A healthier lifestyle has become more than a necessity in a modern world where natural resources are disappearing at the speed of light every day. Starting with healthier habits like exercising more often and eating a balanced diet is not enough anymore, it is time to become aware of the world around us and of the changes that need to be made – suffice it to say that a large part of the water is used only for livestock farming, increasing the exploitation of groundwater aquifers -.
One of the options that have come to offer a great change in the way we eat has been the plant-based cuisine, which, contrary to popular belief, offers a wide variety of dishes for lunch and dinner, not to mention breakfast, and is also aligned with the vegan lifestyle.
Some 92% of plant-based foods are consumed by non-vegans, so it is important to point out that this style of cooking is very noble, and allows for a wide combination of flavors. People can be attracted to plant-based cuisine either for its colorful presentations or its delicious taste without being part of any movement – if that is one of the obstacles to modifying the modus vivendi of the person -.
Food is a fundamental part of human growth and must be carefully selected. When we become aware that everything that enters our body ends up being part of it, we observe that a change in our diet will end up improving our life completely.
The textures, flavors, and feeling after eating plant-based vegan dishes become almost addictive for those adventurers who have dared to enter and unearth all the treasures within this healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
For those who are just starting out, they will undoubtedly feel more comfortable with Mexican, Asian and Mediterranean dishes, as they will find the nutrients and variety of flavors that sometimes is one of the reasons why some people find it very hard and complex to commit and adhere to this lifestyle.
Nutritional reports have examined the benefits of these cooking styles and have found that, for example, Mediterranean cuisine is heavily based on completely plant-based dishes. This particular diet reduces the risk of heart problems, metabolic problems, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and even breast cancer.
A plant-based vegan diet is based on the consumption of foods coming from plant sources, such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, soybeans, among many others that, combined, will provide us with the necessary nutrients (including protein), seeking to eliminate the components of animal origin as much as possible.
It is clear that plant-based cuisine has a long way to go, therefore it becomes a blank canvas for anyone who wants to explore it and experiment with it, looking for mixtures of flavors, textures, smells, and colors that captivate the senses.
Among the benefits obtained by making this transition in the way we eat is the prevention of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol, besides helping to raise our intake of vitamin A and C, it has high levels of fiber and phytonutrients – which are found in fruits, vegetables, and fresh herbs -, offering great benefits for those with cardiovascular diseases; it also has antioxidant effects, and as if that were not enough, a vegan diet can prevent oxidative stress in your body, helping the immune system in general, becoming an essential part in the development of the person, not only physically, but cognitively.
There is no need to label ourselves as vegan, vegetarian, or be a fervent plant-based follower to make a change in our diets; don’t feel like a failure if you are not able to give up on cheese, fish, or poultry, it’s quite normal that this transition takes a considerable amount of time, but every step towards sustainability will help the world as a whole.
With this in mind, it won’t be necessary for you to stop going out with your friends to dine out or to cancel your dream vacation in paradise while enjoying delicious local food from the places you visit. In fact, thanks to the great expansion of the vegan movement, life in a vegan-friendly environment is possible now; from local restaurants to high-level resorts focused on this lifestyle, plant-based cuisine provides us not only with unique dishes by professional chefs, even exceeding the expectations of those who love meat but going beyond, promoting a healthier and more balanced life.
In plant-based cuisine there is no hierarchy in the ingredients, any vegetable, grain, or fruit, as simple as it may seem, can be the protagonist of the night if that’s what you are looking for.
Renowned chefs from all over the world such as Gordon Ramsay, have recently ventured into plant-based cuisine, demonstrating to their audiences and colleagues the diversity and creativity that exists in this type of cuisine. Burgers, bacon, pizza, and many more dishes are finding their doppelgängers in both flavor and consistency in plant-based cuisine. It is not surprising that many Michelin-starred restaurants and several luxury hotel chains have implemented this knowledge in the constant change and evolution of their menus, as did Grand Velas, by integrating a significant number of gluten-free and vegetarian dishes to their already established menus.
As we approach the Riviera Maya, it becomes necessary to talk about Palmaïa – The House Of AïA, a place that offers 100% vegan menus with some non-vegan options, fused with a AïA\Wellness program that works with the body, mind, and the spirit from a perspective focused on the care and respect for nature.
Working the mind and spirit is a fundamental part of the change towards a healthier way of living. It has been proven that meditation, correctly performed, can reduce anxiety, help control depression as it increases the feeling of fulfillment and happiness, relieves stress, and lowers blood pressure, the cause of many diseases.
The House of AïA offers a space free from the worries of everyday life with activities that encourage introspection, whether through yoga classes, spa treatments, sound therapy sessions, spaces designed to bring you a state of peace never imagined, without neglecting the beauty of its facilities, with infinity pools, carefully designed vegan suites, pool bars, in addition to a natural environment hard to match, with family-friendly rooms and spaces perfect for an adults-only getaway.
This beautiful sanctuary in the middle of the Mayan Jungle with a privileged view of the Caribbean Sea has been awarded as Mexico’s Best Vegan Resort, as it not only focuses on delivering delicious plant-based gastronomical proposals but also converges with its philosophy of respect for nature, with cruelty-free suites and amenities, taking this concept a step further than expected, setting the tone for future holistic spaces and resorts and to promote change in those who in the future wish to explore veganism as a way of life.
By Karen Ojeda