There has been a prevalence of different diet trends that we can’t keep up. From keto to paleo, whole30, Low-FODMAP, and so many more that we could go on for a very long time. However, there is something about plant-based diets that feels so familiar. For one thing, it does not require sophistication and is easy to understand. Secondly, it is because it has been proven, time and time again, that being plant-based is one of the most successful lifestyles a person can adopt.
We met with health-guru Victoria Diachkova, Founder and Owner of Sincerely V., a plant-based food delivery and catering service. Victoria told us the ins-and-outs of switching to a plant-based lifestyle, her journey in Egypt, and opening up her startup!
Starting from the very beginning, we had to know what the inspiration behind Sincerely V. was, “what inspired me to start my business was actually my desire to help people. People heavily rely on takeout and restaurants, whether they want to cook but lack the know-how or simply don’t have the time,” Victoria continues, “I noticed that people appreciated the food I was posting on my blog but they simply couldn’t make it themselves, which made me start my delivery service, the easiest ready-made food.”
One of the most recurring questions that come to mind when someone hears “plant-based” is what is the difference between being vegan and being plant-based? Are they one and the same, or are they completely different? Victoria explains it simply enough here, “plant-based diets don’t necessarily mean vegan. The vegan diet’s objective is to stay away from animal-based food, and sometimes it doesn’t really matter what you eat it – it could be soda and chips and all kinds of junk. A plant-based diet’s objective is to eat mainly plants as much as possible. Sometimes it is not 100% vegan, sometimes you can include animal food, but the majority of your calories are supposed to come from plants,” Victoria tells us.
But the journey to being plant-based isn’t always linear, Victoria talked to us about why she decided to switch to this lifestyle.
Victoria hasn’t always been plant-based, but as she studied nutrition three years ago, she started to realize that all of the arrows were pointing towards a plant-based lifestyle. “I started it, never looked back, and never stopped. Not that I never thought about McDonald’s before, but I have always been into healthy eating. Once a person finds the why, why they’re doing it, whether its exercise, diet or a certain lifestyle, it becomes easy,” Victoria says.
Altering your lifestyle should not be a hard process. As Victoria explains, she didn’t have to find the willpower to eat this way nor did she feel like she was depriving herself, but she felt like she was nourishing her body, mind, and soul.
Victoria says she gradually realized the environmental repercussions that animal-based food has. Not only that, but gut-health has been an imperative factor in her journey. Plants are very rich in fiber, unlike animal-based diets. Minimizing animal-based food as much as possible, which are inflammatory and packed with hormones and antibiotics, is proven to improve gut health. The more plants you consume, the better your gut is.
One of the most common misconceptions about being plant-based, especially in Egypt, is that is hard to find suitable alternatives and that it is quite expensive. Victoria tells us where we went wrong. She explains how blessed we are to live in Egypt, because of the fruits and vegetables that we have all year round at such reasonable prices in comparison to other Western countries.
Not only that, but she explains that eating out doesn’t have to be the end of the world for those who only eat plant-based food. “I never find it difficult to go out or travel, and I never go for specifically plant-based restaurants. I go to regular restaurants and ask them to make a few adjustments to a few dishes. There is always pasta, pizza without cheese, and salads,” Victoria elaborates.
Lastly, we had to get a word of advice from Victoria for people who want to make the change to go completely plant-based. She tells us that why the person wants to go completely plant-based is important, because you don’t have to be 100% plant-based to be healthy, but maybe 80-90% of the calories need to be consumed from plants. “Whether cold-turkey or gradually cutting out dairy and meat, it is important to know why the person wants to make the switch. Breakfast food is very easy to learn, then go gradually with one meal a day, then two meals a day, then eventually you will learn how to cook and adapt,” Victoria concludes.