What to Know About Going Vegan in the Hudson Valley

Adobe Stock / valya82

Thinking about going vegan or participating in Veganuary? Read up on these tip from Fogwood + Fig owner Diana Bezanski.

Is eating more produce and less meat part of your New Year’s resolutions? Then consider taking part in Veganuary. The movement, which began in the UK in 2014, inspired over 620,000 people across the globe to go vegan during the month of January in 2022. We chatted with Diana Bezanski, chef and owner of the vegan café Fogwood + Fig in Port Jervis, for tips to help you get started.

Fogwood & Fig owner
Photo courtesy of Fogwood + Fig

Why go vegan?

I initially adopted a vegan diet for ethical reasons. The more I learned about processed foods and the widespread animal abuse in industrialized farming, the more sensitive I felt as an animal lover. Healthwise, whole, plant-based foods can naturally heal a lot of ailments, from headaches to stomach aches to bad skin.

Tell us the best way to start.

Do some research on the health benefits of plant- versus animal-based foods (like longevity, brain activity, and fatigue) for motivation. Then invest in a good cookbook or search online for vegan recipes with positive reviews.

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Fogwood & Fig soup
Photo courtesy of Fogwood + Fig

What are customer faves at the café?

Our oyster mushroom soup; burgers and sandwiches made with bean-based meat alternatives; and specials such as chickpea and sweet potato patties with turmeric rice and curry aioli, and cannellini bean and mushroom patties with a cauliflower- and cashew-based mushroom sauce over garlic mashed potatoes.

Is prepared vegan food from the supermarket OK?

If you must buy processed vegan food in the beginning to see if you like it, that’s totally fine! But if you’re looking to go vegan for the health benefits, try making your own meals. The key to success is finding the right replacements for animal products so you aren’t unhappy with what you’re eating.

Related: 11 Vegan Eateries for Plant-Based Dining in the Hudson Valley

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