During a recent food workshop I met Mayavi Khandelwal, a Vegan diet expert. I was amazed to know how she went on from being a vegetarian to a vegan food appreciator and at that very moment knew that she would be someone I would write about on the blog as part of my new series to feature women/moms from the fascinating world of food.
For the uninitiated, Vegan diet is a whole plant based diet where one doesn’t consume any animal products this includes animal flesh, dairy products and even honey!
To give a brief about her; Mayavi, 53, a heavy smoker, one fine day decided to give it all up and cleanse her system. She was introduced to Vegan diet by a friend and since then there has been no looking back. From a heavy smoker to a marathon runner to a diabetic who reversed the ailment and bounced back at life, Mayavi is here to share with BAM readers her experience as a Vegan and tips for anyone who wishes to adopt veganism.
BAM: How long have you been a Vegan? How smooth was the transition from your regular diet to Veganism.
Mayavi: 23 years ago, when my younger daughter was born she was developing too much colic by consuming my milk. I stopped taking dairy products then which helped ease her pain that was my first time being a Vegan. However, I got back to my regular diet soon.
Then again 2 years ago, I decided to quit smoking and that’s when I turned vegan completely. The diet helped me heal myself and reverse my diabetes; the transition was smooth and has been most beneficial to me.
BAM: What kind of change do you notice in yourself, physically and mentally since you became a Vegan?
Mayavi: There was a huge change in every way. All my aches and pains disappeared within a week! My husband, who used to call me a painful woman as something or the other was always aching in me, was more than happy to have a happy smiling wife. My sugars started dropping and in less than a month all diabetes medication was out. I lost 10 kilos in the first 3 months and then 5 more over 6 months. I started feeling active and full of life. My ability to focus got better and so I took less time to do everything! I started getting complements on my skin and how clear it looked. Emotionally I felt very happy most of the time, more at peace with myself and the world in general. I now felt self love…and that motivated me. I haven’t had a single medicine not even a Crocin in the last 2 years and no visits to the doctors anymore! Am chemical free and full of vibrant health.
BAM: Not many people follow the vegan diet in India, if I may say so not many Indians know what Vegan diet is, in the first place. How are you spreading awareness among the uninformed?
Mayavi: I am part of a project called LIVEYOUNG. We help people to know about this way of living and to adopt a healthy vegan lifestyle. We do free talks for large groups, corporate or just any social gathering. There is an NGO called SHARAN with which I am associated and we do cooking classes. We also do free cooking demos so that people can make an easier transition to Veganism. I am happy to talk to anyone who is interested!
BAM: To start off with a new diet, the first thing one needs to know is about the various substitutes available for their everyday food. Meat options are well-known, but how does one replace milk, butter, curd, cheese, honey, etc in their diet?
Mayavi: All dairy products have replacements it’s just a matter of making them! We have milk, lassi, chaas, cheese butter everything.
BAM: Are these vegan products easily available in the Indian market? What about dinning out options?
Mayavi: Not all products are available but we can see their supply increasing as more and more people are now turning Vegan. Besides, a lot of these can be made at home, easily.
BAM: Anything else you did like to tell our readers?
Mayavi: I believe Veganism is the way to live a healthy and happy life! That way we keep ourselves healthy and also don’t torture the animals! We have no right to steal milk from the cows which is meant for the calf. As a mother I would never allow anyone to touch my milk which is for my babies! Also that’s the only way to save our earth. All diseases would be wiped out if we went vegan. Sooner or later people will know that veganism is the best way to live. Let’s leave this world a liveable place for the future generations from whom we have borrowed it!
Hope you all enjoyed this conversation with Mayavi and I am sure it gave you a good insight about Veganism!
Mayavi has shared a very simple and practical Vegan Mayonnaise recipe which is posted here.
Till then, Love Being a Mommy!
About : Mayavi is a trained psychoanalytic psychotherapist and specializes in working with children, parents and young adults. Currently, she handles her chocolate and vegan food business, along with her husband. She also works with an NGO, called SHARAN, to spread awareness about Vegan diet.