A few weeks ago, I finished work on my seventh novel, and first full foray into vampire fiction, Hunger For you. It wasn’t until I was finishing the book that it occurred to me how ironic it was that during the writing of the book, I was transitioning to a whole foods, plant based-vegan diet, while writing about vampires, literally hungry and starving for blood.
But when I thought about it some more, I realised there were more parallels than I first thought. My main character, Byron Debrek, is an aristocrat vampire with a strong sense of morality and nobility. Unlike other vampire clans the Debreks do not see humans as food, and only take blood by consent. Although that is her goal, many temptations cross her path, and when love is thrown into the mix, that hunger for blood becomes overwhelming, and her life becomes a constant battle for control.
What does a hunger for blood have to do with becoming a plant based vegan? Only that whether it’s blood, alcohol, drugs, or certain kinds of foods, as humans we all understand that fight we have with ourselves everyday, between choosing what isn’t good for us, destructive behaviours, and the sure and steady path to our goal of health and wellbeing.
To that end, I thought I’d a share a little of the journey I’ve been on for the past year, from junk food vegetarian to committed dairy free, herbivore.
Early last summer I decided I wanted to get healthy, and since I can’t exercise due to some physical and mobility problems, diet was going to have to be key.
I have been a vegetarian for years, but a junk, convenience food vegetarian. That’s all I knew, so I started out with what I knew, restricting foods and counting calories. Believe me, at that point I understood a vampire’s hunger for blood, it was not dissimilar to the craving for chocolate, biscuits, and sweets…oh and cheese and white bread and crisps and…well I could go on and on. It was only after I got past this initial phase that I understood how addicted you can get to these foods on a standard western diet.
I naturally started adding more and more veggies, and enjoying reading about nutrition, and watching video after video about people on similar journeys on You Tube. It was there I learned about plant based eating. I had never heard of a plant based diet before, but realised that I had been quite naturally moving to that way of eating over the past year. So, the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn, and I stopped counting calories and cut out the final parts of my vegetarian junk food, and simply filled up on loads of beans, pulses and veggies of all sorts.
I felt great and was losing so much weight, and my body was feeling great, but I was still eating my dairy products. After reading and watching a lot of information, I decided to take the final step and become a vegan.
Now this was not without its difficulties. My darlin’ Lou has always been a big meat eater, and the more processed the meat, the better. Yuck! Anyway mealtimes in my kitchen are now quite chaotic, with pots and pans everywhere.
And my darlin' Lou has been so supportive, she would think it was awesome, no matter what I decided to do, and I’m so lucky.
One important vegetable which I’ve tried to like and just can’t, is kale. This was a problem, as kale is the superfood of a vegan, plant based diet. So I decided to hide it in amongst my favourite thing-fruit.
I start every morning with my Super Duper Smoothie. From the same range as the Courting The Countess, Super Duper Cookies, but healthier. ;-)
The ingredients are:
Porridge oats (Oatmeal)
Mixed frozen berries
The dreaded kale!
¼ teaspoon of turmeric (Good for inflammation)
A grind of pepper (Helps the turmeric work better in some sort of science type way)
Teaspoon of date syrup
It’s surprisingly delicious!
As I go along through my journey, I’ll no doubt have vampire like hunger and cravings for all the delicious naughty things we all enjoy, but as long as I’m feeling the benefits, hopefully I’ll keep to my path to good health.
Till next time! :-)
“Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.”