I have been trying to write this blog for ages, I mean months, I mean 6 weeks. I planned I wrote, I re-wrote, I edited and scrapped and re-wrote again. But it is 6.30pm and I am sitting on my bed, tapping at a keyboard and the words are just flowing. It is time to write my piece.
Ok, so where do I start…I was born on … Ok, I suppose you don’t want me to go back so far (we are talking nearly half a century lol), I could start by telling you what led me to this amazing life? Well, it was a few things. I had tried to be vegan about 18 months before my successful year, however, I can say with an honest heart, I did not understand why I did it then, it was more to do with keeping fit and looking great. I stopped after 1 month because I thought I loved chicken too much, which I still do, I just don’t want to eat them.
Any who! roll forward to the end of March 2016, I and am thinking about how to improve my health further. I (at the time) was exercising at least 4 times per week, drinking water and looking after myself, but I still felt heavy when I ate a meat-ladened meal. Now let me explain here. I grew up not eating pork, even though I did have a few episodes where I wanted to know what it tasted like, I did not take it any further. I did not eat beef (mad cow disease in the early 90’s in the UK made me so afraid I did not touch that stuff again). I ate fish, and chicken and turkey and lamb, but the lamb was still too heavy for me, I felt ill every time I ate it. So, I was reading blogs and watching YouTube vids about a plant-based diet and I could see the benefits, but I was still not persuaded. Then accidently, I think, I watched the vegan docs on Netflix. You know the ones; Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, Cowspiracy, Knives over forks, GMO OMG, Dear Earthlings…so many. Anyway after a day of wall to wall documentaries, crying, getting angry and finding compassion. I decided to not eat meat again.
So what have I learned in a year
- That not all plant-based/vegan foods are good for you, there are still junk plant-based/vegans out there.
- That there are foods out there that are accidently Plant-based/Vegan. This includes Oreos, Beef flavoured Pot Noodle and Bisto gravy (we are back to the first point).
- Because people are plant-based/vegan, it does not mean they will be a lovely person. We have to remember that people are people and even though they love animals, want to save the planet and can cook seitan so it tastes like how you remember meat to taste. They have their negatives and positives like everyone else.
- You can still be a fat vegan see point 1 for why.
- That leading a plant-based lifestyle is different to leading a vegan lifestyle. It took me a good few months to get my head around this. But ultimately, I feel that I cannot call myself vegan until I get rid of my car (as it has leather seats) and I get rid of all my shoes (I have loads), I bought these things and many others before I became vegan, and so I don’t want to be a hypocrite and pretend I live an amazing vegan life, hiding behind my keyboard and showing lovely pics of my food and what I do. However, being vegan is something I aspire to, and in time, I will get there, but for now I respect the vegan lifestyle, but plant-based is where I will be for a while. Think of me as a work in progress. I still love the animals, though!
- That being plant-based/vegan is not that expensive. I know people have a tizzy about this, but remember, you can get a good few veg for the price of a steak. and you can whip up a vegan meal on a few quid. And with discounted food in supermarkets, markets, Costco, Aldi and Lidl there is going to be something in your price bracket. If you are a Junk food vegan, then things can be more expensive. But who am I to judge, if your pocket can afford it the world is your vegan seitan oyster.
- Chain restaurants usually have a plant-based/vegan option, if they don’t say just ask. I’ve done this a few times and restaurants are more than happy to help usually, and ringing a day or two beforehand also helps. If not salad and chips are usually a staple 🙂
- Plant-based/Vegan chocolate is gorgeous, and you will still get fat if you eat too much.
- Your natural smell changes. It’s weird, but I don’t smell like I used to, and some of the natural fragrances I use, don’t smell the same on me. It’s supposed to have something to do with the fact that there is no rotting putrifying flesh in my gut, either way, it nice.
- The main thing I’ve learned is that my thought process has changed. My thoughts are clearer. Meditation is easier, loving animals and others have led me to learn to love myself and in that, I learn to love others and so if goes on. That does not make me some passive idiot. I will and do cuss someone’s ‘rass’ if they piss me off, make no mistake in that, I am not perfect, nor do I want to be. However, my love for life, the world and all that is in it has risen significantly.
So what is next….
Well, I will obviously stay Plant-based. I’ll work on replacing my shoes and car, but that may take a while so don’t hold your breath.
I have been reading Shonda Rhimes ‘Year of Yes’ and thought if I can be plant-based and stick to it for 1 year, I can make my plant-based second year more exciting by saying yes more often. That does not mean you can ask me for 50 quid and I’ll say yes … and to my beautiful daughters, this does not mean you can write a shopping list!!!! This is for me, a year of yes to life, opportunities, fun, adventure, whatever. You see what’s happened, I started with food now I’m changing my whole life. What a year of going plant-based will do!