I thought about adding a disclaimer to the intro for this blog, as it seems that the more I educate myself on veganism, or eating healthier in general (yes, I am equating vegan with healthy for the purposes of this article), the more I see a vehemently anti-vegan attitude emerging. Plus, as I am not 'vegan' at this point in time, I felt a disclaimer might be necessary for those who are into it hardcore and might take it upon themselves to school me on the 'right way' to go about it or ask me if I wear leather.
But then I thought, 'screw it', this is MY blog, right?
First up, I guess I have to thank my boyfriend for sparking my interest. It's been a weird few months. Back in September 2014 we enjoyed a trip to Barcelona, and obviously ate a ton. What we found, despite the wide array of cured meats on offer, was that we were eating much lighter and smaller options, and although we did eat meat, cheese etc, we were also sampling vegetarian meals too. (FYI I was a vegetarian from the ages 11-18). When we got back to the UK we began eating a lot more salad-based meals and experimenting with various grains. My boyfriend also started reading The China Study - a book that I bought for him, and on occasion, throughout this 'food journey' (for want of a less wanky-sounding phrase), I almost regretted purchasing. Heralded as the most 'comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted', the book focuses on what food, in particular meat products, does to our bodies and how it affects/causes disease. At the same time we started watching food-focused documentaries on our beloved Netflix. Watching Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick And Nearly Dead, amongst others, quickly started to affect our food choices, and after Christmas we pretty much phased out meat products.
Granted, I was feeling pretty impressed with myself for giving up meat, but boy was I pissed when the boyfriend then said he wouldn't eat fish either - this was after I'd done the weekly shop, which had included way too many packs of salmon fillets. I continued to eat tuna on occasion, for various reasons; I still felt I 'had to', in order to get my protein in, plus I never like being told what to do!
Still, months later, he has now decided to ditch eggs and butter too, so he's pretty much gone 'full vegan' on the food front. Me? I still eat both of the above, and probably eat fish around once a fortnight. However, for me, it's not what I've stopped eating; it's more about what I've added to my diet. One way that the boyfriend has tried to make me see eating vegan as a lifestyle, is by agreeing to do around 70 percent of the cooking. Good deal right? He looks up recipes and serves up a variety of options week by week. He's tried making his own almond milk (bit too thick), makes a mean yellow dahl and makes some great beetroot burgers (which have an interesting effect on your toilet trips...). I've started following a bunch of vegans on Instagram to get inspired when it comes to food options and now also eat waaaay more fruit - thank you Freelee The Banana Girl (Google her; she eats like, 14 bananas for breakfast), which really helps as someone who is a certified chocolate addict.
So, altogether, I just feel better, and might look a tiny bit better too, mostly around my waist. I've seen a few vegan women online talking about having less fat around the waist and I believe it has something to do with the omission of animal fats from my diet. I feel a bit lighter but still have a way to go if I'm gonna do this full-time. Right now I'm experimenting and educating myself, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. What I am pretty sure on, is that I'm not interesting in eating meat, so if that makes some small contribution to my health, carbon footprint, whatever, it's all good.