Today I was thinking about my journey to veganism and started wondering how different has my journey been in comparison to others? Therefore I decided to make a vegan tag, to find out an answer to some of these questions.
How long have I been vegan?
I have now officially been vegan for seven months! That is an extremely long amount of time since I consistently ate any dairy products. I am very proud of this number, even though I have definitely messed up during those months. ((Why does pesto ALWAYS have Parmesan in it?))
Do I miss things from before becoming vegan?
Sure I do, I mostly miss the carefree attitude I took towards what I ate. I could go to any restaurant or shop and always find something I would enjoy. Now my life consists a lot more of searching menus before hand and reading labels. I have read so many labels. Labels. Labels. I also miss being able to eat with my friends. While I do have many vegan friends, or vegetarian friends who happily have vegan options, many of my friends and even family still eat animal products. This makes it difficult when picking restaurants as I always have to look ahead to ensure I can eat something other than chips.
Takeaway is also something that I miss. While now I will avoid take away like the plague : hello unnecessary plastics ! I miss sometimes lying in my bed, ordering something off menulog and having it arrive at my door. Without needing to double check the ingredients or then have a moral dillema incase they do get it wrong. Once they brought me a stirfry with shrimp. Shrimp isn’t a vegetable.
When was your ‘AHA ‘ moment?
That moment of realisation that indeed, this whole vegan thing is not the worst thing in the world, but could indeed prove to be very beneficial. While I have always been thin, I definitely gained some weight during my university years. It wasn’t a large amount, but my doctor told me that ideally I should lose 6kg. I weighed only 68kg, and at 175cm the weight didn’t show on my frame. I remember feeling angry with the doctor, how dare he tell me I need to lose weight?! Amongst all the eating disorders girls get at early ages, the unhealthy portrayal of beauty by the media and the enormous amount of people who are obese, he was telling me to lose weight? I stopped thinking about it and continued living my active life style. Working as a scuba diving instructor, loving the outdoors and swimming. Not until I became vegetarian did I suddenly notice a huge drop in my scales. True enough, it was the six kg the doctor predicted 4 years ago. I stared at it in astonishment. I indeed hadn’t changed visibly that much, but 6 kg of unnecessary fat suddenly disappeared. All from eliminating meat and milk from my diet.
“Maybe there is something to this” I thought.
Since then I have carefully watched my weight, and indeed, no matter how many carbs I stuff into my self. No matter how many midnight snacks of cereal and almond milk. My mass never fluctuates above 64kg. (which I am putting down to water and food weight). This was an absolutely astonishing revelations, that I could eat much more than previously, and would still keep this magical ideal weight.
What is your favourite documentary to recommend?
While I have a list of the top five documentaries any earth lover should watch available here. I would say, that the one documentary which has the least amount of gore ( I am extremely squeamish and will never ever watch earthlings or any slaughter house videos as I will most likely pass out), yet has compelling evidence of why one should consider the plant based diet. My physics degree taught me : question everything, and never be satisfied. So that was the approach I took to veganism. I questioned every aspect of it.
These and many other questions are what I have attempted to answer over this year. And so far, along with Forks over Knives, all the research I have done has been slowly solidifying my knowledge in the vital role of plants in our health.
What can you not live without?
I meant this in terms of your vegan life style. What has suddenly become so much more important than it ever was when you were eating animal products? For me its hummus.
Hummus is life. Hummus is love.
While in the video I show a 1kg tub I purchased. ( do not judge, it takes me a good two days to finish it ) I am planning to reuse the tub by donating it to Cat Haven for them to keep their dry biscuits in. Cat Haven has a foster program for kittens and cats, where foster parents get free food and they usually bring it home in various hummus containers. SO IT IS ZERO WASTE.
Of course, when the hummus is not on sale. I do make my own. You might remember this super easy recipe I made a few months back. All you need is lemon, chickpeas, salt and pepper!
Favourite Vegan Youtubers?
I have been watching a couple of vegan Youtubers religiously, and after the introduction to the movement by Freelee The Banana Girl, I have definitely mellowed out in the choices of who I watch.
I will have to say, that Mic the Vegan is my spirit animal, my goal and my future best friend. He tackles important and often controversial topics in veganism with class, knowledge and of course : citations. He is the voice of reason in the tsunami of fads, fake science and extremist behaviours. He bases his videos on careful research and deals with everything in a mellow tone.
Another favourite of mine is Sustainably Vegan. This legendary girl has combined my two loves : healthy living for the body and planet. Her channel focuses on living a sustainable life touching upon zero waste, being kind to yourself, vegan food and adventures. Her voice is extremely soothing, her thumbnails are beautiful and every video is a refreshing insight into the thinking of a passionate individual.
Thirdly, I have to include Kate Flowers. Her name suits the blonde, blue eyes, petite dancer perfectly and her channel exudes kindness, acceptance, magnificent food and kindness. (I said kindness twice didn’t I?) Her editing is always beautiful and her food looks as if it has been painted by artists every day. Her smiling face makes anyone excited to try her delicious raw vegan snacks and her message of love and acceptance is inspiring.
Who was the biggest influence to you becoming vegan?
For me, watching documentaries and youtubers definitely helped in sparking my interest in the vegan movement. However, what truly convinced me was Doctor John Mcdougall. I may have mentioned him on this website a few times. He is a doctor with a passion for curing, not only masking, many chronic diseases. Over the past fourty years he has shown that transitioning to a diet based on starch and plant foods, is truly the best way to cure anything from diabetes, obesity, arthritis and even sometimes cancer. My mother who was actually suffering from a rare illness has felt leaps and bounds of improvements since putting his practises into reality. For anyone who is doubtful about veganism, I highly recommend having a read of his book. He is a man of science who has helped many people put hospital days behind him, get off their medication, just through the power of plants. I am still young and healthy, so I did not seek him out to fix an issue, however if this diet and lifestyle can help me live a longer healthier life. Who can say no? (He looks great for a 70 year old.)