The following article was published by the Daily Express on Feb 23rd 2015. Thought it was worth sharing as is always interesting to hear other people’s stories, how they came to veganism, what they struggle with, what their advice is etc…
Healthy living guru Angela Liddon explains how giving up animal products helped her overcome an eating disorder
Veganism is a big trend for 2015. Beyoncé announced recently that she is launching a vegan food delivery service and she is just one of many celebrities who have decided to cut animal products out of their diet completely.
For healthy living guru Angela Liddon however, going vegan wasn’t just a celebrity fad. Instead she says that after years of suffering from an eating disorder, it gave her life back to her.
Angela’s problems started when she was just 11.
“When I hit puberty, I started to get curves and gained a bit of weight. I felt I wasn’t thin enough like the girls in fashion magazines so I started to diet,” she explains.
Starving herself for days on end, then binge eating, Angela, now 32, fixated on how much fat she was eating and the amount of exercise she could do.
“Even though I was very thin my body image was worse than ever. I thought that by losing the weight I would accept myself more but found I only became more critical of how I looked. It was a vicious circle,” she says.
It wasn’t until Angela was in her mid-20s that she decided enough was enough. “I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I lacked energy in my day-to-day life and I desperately wanted to change,” she says.
“My eating disorder also negatively impacted on my relationships as it made me insecure, moody and withdrawn. I knew something needed to give if I was going to have healthy relationships in my life and most of all learn how to accept myself.”
After hearing about how healthy a vegan diet can be she decided to try it out for herself. Soon, she was hooked.
“Eating a balanced plant-based diet gave me so much energy straight away,” she says. “I felt happier, balanced and like I could accomplish so much more. It was a revelation.”
Inspired by her new lease of life Angela, who lives in Ontario, Canada, decided to start a blog to share her struggles with food and how going vegan had turned her life around.
After its launch in 2008 she was inundated with messages from readers. “I was amazed and humbled by all the people who wrote saying that my blog changed their life,” she says.
During the past six years she has created more than 600 vegan recipes and built up six million regular readers. Now, as she launches her first cookbook, Angela says she hopes her journey eating her way back to health will continue to inspire others to go vegan too.
The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon, published March 4, (Penguin, £16.25) is available from amazon.co.uk
FIVE GOLDEN FOOD RULES
1 MAKE TIME
Set aside time each weekend to prepare food for the week ahead. Roast a couple of pans of seasonal vegetables, soak and cook chickpeas and prep kale and homemade dressing for salads. This will make throwing together weeknight meals much easier.
2 DON’T WORRY ABOUT OTHERS
If you want to make changes, do so for you and you alone. Don’t let outside opinions put you off. You never know, if you feel good, look healthy and your skin’s glowing others may want to do it too.
3 SWEAT EVERY DAY
You’ll feel your best if you get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. It can be as simple as walking outdoors but make sure whatever it is you enjoy doing it. Mix it up to keep it interesting. Try indoor cycling classes, brisk hill walking on the treadmill, weights and hiking.
4 EAT BREAKFAST
Skipping breakfast is never a good idea as you’ll end up starving by lunch and over-eating. If you want something light have a green protein smoothie or a bowl of vegan overnight oats.
5 MAKE ROOM FOR TREATS
Depriving yourself will only make you want something more. Therefore include room for desserts and treats in your diet, in moderation of course.
Try a raw chocolate pudding made with blended banana, avocado, cocoa powder, vanilla, and sea salt topped with roasted hazelnuts and whipped coconut cream. It’s easy to make and, while sweet, it’s full of goodness.
SMART SWAPS TO BOOST YOUR DIET
Ditch: COW’S MILK
Try: Almond milk. Choose the unsweetened kind and use it where you would normally use cow’s milk.
Ditch: DAIRY CREAM
Try: Full-fat coconut cream. You can whip it just like you would regular dairy cream. It’s great in desserts, puddings, soup and more.
Try: Virgin coconut oil. You can use coconut oil in just about everything from raw desserts to baked goods to stir-fries.
Heart-healthy, it has antifungal and antibacterial properties. However if you’re not a fan of the flavour you can use refined coconut oil.
Try: Lentil-walnut taco “meat”. A mixture of toasted walnuts, lentils, chilli powder, garlic, olive oil, cumin and salt.
Ditch: DAIRY SOUR CREAM
Try: Cashew sour cream. Blend soaked cashews, water lemon juice, cider vinegar and seasoning until smooth.