My Vegan Journey
Sometimes a simple decision can change your life forever.
I became a vegetarian (and later, vegan) four years ago. Even when it was testing to my mind and my family at times, I have never regretted this decision as it has transformed my life entirely. The diet is more than just an eating habit. Time and time again, it has brought me to the most positive results, and eventually influencing the people around me.
The Little “Meat-Monster”
Being raised in a traditional Chinese family, we naturally followed a meat-oriented diet. “Roasted Chicken Wings with Potatoes” and “Steamed Crab” were among my favourite dishes. While there has always been an abundance of vegetable dishes in the Chinese cuisine, one could not have easily imagined a meal without meat or seafood with all these delicious flavours and varieties.
It wasn’t just about the eating habit too. In any family gatherings, our tables were always “big meat big fish” as we called it. Asian barbecue, hotpot, buffet at the hotels, 90% of these popular places are all filled with meat, and more meat. The more, the better; the heavier, the better. It is how we were simply raised to be.
Although I had never detested vegetables or fruits, like everyone else I often thought that the vegetarian diet is only strict and boring. Before it became a trend of itself, there were quite a few traditional Chinese vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, but most of them were old-fashioned, with austere decor, unappealing presentation, and perhaps unexciting flavours. None of my friends were vegetarians, not without reasons too.
What changed my mind?
我的跳舞老師 My Dance Teacher
As a vegetarian for 20+ years, Andy Wong (a renowned contemporary dance artist) was the first person who introduced me to a vegetarian lifestyle. His way of living totally changed my perception of vegetarianism. I was inspired to see that even for a dancer who needs a lot of energy everyday, he could still follow a vegetarian diet while being so healthy and physically ready at the same time. He was my first model for being a vegetarian.
一次瑜珈斷食營 A 5-day Yoga Retreat Camp
是因為快大一歲了，想給自己一個改變的機會；與其買一份一星期後就會忘記的禮物，我想過一個有意義又可以 「抖抖氣」的經歷。 對，短短五天讓我對食物的看法改變了。知道了素食，或者看起來更好吃的「蔬食料理」不但易做也很好吃、我也開始喜歡上吃水果和喝果汁後輕盈清新的感覺、真正的意識到肉食為身體帶來的負擔。這種種對身體和心靈的正面影響，驅使了我決定要成為素食者。
It was a gift to myself on my 24th Birthday - rather than getting myself a present that I would probably forget in a week, I decided to experience something more meaningful by joining a yoga retreat camp in Tainan. For a week I adhered to a whole new lifestyle - following a strictly vegetarian diet with lots of fresh, nutritious smoothie, juices and food, gradually experiencing a positive change to my body, as well as practicing meditation and mindfulness with guidance. I was surprised to see that my stomach and digestive system had gotten much better, my skin looked clearer and I felt so much lighter physically and mentally. Ever since this marvellous experience, I decided to be a vegetarian.
痘痘和敏感皮膚 My Acne-Prone & Sensitive Skin
去年的夏天，我經歷的一段嚴重的「青春痘」問題時期。老實說，雖然我已經吃素一段不短的時間，但有時候，對於一些喜歡的食物，我仍會控制不了而多吃的。尤其是塗滿牛油的麵包、曲奇餅、芝士拼盤、水牛芝士沙律、牛奶咖啡等等⋯⋯全部都有牛奶成分。經過我在網上進行了一些研究之後，我決定要跟長期最愛——牛奶說拜拜。 不過，這並不是件容易的事。 要小心的是，必須注意日常食物有沒有含奶的成分，特別是麵包或甜點。
I experienced a serious acne problem all of a sudden last summer. After doing some research online, I decided to give up my favourite dairy products and followed a strict-vegan diet. It was not an easy process, even a painful one - you cannot imagine how hard it is to stay away from so many milk-related ingredients in food like bread, cakes and even soup!
So, this is my story of transformation. Now I do not miss meat at all, as there can be thousands of alternatives and vegetarian options. I do miss the richness of dairy products at times, but my stomach and skin are way better since eliminating them completely. Besides, avoiding animal products is also the best way to stand against animal cruelty and exploitation. Research has found that veganism is also the most efficient way to save our planet by reducing carbon emission and conserving water. Yes, It might not be easy at start, but I promise you that it’d become easier when you get over the addiction. It is also certainly another curious habit to search for tasty substitute too, the fascinating vegan cakes and pastries, or just a cup of plant-based milk latte…
Less for More, not only for Eating but also Living
The plant-based diet has not only nourished my body, but also transformed the way I see my life. Eating a whole, organic planet-based meal is always more nutritious and fulfilling than any of those harmful processed food. “Less for More” - it is way more than a eating habit. For me this lifestyle applies to every aspects of life, including how I dress, the way I live and even the perception of our relationships with other living beings. Once you decide to consume healthier food, simpler clothes, comforting homewares… Soon you will find out that you are not only living a simple lifestyle with less belongings, but also towards a much wholesome and happier lifestyle. It is “LifeStyle In White”.
“The simpler we are, the stronger we become.”