1) was there any particular life event that made you decide to become vegetarian?
It was an episode of Gordon Ramsay! I’m a passionate animal lover and I had contemplated vegetarianism for a while.
I’m from a family of very traditional meat and three veg eaters. My own favourite meal growing up was always a roast dinner, so I had pretty strong doubts about whether I could do it and that is what had stopped me.
This episode of Gordon Ramsay’s showed him touring the farm where he was getting his meat from. Instantly I committed to making the change and I haven’t eaten beef or chicken since. Seafood took a little longer because I had absolutely no idea what else to eat at that stage.
2) I understand you experienced anxiety and panic attacks. What changes have you made to get these under control? Do you feel your diet has any impact?
I have always been a little anxious, but around a decade ago a series of events bought it on quite severely. I experienced general anxiety, panic attacks and a form called social anxiety.
I went the hippie route in order to heal. As a child, my mum had given me guided meditations, so I began with natural treatments. Learning to meditate was, and still is, the primary technique I turn to. It enabled me to move from a chronic state of fear and anxiety, to being able to really live my life again. I also love NLP.
I don’t feel that my diet necessarily impacted me in terms of specific food affecting me, but the choice to become a vegetarian certainly did. A big part of my anxiety came from being afraid to be myself so the decision to step away from a pattern in my family and eat differently, purely for my own reasons, was definitely a healing one. It was a big part of accepting myself more and that definitely helped my anxiety
3) You indicated you’re making the switch to veganism from vegetarianism. What changes will that involve for you?
I switched most basic animal products – milk, eggs, cheese, etc – out of my diet about six months ago. The next changes I’m slowly making are eliminating foods where those items or similar ones are already included the food. It’s another re-education both from a health point of view, with making sure I get the right nutrients, and from a cooking perspective in terms of needing to learn about different foods and substitutions. I’m so grateful for the wonderful vegan foodie bloggers and sites that make that so much easier and lots of fun!
4) You’re now a life coach. Do you feel your life experiences can help you reach people with similar problems? Tell us more about what you do in your coaching.
I see the main healing facet of coaching being that it is a relationship where you are truly accepted for who you are and are supported to embrace that. My experience with choosing a vastly different diet to my family’s heritage was one where I really learnt the power of stepping into being myself. I believe that is where joy begins and that is why I went into coaching.
Embracing your uniqueness isn’t easy to pursue on your own and a fear of isolation prevents a lot of people from creating the lifestyle they deeply desire for themselves. I’ve been on the end of that rejection for your choices, and I truly believe I couldn’t have made the changes I have had I not had unconditional support too. As a coach, my aim is to be a part of that support and acceptance so that the beautiful souls I work with can make the changes they want to.