My Vegan Journey: Week 1
Who would have thunk it? Me the previously avid meat~eater and dairy fiend switching first to veggie (briefly) and then almost overnight to vegan!
Initially was as a mark of solidarity to one of my vegan daughters (two of my three daughters are vegan) who has recently started on the path of sobriety. In order to motivate her, I have agreed to give something up too: animal products. I honestly thought it would be a struggle and that I would feel horribly deprived and miss my meat, eggs and dairy. Surprisingly I can hand on heart say that it’s not been hard with the single exception of finding that I am soy intolerant. Being away, having no car & having a very limited shop option means that for the rest of my time away I am having to resort back to cows milk for my coffee as black coffee makes me nauseous and natural yoghurt for my overnight oats (I did try with water but it was vile). However, once I get home I’ll be buying in all milk & yoghurt soy/dairy alternatives to carry out a taste test and come up with a dairy alternative that I can enjoy.
What I have noticed so far is that I haven’t had any diverticulitis pain, it may be entirely coincidental, so only time will tell if it is due to the change in diet. My skin initially broke out but has now become clearer and smoother. I feel less clouded, although my brain is still very foggy I am less discombobulated than usual. That is all so far, but then again it is very early days. I am very aware that the removal of dairy from the diet is known to help reduce diverticular symptoms. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis however, may have no improvement, so not getting my hopes up whilst secretly wondering if some pain flares and other symptoms may be lessened by diet as perhaps some foods may be exacerbating them.
So first obstacle, going dairy free ~ this was initially a daunting prospect but with online shops such as Goodness Direct, https://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/diet/V-Vegan.html doesn’t need to be difficult. I appear to be okay with some soy products such as ice-cream, cream & custard but perhaps that’s more because they are treats, rarely eaten. Soy milk & yoghurt however, eaten daily caused intense stomach cramps and pain. This means searching for a milk & yoghurt alternative will be necessary on my return, but top alternative is coyo yoghurt http://coyo.com/enuk/faq/ (which I know I like) and possibly Oatly milk. http://www.oatly.com/products/united-kingdom/
As for eggs ~ not an issue at all, this was a surprise because I have in the past relied on eggs as a quick snack, omelettes, poached, scrambled etc ~ warm whole meal pitta and hummus hits the spot just as well (and creates less washing up!). What about CAKE!?!?! A major necessity for me and I thought baking without eggs would be a challenge and a half. Again, not an issue and so far I have got a vegan chocolate cake and frosting down to a tee ~ not wanting to brag but dayum it’s good! I then started looking into eggs and how they arrive on our supermarket shelves ~ it broke my heart, previously I had lived in denial until I started to dig deeper. Now, hand on heart, I can safely say I will never consume another egg again! Blow me, that is something I NEVER thought I would say.
Read this; http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/scary-egg-facts it’s one of many articles about egg production. If you go onto YouTube you can watch this video by Erin Janus (I would recommend you subscribe to her channel), about the egg industry :-
Then we come to milk ~ I have throughout my life consumed vast quantities of the stuff, when at primary school we had free milk at break, then as a teen I drank pints of the stuff daily. The truth is, our bodies aren’t designed to consume dairy and it could be the cause of many health risk we were blissfully unaware of. Looking further into pro’s/con’s of drinking milk I discovered these facts (and I also concur that for every con article you can also find a pro article) which shocked me:-
In observational studies both across countries and within single populations, higher dairy intake has been linked to increased risk of prostate cancer (cited in ).
Observational cohort studies have shown higher dairy intake is linked to higher ovarian cancer risk (cited in ).
Cow’s milk protein may play a role in triggering type 1 diabetes through a process called molecular mimicry.
Across countries, populations that consume more dairy have higher rates of multiple sclerosis.
In interventional animal experiments and human studies, dairy protein has been shown to increase IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1) levels. Increased levels of IGF-1 has now been implicated in several cancers.
In interventional animal experiments and human experiments, dairy protein has been shown to promote increased cholesterol levels (in the human studies and animal studies) and atherosclerosis (in the animal studies).
The primary milk protein (casein) promotes cancer initiated by a carcinogen in experimental animal studies.
D-galactose has been found to be pro-inflammatory and actually is given to create animal models of aging.
Higher milk intake is linked to acne.
Milk intake has been implicated in constipation and ear infections (cited in ).
Milk is perhaps the most common self-reported food allergen in the world.
Much of the world’s population cannot adequately digest milk due to lactose intolerance.
Link to full article is: http://nutritionstudies.org/12-frightening-facts-milk/
This young woman, Erin Janus, who I mentioned earlier very succinctly says why we shouldn’t in this YouTube video…
As for meat/fish, I think if you watch Earthlings you will not feel the desire to eat meat again and most likely will reduce you to tears: so if you are brave enough the link to watch it is here;
It is also becoming increasingly obvious to me that the consumption of animal products is not sustainable for the planet. If you’d like to learn more about this I recommend watching Cowspiracy;
So, that’s it for my first blog ~ I will regularly update my journey, where I struggle, how I cope and document any changes I experience both mentally and physically, plus include any good recipes, tips and products I find or enjoy (and any I find revolting too!)