I’ve finally had the chance to write the story of how and why I became vegan. It’s taken me a while to put it together, but I hope it gives you some more insight into why I chose this path.
I can’t honestly remember when the itch in my throat started. It would cause me to make terrible noises while trying to clear whatever was ‘stuck’ in my throat. Nothing ever seemed to be there, but the itching was relentless.
Frustration made me make an appointment with my GP, who eventually put it down to the cold that I had just recovered from. Over a month later, I was still clearing my throat, and the alien body that had taken over my throat was just not budging. I went back to my GP, and everything looked fine according to her. I didn’t have tender glands, I didn’t feel ill otherwise, but I still had this annoying itchy throat.
A month later, the throat clearing sounds were becoming worse. I was worried about being in public in case someone thought I had tuberculosis or something sinister. To top it off, my mother was panicking. When she panicked, I got even more worried. Something really had to give…
I had a new baby only a few months earlier so maybe the pregnancy had thrown my hormones out of whack or it had completely altered my tolerance to certain things in my diet? I had no idea but I was determined to get rid of the itch!
Giving up dairy
I decided to start eliminating things from my diet gradually. I started off with milk. It’s usually the culprit right? It helped a little, but not enough. I decided to get rid of every diary product in my diet, but wait a minute…How was I going to cope? I loved yoghurt, especially Greek yoghurt. Ah, but there was no way I could live with this annoying throat so I sucked it up and did what I had to do.
Two weeks later I noticed a big improvement. Throat clearing was down to 3-5 times per hour instead of 10 times. Whoop! Things were moving in the right direction, but in my mind I was still not in the clear of being regarded as a potential tuberculosis patient, lol! So another round of elimination needed to happen.
I decided I was going to become pescetarian. After all, fish is healthy. It is full of omega-3 fats, low in saturated fat and all that shebang. Getting rid of meat was a no-brainier, I hardly ate meat anyway (once in three months if that) But hold that thought, going pescetarian meant that I’d have to give up chicken? Did I just say chicken?! Never, not in a million years! How could I possibly live without chicken?
Anyone that knows me well enough knows I can eat a whole chicken by myself in a day, every single day for the rest of my life with no problem whatsoever! Gross now that I think about it, but yes that was me! But this throat thing….ughh! I decided I’d try giving up chicken for a month and see if there were any improvements and there were! The first two weeks without chicken were painful, but I survived. By the end of the month, I was down to clearing the throat 1-3 times per hour. I decided to give up chicken completely, I missed it, but I could obviously live without it.
I was so sure that if I ate a pescetarian diet the throat itch would eventually disappear. Two or three months went by and I was still at the same point. It wasn’t bothering me as much so I didn’t pay much attention to it.
The turning point
Then one day I went on YouTube, and just by chance came across a random person talking about being vegan. It was so random that I don’t even remember the channel, but it planted a seed in my mind. I remember going back to YouTube the next day and over the following week watching videos about veganism. On the morning of April 11 2016 I decided I was going vegan. Something clicked, the decision was crystal, there was just no second guessing anything. I just knew I had to do it. Within 2 weeks of going vegan that itchy throat thing was no more. It’s been over 7 months and I still haven’t had that itch. On top of that I feel like a new woman!
I know that eating a vegan diet poses some inherent challenges e.g stigma from non-vegans, getting the right amount of nutrients, and a whole load of other things. But, food has a completely new meaning to me now. So much that I’m learning about it like I’d never known it before. I still have tonnes to learn, and I doubt I’ll ever stop learning. But I really want to share my journey with veteran, new, transitioning and even non-vegans in the hope that I inspire someone to do something amazing for their health and this amazing planet we live in.
If you’ve recently become vegan, I’d love to read your story too. Feel free to share in the comment section below.