Hello beautiful people.
Well, let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Niamh (a.k.a. Plant Based Niamh). In the South of Ireland, we pronounce it; knee-uv. In the rest of Ireland and the UK it’s pronounced; Neev. I have decided to begin plant-based food blogging due to my love for food and my desire to share my food creations with others.
I have dwelled on the idea of a blog for a long time. Mainly due to the fact that I throw myself into everything I do, and I didn’t want to begin a blog, and then not have the time to indulge myself in it completely. I wanted to hold off on creating it until I knew I could give it my all, one hundred percent of the time. I finally think that the time has come.
I began my plant-based, vegan lifestyle on the 12th of September 2017. I came upon the idea of it while scouring through the explore page on Instagram. In the months beforehand, I found myself trapped within a very difficult relationship with food. I restricted my food intake in the hope of achieving dramatic weight loss results, and I even found myself cutting out complete food groups.
I was desperate to try anything which could help me overcome my battle with a soon-to-be, major eating disorder. I decided to give veganism a go. At first, I had no idea what I was doing. No one in my family had ever been vegetarian, not to mind vegan! This was an extremely big change for me. I was the person who would have an omelette for breakfast, a chicken breast for lunch and minced meat for dinner. I never thought that I could change my carnivorous ways. Coming from a low-carb, high animal-protein diet meant that I had to majorly adjust every single meal.
In the beginning, I made a mountain of mistakes. I relied almost entirely on vegetables as my main energy source – I was eating very small amounts of beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and complex carbohydrates (potatoes, pasta, bread,rice etc.). Within one week, I lost about three pounds (weight that I did not have to lose). I found that my energy was majorly lacking in the evenings and I was not reaping the rewards which I witnessed other vegan bloggers boasting about on Instagram. I decided to further my research on the lifestyle before giving up on it completely.
Dr. Michael Greger, an advocate of the plant-based lifestyle (known for his nutritional book- ‘How Not to Die’) majorly influenced my diet. He recommends a list of twelve essential items which we should intake each day to maintain a healthy vegan diet, which includes the likes of flax seeds, beans, legumes and leafy greens. He calls this the ‘daily dozen‘. I followed this guideline religiously for months until I figured out what worked for me.
In my case, everything was trial and error. I made a lot of mistakes, but I have also had a lot of victories. My passion for food has returned immensely and I could not be happier! I find myself feeling grateful for every ounce of food on my plate and I never take a meal for granted. Food is something that every single person has in common. It is an entity which connects us to one another and to different locations all over the world.”What’s your favourite food?”, we ask strangers in a bid to learn more about them. Food is representative. We recognise character traits by the foods that we eat, and the way we eat them. Food is a hugely important part of our lives, and we should appreciate it much more than we do. It is so important to sit down and enjoy each meal that we have, especially within the rapidly-paced environment of today.
In this day and age, wholesome, fresh and local food is less commonly enjoyed than ready-made convenience meals. I am on a mission to change that fact. By creating this blog, I hope to over-throw the idea that healthy vegan eating is expensive and too-difficult for the average person. I have news for you; I AM that average person who thought the exact same thing as you! Believe me, this lifestyle is worth a shot, whether it is for one week, one month, or one year; every attempt makes a difference.
I am here to inspire pre-vegans and vegans alike, but I am also here to inspire anyone who is just hoping to adopt a healthier diet overall. My recipes are almost all free from saturated fats and refined sugars, so this blog has something for everyone. I hope that you will be inspired to broaden your horizons, and channel your creativity through the avenue of food, as I have learned to do through my inhabitation of a plant-based lifestyle.