By Jade Tomlin
I have grown up my whole life on a mostly vegetarian diet with the occasional chicken/fish dish here and there. My mama has been vege since I was born, thus red meat was never cooked in the house as I was growing up. I have always been told by my nanny to never trust meat unless you are the one preparing it or you’ve witnessed the preparation!
Chicken has always been my guilty pleasure, whether it is jerked, curried or smothered in BBQ sauce. Even on dates I would never be embarrassed to order BBQ wings and get messy by eating them with my hands and licking up all the debris. I never considered not eating chicken until 7 weeks ago.
My mama’s guilty pleasure has been cheese for as long as I can remember. Whereas I’ve never enjoyed it, in fact I’ve never enjoyed anything dairy! I have always been curious as to why so many people believe cows’ milk is the best thing since sliced bread. It literally turns my stomach. The smell, the taste and just the fact that I am not a calf!
So, why vegan?
Like I said, my mama is a veggie so meat is rarely cooked in my house unless I do it and as a full-time nursing student and a part-time secretary I struggle to find the time to cook meals that take a lot of preparation.
One thing I have learnt along the way whilst training to be a psychiatric nurse is that mental health and physical health have a very strong correlation, which suggests to me that what you put in your mouth can have a huge impact on both your physical and mental wellbeing.
I have never had much of a sweet tooth, so cakes and pastries have never done that much for me; I have always been more of a carbs type of girl. However, I have noticed that when I am down I crave junk food and the more junk I eat the worse I start to feel about myself and then the physical effects take over (feeling bloated, fatigue, oily skin, visible spots on my face, etc.).
Then the research took over. I began to watch documentaries and read more about health and wellness and that’s when the penny dropped I realised you don’t have to be an animal activist to be a vegan, you just have to have empathy. The consequences of eating meat isn’t just the about the unnecessary harm inflicted on innocent animals, eating meat is just as destructive to the environment.
I have only been a vegan for 7 weeks so I am incredibly new to all of this, and believe it or not I have kept being vegan quite quiet as the conversations I have had regarding it often leads meat eaters preaching to me about protein and calcium and I don’t want to start ‘educating’ every non vegan I come into contact with about the benefits of a plant based diet as I believe we all have free will and are free to do what we want.
However if those around me have any questions regarding MY new lifestyle choices I will be very happy to answer them and hopefully the myth that cows’ milk is good for you and should be the main source of calcium in your diet can finally be buried!
Ground-breaking environmental documentary, executively produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Documentary empowering people to live a healthy life and displays how a plant-based diet may be able to reverse physical health conditions.
An experiment following 3 meat and dairy lovers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks.
Subscribing to PETA has been the best thing I could have done – They not only have a vegan group on #WhatsApp that you can join, but you can also subscribe to the PETA mailing list and get vegan recipes emailed to you and daily nuggets of all things vegan!
Free online vegetarian and vegan restaurant guide directing you to all the health food stores near you!
RESTAURANTS I’VE TRIED SO FAR
Vegan restaurant located in BOXPARK – Shoreditch E1 6GY
Not solely a vegan restaurant but does a great ‘Olivia’ vegan pizza – Shoreditch EC1V 9NR
An omnivorous restaurant, but does an amazing ‘Pianta’ vegan pizza and you have to try the dough balls, remember to replace the garlic butter with the infamous garlic and chilli oil – All over London and the UK.
Jade is currently in her last six months of university training to be a psychiatric nurse. Previous to this she gained a BSc in Psychology and Criminal Behaviour and an MSc in Forensic Psychology. She lives in South-East London and love all things plant-based!
Jade went vegan in late December 2015 and says: “I am very excited to be blogging for The Green V and sharing my journey with you. Each month I’ll be filling you in on my natural journey and sharing restaurants, articles and documentaries with you to keep you educated on all things green. I want to continue to spread the word for my fellow vegans.”
If you want to get more of Jade and can’t wait to hear from her once a month, then find her on: