Top tips for World Vegan Month if you’re feeling peckish

Updated 02 November 2019

Top tips for World Vegan Month if you’re feeling peckish

  • It’s very easy to stay vegan and still enjoy a multitude of Arabic food staples
  • If you are seriously considering committing to veganism in the long term, then it’s worth talking to your doctor

Here are a few tips for those thinking of exploring veganism, on the 25th anniversary of World Vegan Month

Eat local…

It’s very easy to stay vegan and still enjoy a multitude of Arabic food staples. Hummus is usually fine for vegans (just check that the restaurant hasn’t added yoghurt to the tahini-chickpea mix), as are falafels (if you’re being really strict, you might want to check that the oil they’ve been fried in wasn’t used for meat dishes too) and spinach fatayer. And of course, vine leaves stuffed with rice, tabouleh, and fattoush are ideal for those keeping their meals plant-based. You’ll have to resist the grilled halloumi though, sorry.

… or eat Asian

Asian cuisine is also a great choice for vegans. Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants usually provide a wide range of delicious plant-based dishes that make it easy to enjoy a meal without worrying that your options are going to be severely limited by abstaining from animal products. Thai curries are usually made with coconut milk, but with other cuisines, it’s always worth checking that the sauces are dairy-free, and — with Indian cuisine — that the food hasn’t been cooked in ghee.




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Source your supplements 

A plant-based diet can meet most of your nutritional needs, but it’s often suggested that vegans should consider taking vitamin B12 as a supplement. It’s the only vitamin that isn’t reliably supplied by a varied plant-free diet, and is important to help minimize the potential risk of anemia and heart disease. The recommended dose is 10 micrograms per day.

It’s also worth seeking out foods that are rich in calcium and iron, as plant-based diets may not provide these in the same high doses as a diet including meat. Calcium-rich vegan foods include sesame seeds (also good for iron intake); beans and lentils — especially winged beans (aka Goa beans) and white beans; figs; almonds; spinach (again, good for iron); kale; edamame; and (some) tofu (also iron-rich).

If you are seriously considering committing to veganism in the long term, then it’s worth talking to your doctor about your individual dietary requirements, but generally speaking there is no reason why your health should be negatively affected by switching to a plant-free diet. In fact, the reverse is often true.




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Cleaning without cruelty

Vinegar, baking soda, lemons (the juice and the peel) and essential oils are all great alternatives if you’re worried about non-vegan ingredients in your cleaning supplies (or concerned that mainstream products may have been tested on animals). It’s easy to mix your own highly effective cleaning materials. A good one to start with is a straightforward spray cleaner for tiled surfaces. Mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with two tablespoons of organic (check for a cruelty-free logo) hand soap or washing-up liquid and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Add a cup of warm water to it all, distil into a spray bottle, and you’re ready to go.




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Skip the aquarium, head to a sanctuary

Vegans consider zoos and aquariums to be forms of animal exploitation, so they are off the list of family activities. But kids, especially, love to visit places where they can see different animals, so a sanctuary that provides rescued or endangered animals with a home is a great alternative. In Saudi Arabia, the Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary, for example, has helped return the Arabian oryx, sand gazelle and ostrich to the Empty Quarter. All three species had been hunted nearly to extinction in the 20th century, but can now be found roaming the sands once again.




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It's a date: Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia Vision Entertainment join hands on new animated series, 'Tamr'

The new Arabic language television series will feature animated adventures with date fruits. Shutterstock
Updated 21 min 32 sec ago

It's a date: Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia Vision Entertainment join hands on new animated series, 'Tamr'

  • The animated television series highlights the rich culture and historic treasures of the Kingdom and beyond
  • The project is currently in pilot production, while series production is slated to begin in 2020

DUBAI; Film and entertainment company Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia-based Vision Entertainment have announced a new joint creative partnership to produce an animated television series that highlights the rich culture and historic treasures of the Kingdom and beyond.

Aptly entitled “Tamr,” the new Arabic language television series will feature animated adventures with the traditional Arabic fruit, dates. 

In an official press statement, Princess Sarah bint Faisal bin Bandar Al-Saud, executive producer and co-founder of the company specializing in producing localized content, said: “We set out to create iconic characters that are rooted in our traditions and culture.

“The palm is such a big part of our history and heritage and the date is a ubiquitous staple in our homes, so we decided to bring the world of dates to life in a fun animated series for the whole family. We are creating this series to embody our rich heritage and culture and hope audiences of all ages across the region will relate to its authentic, homegrown story.”

The project is currently in pilot production, while series production is slated to begin in 2020.