I grew up in a family in Hungary where we followed a rather traditional Hungarian diet. My grandparents and their generation followed their tradition, which meant little meat during weekdays, and roast on Sundays. They were children during World War II and know the value of food. There is no food waste in my grandparents house. I grew up being told that meat and dairy is essential for a developing body’s health, for strong bones, muscles, brain and nerve system. I heard about fat soluble vitamins, protein, minerals and considered myself well informed when it came to basic nutrition and what my body needs to be healthy. Our parents generation is different. Meat became more available and affordable, and following tradition and what our culture dictated, it was the most natural that there was meat on the table every day. And I ate butter, cream cheese, yoghurt, creme fraiche, cottage cheese, cheese every day. Not too much milk though, I was never a huge fan of raw milk.
I trust my grandparents and parents and I know that they want the best for for me. I trusted that their information comes from trusted sources. Information form the medical society and research data. This trust towards medicine started to slowly break down, maybe taking antibiotics for everything is not the way to health? With the internet, critical thinking had a new platform, everyone has an opinion on what is healthy and what is unhealthy and how we should all live our lives. Suddenly there were magazines with health tips and diets on the covers and there were some new finding every day that challenged our believes.
It came fairly early to me to understand that health is not just about the body. I looked at my illnesses from a psychosomatic angle since my early teen years, and started to do yoga on and off.
I started to slowly trust myself. My feelings and my body’s signals.
It was not until I was about 25 when I started to do yoga regularly – with a yoga place membership invitation from Ieva – which really helped in understanding how I can tune in and listen to my body. I naturally started to eat more fresh and green, not because I was told that that was better, but because it also felt better. It didn’t mean that I stopped eating meat, but I definitely ate much less. We started the day with rye bread, butter, eggs, yoghurt and cheese, but didn’t eat meat more than about twice a week.
Then it was Ieva again who started a change in my life. She and Maggi went vegan and I thought I would give it a try and see how it went. I was curious of how hard it was to manage a vegan diet and of course the effect on my body and mind.
I went vegan for 30 days in May 2016 and don’t plan to turn back.
Being vegan is not the end of the journey, it is the beginning. I’m not a perfect vegan and probably never will be – I wear my leather boots that I bought last year and I will do it until they hold, I wear my wool clothes that I had before and I bought a wool sweater on a flea market – but I’m trying. I don’t give my money to any businesses that I know that exploits and tortures animals. I’m keep learning from the sources our products come from.
This world and the problems we face as humanity on planet Earth sometimes seem overwhelming. I feel that going vegan, practicing yoga, meditation and mindfulness help me understand my place in this world, what I CAN change, what I CAN do, and it makes me stronger: in my body and my mind.
Yes it’s true that being vegan can be challenging at times, but I found that it is nothing that you cannot learn to cope with in just 30 days. Its rewards are not comparable with its challenges.
Living true to my deepest values is not less than being whole. And it is not possible to be in peace with eating something that you and I and everyone knows, comes from a cycle of torture and suffering. I believe that it is not necessary for our health and wellbeing to meat and dairy. Just because you block out the images of factory farming from your laptop screen and from your mind, they are there. They are there in a locked up part of the mind and are conflicting with what we want to believe we are: Peaceful, compassionate, loving human beings.
Letting go of this controversy is incredibly liberating and rewarding on a whole new level. The peace I can experience within is deeper and stronger than ever. My task is to make this inner light, love and peace stronger every day. I’m trying.
With this blog my aim is to contribute to a dialogue where we can help each other by showing that a vegan living is natural, easy, delicious, nurturing and fun.