Every now and then I get asked why I’m not thinner as a vegan. In my early 30’s that would have upset me and I’d have started fretting and exercising compulsively. For the record, running 20 miles and eating whole tubs of full-fat ice-cream every week “because I’ve earned it” does not make for a healthy lifestyle! Sure, I was a size 12 back then, but I also suffered from arthritis (as far back as my 20’s!) and craved sweet things constantly. I was chronically tired despite getting 8 hours sleep every night. And then I stumbled upon veganism, and hand on heart it has changed my life. I want nothing more than to bring vegan inspiration to as many people as possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still mindful of weight. Although I don’t do a perfect job of maintaining it I’m passionate about what our family eats, trying to find healthy, affordable food full of balanced nutrition.

But I also want our meals to be exciting and following a vegan way of eating has inspired us to try so many new things.

My first year as a vegan was spent flip-flopping from one prepared or heavily processed meal to the next. All with the aim of making life easier for a busy career woman, or so I told myself. It took me a while to start casting my vegan net a bit wider – the day I ate my first olive and avocado was a game changer!

My enthusiasm was also tempered growing up surrounded by good family cooks. In year one, after buying my first vegan cookbook, I opened it up and instantly feel overwhelmed. My initial thought was “I can’t do this, I’m a rubbish cook”. I worried that if I tried something new whatever I brought to the family table would be some soggy, strange mess.

But what I lacked in skill and practice I made up for with experimentation. Thirst for excitement made me braver (helped by a glass of vegan rose to calm the nerves)… And a kitchen of vegan-weird was born in which there have been some amazing moments. We’ve combined a bit of this and a bit of that, and sometimes meals have soared to new highs. We’ve also had some real “crash ‘n burn” moments and when they go wrong, oh boy can it be frustrating, but I try to see the funny side.

Food is just one element though, and following a vegan path can help you find your feet in a more mindful, open and healthy lifestyle. There is a vegan silver lining on every fluffy, marshmallow-like (vegan of course!) cloud that floats by and I want to find and share this inspiration with you.

While it was a love of animals and a sudden awakening to their sentience and connection to a wider world that propelled me into veganism, the food and health benefits have been a more than welcome side effect!

Let’s explore a range of topics – food, health, beauty, environment and household. I’ll hunt down the excitement, happiness and inspiration. I’ll keep asking questions and striving for corporate change.

My Journey to Inspiration

Unhealthy before veganism

I was 5 years younger in  this picture!

After nearly a decade in New York I had adopted a rather lazy diet and lifestyle. Most of my food was prepared for me, either at restaurants, takeaways, or the thousands of processed ready-meal options at grocery stores. I ate cheese three times a day, meat almost every other, and drank milk in lattes and cereal as if I’d heard there was going to be a global shortage. Even though I kept exercising regularly I still ended up way outside my healthy BMI. After a routine annual medical with our doctor, I had some really worrying results back from a full blood-screen. I won’t bore you with the detail, but let’s just say it was a huge eye-opener. At that point veganism wasn’t even remotely on my radar, and I battled daily with half-hearted attempts to reduce the amount of cheese I was eating, eat less eggs, have macchiato instead of latte (less milk!) and eat fish rather than chicken. I’d already given up beef at that point because of my cow obsession. When I think back I’m stumped as to why I didn’t expand that horizon to all animals. After a year of trying to cut down I hadn’t achieved anything…

It was finally watching Food Inc which led me to an instantaneous decision to go vegan. I could not look myself in the mirror anymore knowing I was contributing to the suffering I had just witnessed in the documentary.

 

After veganism healthy MichelleWithin a year of being a vegan, while my weight had only reduced 1 dress size (Only?! I almost did backflips when I could fit into older clothes!) the path to achieving this drop was without thought. It wasn’t about giving up/reducing/limiting as with every diet I’d tried previously.  Making better plant-based and fresh food choices becomes an unconscious decision as a vegan, putting you on an easy journey to more balanced nutrition. Along with the smaller dress size I have clearer skin, more energy, a sharper mind, no signs of my old arthritic woes, and I do yoga with more flexibility than I had in my early 20’s!

My lust for life has been restored, and I wake every day feeling purposeful – saving lives, reducing greenhouse gasses, encouraging a better future for the next generations, and trying to motivate everyone who will listen to eat for health and happiness.

I am not:

  • A Chef
  • A Nutritionist
  • An Activist
  • Thin

But I do:

  • Love all animals (although I tread pretty carefully around spiders!)
  • Feel most calm surrounded entirely by nature
  • Believe we can make a difference, no matter how small, to our environment

And I am:

  • Passionate about veganism
  • Curious and exploratory by nature, hunting for inspiration
  • A lover of tasty and interesting food
  • A lover of good wine and cider
  • An occasional consumer of cocktails
  • A beauty experimenter (less blue eye-shadow, more red lipstick!)

Please be assured all views that I share are my own, including those on food, equipment, restaurants, cafes, bars, cosmetics and companies that I find along the way.

My aim is to help surface the best of these for you, so we can enjoy an inspired, happy future together.

Vegan inspiration

Together let’s Simplify Happy Choices

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on Pinterest

About Michelle

Michelle grew up in a culture where it was normal to eat meat at every meal. Watching close family suffer multiple health problems drove her to learn more about eating for health. After watching Food Inc Michelle took the plunge into veganism and hasn’t looked back since. She is now on a mission to bring vegan inspiration to everyone!