Honest Mum Q & A
Vicki is a bestselling author and blogger at Honestmum.com. She became plant-based two months ago and loves her new lifestyle. Here Vicki shares her experience of going meat free and how you can reduce your meat intake this World Meat Free Week.
As a child, what was your favourite food?
My parents became restaurateurs when I was two (my Mum was a Uni Lecturer, my Dad a Material Scientist and Entrepreneur before then) so food has always been a focal point for the whole family. I was always pretty ambitious when it came to eating, according to my parents and dined on buttery snails in the South of France from three and blue cheese in my packed lunch box at nursery. My parents are originally Greek Cypriot so many of our meals then and now feature traditional Greek food, so much in fact is naturally vegan too, bursting with pulses and seasonal vegetables. A favourite is a dish of boiled black eyed beans with cabbage, drizzled with virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice and seasoning. Black olives are a must on the side, and thick village bread coated with sesame seeds makes the ideal companion to mop up the juices. Yummy.
How has your taste changed over the years?
I've become more experimental in many ways and love Far Eastern and Japanese food.
You have begun a vegan diet fairly recently, can you tell me the reasons for that?
I became plant-based two months ago after watching films on animal cruelty and also fell ill with thyroid problems. It was a joint response to wanting to help the earth and my own health. I’ve also been inspired by the Protectors of the Planet film series on how others started a meat free diet.
How do you feel since embarking on your new diet?
The immediate effect was a feeling of calm that is indescribable. To no longer be processing fear and death of innocent animals had a cleansing effect which might sound crazy but was completely true to my experience. I also lost weight while eating well and not scrimping on calories. I didn't change the way I eat for weight-loss but it was a side-effect I experienced. I was surprised too as I have PCOS and was told carbs are the enemy. Seemingly, they are not. I've never eaten more veggies or pulses and my food bills are far lower than they were.
What diet do your children follow?
They eat meat but Alexander, 5, has been saying unprompted that he no longer wants to eat animals. He is dairy-intolerant so would be vegan if he stopped. It's something we are considering. We don't put pressure on our children though so this would be his decision if it were to happen.
What foods do you miss?
I would be lying to say I didn't miss chicken but not enough to eat it. There’s lots of alternatives now though and I’ll be trying the Easy Firecracker Flatbread Pizza with Quorn Pieces this World Meat Free Week.
Tell me a bit about your approach and philosophy towards food.
Ethical, pain-free, plant-based fair that is as natural and as seasonal as possible, full of flavour and as visually appealing as possible too.
What advice would you give to people who would like to reduce their impact on the planet or who might like to experiment with a vegetarian or vegan diet for health reasons?
Maybe try swapping one meal this World Meat Free Week. It might seem scary to start but once you do a food shop and experiment with plant-based foods, you will be delighted. Read How Not To Die by Gene Stone and Michael Greger and do your research and most importantly, take the pressure off yourself: simply go day by day, that's been the key for me. You can also read my book Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home
Honest Mum blog: https://honestmum.com/