Embracing a plant-based diet for better health
I came across Janey on Twitter and after we got chatting, I discovered that she shifted from an almost vegetarian diet to a plant-based one, and she did it to improve her health. Janey wanted a better quality of life!
I was right wasn't I? I knew you'd love to read about her inspiring journey! So...over to Janey.
For most of my life I have suffered with ear, nose and throat problems. They were mostly ear and sinus issues, which were painful and debilitating.
About 8 years ago, I suppose, I began suffering with regular colds, all of which ended up in my ears and left me with glue ear and therefore deaf! I had regular out-patient appointments with an ENT consultant who helped me as best he could.
At this point I was pretty much vegetarian, little or no meat, I just didn't like it that much. Then about 4 years ago, at aged 39, having spent months of each year deaf in at least one ear; I came across a magazine called Vegetarian Living. In it, was an article, written by a celebrity veggie, who's son had had similar problems to mine. His condition was alleviated by following a vegan diet. This resonated with me and in that moment I decided to give up dairy and other animal based foods.
I found it easy but the people around me didn't! It scared my parents who had no clue what to feed me. Thankfully, they are fine with it now and they both eat less meat than before, which is great! My daughter still gets stressed about eating out, which is the only thing I still find hard to do. My work colleagues find it hard because I haven't had an official diagnosis.
The medical staff who I have mentioned it to are often disbelieving, but that's OK. It really doesn't matter who believes what as long as it works for me.
It wasn't long before my ears cleared and I felt better in general. I still get glue ear, but not as often, and it usually clears within a two to three weeks, instead of a two to three months, which is how long it took when I ate dairy products. This improvement means:-
- I don't have to be operated on
- my regular hospital trips are a thing of the past
- I can hear better in my job, which is essential because I work with children
Most of the vegans I've met are vegan for the animals, whereas my primary reason was for health. Saying that, I have come to that way of thinking over time, but it feels more accurate to explain that I consider myself to be a vegan for health, as opposed to, ethics.
Well-planned plant-based diets are rich in protein, iron, calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals. The plant-based sources of these nutrients tend to be low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants, helping mitigate some of the modern world's biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Tasty food and better health - what's not to love?
- The Vegan Society