Becoming a Vegetarian then transitioning to Vegan has been a revelation with some surprising results to both my mental as well as physical well being. Veganuary is a great opportunity to try new healthy meals, light cakes and feel good about making a real difference.
My love for animals began with my rabbit Beau, a beautiful Silver Fox rabbit purchased at The South of England Show. He taught me to be kind and compassionate, he was, in a way, my first love.
From Beau we then had a cat then came the dog then, at the age of 11 years, I discovered ponies and that passion for ponies and horses continues today. Yet, I never made the connection between my love of animals and the food I was eating.
In my house we ate chicken, beef, lamb and seafood, my parents cooked traditional meals and so vegetarian meals were rare.
Most of the people I knew were meat eaters so it wasn’t until I started to read about animal welfare and talk to people did I identify myself as someone that no longer wanted to eat meat.
Vegetarian to Vegan (almost)
I wasn’t a vegetarian for very long before I started to learn more about the additional health benefits of also ditching dairy products too.
I thoroughly enjoyed eating vegetarian meals; the colour, the taste and how I felt after eating a delicious healthy meat free meal.
Becoming a ‘conscious’ foodie means I now think carefully about what I choose to cook and eat, this means I am discovering new flavours and eating food I had never before heard of. It is an enjoyable learning journey.
There are still areas I’m working on such as cheese, especially over Christmas, and I love Halloumi cheese.
Meat substitutes not for me – plant based products
Ditching meat and cheese for ‘substitutes’ is not my thing. My reason for becoming Vegan is to ditch animal products for more plant based products, so I am not a fan of fake bacon and fake chicken nuggets, my personal opinion is that its more enjoyable to discover healthy plant based alternatives.
There are lots of delicious vegan recipes online as the popularity of this diet continues to blossom worldwide.
There are lots of recipes on the Veganuary website too but here are a few of my favourites.
- 10 bean chilli
- Chana Masala
- Nut roast
- Vegan chocolate cake
- Vegetarian soups
- Bubble and Squeak
- Vegetable fajitas
- Butternut squash wellington roast
Health benefits of Vegan diet
With Cancer in the family you naturally find yourself researching ‘how to prevent cancer‘. I did not feel that ‘Cancer was inevitable’, I wanted to know more about whether our lifestyles were increasing our ‘risk’ of cancer.
Stress and Cancer
Stress is a silent killer, it effects us in different ways, from MS to Cancer, stress accounts for more health issues than we care to admit as stress is something we hide and mask with alcohol or over/under eating.
Milk and Cancer
The natural estrogens found in milk (especially pregnant cows) could be linked to breast, testicular and prostate cancers all are classed as Hormone Dependent Cancers (meaning they need sex hormones to grow).
Dr. Davaasambuu linked rising rates of dairy consumption to the increased death rates from prostate cancer (from near zero per 100,000 men five decades ago to seven per 100,000 men today) and noted that breast cancer also appears to be linked to milk and cheese consumption.
The link to milk is largely due to the fact that the average cow is milked for 300 days a year
Question the Quality of meat you are buying
“Even organic chickens are not really organic” is what I was told recently. Before I became vegetarian I would always buy corn fed chicken or organic chicken to ensure my bird had had a good quality of life and eaten off the land, and not in a cage.
How can we be so sure our food has been well cared for? We can’t. Seeing a pig shaking in terror before it was slaughtered will live with me forever.
Looking a feeling terrific
My skin and nails, my whole mental and physical health is much improved on my new (almost) vegan diet.
My daughter and I have been through a lot of heartache in the last few years, but we both feel ‘calm’. I no longer feel anxiety, down or hormonal. It can only be down to my new diet plant based diet.
For 2019 my goal is to ditch the cheese permanently (!) and look at replacing leather with other products to truly associate myself with being a vegan and join the cause of many helping to change the lives of animals and people across the world.
Meet Maud and Mavis
Maud and Mavis (not their actual names) are the pigs we often visit here in the the New Forest. They always greet us when are out walking so we feed them apples.