Today 6 years ago I decided to go vegan. Many people have asked me why I gave up eating meat, and every time I answer that it was just a lifestyle change. I was tired of the way I felt every day and how I felt after a braai out with my buddies. I decided to give it a try for 2 weeks, and found that I felt better than I ever had. I had more energy, I felt lighter, cleaner, purer. After those 2 weeks, I tried meat again and I could not summon that magical superb lighter soul feeling I had accrued in the past few weeks. It crumbled down to ashes and it felt horrible for close to a week. Then and there I decided to start on the vegan journey. I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy at first (so many temptations), but it was something that I had to condition myself to accept. My granny to this day doesn’t really understand why I gave up on meat.
Throughout my teen years I had always been physically active and it was second nature to be conscious of what I put into my body. So I started out by cutting out the crap. I had a rough idea that dairy, and anything greasy or oily ripped my stomach apart and made me feel uncomfortable. I had already cut out red meat a few years earlier before I went to college. As usual, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step and initiation is critical, so I stumbled into a five-day plant-based cleanse. I say “stumbled” because I had no idea what eating plant-based entailed, and I certainly did not think it would lead me to being a vegan. It was a cleanse for the New Year that my mom and I agreed to do together to detox after the holidays, but I was secretly hoping it would hold some more profound answers for me. Throughout my upbringing, it was a norm to adhere to this wise man saying, “Your food is your medicine.” and it gave me a strong foundation of coming back to terms in times of drifting.
Easier said than done, yeah at first I was not that strict with my eating habits and the food choices I made but one thing was so certain, I had to upkeep my detoxing plan and my workout program. I am so glad, self-discipline from tender age got me so self-conscious about the need to be always physically fit and up to now, I take pride of being an athlete, Karateka, biker and I frequently use the gym too. The driving force behind my turning into a vegan story was mainly ego centric and by this I mean, the desire to satisfy the common aspiration we all share of having more to a sweet, ageing and healthy lifestyle. I have discovered that, doing things that come from inside yourself is more inspiring and captivating that you will not feel the need to quit.
Being more of a fruitarian paved way for my detoxification to be sorely anchored on plants, herbs, fruits, vegetables and spicy options. The obvious reason being that, natural ways of detoxifying are easily affordable and going organic is the new secret to longevity. I recall putting black jack(mutsine) tea, amaranth(mowa), aloe vera juice, red chilies, lemon juice extract, garlic, ginger and water therapy on my everyday to do list and it helped a lot. From getting to discover that a lemon has a medicinal potential of curing more than 50 common human ailments to the magical wonders of the aloe vera juice extract that can indemnify internal body wounds. How black jack is so rich in iron (haemoglobin friendly) up to the amazing anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and, more importantly, anti-cancer suppressing capabilities of the red pepper chilli. Damn I was getting educated in the obvious and it was all fun.
You need 21 days to break an old habit but when it comes to issues like this, come on, you just need to be a little bit patient, tolerant and always accepting of reality, taking responsibility and coming back to life with yourself and your habits. They are few good lessons we can learn from the achievements of Thomas Edison, after failing for 10,000 times he made it on the 10,001th trial. Oh that’s marvellous, perseverance and determination can take you everywhere if mastered and applied on a constant basis.
Always take note-YOUR FOOD IS YOUR MEDICINE!!
By Kuda Chiriseri