Tag Archives: diet

100% vegan

My take on veganism (and I am 100% vegan or as close to 100% as I know how to be at least) is that if you imagine you live for 70 years, then you can do some easy maths about how you live…

7 days a week eating meat you are a meat eater for 70 years
6 days = 60 years
(it’s quite easy from here…)
So 1 day a week and you only eat meat for 10 years and live for 60 as a vegan (or a plant-based eater to avoid technical arguments).

A lot of people ask about being 100% vegan at home but struggling in foreign countries so if you break that down further and it’s more in the order of 4 weeks (solid) per year whilst you’re on holiday then that’s about 5 years in your 70 year life. Now if you manage not to eat meat every day of your holiday, you might be able to bang that down to the equivalent of a couple of years in an entire lifetime.

As a start point, moving towards a more ethical and defensible position that still allowed me to live a full life and experience the wonders of this undoubtedly amazing world – I’d take that.

I’m not a big traveller (or eater really) and I’ve been vegetarian prior to vegan for over 30 years so got used to being laughed at and hungry in the 80’s. I wouldn’t advocate this as a route to go down though for most. I just got used to it. Portugal recently was great in Aldi and so on, but not so good in most places where they make the food for you. It’s something we all have to see how we feel about as time goes on. I would say though that if you’re vegan say for 9 months, you probably won’t even want the meat when it comes along and it may make you feel a bit sick or bloated to eat it, so going to a very meat-heavy place might become tough for that reason alone. I have friends who’ve lived on paprika Pringles and alcohol for a few weeks in China and so on. My guess is the hard places would be where even Pringles can’t be found…

I would add that (in my opinion) the very binary and strict nature of veganism is helpful because it removes willpower from the equation. There isn’t a frequency or amount of cheese I can eat, I just don’t eat it so it’s actually very easy. That suits my brain. When I did decide to be a bit ‘flexitarian’ I ended up flexing all the way and ate all the cheese. So, as with many aspects of life and abstinence (think Religion) I am of the opinion that the strict rules are there to remove willpower from the equation. It’s too woolly and subjective otherwise and if religion allowed any latitude we’d all be coveting our neighbour’s wife, ox and donkey before we knew it.


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Health kick (in the balls)

After mucking about with the old 5:2 nonsense and really not enjoying tapping  what I’ve eaten each day into MyFitnessPal, I’ve had a bit of a rethink. As you will remember I’m doing the Dryathlon this month so I’m already off the booze. I kinda feel a little ‘better’, but it’s marginal to be honest. A friend of mine at work has suggested the Harcombe Diet as something that might interest me, not as a ‘lose weight’ kind of thing, but rather as a change of eating habits to stick with and benefit from forever. I’m 15st 11lb (221 lbs) at the moment, so as a 6’ male, I’m obese with my BMI of 30. I can’t pretend to be an athlete, so any notion of muscle weighing more than fat being the issue etc. probably won’t cut it here. God knows if I’ll ever be 180 lbs again, but it’s worth a shot I guess.

I’ve been reading ‘Amazon’s best-selling diet book’ which informs me that as I’m vegetarian things will be a little harder on this kind of diet as meat has zero carbohydrate content, which makes it somewhat unique. Still, Zoe Harcombe makes it clear that I can still do it if I’m careful and if she believes in me then I do too! The diet is mostly about removing processed foods and watching what foods you eat in one sitting. Beyond that, once you know what to eat you can pretty much go for it, or so Zoe says.

The diet is split into phases, a sort of kick-start low-carb week to begin with and then off into phase 2 which is more carb-heavy before pulling it all in together in phase 3. In time-honoured tradition I am going to start my diet tomorrow. This isn’t as bad as it sounds as I have to read a bit more of the book to plan what I’m going to eat, and note down what I’m not allowed to eat.

This approach feels more likely to work, and often that’s as much as you need to be successful at something – belief in what you’re doing. I agree with Zoe that calorie counting doesn’t work and is not sustainable, it’s actually pretty dumb. The Atkins diet sounds horrible (tubs of cottage cheese for lunch etc.) and exercise is not going to work for most nine to fivers as there just isn’t enough time or energy left in your average 38 year old’s day to do enough of it to make a real difference.

9781907797248[1]I’m not reading this book, but I prefer the cover!

Some other things I plan to begin as personal guidelines include not drinking alcohol on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and getting up at more or less the same time each day. I am planning on a 6:45am alarm weekdays and 8am on the weekend. I’m fairly close to that now so regularising it further shouldn’t be too tough and I think that helps me be prepared for the day. I’ve been thinking about bedtime too, I think 11:30pm should be about the latest I’m actually trying to get to sleep for at least four nights of the week. I reckon that’s ‘doable’.

I’m going to record my weight in this Google Spreadsheet so you can all have a bit of a chuckle.

Wish me luck, my friends…


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