We're now three weeks into Veganuary, and I had already fell off that wagon in week one after catching COVID at Christmas. Yes, the initial jumping on board was great, but I was overshadowed by prolonged isolation, chills, foggy brain, achy muscles, fatigue, migraines, and the worst of it for me was the loss of taste and smell.
Side note: I want to thank you all so much for checking up on me and sending in your get well soon messages - they really meant a lot! During that time, I had to pause content creation and pretty much struggled to maintain my energy and focus on most day-to-day things, and with the loss of taste and smell, everything went out the window when it came to eating vegan meals all the time whilst sick. So, in the case of plan vs actuality, I had every intention, but was too unwell at the time to participate fully.
Given my eating habits consist of various cuisines, I crave, cook and consume either vegan or non-vegan meals at any given time. And since feeling more of myself again, I have frequently experimented with new dishes to broaden my redeveloping taste buds.
And with February literally around the corner, I wanted to assure anyone who was thinking of doing this, but is yet to try it out; there's still time to venture out of your foodie comfort zone and join in the challenge that encourages healthy, vegan eating habits, in a bid to practice conscious eating, caring for the environment and preserving wildlife.
"If you look at the climate crisis or the violence of our food system and feel helpless, thinking I wish there was something I could do?"
I've always been mindful of what I eat, apart from indulging in the occasional meat and dairy, but for the most part, I try to eat as healthily as I can whilst enjoying my relationship with food.
When it comes to our bodies, we require sufficient nutrition to function optimally. A vegan diet promotes this by reducing the risk of chronic illness and increasing nutritional intake. I've watched numerous documentaries, listened to podcasts and read many articles, and I can see a considerable shift in our behaviours which is awesome.
However, I feel there are still many questions on accessibility, and how diverse factors such as financial, political and cultural shape someone's perceptions surrounding sustainability and challenges on introducing veganism to their lives.
Our bodies are under constant pressure to perform, especially now since we're facing the pandemic, so we have to ensure that our immune systems are strong enough to fight off any unwarranted sickness, especially Covid!
Vegan is not just a buzz word that has gained incredible popularity over the past decade. The diet and aspects surrounding this was already in practice across many distinct cultures worldwide for many centuries before Donald Watson coined the term "vegan" in 1944.
Vegetarianism is first mentioned by the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras of Samos around 500 BCE. In addition to his theorem about right triangles, Pythagoras promoted benevolence among all species, including humans. Followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism also advocated vegetarianism, believing that humans should not inflict pain on other animals.
Most recently, through the guidance of technology, science and social media, there's been an enhanced self-awareness on how human behaviours around food has impacted our health and the ecosystem. Debunking those historical misconceptions and re-educating us on the actual evidence to help us understand and discover how we can reshape our attitudes to benefit everyone's future existence.
If you're an avid meat-eater, you may be thinking to yourself that giving up meat sounds virtually impossible. Well, try the Veganuary challenge for the rest of January, which is only ten more days.
Nevertheless, you may feel a bit more adventurous and want to try carrying out the 31-day challenge, leading into next month! You may be curious about sampling a vegan twist on a particular cuisine or perhaps adding some more vegan dishes into your life, that's still a great idea to action!
The challenge has embraced a global community of over a million people from 192 different countries who participate in this annual challenge since its introduction in 2014.
So, short-term or for the long haul, what are you waiting for, why not give this a try?