A couple of years ago when I was reading a book (not the one photographed) I came to a section that was talking about how certain foods can effect ones mood and health. I mean I was somewhat aware of this, I guess in the way that we are all kinda conscious of we are what we eat. But this really opened my eyes and kinda forced me to re-think my lifestyle in the way of what I eat. If you have read this blog before, you’ll know I have been diagnosed with M.E (what I know now to be Epstein-Barr virus but more on that another time) since the age of eleven and though I’m at a point where I’m able to somewhat manage it, I will always look to new ways that can help restore my health at most or contribute to making my days a little more painless at the least.
After reading how animals and before they get slaughtered, their body releases a stress hormone and then when we eat that meat, we could be putting that into our body, was information I couldn’t ignore. I mean I had always wanted to be a vegetarian, as I hated the idea of slaughter anyway but I guess it was just easier to carry on eating meat. I feel that we are bought up believing that a meal isn’t a meal unless it’s got some kind of meat but thats simply not the case. Then there is the effect that agriculture is having on our planet, how it’s effecting global warming, I can’t learn this Information and then choose to ignore it, that doesn’t sit right with me.
There were many reasons to push me in the direction of giving up meat or at least becoming conscious of my meat intake. That’s when it came to me, I would become a conscious meat eater with the hope of one day giving it up all together. I firmly believe that we as the human race have a responsibility to do all that we can for this planet and for all living things on it. Imagine if we all became conscious of how much meat we ate, if all households took their meat intake from 7 days a week to say like, 3. This would eventually have a positive effect on our planet, on our animals and on our health. Being a conscious eater is beneficial and in my opinion, needed.
What I liked about the idea of becoming a conscious meat eater was that it wasn’t as restrictive as just cutting the cord and becoming vegan cold turkey (excuse the pun) but obviously if that’s what you want and you can do it, then go for it, that’s awesome. For me, I knew it would take a little more getting used to. So I started by cutting out pork and beef, reducing my chicken intake to 2-3 times a week and fish 1-2 times a week. I switched normal dairy milk for oat milk in my cereal, I still have dairy milk in my tea but that’s all. I found cheese really quite difficult to cut out of my weekly diet because I freaking love cheese and yogurts were something I was eating a couple of times a day. The dairy has definitely been the most challenging but what I will say is, that the longer you stick it out, the easier it does become and you do, over time, get used to the alternatives. For me, I have found the steady process of slowly cutting out the meat and reducing my dairy intake much easier, then had I just stopped one day.
The thing I like about not sticking a vegan label on myself, is that when there are those times where I wanna give in and have a pizza or some ice cream, I don’t need to feel like I’m cheating, I know that sounds conflicting because it’s kinda like are you against the meat and dairy industry or not?! And whilst I am, I’m also a human who has eaten a certain way for a long time and sometimes I fall down but the point is I’m trying and for 90% of the time, I am leading a “vegan” (for lack of a better term) diet. This is it though, the more we can all consciously contribute to making small changes, the more likely this world can change for the better. I genuinely belive this. I also believe that if I were to call myself a vegan, it’s like everything would become the forbidden fruit and for me that would just make it more tempting, so this way if faced with a tempting chicken dish, I can choose not to have the said dish rather then feeling like I can’t because of a label I’ve put on myself. Does that kinda make sense?! I only say this in case someone reading this has been toying with the idea of cutting out meat and dairy and so they might find this steady approach easier and more achievable.
I must also also say that my diet/lifestyle choices are also due to my health and if you suffer with M.E/cfs, gastrointestinal issues like IBS or even Thyroid problems then I strongly recommend picking up a copy of Medical Medium by Anthony Williams. Though if you do follow my suggestion please try and keep an open mind. We often think pills and medication must always be the answers but maybe this isn’t always the case.
I’ll get back to you with a post soon, to share some foods I have found and come to actually enjoy.
I really hope this is post that comes across encouraging and not preachy. I really just wanted to share my experiences with the hope it might inspire someone who’s likeminded or simply thinking about cutting out meat and dairy. This is simply what has worked for me and how I have gone about making the changes that I wanted to make. It would be easy to assume that i’m just jumping on another trend/diet fad but I can sincerely say that this something I am serious about and have been for a couple of years now.
Best wishes with love and light,