consumed yearly, many would struggle to adapt the vegan lifestyle without dealing with the pressures of refusing a Sunday roast. However there are many replacements that are still mouth watering delicious.
Roasted Veg – Nut roast that incorporates various nuts and spices created for the perfect Sunday meal.
Vegan wellington – varieties of nuts, mushrooms, vegan pastry dough, aubergine and more. This dish can be created in a variety of ways to suit your tastes.
Vegan stuffing is available too and can be prepared easily.
Many turn to naughty foods when it comes to a stressful day, rainy day or just need the feeling of familiar comfort food. This is another situation that may deter many into incorporating a vegan diet into their lifestyle, but there’s still many options in terms of recipes that would help you get through Monday blues!
Vegan chocolate – Vegan chocolate is available, and it can be used in a variety of ways e.g. covering fruit in vegan chocolate for some perfect comfort food.
Raw vegan cheesecake – there are variety of guilty pleasures and cheesecake is not off the menu for vegans, another great food comfort to adjust into a vegan diet.
It is understandable that many do not have the time and/or manpower to be able to create their own juices day in, day out however, it is possible to make a big container to have throughout the week.
Iris mentioned that green juices are her favorite type of juice with minimum fruit included – not enough to overpower it however just enough to get a sweet taste. Kale, celery, cucumber and ginger (to pack a punch) are just some of many ingredients Iris uses for a perfect healthy juice.
It will be hard to find many vegan treats when you’re out, so bring a snack to make sure you are set for the day!
2. Educate yourself: before you start watch programs like cowspiracy, educate yourself on the importance of a vegan lifestyle.
3. Don’t be too hard on yourself: If we all become vegans, the rest of the world would join, however don’t be too hard on yourself at the start, it takes a while to incorporate things into your routine.
4. It’s all in the mind: Iris also identified the psychology behind it all that could open up many doors to make it easier to become a vegan.
‘You’re so used to the memory of food and products, from childhood through to your teenage years and even now in my twenties, it is all to do with your memory that influences the way you perceive food and even taste it.‘
Iris identified the importance of sustainability and the impact it has on the planet.
‘We are 7 billion people on the planet (give or take a few), but 100 years ago we were 1.5 billion, so to feed everyone on this planet we need to go on a plant based diet’.
Furthermore sustainability stems further than food, eco packaging also has a big impact on a sustainable future. Being eco friendly is important to Iris, who goes out of her way to be more sustainable.
It is important for herself to use packaging that is environmentally friendly, and consumers are now becoming more self-aware of their own impact on the planet. Many are finding it difficult to ignore the impact of global warming and climate change, and are now changing their daily habits for a more sustainable future, we provide the perfect solution for one of the biggest problems occurring on the planet in present time, with our eco friendly packaging.
Our visions are very similar with Iris’, in which we understand the importance of reducing our carbon footprints and creating a sustainable future.
Iris offers some great recipes for a healthy and delicious vegan diet, so if you decide to give a vegan diet a go, or you’re in the final sprint of completing Veganuary but running out of ideas, check out Iris’ website here to get some fresh ideas.