that is how much cheese I used to eat!
this is how much cheese I used to eat!

So back in May or June I decided to try out being vegan. This was triggered by a lot of research into the dairy trade and the effects of dairy on our bodies. I do no plan to write any of these facts in this blog post and will TRY not to come across like an animal rights activist. Please do your own research and let me know if you still fancy a big glass of cows milk afterwards Β πŸ™‚

I have been a Vegetarian for twenty five years but the more research I did I became aware of how I am still contributing to unnecessary animal cruelty. This made me very uncomfortable so I decided to take action. I also came to the realisation that my large intake of dairy may be contributing to some of my health concerns. Living overseas a lot, particularly in Greece my intake of cheese was pretty much part of my daily diet. Now that I am back in the UK with all the alternatives available and a ‘saganaki’ belly I could do with shifting I thought, why not try being Vegan. So I stopped buying dairy, I needed an alternative for cereals, coffee and tea so proceeded to try soya, almond, rice, coconut and hemp milk both sweetened and unsweetened. I now regularly buy unsweetened almond and soya milk and this change has been relatively easy. I use soya or dairy free spreads, have converted from a milk-chocolate-a-holic to a dark chocolate one. Cheese and eggs are no longer in my life. Cheese I thought was going to be the hardest thing to give up but once I stopped eating it, the desire was gone. I also find as I am more conscious to make sure I have all my nutrients and plenty of vegetables in my diet my overall health and awareness of food and cooking has improved immensely. Which can only be a good thing right?

Cherry picking for making jam!
Cherry picking for making jam!

When this all started I honestly did not think I could keep this up long term, but once you do your research and learn what you can and can’t eat it is really not that difficult to go vegan and the health benefits are obvious. I no longer wake up having to choke up large lumps of phlegm (so gross!). I had completely blamed this on a side effect of having asthma, but it turns out it was the dairy. I no longer suffer from bloating, which I used to get regularly. The other more obvious side effect to others is that I am over a full stone lighter in weight! I have not started going to the gym or made any other major change in my lifestyle other than cutting out dairy, and unlike other times when I have lost weight, it has not come from my face or arms but mostly from my belly (see it was all cheese!)

Yummy Indian Thali
Yummy Indian Thali

So with not that much effort I have become ‘almost a vegan’. I do not bring dairy into the home as a part of my groceries but I do have the odd bit of milk chocolate (I am addicted! and sometimes I just need it ok!)I have also had eggs once when I stayed overnight in a hotel and have had cheese twice when eating out and it being the only veggie options. So I am about 90% vegan Β I can cope with the rare bit of cheese or an egg even but I just can’t imagine buying a carton of animal milk ever again, even looking at it makes me feel a little squeamish. I know its crazy I have drunk it my whole life but now its no longer a part of it, I have no interest in it ever returning.

ok, so maybe it was not all cheese in my belly!
ok, so maybe it was not all cheese in my belly!

Will I be vegan forever?I am very aware how difficult this will be to maintain in certain countries should I be travelling again and I shall cross that bridge when I come to it. I guess and I plan to stay that way for as long as my lifestyle allows. I want to be able to still go to restaurants and enjoy a meal so if there is a vegan option, brilliant! If not I can have the veggie one and call it a treat, we all need treats at some point right?

Advertisements