...or plant-based?

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" - Michael Polan

Dear Jess,

I loved your "Bad Vegan" post - such a sensible way to approach what can seem to some as a rather extreme approach to food but that really isn't! Or at least it needn't be.

I have to say I have pretty much the same approach as you, though perhaps a bit more lax. Some time ago I was vegan for about five years, as strict a vegan as you could possibly find. Time proved that I couldn't keep it up: I not only became that person no-one wanted to eat with (either cooking in or going out) but I lost any kind of joy in food. Unfortunately my quest to be the Best Vegan Ever dovetailed all too neatly with a broader perfectionism that I think is pretty common in women of our generation. And it was making me miserable.

More recently, when I decided to move back towards being more vegan than vegetarian, I decided to take a more easy-going approach - one I guess could best be described as "plant based". For some this means a strictly whole-foods approach to veganism, for me this means very much what it says on the tin. Plants make up the vast majority of my food intake, but with some leeway for the odd bit of dairy, even more rarely some egg, and even more rare than that some seafood. And by not calling it "vegan" I never feel boxed in, never like I'm constantly falling short of the label, never like I'm missing out or need to justify myself. And this approach seems to inspire more people around me to cut back on meat than my ultra-strict veganism ever did.

It's taken me a long time to heal my relationship with food, but I think I've finally finally found a way of eating that works for me.

Anna xx