January 2, 2018 9:22 am Leave your thoughts
It’s January – and for two of our members of staff, that’s a very exciting month! January means Veganuary – a whole month dedicated to celebrating and promoting veganism. Maria, the general manager of Naturally Good Food, and Rachel, the campaigns manager, are both vegan. They’d love to take the chance this month to explain a little about why they became vegan. They’ve got stories full of inspiration, top tips, and suggestions for the best brands and most useful vegan products.
The really great thing about Veganuary is that it gives everyone a chance to dip their toe in the water. Perhaps you’re a new vegan, concerned about making healthy substitutions in your diet. Maybe you’ve always been curious about a vegan lifestyle, but haven’t quite felt ready to start. Veganuary encourages us all to give veganism a try: for one meal, for one day, for one week – or for the whole month of January. According to Maria and Rachel, you’ll never look back!
Maria’s story begins with a book called Fit for Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. This book so inspired her that, after reading it cover to cover, she immediately became vegan – and has been so for 15 years. The book suggested that a vegan diet could help resolve various health issues she was suffering at the time. Throwing herself in at the deep end, Maria started as a raw food vegan, eating smoothies, fresh fruit, salads, grated vegetables and dehydrated foods. This wasn’t easy (especially, she says, when socialising), but as her health issues cleared up, she was encouraged to keep going. A couple of years later, she relaxed her diet to include regular home-cooked vegan meals.
Maria’s partner, Lee, is also vegan. In her words, he was ‘an avid mixed-grill eater’, until he decided to take part in a cooking challenge to ‘go vegan’ for a month. Just two weeks into the challenge, he found that he was able to stop taking the anti-acid medication he’d been on for over a decade – and never went back to meat.
If Maria had a tip for anyone considering becoming vegan, or for someone taking the first few steps into veganism, it would be to start out by finding substitutes for favourite foods. As she says, there are so many vegan alternatives now for fish, meat, dairy and eggs, that eating vegan really isn’t difficult at all. Even eating out is much easier, with most pubs and restaurants offering more than one vegan option.
Rachel, who’s in charge of all campaigns and social media at NGF, has been vegan for just under a year. Her transition to veganism took a long time: she’d been very uneasy about eating meat for quite some time, but didn’t properly understand the alternative. It was only when her sister became a vegetarian that, as she says, her ‘make-believe bubble’ popped. She besieged her sister with questions: what did she eat if she didn’t eat meat? How did she get enough protein? She was impressed by her sister’s simple response: nothing should have to suffer in order for her to eat – she’d simply do what it took to make sure that happened.
Rachel thought about it all incessantly. She respected her sister’s choice enormously, but felt that she needed to go a step further herself. With doubts about the dairy industry, she became convinced that veganism was the right path for her. Having made the decision, here’s how she now feels:
‘I can honestly say I’ve never looked back. Veganism makes me think about my life choices: I constantly question my actions and ask if they suit my ethics. I love that a lifestyle can challenge you and make you change your perspective. I love how my lifestyle keeps me on my toes, keeps me learning, keeps me thinking. I had no idea the impact one person could have on our planet, the animals and myself.
For me, what it boils down to is that no living being is a commodity: no-one should profit from the suffering and abuse of a living being. All I can do is what feels right for me – as long as no one is getting hurt from my actions, then I am free. And I’m not prepared to walk away from that.’
Buy vegan at Naturally Good Food
Maria and Rachel aren’t alone in buying their vegan essentials from Naturally Good Food. We’ve got a fantastic range for vegans, which you can see here.
Rachel and Maria both describe their vegan lifestyle as ‘effortless’. We’re glad – because at Naturally Good Food, we pride ourselves on making veganism easy!
We asked Maria and Rachel to recommend their essential vegan products and brands. Here are a few of them:
Tags: artisan grains, biona, Booja Booja, Deo Pink deodorant, Engevita, faith in nature, kallo, mini moos, mixed nuts, olive oil soap, Orgran, Plamil, raw health, sojade, vegan, vegan bouillon, Veganuary, yeast extract
Categorised in: Vegan
This post was written by Yzanne