My Vegan Journey 01/19/16
Find out about Genya Beulah's journey to veganism and her awesome 100% vegan, preservative-free and healthy meal delivery service, VeGen.
Who am I?
I am VeGen, IT graduate, business owner, vegan and above all things an animal lover. So how did I get to where I am? Well to be honest my vegan journey only started 6 months ago. At the tender age of 12, after visiting a zoo, I distinctly remember telling myself that one day I will not eat meat. At the age of 18, I became a vegetarian with the belief that veganism was just ‘too extreme’. By age 21 I was a full-fledged vegan with the hopes of creating my own vegan empire.
My whole life I struggled severely with my body image, food became the biggest contentious issue in my life. I hated it so much. In my opinion at the time, food was the reason I was unhappy with who I was. When I became vegetarian my opinion of food slowly started to change (slowly being the operative word). I got heavily involved in the kitchen, excluding meat from my diet lead me down a magical path, it encouraged my creativity, finding different ingredients and how they worked together. My obsession with food went from an ugly dark space and bloomed into an unstoppable passion! I have a tattoo of a lotus flower on my back to remind me that from the darkest of places something beautiful can grow, and so it did.
I was cooking myself eggs one evening (yes even cooks get a little lazy to make a proper dinner) and all of a sudden a huge sense of guilt hit me. This sudden realisation of exactly what I was eating, where it probably came from and how the poor chicken who hatched this perfectly coloured egg was treated. It was far too intense to ignore, and from that day on I became a vegan.
My body image issues really started coming to a head. Suddenly, I was more involved with finding alternatives, creating alternatives and finding every plant on this planet that would nourish my body. Having a healthy body meant so much more to me than having a skinny malnourished one. The first month of being vegan was not only the easiest transition, but also changed my body in so many ways. I felt rejuvenated, energised and most importantly happy. I was filled with incredible vegetables, but also my conscious mind had finally listened to my sub-conscious that vehemently disagreed with the consumption of animal products.
I digress back to the point of my article
The evening I ate my last two eggs I thought, “What on earth would I eat instead of eggs?” I wasn’t a huge tofu fan. I had had one too many bad experiences both eating it in restaurants and cooking it myself, and I was in half a mind to keep scouring the internet for alternatives. Instead I went to my favourite little Chinese supermarket down the road and bought two R4 blocks.
I drained them over night, sliced them up, spiced them with some thyme, turmeric and salt, popped them in the pan with some grapeseed-oil, added a chopped onion, fresh basil and tomatoes and excitedly placed this magical combination on some of my home-made seed bread and dove into just about the best breakfast I had eaten to date (literally took 10 minutes). I fell in love with tofu and it has become a staple in my diet. A completely vegan quiche, a lasagne topping, a cocoa powder and coconut milk tart are but a few of my tofu creations.
Why vegans will always have enough protein
Tofu is a unique source of protein, providing us with all eight essential amino acids (yes, just like meat). Adding to that list of nutrients is iron, calcium and minerals such as manganese, selenium and phosphorous. Also vitamin B1.
So what is this magical cheese looking block (I’ve actually been asked if it was cheese…eww), it’s simply mushed up soya beans, popular in Asian cuisine.
The VeGen ethos
The minute we say no to animal cruelty is the minute we dedicate our lives to mindful eating.
Unfortunately, with mindful eating comes a lot of planning and preparation. It is vital that we eat the correct foods to ensure that our bodies are being nourished. The truth is, sometimes we just don’t have the time to plan, prepare and cook all our meals, which is why I started VeGen.
VeGen offers a variety of lunch and dinner meals that are already cooked for you. All ingredients used are fresh, nothing comes out of a tin and nothing has preservatives. The meals are prepared with the health fanatic in mind using just the right combination of food groups to deliver nutritious, healthy and vegan meals to your front door. The meals are then packaged and delivered fresh every Sunday. All packaging is freezer and oven safe, meaning that meals can be placed in the freezer and heated later in the week.
How to get a taste of some VeGen
I have just relocated to Johannesburg and despite my IT qualification I have followed my passion. I have a Facebook page (VeGen) where you will find the menu for each month and regular updates on what I am doing and where you may be able to taste some of my foods.
Alternatively, a simple email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a phone call to 0824540927 will also give you all the information you need.
Anyway, before I go here is a quick snapshot of one of many tofu dishes, enjoy the site and go get creative with your tofu, remember it’s all in the draining!
(Me: Genya Beulah)
Find out more on my Facebook page.