A journey to plant based diet.

On 3rd January I decided to switch to a plant based diet. The fact that this was at the start of January, was co-incidental rather than being a new years resolution. This wasn’t something I did on a whim or as a ‘fad’. I had actually been building up to this point for months (years?). For several years, I had been aware that I was probably lactose intolerant. Whenever I consumed a large amount of dairy (particularly milk on it’s own) I would feel nauseous, bloated, have an upset stomach and generally feel unwell – so I switched to Lacto-free milk a long time ago. I think it was probably this awareness of how milk impacted on my body, that initially sparked my interest in plant based diet.

Several friends of mine began sharing information, pictures and details of their plant based diet (and the benefits it was having) and they captured my attention. I am a lover of vegetables anyway, I’ve often opted for Quorn products (over meat) and when dining out I would naturally gravitate towards the vegetarian option. Towards the end of 2017 I met The Holt Twins at an Instagram meet up. They spoke eloquently, openly and convincingly about their journey to plant based – this spurred me to begin researching a plant based diet and to pay attention to those who were plant based.

I was shocked to learn of the impact that meat and dairy has on the human body. I go to the gym regularly in order to keep fit and healthy, so it seemed counter productive to be consuming foods that didn’t provide my body with optimum fuel and health.  It’s shocking how many links there are between milk and diseases such as cancer (sources: [1][2][3][4][5]). Society is aware and understand how bad smoking is…yet are oblivious to the fact that dairy/meat presents a similar level of risk to our bodies. It’s consumed because we are conditioned to do so and because industry wants us to… (or else they will go out of business)!

 

The WHO notes:

Top 10 causes of death worldwide

Of the 56.4 million deaths worldwide in 2015, more than half (54%) were due to the top 10 causes. Ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15 million deaths in 2015. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years

 

Dr. Linda E. Kelemen published a study in February 2005 which reconfirmed the link between meat consumption and heart problems. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, concluded that among the 29,000 participants, those who ate the most meat were also at the greatest risk for heart disease. The researchers also reported that a high intake of protein from vegetable sources like tofu, nuts, and beans lowers our risk of heart disease by 30 percent. Dr. Linda E. Kelemen, the scientist who headed the study, told reporters, “Not all proteins are equal”—while vegetable protein can help keep our hearts healthy, eating animal protein can put us in an early grave. [SOURCE]

I also watched two films on Netflix “What The Health” and “Forks Over Knives”. One is more sensationalised than the other, but nevertheless, these also helped secure my decision to switch to plant-based.

I’m not strictly ‘vegan’ because my driver to switch diet is driven by my health desires, however on switching I am becoming increasingly empathic towards the plight of animals – especially knowing that there is no need to consume rotting flesh and baby cows milk. The more I think about it, the more I find the thought of it repugnant.

To conclude, I am 15 days in and I have never felt better. I have so much energy. I can comfortably complete a days work (often my job is quite physical), a solid hour in the gym – and still have plenty of energy to keep going. I can cope better on less sleep. My skin and hair feel healthier and I am toning up much quicker than I have ever before. I’ve not been hungry once and my meals are tasty, satisfying and quick! The whole process has been quite liberating rather than restricting. Knowing I only need to choose from plant based food groups is far easier for me when it comes to shopping and cooking.