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    Monday, 6 March 2017

    Hot for Food - The YouTube Channel Changing the Vegan Game

    Img: Hot for Food 
    Veganism is more than a diet change; it’s a lifestyle change. While some are happy eating meat and dairy and have no wish to cut them out of their diet, many opt for the vegan diet in the hope to gain all of the potential health benefits it offers. As someone who isn’t aware of the delicious dishes and flavours a vegan diet offers (and how to create them) I, like many other burger-lovers, haven’t really considered taking the plunge.

    This is where Canadian couple and YouTubers Lauren Toyota and John Diemer come in. With their vegan recipe channel ‘Hot for Food’, they’re changing the stereotype that veganism is tricky to stick to and full of tasteless plant-based alternatives. Cauliflower vegan chicken – surely it can’t be as delicious as our meaty Nandos order, right? Lauren and John are showing that yes, it really can, with their array of tasty vegan recipes.

    Their channel has almost 290,000 subscribers at present, and boasts an impressive 16 million views. With such popularity, it seems they’re making a significant difference in ‘breaking all the misconceptions of what it means to be vegan’ as their ‘About’ section promotes.

    Img: Hot for Food (Facebook)
    The couple share their recipes on YouTube and their foodie blog, where you’ll find easy recipes for vegan barbeque food, lunches, sweet treats, snacks and dips. They also offer advice on transitioning to the vegan diet and how to cater for your personal tastes.

    ‘No one expects you to go full level 10 vegan overnight. It would be impossible and if you attempted it you would probably fail. When transitioning to a vegan diet start with one meal a day and replace the animal products with plant-based alternatives such as veggie bacon, tofu, veggie burgers, non-dairy milk(s), yogurts, and vegan cheeses.’ their blog recommends. ‘From there, work at replacing more of your favourite foods and meals with vegan options. You'll probably notice you won't crave cheese and meat as much over 2-3 weeks.’

    In an article from the Independent, Lauren reveals that sauces and fats are the secret to making vegan alternatives better than the meat/dairy versions. “Fat doesn’t mean only oil either. It could be avocado, tahini or nut butter or nuts and seeds. It’s a must. Fat is flavour and I'm so bored of the fat-free movement. Fat is not the enemy.

    “And sauce up your food. I love making sauces. They’re the easiest thing to make at home from ingredients in your pantry and you can store them for the week to put on everything” she tells the Independent.

    The aim of the couple is to make your favourite junk food favourites, like burgers, nachos and cakes, delicious, vegan, and most importantly, guilt-free. On their blog’s FAQ page, Lauren and John outline the potential health benefits of a vegan diet; ‘you could experience clearer skin, weight loss, more energy and overall vibrancy, a clearer mind, better sleep, healthier nail and hair growth, better digestion, easier bowel movements, a feeling of connectedness to mother earth, and a better understanding of universal magic!’

    ‘We believe in eating a balanced plant-based diet free from negative emotions and societal standards or perceptions of what a vegan is "supposed" to be! Sometimes we want to eat a hearty, healthy salad and other times a big 'ol burger. It's all about balance. We also believe in listening to your body when it comes to making food choices.’

    With the promotion of healthy plant-based living, it seems more and more people are discovering the benefits and variety a vegan diet offers. The Telegraph reported last year that there’s been over a 360% rise in vegans in the UK in the last decade. That’s around 542,000 over 15 year olds – more than 1% of the population – going for veganism. The Vegan Society says that veganism has become one of Britain’s “fastest growing lifestyle movements”.  

    It’s clear to see that these figures show the on-going popularity. Anyone for a delicious-looking vegan hotdog and some strawberry cheesecake bites for dessert? Check out their channel, and that cheesecake recipe below.

    Laura Sewell

    An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry, with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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