Think vegan food is bland or boring? Think again. There’s more to it than first meets the eye and it’s a stereotype that Bosh! is breaking down one recipe at a time.
Set up by school friends Henry Firth and Ian Theasby in the summer of 2016, Bosh! was borne out of a desire to show the world just how easy it can be to eat plants. Considering themselves ‘food remixers,’ their speciality lies in taking classic dishes and giving them a creative vegan spin. And their head-turning interpretations have captured the public’s imagination in a big way with the duo having acquired 1.5 million followers on Facebook. With vegan recipes including 'The World's First Pasta Burger,' 'The Falafel Onion Ring' and the brilliantly named 'Camem-Bosh!', it's easy to see why they have grown such a massive fan base so quickly.
Thinking of trying out veganism but unsure of what to expect? Henry and Ian adopted a plant-based diet in 2015 and haven’t looked back. We caught up with them to find out about the main things they noticed when they first went vegan…
Henry: Well, for a start my hayfever cleared up which was amazing! I went vegan in February a few years ago, and noticed that by the time the summer rolled around that I no longer suffered!
Ian: Both of our hair got a lot thicker and healthier looking – not that we were balding, but it’s a nice bonus to have glossier hair! Also, talking of aesthetics, our skin cleared up too and became brighter – we both had tonnes of comments about how well we looked.
Henry: You definitely also become more regular when you’re vegan because your diet has so much fibre packed into it.
Ian: Our sleep cycles also became much better. I notice that I sleep deeper and tend to wake up feeling more refreshed.
Henry: We really honed our cooking skills too. When you’re having to think a lot more about what is in your food, you pay more attention to the composition of the meals you’re making and so naturally become a better cook. Being vegan is a lot easier and cheaper than people generally think - some of the UK’s most famous budget supermarkets are doing great vegan options for really cheap these days.
Ian: We also got really good at reading tiny writing! Scanning food labels is now a super skill of ours.
Henry: Another great thing we noticed was that after nights out, we were definitely much better at dealing with hangovers – they just didn’t seem to be as bad. We haven’t really altered our drinking habits, but we do now have a list of beers we should avoid (a lot of them aren’t vegan). If it has been a big night though, the best thing to do is neck a green smoothie - throw in a bunch of veg and fruit in a blender and hope for the best!
Ian: Both of us also lost weight when we went vegan - it wasn’t our aim but it was a nice side-effect! That said, I do really miss my mum’s baking, but whenever I head home now she bakes something vegan for me - she’s adapted her baking for my benefit which is lovely. I also miss choice in a restaurant, although to be honest, the range of vegan food popping up on menus is really improving.
We’ve learned about so many new flavours and tastes since going vegan and starting Bosh.tv - I’d say our palates have developed.
Henry: We both have a mental food map of London now – we’ve clocked all the places that make great vegan dishes so no matter what part of town we’re in, we’ve got a go-to place. Hackney is great for vegan options - CookDaily, What the Pitta (a vegan doner kebab house) and Club Mexicana (in the Spread Eagle pub). Plus in Camden Market there is Spice Box and the new Temple of Seitan.
Ian: I feel like I've become more thoughtful since becoming vegan, not just about the food I put in my mouth but about everything too – the culture around food, not doing the ‘norm’, that sort of thing. You are what you eat, and if you think about what you eat all the time and have changed your diet for a positive reason, then you will naturally have a more positive consideration for everything you’re doing with your body. I’ve also become more aware of my use of plastic and I think our view on ‘luxury’ items has changed too in terms of how we look at typically aspirational things like leather handbags and shoes.
Henry: We became part of a community, almost like a secret club, overnight. The vegan community is really vibrant and welcoming and we’ve definitely made a tonne of new connections and friends in the world.