Ruth is from Wales and has lived abroad for nearly 10 years, she enjoys her vegan lifestyle, loves animals and hopes to inspire others along the way. Her new blog is up and running at http://ruthculbreth.wordpress.com
Congratulations, if you are reading this you made it to the year that Marty McFly flew to in his DeLorean! 2015!
I truly believed that 2014 was the year that vegans were going to rule the world, or at least make big movements and we did make some (check out these bad boys), but now is the year to really make a difference.
We are now recognised as more than just hippie weirdos in mainstream media. My husband and I have noticed that the references to veganism have become more and more acceptable and less used as a punchline, well except for this.
We were the awesome lesbian vegans in the movie ‘Pride’ and we were portrayed as a vegan son in an episode of Midsomer Murders (yes, my husband and I shamelessly watch this on YouTube) who made a point to mention why the Dairy Industry is awful and who wasn’t the murderer of those that ran the Dairy farm… Hooray!
Also, if you haven’t watched ‘Bones’ you should because animal activist and vegan actress Emily Deschanel uses her show to drop great big vegan hints and we love her for it! It has become politically incorrect/professional suicide to portray us as the loser/enemy, why? Maybe because there are so many of us out there now! Again… Hooray!
I would tell people who are considering joining the increasingly growing movement to plan, plan, plan before doing so, not to put you off but to ensure that you don’t fall off the wagon soon after. It disheartens me that I hear so many stories of people giving up being vegan because it was too hard to be healthy when the reality is that it is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself, other humans, animals and the environment. We are not at a place yet where Veganism is as convenient as eating meat is, but we are certainly getting there. Give it time and realise that the more we (the consumers) demand, the more we can get.
7 basic steps to being a vegan from a fellow vegan (not an expert in any way, shape or form.)
1. Prepare. Read vegan blogs, those that will really show you healthy recipes that are quick and easy and also give you support. Knowing there are other vegans out there always helps me and puts a huge smile on my face.
Here’s a list of the best to follow but bear in mind there are so many out there you just have to do a faithful Google search 😉
2. Don’t eat less, eat MORE. The thing about being a vegan is that it opens up your world to a different food mindset. When I was 17 I became a vegetarian, then I read and at 28 I became a vegan, then I read and a year later I started eating organic and a lot healthier, diving into a world of words I had never heard before -Quinoa, Flax, Nutritional yeast, Chickpeas, Chia, Turmeric,- and the list goes on. I had grown up on fish fingers, chips, and beans and I have come a long way with a long way to go. You don’t have to eat any less as a vegan, you can eat so much more. Especially if it is all good, unprocessed food.
3. Start your day with a smoothie. I love smoothies! Sometimes when I wake up I am so tired that I can’t even imagine beginning to teach 5-year-olds at 9 am (yes, I do that as a living!,) but instead of a coffee which is what most people will look for, especially in Korea (where I teach said 5-year-olds,) I have a smoothie. The best thing about them is that you are literally packing so much food into it that you are saving so much time remembering to eat it all later.
Our morning smoothie:
– 1 1/2 bananas
– 2-3 oranges
– 2-3 handfuls of frozen fruit (blueberries/strawberries/blackberries… whatever is in the freezer/on sale at the time)
– Molasses (needs time to get used to but tastes so sweet and packed with Iron)
– Spinach (cannot be tasted and is digested more successfully with Vit. C)
– 2 tablespoons of Flax/Chia mix
I have basically had all my fruit needs met before I start work and I don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day unless to snack.
4. Make notes about how your body and mind changes. I am not anywhere near as healthy as some and I am very lazy when it comes to exercise, but I have noticed changes that really make a difference to me. I have a lot more long-lasting energy that consistently keeps me going through the day. My skin has improved, it used to be a lot dryer especially at the elbows. I don’t have white spots under my finger nails. (A common idea is that these white spots are calcium deficiencies and if you have them you MUST drink more milk! HA.)
I went to the dentist 6 months ago to have an x-ray of the bones that support my teeth, which are now very strong and very healthy! I have lost weight that I found hard to shift before and it stays off, even if I eat a thousand ‘fatty’ avocados. Good fat is Good fat so don’t give it up!
5. Find vegan friends/groups. I have wonderful friends from my dark past as a meat eater 😉 who support me wholeheartedly, but I cannot be myself with them as much as I would like. When it comes to food I always try my best not to be the burden, but sometimes I would LOVE to be the burden. That is where vegan friends come in, being able to eat openly and talk about issues is such a weightlifter. Vegan groups can be found anywhere, there is even a vegan potluck in Seoul, Korea!
6. Always remember why. My reason for being a vegan is first and foremost because of the animals which always helps my will power stay strong, but whether you are a vegan for animals, health or the environment, keep focussed at all times so you don’t slip out of habit.
7. Don’t listen to others. Most vegans will tell you that the hardest part about being a vegan is dealing with people, not finding food or eating right, just the people! People can be brutal. Forgive their ignorance and hurtful comments. Don’t forget all vegans have experienced the exact same situations and questions that you will inevitably be faced with. Read this article and memorise the responses
Go forth and prosper young vegan, you are about to change the world!