Guest blogger: Lawrence Mitchell talks about why he chose to become a vegan
I’ve asked Lawrence Mitchell, one of my fellow directors here at Green Rewards, to talk about the factors that drove him to dramatically change his diet and lifestyle over five years ago now. I hope you enjoy his story.
The label 'vegan' often conjures up images of people in purple trousers, banging tambourines around camp fires. Well, I don't own a pair of purple trousers (and never have done), and am happy to be labelled a vegan as I now live on a plant-based diet which I started transitioning to in 2006, shortly before my son was born. Why did I do this? Put simply, for health reasons, both my own individual health and the health of the environment, given that food production and distribution is one of the most significant sources of greenhouse gases in the UK.
At first, the change was a big challenge; I focused far more on the things I was giving up: meat, bread, and coffee. However, then I discovered the rich variety of locally produced fruits and vegetables, wonderful recipes that I had never tried before; fantastic vegetarian restaurants and, above all, a community of globally-based passionate people, connected by the web, all committed to doing as much as they can to improve their own health and the health of their environment.
Today, I live primarily on a raw, living foods diet and enjoy many benefits from this way of life: more energy, stronger immunity, clearer thinking, as well as lower carbon emissions.
Where do you start?
My journey started simply by attending a seminar on raw food nutrition, where I heard about things for the very first time. What I heard made so much logical sense to me, that the very next day, I created a new diet plan for myself which didn't include chicken (I hadn't eaten red meat or dairy for years), refined sugar, coffee, processed foods. In hindsight, I made the change too fast as my body started to emit stored toxins too quickly which caused me to get very ill with flu for a week. However, once that was over I felt better than I'd ever felt. I had a lot more energy and my mind was clearer than it had ever been.
The next big step was researching and purchasing the correct tools to support my new lifestyle. I bought a Vitamix blender and a Greenstar juicer, both of which have been used almost daily. I also acquired a dehydrator from my cousin, and a whole new set of knives. For a year, I got used to this new way of eating, and stuck to my principles despite the weird looks I got from friends; the difficulty of eating out.
After a year, I felt more confident as I had got used to eating this way; could justify my choices and importantly, felt better than I had ever done before. My experience started to influence others, who started to make simple changes and I became thirsty for knowledge, reading widely and attending seminars both in the UK and the US, culminating in studying for a certificate in Living Foods Nutrition in 2010.
Obstacles to be aware of
Along the way, I encountered many obstacles which could have prevented me getting past first base:
To help you with your own personal journey, here are a few tips of things that you need if you are to get past the first base and realise the many benefits that a living food life-style will bring:
More about the raw living foods diet: http://www.raw-coaching.com/apps/videos/videos/show/7363806-go-raw-now-trailer
More about the raw living foods lifestyle: http://www.raw-coaching.com/
How to start the raw food diet http://www.raw-coaching.com/apps/videos/videos/show/8922801-how-to-start-the-raw-food-diet-how-to-transition-to-raw-
Source organic food and drink: http://www.greenrewards.co.uk/products/Food+%26+Drink
Watch: Simply Raw, Reversing Diabetes in a month: http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/45033/Simply_Raw____Reversing_Diabetes_in_30_Days/
Well done Lawrence - your personal journey to vegan healthy eater is a pleasure to read; I've found giving up wheat and dairy has cured my asthma - the medical profession should spend more time properly examining the benefits of different food types.
I agree - more effort should go into highlighting ways of preventing disease, rather than figuring out how to cure people once they're ill!
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