Becoming Vegan, was not, as I would have liked it to have been, for the animals, or even the environment. I have tried on those causes many times, and sadly failed, straddling a half way house instead - soya milk in my coffee and mozzarella on my pizza.
Nope, I was fairly well ensconced in the ignorant bliss of cheese world, and it took something huge to tip that scale. The deciding factor, the one that tipped me over the semi vegan edge, was my husband's heart attack at age 39. Despite popular consumerist conception that we need meat and dairy for our protein and calcium, I found myself falling down a rabbit hole of compelling medical research suggesting the huge life supporting evidence of veganism (books references at end and highly recommended - don't wait till you have a heart attack though). Whilst many folks could not be convinced, choosing to lean on 1980's advertised wisdom instead. I was, however, susceptible to this fascinating new glut of information. Life and death tends to do that for you.
So several weeks in and I have already noticed several wonderful and unexpected effects of this new plant based diet.
1) The first change, that came about, almost immediately, was a big boost in my energy. The past year had had it's way with me and I was so very lethargic. I could literally feel my muscles slackening and my physical motivation had left the room. A few days into veganism and I was back on the trampoline with the kids, laughing my damned head off. It wasn't a chore, it wasn't a hardship. It was fun, and I had the beans to do it, literally and metaphorically.
2) Waking up in the morning was suddenly so easy. Instead of negotiating with a two year and and trying to find ways to let mummy lie down a bit longer. I was up with the larks.
3) On the opposite end, I was staying up later with no ill effects. My previous lethargy had lead to me going to bed not long after my kids, but now I'm staying up till (shock horror) 11pm! A massive me-time bonus for this tired mama!
4) I feel more connected to my truth. Which sounds like a bit of a wishy washy concept. But it has aligned something in me that desperately needed aligning. Eating dairy products before came with guilt for me, because I know the horrors of that industry. So any such meal was one laden with regret. Now that I'm not dosing myself up on that, I feel clear, in line with my heart, and grateful for the food I consume.
5) I haven't especially lost weight - that wasn't the reason behind this. However I've notices a flattening of my stomach and a general trimness of this old bod. Perhaps this is the healthier food, combined with the extra energy. Either way I feel I have halted the onset of middle agedness a little.
6) As a spiritual writer and author, and a lover of tarot, my intuition and inspiration has been madly improved. Now my body isn't dealing with foods that made me feel sluggish I am free to explore my spiritual connection. To the point that last week I wrote a whole new book that seemed sent directly sent from a higher power. Yeah, that's pretty cool.
7) My husband, who was a heavy meat eater pre-heart attack, and who is still partial to it, has seen some huge changes. He lost weight quickly and has enjoyed the meals prepared. Plus, I'm not gonna mince my words, our love life has improved. Exponentially. 19 years and 2 kids later - who knew!
8) I don't miss what I was eating before - vegetarian. This new curve feels well overdue. And I have knocked together some pretty incredible meals. Everything can be veganised these days. Just this weekend I used a meat based curry recipe from The Curry Guy and turned it into a rich, creamy, better than the local takeaway style masala. It can be done!
9) As a pizza lover, I figured this would be my biggest challenge. I thought cheese was the thing that made pizza so great. I have discovered that actually a good base, roast peppers, onion and a tonne of chilli, with a sprinkling of vegan cheese, is the bomb. And Hummus is a god send that makes a very happy garlic mayo alternative.
10) I feel alive. In so many ways. I am energised, excited and a little bit reborn. This has opened doors and had me following my nose into new adventure - a cow sanctuary volunteer day was one such madcap adventure just this past Sunday. Aligning with self, inner knowing and being health focused has been a revelation!
Follow my Vegan Journey, ups down and cooking successes at INSTAGRAM
Recommended Reading: How Not To Die Dr Michael Greger and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B Esselstyn