I’m Linda, I am an Irish Coeliac who follows a Plant Based diet, pleased to connect with you on the world wide web. I just recently launched this blog to share some recipes and links in relation to Plant Based life, health and fitness. I follow so many healthy food and vegan blogs from Deliciously Ella, Vegan Richa, Pickles and Honey… the list goes on.
Here I am finally trying it out. I have gathered loads of recipes and learnt so much on nutrition, health and fitness over the last few years whilst studying it in college and since being diagnosed as a Coeliac about 4 years ago. I have turned my life around and lost 3 stone in the process. (That’s 42 pounds my American friends) My journey is still one of progress. I am studying Nutritional Therapy and Food Genetics in order to get a finer grasp of how my body works and indeed yours too! Daily progress, so I thought why not call the blog ‘Daily Vegan Life’ because being vegan is different from one day to the next. By the way- I am not a chef, nor do I claim to be. I am a lover of food and an enthusiastic cook and avid lover of all things natural about food.
Choosing to be plantbased was a massive undertaking at first. I did the ritualistic eat one last burger in the McDonalds carpark on my own and then sat in the car staring into the mirror thinking why Linda! why? because that shit doesn’t decay even after its left standing on some dudes counter for a year – the truth according to some guys Facebook post which now has been shared a billion times by people who still eat McDonalds but like to feel fleetingly good about themselves and bad about fast food momentarily. Me, however, I was over the temporary fixes. It was time to bite the bullet not the burger. (See what I did there). No more carpark escapades or hungover food binges. My body is a temple and all that. Trust me, you actually do believe that after a while and rightly so – it IS.
As I grew into my vegan state of mind I constantly got the blank canvas stares from friends, family and work colleagues. I got the contrived glances as they thought I was ‘that’ awkward person at the dinner table, followed by one liner vegan jibes. But hey, guess what? It’s A ok. Why? because I found solace in the epic online community of vegans and plant-based people on Instagram and Twitter and via reading blogs that made me feel not so secluded or alien anymore. I found a food home I can visit every day and feel normal. Thank you for that and I hope that you will find some sense of homeliness here too.
After about 4 years of trying this and that kind of coeliac based diet I found myself watching Netflix one winters night, and pressing play on a suggested documentary called ‘Vegucated‘. I cried. (Even though I am not a cryer). I felt sick. (Even though I have a strong stomach). And my life changed forever within just under two hours. Then I watched the free film Earthlings and cried for the entire weekend and felt ill to be a human, there are no words….
Still, it wasn’t easy at first because cheese and me go way back. We connected. Be it on top of a pizza or sprinkled over potato chips. We just got each other. True love. Like the way I now feel towards home made Hummus or Cauliflower pizza base. We all have a mental weakness when it comes to food. Mine was dairy/cheese. However after a month or two of falling off the wagon I found a balance. I looked at the alternatives (such as the wonderful Vio Life range) and road tested some vegan variety cheeses and guess what, it wasn’t too bad after all. I found that once away from dairy for a few weeks, my cravings like those I had with meat and poultry, just disappeared. And I felt clearer. In every sense of the word. I felt it and looked better than I ever have too.
Making a decision and sticking to it is difficult in any area of life, (I feel that way about it – you may find it easier), and being consciously aware of the food you eat and it’s origin requires a lot of research. If you are thinking about becoming a vegan, research the heck out of it. It’s a BIG decision to make. It also doesn’t suit everyone, my friend for example who is a PT tried it once and her body just didn’t take to it. Everyone is different. All we can do is try. It’s a lifestyle change and a large one at that. For me it wasn’t just about the food thing, it was for me a way I can give back to the environment and the ecosystem. It was a struggle with being a coeliac and everything that was a meat based alternative had gluten in it but things are getting easier now. I also lapsed a few times and ate fish as I simply felt my body was taking longer to adjust, always listen to your body.
Practicing a plantbased diet and life, is just that ‘Practice’, it will take time. I am not a die-hard Vegan who will shove my own beliefs down your neck, I am all about Nutrition and understand that not everyone can even be fully Vegan based on their own genetic make up and digestive/biological make up. So please always consult a professional when choosing to make any drastic changes to your eating routine.
For me, it goes beyond ethics and animal rights, although they are largely at play. Health and fitness is the huge factor, as I stated earlier that I am a coeliac so that lead to discovering a lot about processed foods and a nasty thing called Gluten. But all in all it was about BALANCE, because everything in life should be. I am also a person like many of you reading this who has experienced the loss of a loved one via Cancer, and if there is a reason why so many of us are dying because of Cancer, I personally wanted to discover one of the major reason as to why and more importantly how can we work and act on prevention? Hence my quest for the answers of questions within to the food on the table and outwards to where the food we eat comes from.
Knowing I could and would forever look at a cow in a field and not feel pangs of guilt that I ate his Mother or Sister or Dad, meant a lot to me – or that I wasn’t looking at my pet Cat or Dog and living like their lives were more important than Daisy the cows. Because they were not. We all live in the world. And we should all respect each other. The age of the hunter gatherer is long gone. I personally believe we do not need to eat meat and slaughter animals by the million every day. I do not believe the agribusiness model is working. I understand not everyone has this same thought or belief. And that is fine for them but not for the animals or the eco system. Not anymore. Kids should be educated as should adults on basic nutrition and the benefits of a mainly plant based diet for health reasons as well as environmental.
I could go all righteous here but I won’t, it’s not what this blog is about. I now am studying Nutritional therapy and during my basic initial studies I learnt a lot about Cardio Vascular Diseases and Cancer among other health risks and diseases that a bad diet can place upon the body and indeed the mind. I am currently studying food genetics and food pharmacology along with Anatomy and Physiology – Advanced Diploma, including how food impacts our cellular levels. I have a diploma in Nutritional Therapy. I felt I had to make changes, especially as Heart Disease & Cancer have been in my family and I was already in the unhealthy BMI range in my late 20’s. Hence, I made the decision to move towards a Plant Based Diet. You can join me on my path to get fit and healthy, it’s a long road but I am loving it. I am sure you will too.
Thus began my self discovery on food, where my food comes from and where it is going to. It is a constant journey; the daily vegan life.
I also run and own an entertainment publicity company named GoodSeedPR. And I write for TheTaste among other food blogs and e-magazines. I am also a painter and you can check out my art here: www.lindacooganbyrne.com