Aida Ghazlan works in PR and made the transition from vegetarianism to veganism, however it hasn't been without its challenges.
What made you go vegan in the first place?
I was already vegetarian because I never really enjoyed meat or the way it made me feel. In the last couple of years- I became more aware of the ethical side of it and decided it wasn't such a big change to make anyway.
How did your friends and family react to the change?
My family are all quite healthy and I don't live with them anymore so it wasn't a big deal for them. When I'm at my grandparents, it is hard for them though as they are very old fashioned, they always have cheese after dinner and don't see seafood as meat. Most of my friends find it strange, especially the boys... they all think I only eat leaves!
What did you notice about your body and the way you were feeling after you cut out meat?
I was a lot less bloated and my skin improved. Cutting dairy out is what really made my skin better. I don't get that lethargic feeling after eating a large meal anymore either.
What is your favourite vegan snack to eat on the go?
I love babaganoush and hummus; I eat these with bell peppers or rice cakes. I also still love things like chocolate chip cookies; you can get loads of vegan ones at health shops. There are loads of accidentally vegan foods too; Oreos are one of them believe it or not.
Which meal do you cook most at home?
I'm half Malaysian so I make a lot of Asian food like fried rice or tofu curry. I also make vegan Bolognese, my boyfriend can't taste the difference.
How do you handle it when people are resistant to your lifestyle?
I understand it is hard for some people to understand so I am fine with it. The only thing that annoys me is when people are ignorant and say things like 'you can't live without meat'.
What is your advice for someone who is thinking of going vegan?
Ease your way into it, do it slowly so that you have time to get used to it. There are great transitional products out there like vegan cream, cheese and fake meat options, you just have to look around.
Which tools did you find the most helpful when going vegan?
I ordered a free vegan starter pack from PETA but to be honest there are so many great videos on You Tube with simple recipes and people telling you about vegan lifestyle and that's what really helps me.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge in cutting out animal products?
Sometimes when I'm out in a really nice restaurant there isn't much I can eat but you just have to be adventurous, try ordering a bunch of sides and a starter instead of one main meal.