Hi! And welcome to Vegan Network Bahamas :)
My name is Alexis and I recently made the decision to adopt a vegan diet. Years ago you couldn't have paid me to go vegan. Not only did I think it was impossible (or unhealthy for that matter), I just wasn't interested. Veganism was for bleeding heart weirdos who threw paint at people who wore fur - no thanks. Sure, I loved animals but veganism just felt too extreme - eating animals is just what we do!
Well, like a lot of other people who are choosing to go vegan, something happened: I got informed (yup! I went down the rabbit hole). And on the other side? You guessed it: vegan. Details for another time! But enough about me. Let's talk about why you're here.
If you ask most vegans if they want the whole rest of the world to go vegan, they'd answer "well, duh!" It's not that I don't want that, I do. But that's not actually why I started Vegan Network Bahamas. My goal is to inform you (yes, you) and everyone about what veganism is and to make the information and resources as accessible as possible. I believe we all get to make our own choices about everything in our lives, but that at a bare minimum, we owe it to ourselves and to the world to be informed about the choices we make.
I'm not here to make you feel bad about the way you're living. I don't believe we change our habits (any habits!) from being guilted or made to feel bad - in fact telling people what they're doing is wrong is just about the fastest way to turn them off. I believe sustainable behavior change comes from focusing on what we gain, rather than what we lose and simply by dispelling long-held beliefs that we realize don't serve us any longer. My hope is to inspire you to make small changes in your life that will make you feel better, happier and more aligned with yourself and with the world.
If you end up going vegan, great! If you don't, that's okay too! This is a space where EVERYONE can explore what veganism is, why you probably hear of more and more people going vegan, and how you can move towards that lifestyle if that's what you choose.
Each month we feature a vegan celebrity as well as someone local who is either vegan or on the path toward a plant-based diet. We believe it's important to also feature locals who aren't completely vegan yet, as going vegan is a process and doesn't happen all at once for most people.
Vegan "Local" Highlight
My name is Lilly and I grew up for some time in South America and meat is king in these parts of the world, naturally that was my diet and had been for most of my life. Fast forward 25 years and I am now a 3-4 x a week Vegan/Vegetarian! I am s-l-o-w-l-y making the transition to eating more plant-based dishes and furiously trying to depend less on meats to make meals for my family.
The desire to eat less meat started to take shape in my head a couple of years ago when my 18 year-old daughter started university. She is studying broadcast journalism and media studies and spends a lot of time researching different subjects for her course. She came across some documentaries about the cattle, chicken and fishing industries and she implored me to watch them. She had already made some dietary changes. After watching some of these documentaries, I was sickened by what I saw and learned. I will leave the details out, but for some weeks I could not bring myself to buying, cooking or eating any kind of meat. I continued to wrestle with the idea of making a change for some time, but I KNEW I needed to take the step to cut out the amount of meat we consumed and adding more variety of vegetables, grains and legumes to our diets. This would be a hard sell for my husband who is in the hospitality/restaurant industry and our growing, constantly hungry, eating machine - teenage son.
It has been nearly a year into this new lifestyle and my new normal works for me, for us! My family took a little convincing, but they embraced my need for change and yes, there was hardship in adapting, catering and managing our likes and dislikes is a bit of a challenge, but one I am all the happier to have taken on. Adding a twist to our lives, my son was diagnosed with being highly allergic to all tree nuts, a few vegetables and some fruits in their raw state. It makes food shopping a lot longer…I have to read all food labels and his favorite fruits and vegetable are now off limits.
When it’s time to figure out meals I search recipes on line, I tweak everything and that’s what cooking is all about - experimenting with new ingredients and seeing what works and what doesn’t. I have had a few misses but for the most part, I have successfully deceived my husband and son with meals so delicious they cannot tell the difference!!! A shepherd’s pie with puy lentils instead of meat is a hit around here. Paprika, garlic roasted cauliflower has to be doled out in exact portions – and that was an off the cuff recipe! On non-vegan/vegetarian nights, I serve smaller portions of chicken, beef and fish and make sure the vegetable/legume portions are bigger. I use a lot of beans, lentils, dals in my meals and often serve a soup as my first course. I recently made gazpacho, a soup served at room temperature or cold. Great to serve on hot summer evenings and great to freeze up to 3 months. As I get more comfortable with new ingredients, I find myself wanting to learn more and hope to one day make the full transition to being vegan.
Vegan "Celebrity" Highlight
Did you know tennis pro Venus Williams is vegan? The tennis star adopted a raw vegan diet after she was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome in 2011 and doctors advised it would relieve some of her symptoms such as extreme fatigue and joint pain.
In an interview with Health magazine about the disease and her raw vegan diet, Williams said: "I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I wanted to maintain my performance on the court. Once I started, I fell in love with the concept of fueling your body in the best way possible [through raw, vegan food]. "Not only does it help me on the court, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me."
*information from business insider
“Be kind to every kind”
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that vegetarianism and yoga have been linked together for centuries? Dairy practices used to be much more natural and ethical so it was common for yogis to eat some dairy. However, based on today's practices, many modern yogis observe veganism as part of the first ethical rule of yoga: Ahimsa. Ahimsa is one of the five yamas, which are the ethical, moral and societal guidelines for yogis. It means non violence in thoughts, words and actions. By practicing Ahimsa, one shows compassion to all living beings, not just humans, and for many, this means adopting a plant-based diet. Check out legendary yoga master Sri Dharma Mittra's video where he discusses why he believes it's important to be vegan.
Whether you're an experienced yogi or just starting out, we welcome you to check out Dharma Yoga which focuses heavily on veganism as a form of Ahimsa and to meet
us at Studio Ohana to learn more about non violence through yoga.