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My we turned Plant Based, Yep the whole family..

Its been a year now so I feel I can chat about it with some backstory and an element of authority on the ins and outs of turning plant based as a family..

I am not suddenly some all hailing thou must all turn vegan, I am not biased towards it for any reason other than that I am now vegan because after much research I have learned that, apart from of course being beautifully ethical, a plant based diet is the best diet for my current and future health alongside the health of the environment.

One of the major stereotypes surrounding veganism is that vegans think they are better than others and that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to me..  I’m vegan not because I feel that I’m better than anyone else but rather because I understand that I am no different. Those type of Vegans need to loose their 'Vego', as a friend of mine calls it, as that idiotic attitude just drives wedges between differing thoughts on diets rather than bringing them closer which is what most people who live this narrative want.

We went vegan as Marcus came home one night having been listening to Rich Rolls Podcast and read his book Finding Ultra and simply liked what he had heard. Rich doesn't say go cold turkey (pardon the pun) or nothing at all, he simply promotes that you add as many vegetables to your diet as you can and loose the dairy for a while and see how you feel.

The health of our countries are declining, weight issues are rising, the amount of people being diagnosed with life altering and even deadly illnesses is two a penny and it seems like every other person is on a cocktail of medications for all sorts of varied ailments. 

Marcus and I were on medication for stress/anxiety/depression. My future has a high chance of seeing Breast Cancer rear its ugly head and that of course worries me. 

Marcus was chasing a new diet to treat his gut health which has always been erratic and I had read and heard how people have reversed serious end of life diagnoses from simply adopting a plant based diet. If any of us had any gremlins in our bodies waiting to grow into something bigger and simply changing our diet could stop that then I was all in.

The other side effect for athletes is that it is reported to aid with much faster recovery from training sessions so with what, at the time, was a 50k Trail Run Race coming up and lots of training hours ahead this also appealed to me!

So thats why we did it and we did pretty much do it over night. I only had a few pieces of fish to use up and from that point forwards I simply bought purely plant based.

AND how has it been?...

There are of course things we miss but to be honest there are substitutes from pretty much anything nowadays. They say the more you eat something the more you crave it so now I just crave salad!!

We never told the kids they had to stay plant based, we just said we will be at home and would love you to be when you are out. They sometimes have some sushi with fish in, maybe once a month they will have a cookie, cupcake or ice cream at someones house but all in all they have adapted in and out of home into fully fledged little Veganites!

We all lost weight/body fat to start with and have now plateaued at that lower weight/body fat.
We all sleep better.
Marcus has found his stomach is so much more settled.
That recovery blurb we had heard about 'feels' true.. (I can only compare)
Our skin, hair and eyes look brighter and clearer.
Our food bills have gone down big time.
My cooking skills have improved.
Our knowledge (as a family) of nutrients, whole foods and dietary facts has grown.
We have become a lot more eco friendly as a bi product

We are still learning but the longer we are plant based and come across transformative stories of peoples lives changing for the better having turned or led a plant based life the more I know we won't change back.

The accessibility to plant based food just keeps getting better, the products available to cook with mimicking animal products (I am talking cheese baby) are growing day by day and I just can't find a good reason not to continue just the way we are..

Have you made a big diet change in your life? How did yours go? 

Coaches.. to do or not to do..

I would say to do, again and again and again.. I was in a discussion the other day about whether the art of coaching was lost and whether the true coaches could survive as just a coach being their only income going forwards.

I could not advocate having a coach more if I tried, not forever and not just for a month. For an event, for a safe journey to a big adventure, to achieve a desired goal .. heck just to give you the knowledge you need to keep up a healthy lifestyle and know how to tackle future events you might want to take up or on.

I had a crap coach in the past and that can kill the system. The useless ones just throw out a program, analyze the data and charge less than the real hands on coaches. Unfortunately enough people get a result good enough to keep them happy from that pathetic approach which in turn keeps them in business.. 

Strava (or the likes) is not a coach, if you are endeavouring to do something that will take you out of your comfort zone then watching stats on a digital distractive platform that ranks you against people you have never met or simply have a totally different goal in mind to yours is just a time waster.

How do you find a decent coach? 

Ask around local groups and friends who have used one, get onto a local FB Group supporting the sport you want to do and see what comes up. Word of mouth is my favourite and finding a coach that has skills in the discipline you are chasing is key. If you have a certain event in mind they may even have raced it too which is an absolute bonus. 

I found mine as I was following Rich Roll and his ultra endurance vegan life, he waxed lyrical about his coach and then posted an image of him swimming with that coach at MY local pool. It was kismet, what can I say!

A true coach teaches you how to feel those numbers and all that data whilst doing the training, having self knowledge is what will keep you on track and ensure you cross the finishing line with a smile on your face.

My current coach uses my data numbers and all that stuff you analyze to adapt my next training week, he wants notes after every session regarding how I felt not my numbers.. he re arranges my schedule when life gets in the way, he does regular testing on feel to back up the numbers and builds in mandatory rest alongside big peaks. 

His ability to answer every dumb question with simple logic and no judgement has his athletes asking so many re occurring things he even started recording a podcast to cover the subjects for us.. 

The true art of coaching is not lost it’s just needs more people to discover it and spread the word.

I am writing this post purely as those that have been lucky enough to know or experience good coaches should spread the word so as not to loose those gems to online formatting and lazy glorified PT’s...

If you are in need of help in Australia I recommend talking to Grant.. he is the sort of coach I have currently and I know he is the sort of coach that if he felt he wasn't the best fit for you and your needs he would find you someone that was.. again.. the sign of a good coach. If you need mental strength outside of just the physical coaching he also runs Sports Supports who run workshops and do one on one also

Oh the synchronicity.. as I type his new podcast alert flashes on my phone.. FREAKY 😳😝

Have you ever used a coach for anything? 

Lemonade Lusts : UK Insta Peeps

I have been following a few simply divine UK Photographers/Bloggers of late and they plain and simple fall straight under my Lemonade Lusts banner. When something as simple as an image makes your heart flutter and lights up your day it seems rather mean not to share it.

from top to bottom :
// Hannah Argyle //
// This is Jules //

Do you follow anyone on social media that just fills your bucket? 

Do you want to be a different person?

I am a totally different person.... to the one I was 15 years ago and even if I do say so myself I rather like this version better.

I couldn’t pin point exact change points as it’s all a journey and my road never seems to be forged in stone but what you do along the way shapes you future self. That person I was 15+ years ago had grown up in a world where no one shared (we had no social media and those surrounding me were not all that open). I worked a job, as a model, where people based their actions on physical attributes, rejection was standard practice and success was judged in material possessions and a commitment to narcissistic behaviour alongside unhealthy lifestyles.

Somewhere along the way (21 years ago actually) I met a man who held value in family over everything. I regained my passion for sports, became a mother and suddenly aware that my behaviour would impact who they became. I ran a business that was of service to others more than myself and ended up giving so much to everyone else that medication was the only thing to keep me from running myself into an early grave.

I always say the one thing medication is good for is the fact your first step forces you to admit there is an issue at hand and then the actual taking of it daily gives you the clarity to define your mistakes and see that a future is possible.

For a while I stayed the same path and just let the medication keep me balanced and that’s ok as I needed time to rest. Along my journey I met so many that were the same but suffering in silence, social media became a 'thing' AND my job had me public speaking more often. With that platform of both business and personal alongside the fact I was already helping others navigate the stresses of small business behind closed doors I just felt compelled to be open and honest about my journey. I knew it would be tough to be someone who showed weaknesses but I knew it was the right thing to do and would ultimately make me a better person also.

So these days I am me, I still kinda look like that perfect ‘model’ on the outside (thank you Mum and Dad for the pretty good genetics) but more importantly I like to think I have started to change the genetics on the inside and am looking more model like there too ..

I don’t read tabloid press because decent books or a podcast win over that..
I don’t watch reality TV because Netflix and Amazon Video are my only TV drug of choice..
I don’t even buy labelled clothes unless it’s sports gear and can justify its price tag in its purpose.

As a result my life is better, NOT perfect but so, so, so much better and I take pride in the kids I am shaping and the wife I am being. 

I look for the good in everyday however mundane the diary looks (yes that can be a HUGE effort) because I can make that day brighter. Simple things. Having an honest conversation, making someone smile with a compliment, baking my family healthy food and maybe even sharing that love with deliveries to my friends, even just minimising my own possessions and donating to a local charity but the biggest impact I appear to have is the honesty I express in my social media posts. Maybe it is because it is of service to others and that means the world to me (the old me would have looked for the Instalikes) but the new me buzzes from the personal messages behind the scenes. 

Vulnerability is a strength, we can’t move past issues until we shine a light on them and I guess that is the real truth behind my changes over the years. 

Share your truths, 
be honest with those you love,
acknowledge the power of continual growth from learning,
discover your powers and let them blossom,
create happiness in your days and look after yourself inside and out.

How have you changed over the years? What were your best lessons?

When you live and learn...

I wrote on Instagram about how I am choosing to live with less these days and make a conscious effort to not waste my time with things that bring no value to my life.. in turn I am making a concerted effort to do more of what does.

For me that comes in the form of learning and growing. Learning and growing by listening to anyone that offers advice and reading and researching things I don’t know or understand.

I have had so many of these moments in the last year that I decided it was time to share the ones that have shaped me the most.

Honesty is hard but so worthwhile, hearing it or giving it to others takes pulling up those big girl panties but the weight lifted from your shoulders when you do so is so much more so that the pain it takes to do it or read/listen to it on vice versa.

Acceptance to criticism, to situations, to limitations.. sitting with them and allowing yourself to ease into the reality of what they bring will have you change for the better in such amazing ways.

Selfishness comes from sometimes leaving or saying no to the ones you love is what you have to do for the ones you love most.. its not like extended family and friends don't mean the world to me but my husband and kids are top and when you allow them to be your main focus it feels liberating and it feels justified.

Giving or being of service is beyond rewarding.. go seek it out.. something you enjoy but gives to others.. charity, school, friends or even just doing something that fills you with pride for your own little family unit.

Trust that things will all be good in the long run. Expenses spring up, relationships go, life throws you curveballs and leaves you so uncertain so many bloody times but what purpose does it serve to dwell on it or let it pull you down. There is rarely anything we can do to change the past or even dictate the future but if we just trust in the now and stay happy with where we are at that time then the future will always pan out to be good..
It is probably the toughest one but the most powerful one too.

I am living and learning each and every day but these are the foundations that have repeatedly felt the most important to me in the biggest way..

What are your biggest lessons you have kept with you year after year?