embracing a vegan diet… my journey
I thought I would re-post this today (OLD post) to celebrate 1 & 1/2 years of being vegan – plus it gives a little more insight into my food philosophy and journey towards health (a continuing work in progress!) I would love you to share your own experiences/thoughts/trials and tribulations in the comments.
When I started this blog, I wasn’t a vegan. I’ve been a work in progress ever since I was about 9 and obsessed with pigs. Anything and everything to do with them, I loved. My bedroom was full of them… ‘Babe’ was my favourite movie…. I knew I didn’t want to eat them. As an angst-ridden teenager I decided steak was gross and stopped eating red meat, maybe for more attention, who knows? Chicken left the diet when I was a poor student, because it was expensive. Fish grossed me out anyway. For a long time, I didn’t eat a lot of anything at all.
The years of my late teens and early twenties were horrible, battling depression, toxic habits and poor self esteem. Over the years I have worked out that a pure, plant based diet and keeping food as close to it’s natural form as possible works for me. Avoiding refined sugar helps keep my mood stable, and yoga is essential for my mental focus and clarity. Anything I write about is what works for me…. it may not work for you, but this is not your blog now, is it? Let’s be friends.
I suffered from extreme anemia while pregnant, so reverted back to eating meat while I carried Misty. After he was born, and the hormones had settled down, eating meat didn’t feel right. It felt heavy, unnatural, didn’t sit well with me.
Seafood had become one of my favourite things… especially living in Australia where it is abundant, fresh and available everywhere. I loved yoghurt more than anything, and would rip through tubs of honey a week.
I started thinking more… about where my food comes from, what it does for my body… how it gets to my plate. I felt like I was being pulled in two directions, I needed some kind of focus… in my mind, in my diet, my conscience was conflicted. Reading and researching helped me gain clarity, I just needed to let go of those final ‘tasty,’ foods that were holding me back. Where they really so ‘tasty’ to me any more though? When I examined my diet, eating any animal product didn’t seem relevant to me… I had enough nutrition knowledge by this point to go vegan responsibly.
Surprisingly, I don’t miss any of those supposed ‘can’t possibly live without,’ foods… I’ve discovered and created delicious alternatives that, dare I say it, I prefer. I feel as though becoming vegan has opened up a whole new world of cooking creativity and inspiration for me.
I seem to always cook vegan by default. Kitchen experimenting is my favourite thing to do… usually the challenge of vegan cooking inspires me to the extent of producing superior results. I love to try new things… RAW foods, sprouting, dehydrating, fermenting – cooking is such an evolving art form for me – it’s become how I best express myself.
Since food consumption in my household doesn’t just involve me these days, I have to think about 2 others and their nutritional needs. Viper wants to eat meat, and he thinks Misty should eat meat, so I do include organic free range meat, chicken, eggs and dairy in our weekly groceries. We go by the ideals of buy less, buy better and make veggies and grains the main focus of omni meals, with small amounts of animal protein. This works well for Viper, and Misty actually rejects meat at the moment…. so we make do.
This blog has become about me expressing myself creatively, through wholesome, nutritional, predominately vegan food. I do include meat/dairy recipes as I cook these for my family, and I know most of my readers aren’t vegan. I also am passionate about cooking allergen friendly fare – everyone, no matter what kind of intolerance, deserves to eat amazing, vibrant, healthfully fun food. It can be done.
I have also come to appreciate the fact, that it’s not just what goes into your body, it’s what you put on it, wash it with, and so on. Keeping things as close to nature as possible is my goal… that goes for skin, hair and house.
Being vegan is not just about what you eat, of course. It encompasses lifestyle and the respect of all other living things. My journey is one that is constantly evolving and changing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.