Vegetarians often have to deal with a host of misconceptions over their dietary choices. Whether it’s tasteless food or iron deficiencies, we’re here to offer a bit of clarity on some of these unfounded claims…
“But, it’s not African…”
THE TRUTH: Authentic African dishes, are for the most part organic and plant based. In Kenya, vegetarianism may be overlooked with how simple omissions and substitutions here and there will make practically any dish suitable for vegetarians.
“You don’t get enough protein…”
THE TRUTH: Vegetarian meals can be just as balanced as meat dishes, with the daily requirements for proteins being met from plant sources like nuts, soya beans, lima beans, and brussel sprouts all loaded with the good stuff. If anything, the only “missing” element might be Vitamin B12 but can be easy supplemented with products like Spirulina (a superfood originating from seaweed). There are actually bodybuilding champions who are VEGAN! If they can do it, the rest of us less active souls can too.
“It must be a lonely life…”
THE TRUTH: Many people are turning toward a “meat-light” diet and are thus become more and more conscious of and accommodating to vegetarian living. You’re definitely not alone. There is even a vegetarian association of Kenya. Most restaurants in the city, have become veg-friendly and are often willing to assist with any special requests. All you need to do is ask.
“Your food is boring and bland…”
THE TRUTH: It’s 2014, and the food industry has evolved (and continues to evolve) at an exponential rate. There are vegan and vegetarian recipe’s for everything nowadays, even Peanut Butter Pretzel Banana Ice cream! It’s not all dry salad and tasteless tofu. Vegetarian meals are just as vibrant and exciting (oftentimes even moreso than meat) you just have to be open to new flavors and willing to learn.
“Being Vegetarian is easy. All you have to do is drop meat and you’ll lose weight”
THE TRUTH: New Vegetarians run the risk of assuming that all their meals are automatically healthier. Vegetable-rich meals are good for you, however, most people fall into the Carb trap: thinking it’s good enough to eat rice and tomato sauce or grilled cheese sandwiches for weeks on end. The same rules apply for both vegetarians and meat-eaters: noting the levels of acidity, oils, carbs and balancing the right amount of vitamins and nutrients are all extremely important.
The best part about being vegetarian is it forces you to be more in tune with your body and what it needs. It’s not daunting or boring. Try it for yourself.
For more information on all your favorite restaurants that have veggie options, visit eatout.co.ke