Pursuing plants

Posted on August 26, 2013

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26a7c1ce34ba789a9b17fe0c1c174c34It’s been a few weeks since I made the decision to adopt a mainly plant-based diet. I think it was a long-time coming really. I’ve been intrigued about plant-based lifestyles for some time and have listened to no shortage of podcasts on the subject. I’m fascinated by the fact that many of the world’s leading athletes are vegans and felt that it wouldn’t be that dramatic a shift anyway given that I’m not a big meat-eater full stop and already eat a load of fresh produce.

My main concern was that a plant-based diet requires so much more work … more time to chop and cook … and therein lies the operative word … ‘cook.’ I remember H1 even saying in his wedding speech, a long, long time ago, that I clearly thought ‘ku-king’ was a city in China or something … such is my complete incapability in the kitchen. I blame a history of great home-cooked meals, boarding school and a lifetime of home help. By the time I was a ‘grown up’, it seemed too late to learn.

These past weeks however have been easy and transformational in many ways. I’ve immersed myself in absorbing as much information as possible … listening to Vegan Radio on the metro, listening to Rich Roll and others whilst I run, reading blogs, writing notes and bombarding darling (& patient) Deon with questions every night. It was he, after all, who led me to starting this journey. I find his thoughts on his vegan lifestyle nothing short of inspirational and want to experience it as he does.

I’ve had no withdrawal symptoms from ditching my daily go-to tins of tuna. (Note: not possible to burn) and contrary to what many converts report, I’ve not found myself dreaming about chicken tikka or pork chops. I’ve been buying a far greater variety of veg in the supermarket, albeit, I remain semi-limited due to my reluctance to buy any produce not grown within the region and the shelves here are a treasure trove when it comes to different types of legumes and pulses.

Being a slave to my lattes, I wondered about the dairy side of things. I didn’t think I like soy milk and almond milk requires you to take out a second mortgage just to purchase a measly carton … but, whilst soy milk does take a little getting used to, it’s really fine and dare I say it, quite tasty.

It’s only been a matter of weeks I know, time here in Dubai as well. I’ve yet to work out how to handle dinners with friends and family, parties and events or eating on the move but, one step at a time. I leave Wednesday for a few weeks in Indonesia and Thailand so I shall update on progress in due course …

I feel great. I’m definitely not lacking in energy and I somehow just feel cleaner, lighter. I also feel like this big burden has been lifted from my shoulders. A carnivore’s diet is so detrimental to our planet and whilst I increasingly find myself getting passionately vocal about the environment, it seemed totally hypocritical that I was only adding to the problems with the food I was eating.

As for how far I’ll take this, I don’t yet know. I’ll continue to use the word ‘plant-based’ rather than ‘vegan’, that’s for sure. The latter seems kind of extreme and I’m not so strict that I won’t let a dairy-filled chocolate bar or a non-vegan wine, or ten, ever pass my lips. And, a true vegan wears no leather, which would cause havoc with my penchant for Mulberry handbags.

I’m loving, however, this new journey and the more I learn about it, the more I feel passionate about embracing it.

Of course, whilst I personally, tend to jump into things head first, I hope never to become a vegengelist. But if you find yourself just a little veg-curious, there are endless great platforms online … some educational, some inspirational, some thought-provoking and the best of the best, a combination of all three. I particularly like Brendan Brazier’s www.thriveforward.com where you can sign up to a totally free programme to learn about different aspects of a plant-based lifestyle. www.vegankit is also cool.

I’ll leave you with a quote by this very clever dude we all know of, called Albert Einstein. He said,

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

And you know what? I think he might just be onto something!

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