In November 2011, I made the decision to progress towards a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Since then, I have learnt so much about where our food comes from, and what it does to our bodies and the environment. Along the way, I have encountered many obstacles and challenges. I have also been asked lots of questions, most of them valid and a few off them more than a little odd. One of the aims of my blog is to chronicle my experiences as a plant-based traveller. So, hopefully these Plant-Based Pauses will provide a little more explanation and maybe answer some questions that my readers may still have.
‘Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.’ – Alexander Graham Bell
Very early on in my plant-based lifestyle, I visited a nutritional therapist. Not particularly to help me with the plant-based part of my diet, but because I knew I had at least one food allergy that I couldn’t pinpoint. One of the many great pieces of advice she gave me was to drink at least 2 litres of water per day. I’d already been told this before, but for some reason when Arwen told me it seemed to stick. She also told me to wait 30 minutes in between drinking and eating to avoid heartburn. As I’d suffered with heartburn most of my life, this bit of information was greatly received.
Since then, I’ve stuck to Arwen’s advice and I now drink plenty of water everyday. However, the environmentalist in me hates wasting plastic unnecessarily. So, disposable water bottles and the horrible little plastic cups stacked up next to our dispenser at work are out of the question. Instead, I found my new best friend.
Nowadays, I carry my re-useable water bottle with me virtually everywhere. It comes to the gym with me, it sits on my desk at work everyday and it usually finds itself caked in mud and bugs in the community garden at the weekend.
In my office, I unfortunately sit right next to the fridge, water dispenser and the coffee machine. Every day I sit there and listen to the clunk-clunk-clunk noise of people repeatedly throwing disposable plastic cups into the bin. I hate that noise, because I know that every time I hear it another piece of plastic has been used for barely more than a few seconds yet it will take years to decompose, if at all. If every colleague in my office uses two of these cups each per day on average, by buying a re-usable bottle we could save over 100 cups each per year. And that’s not including all the disposable plastic bottles that they buy from the vending machine.
I appreciate that a 1 litre water bottle isn’t the most convenient thing to carry with you in a nightclub or down the shops, but my advice is to invest in one and keep it with you whenever you can.