S01E06: Urvi Mehta and Jay Doshi on Their Journey to Plant-powered Nutrition as Non-vegans in India

There's a wave of change in the Indian diet. More people than ever are now moving towards a plant-based diet that might look easy since India is predominantly considered a vegetarian nation.


While that may sound true, it isn't! In the last two decades, Indians saw a shift in their diets towards more of a meat-eating or pescetarian diet. However, COVID-19 has brought about changes in the way Indians consume meat. The pandemic has made Indian consumers focus on moving towards a more health-promoting diet - vegan or plant-based diet.


According to the latest study conducted with Indian nationals under the 5 Country Survey by Rashmeet Arora of Mercy for Animals, it was found that 75 percent of Indians say they have reduced their meat consumption during the COVID-19 lockdown. Indians also ranked higher in reducing meat consumption since the COVID-19 outbreak when compared to countries like Brazil, China, Mexico, and the USA.


Even though both plant-based and vegan diets are gaining prevalence in the country, there's a distinctive difference between the two:


A plant-based diet predominantly consists of plants; most people prefer a 100 percent plant diet, but some people include small amounts of animal products. A vegan diet eliminates all animal products in totality.

In It's Kritikal!'s episode 6 of season 1, our conversation revolved around a non-vegan insight into the changing diets of Urvi Mehta, a healthcare professional, and her son Jay Doshi, a high-school student.


"It's not only the exercise, but it's also the diet that helps." - Jay Doshi

Here's what we covered during our interaction with them:


  1. Losing weight on a plant-based diet: Jay's journey on focusing on his health and controlling his weight with nutritionist Roshni Sanghvi's help.

  2. Cutting down on meat and dairy

  3. Motivation towards choosing a plant-based diet: "We are so used to eating dairy that initially moving towards a PB diet was difficult for us. But we knew what was more important for health. We see our quality of life as a family has improved and the journey has been extremely fruitful." - Urvi Mehta

  4. Health: Urvi focused on giving us a real-life example of how moving towards a mostly plant-powered diet helped her in curbing heartburns, made her agile, improved her sleep cycle, and overall health.

  5. Easy and nutritious recipes to make at home


What's needed?


From Urvi's point-of-view, it is important for new and innovative techniques to be in the market, more R&D on getting the meaty textures right. She feels that there are several dairy alternatives available in the market, and there's an alternative for everything available. In addition to that, there's so much you can make at home.


From Jay's point-of-view, the vegan mozzarella tastes similar to dairy-based, however, soya chaap doesn't taste similar to meat.


Two items Jay wants an alternative in the market for better-tasting butter and good vegan ice-creams.


Here are some references for further reading:

  1. How to cut down on meat and dairy

  2. All you need to know about a vegan diet

  3. How to stay healthy on a plant-based diet

  4. Being an ethical vegan vs. being on a plant-based diet

  5. Why being vegan is beyond weight-loss

  6. How eating a plant-based diet can keep you young

"I see moving away from dairy and other items as a more sustained way of living life moving forward. If I think of diet, the plant-based diet is here to stay for us." - Urvi Mehta

To connect with Urvi Mehta on social, follow the links below:


LinkedIn: Urvi Mehta

Instagram: @urvimehta1805


Other Links:

  1. https://yourstory.com/herstory/2019/05/mothers-day-biggest-challenge-working-mothers

  2. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/325015

  3. https://www.bangaloreinsider.com/urvi-mehta/


To connect with Jay Doshi on social, follow the link below:


Instagram: @jaydoshi121204

References:

  1. https://sentientmedia.org/in-veg-friendly-india-meat-consumption-is-on-the-rise/

  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-right-plant-based-diet-for-you

  3. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17oyBos9rOZhvzP3wLiGrijZONPW_8ByFk-1EEZ2-soE/edit?usp=sharing

  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/with-a-little-planning-vegan-diets-can-be-a-healthful-choice-2020020618766

  5. https://www.forksoverknives.com/wellness/plant-based-diet-vs-vegan-diet-whats-the-difference/

  6. https://open.spotify.com/episode/2OTh6ZH8yYOPrvQ52DJXlo?si=5FBVQQReQxKfyse17-DwhA

  7. https://open.spotify.com/episode/3e1SkXtvOEDrqsg4KHoTSp?si=ygeDthHRTDKUkPK5mmMI1A

  8. https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/going-vegan-how-to-cutting-down-on-meat-dairy-a3988956.html

  9. https://sentientmedia.org/vegan-health/

  10. https://sentientmedia.org/vegan-nutrition/

  11. https://sentientmedia.org/ethical-vegan/

  12. https://sentientmedia.org/vegan-weight-loss/

  13. https://sentientmedia.org/plant-based-diet/

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