Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia Azmi, best known for her hit films like Wanted and Dor is the face of Love Veg in India. She has been a vegan and strong advocate of the animal protection movement since the past 8 years. Ayesha explains, “Vegan diet is basically taking vegetarianism one step forward. No animal products at all. People turn vegan to save animals, their health or the environment.”

When asked what inspired you to turn vegan, Ayesha says, “The main reason is animals. I feel veganism is the most compassionate lifestyle choice for animals. I don’t like the idea of my food choices contribute to the suffering of animals. A vegan lifestyle also helps in saving the environment. And has plenty of health benefits.”

She further adds, “I think being vegan in India is so easy. A lot of Indian food we eat everyday is vegan by default. One just needs to replace milk and milk products with vegan alternatives. And for the people who can’t let go off meat, there are plenty of mock meats available in the market.”

Ayesha’s diet

“I think people feel usually that vegans have very limited food choices, and that’s not true at all.  I wouldn’t be vegan here for the 8th year now.

I love to eat. I’ll have oatmeal or a bowl of fruits for breakfast. For tea, I make my own milk at home either from almond, soy or cashew. It is so easy! Tofu scramble is an option for people who like bhurji or omelet. Tofu is great and it’s high in protein as well.

I love fruits and veggies. I have a buddha bowl or a salad, or a tofu steak or something like that over lunch, with a nice big juice. I will binge once in a while- french fries or veggie burger. Of course, it is not healthy to eat it often but once in a while I binge. For dinner I have brown rice with veggies. 

There are a million things we can eat. Indian food- daal and sabzi and rice and roti is basically vegan, if you leave out the ghee and dahi. There’s a lot we can eat.”

Ayesha’s tips for going vegan

Ayesha says, “For people who want to try vegan, first step should be to identify your motivation- it could be animals, health or environment or all of this. I wish for everyone that animal cruelty should be the motivation but for some people knowing that it’s so great for your health would be a reason to turn vegan. So find a reason that works for you.

And then take ‘baby steps’. When you try to do everything all at once and all of a sudden, I think you are more prone to failure. Just cut out a few animal products to begin with and leave your favourite things for the end. And when you are more than halfway there, you’ll notice that it becomes easy as your dedication develops with time. So take baby steps.”

Watch this space to get more easy tips from Ayesha and learn about her views on various subjects related to vegan diet.