After mulling it over for months, I have decided that July 2018 is plant-based/vegan month. If you’re a member of my Facebook Group, you’ll already have heard a bit about it.
I’ve been putting it off because of all the Mum guilt. How could I combine this with family meals? Would a switch to not eating the same meals as a family make my boys think it’s ok to be fussy? I couldn’t do it because we can’t afford for us to be eating different things.
Then, one day, whilst mulling it all over…again…I realised that these were all blocks that I was putting there myself. If I really wanted to give this a try, then I could find a way to keep family meals sacred. And, last time I checked, chicken (the only meat that I eat) is a whole heap more expensive than chickpeas.
Bye, bye excuses, this mamma is on a mission.
I should pause briefly to explain why I have decided to change my diet to plant-based for a month.
I’ll try to keep it brief…thowe all know that that isn’t my strong suit.
My youngest son was allergic to cow’s milk protein until he was just over two. I breastfed him until he was 13 months. We both had to be ‘dairy free’.
The main indicators of his allergy we severe reflux – which could include vomiting blood. In his sleep.
He was in pain a lot, not gaining weight and answers were hard to come by. Then, overnight, we discovered that the issue was milk and I had to overhaul both of our diets (the proteins pass through breastmilk) whilst severely sleep deprived and frightened for my child.
I comforted myself with dark chocolate – I had given up so much food that I felt that I deserved as much dark chocolate as I wanted.
Then, we discovered that he was also allergic to soya.
Finding foods that don’t contain milk or soya was really hard. I dreaded the weekly shopping trip, having to check all food packets to see if they contained either milk or soya and would make my little guy poorly. Finding alternative ways to cook was draining. I could have approached it as a challenge, but in those moments it felt so much more like a trial.
Eating out felt like facing the Krypton Factor.
Thankfully, he grew out of the allergy and by the time he was 2 1/2 we had returned to a completely omnivore diet. Suddenly, I didn’t have to check any packets, restaurant menus or take him his own packed lunch to parties. The culinary world was our oyster.
By that time, I was angry with food.
Home-cooked fresh food had been a way of life for me for as long as I can remember. Our freezer had always been half empty, containing frozen left-overs, vegetables and maybe a tub or two of ice-cream.
But, now that I didn’t have to be careful about every mouthful that my boy consumed, I totally fell off the foodie wagon. Quick, easy, frozen became the order of the day.
I’ve been resenting time spent in the kitchen for the last 2 1/2 years.
Eating has become a means to an end. And often, for me, that end was self-medicating pain.
With chocolate, chips, cake…
So, how does all of that relate to adopting a plant-based diet now?
First and foremost, it’s an experiment I want to see if:
1. I lose weight
2. I feel any better at the end of the month
3. trialling a plant-based diet will improve my relationship with food, in a sustainable way – and the signs are already positive.
4. trying new plant-based recipes can re-orientate me towards favouring home-made food over quick wins from the freezer aisle.
5. my children’s diet becomes more healthy – i.e. if they’ll try any of it!
I’m also ticking off ‘Go Vegan For a month’ from my 40 things to do at 40 Bucket List – writing our goals down really does make a difference!
Stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new could be the start of a brand new and exciting chapter. Whether it’s overhauling your diet, joining a new group, or pursuing a dream that nobody else really understands, do it for you. If you’re thinking of making a change, I’d love to hear about it so why not leave me a comment to tell me all about it?
I’ve been sharing my plant-based journey in my Facebook Group – head on over to join us to find out more!