The first time that I started to consciously consider my food choices was back in 2007 when I was about 13 years old and I decided to go vegetarian (though I was technically a lacto-ovo-pescaratian as my parents insisted I continue to eat dairy and fish).
I was raised in a traditional ‘meat and veg’ family, where my mum would always have a delicious dinner on the table for us by 6:30pm. My favourites were curried sausages, spaghetti bolognese, and a deliciously creamy chicken and rice dish. Everyone else I knew ate in the exact same manner, except for three friends of mine who happened to be vegetarian .
I was always interested in my vegetarian friend’s eating habits, and when they started to share their concerns about animal and environmental welfare with me, I became determined to try their way of eating. My parents were pretty accomodating of my ‘phase’ and cooked me up falafel patties and veggie burgers alongside their meals. But my vegetarian stint only lasted for about a year. I started getting sick a lot and feeling tired all the time. Looking back on it I can see now that I was definitely a junk food vegetarian – rather than focussing on finding plant-based nutrients, I filled up on processed ‘fake meats’ and other junk.
Since then I haven’t really done much about it. Over the years I’ve had little phases where I’ve declared that I am ‘going Vegan’ – but the longest that has lasted has been about three weeks. I’ve gone back to my meat-eating ways, and worse – as a kid I was pretty healthy and active, but as an adult my partner and I lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle and consume a lot of takeaways and junk food. I’m about 25kg’s overweight, and for the most part I often feel quite sluggish and gross.
Over the last year, I have started looking into a Whole food Plant-Based Diet (WFPB) as a way of living. I’ve watched interviews, documentaries, read research reports and blog articles, and recipes and anecdotes — and I have to say I am convinced that WFPB is the way to go in terms of diet. It basically means cutting out meat and dairy products, as well as most overly-processed foods and oils.
There is a lot of evidence that shows that this way of eating can potentially prevent or reverse heart disease and even cancer. A WFPB diet promotes weight-loss and increased energy levels, as well as animal welfare and positive improvements to the environment.
At first a WFPB diet intrigued me because of the weight-loss aspect. But the more I have looked into it, the more I have come to realise that the Western diet I am so accustomed to promotes cruelty towards animals, allows millions of people to die of starvation while the rest of us suffer from obesity and heart-disease, and has a level of environmental impact that is so intense that it is impossible to fully comprehend it.
For these reasons, I have decided to adopt a WFPB diet. It’s not going to happen overnight, and there’s going to be lots of ups and downs, wins and losses, but it is going to happen. One day I will get it right, and between now and then I am going to be trying my best to make it happen. I have made this section on my blog so I can keep you guys updated and keep myself accountable.
Here’s a link to my Instagram account SkippingForward where I’ll be posting photos of my food creations, my exercise regime, and hopefully my weight-loss progress. It’s going to be a big year full of learning and challenges!
If you’d like more info on a WFPB diet, you can watch the videos below or check out some of these amazing websites.
Forks Over Knives (Netflix)
What The Health (Netflix)
Vegan 2018 (Youtube)
Clean Food Dirty Girl (Website)
Dr. McDougall (Website)
Yup It’s Vegan (Website)