Monday, 21 February 2011

Flirting with Veganism

So this weekend I've been sat reading cookery books. There's a bookshop near me that is closing down and all the books are less than half price, so I figured that now would be a good time to stock up on some as I'd be saving a bit of cash (as I'd no doubt by them at some point anyway).

I picked up some Jamie Oliver books, Gizzi's Kitchen Magic (which looks absolutely incredible) and another book which I didn't really look at properly before buying, but it looked good so I bought it anyway.

This book was Skinny Bitch, by Kim Barnouin. I got home and started to flick through it when I realised that all the recipes were vegan. No big deal - I quite like going veggie sometimes as it saves a bit of money - but I've never actually bought a vegan cookbook before. I haven't even got a vegetarian cookbook, so this was quite a new read for me.

The book starts off by explaining the ecological benefits of eating vegan and organic... and I lost interest and put the book down. I hate to say it, but I'm just not drawn in by the whole 'save the environment and save our animals' argument. I'm selfish and if I enjoy eating meat, I won't feel bad because it's an animal. I've known this all my life and haven't felt bad - so why would I change now?

But I picked up the book again. Why? I think it was because I'd been eating a lot of salads that week and fancied reading some light recipes, but I got hooked into the text. This bit wasn't about the environment - this was about health. So I kept reading.

When I found out I would have to eat a gluten-free diet back in September last year, I didn't find it that difficult. Sure, for the first couple of weeks I missed pastries, and I would occasionally indulge in the odd office birthday cake, but then feel my poorly tummy and realise that it was a silly thing to have done. But I got through that and now I don't really miss it. I've had fun experimenting with different brands of gluten-free foods and finding my favourites. Good. Really good. Bad. Awful. There are lots that fall into every category and it's proved to me that by experimenting and trying different things, I could find something both my palate and body agreed with.

Unfortunately, the stomach cramps started again and I spoke to my doctor. Apparently my gut hasn't been working properly for years and it's going to take a rather large diet change to get it working again. My determination to feel better again has seen me eat an incredible amount of fruit and vegetables this past week. Gluten-free muesli with natural yoghurt and honey for breakfast, salad and a portion of fruit for lunch, dried fruit and nuts to snack on, and a home cooked meal for dinner. No alcohol for the latter end of the week (Monday was Valentines, Tuesday was spent finishing off the super expensive champagne...) and only one slice of cake.

I have felt amazing.

So I carried on reading. And I found a page that mentioned Alicia Silverstone, and it had an address for her website, The Kind Life. Naturally, of course, I picked up the laptop and had a bit of a look.. and a bit more of a look.. and a bit more.. and before I knew it, I'd spent the past two hours looking around this site and watching youtube videos of Alicia and her book, The Kind Diet. I also went as far as buying the book from Amazon because I was so impress with what I'd seen.

Skinny Bitch is a little bit more... judgemental than what I've read and watched from Alicia. She suggests 'flirting' with veganism to see how you find it. She doesn't judge those who take on the diet for health benefits, and instead she is happy to see anyone take steps towards any form of vegetarianism as no matter what the reason, it's doing some form of good for the world and the animals that live on it. This is an approach I like.

I want to save my body. Of course saving the environment and being kinder to animals is a definite bonus, but ultimately I want to save me. I want to be healthy again. I want to consciously think about each item I put in my body. I already do this to an extent as I hate cheap meat, processed foods and any kinds of crap already so I can't imagine it'll be difficult for me.

I am so excited to get this book next week, and I definitely see that I'll be taking a step forward to a healthier me.

(please take a look at the video of Alicia talking about the book and the health benefits of changing your diet)


  1. Oooh...jealous of your new books!! I'm not sure who the "they" are that are so obese and overweight and sick in this world...but I know that my friends and I are all trying to focus on more HEALTHY lifestyles right now. Good for you!

  2. Hey!
    This book is really good. I actually reviewed it on my blog. The one main complaint I had was that she uses a lot of hard to find ingredients. I don't know if that'll be a problem where you are, but where I am (Istanbul), its a major bummer! Buuut it's fairly easy to make replacements.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy it!


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