As many know I had a heart attack earlier this year. Actually the attack started on the 10th & ran into the 11th May. I was one of the lucky ones. I got a warning, required only 1 stent and got a full MOT of all of the pipe work serving my heart.
I stopped smoking immediately and have put on some weight and now as far as i am concerned I just need to improve my fitness and ideally lose a stone or so.
It seems that that isn't enough and well intentioned pressure has been building for me to change my diet.
Now before I move on you should know that food is one of my great pleasures and is one of the reasons I gave up the big jobs to come back to where I grew up and why Samantha and I did The Bridge Inn. So happy to stop smoking, happy to exercise but I eat well anyway, rarely eat processed food or take aways and at home and in the pubs we cook from scratch using quality ingredients.
No little indignation in that paragraph you might note and I have been clear in my view that stopping eating the food I love isn't worth an extra 5 or 10 years - but I would like the extra 10 years plus being able to eat the good stuff.
Some of the motivation has been driven by a documentary called GAME CHANGERS about Plant Based Diets and the miraculous benefits as evidenced by athletes.
I watched it last week and have to say I cannot argue with the biology. It made me think - a lot!
Less inflammation - more flexible arteries - lower blood pressure - more energy and much more - can't argue that is all sounds extremely appealing.
But I love food!
Which foods would I really miss though?
Which couldn't I bear to never eat again and which are simply that instant reaction to the idea of Veganism and cutting meat from my diet?
Would I ever miss the odd distress purchase McDonalds burger I have endured? No
Do I miss the many awful supermarket pork pies, scotch eggs, black pudding, sausages, sliced meats or bland under matured cheeses I have endured? No
Would I miss the force fed chicken breasts predominant in supermarkets or the watery bacon pushed through for volume and price? God No
Would I miss that piece of Pork courtesy of our outstanding, award winning butcher Owen Taylor with its strip of crackling served every Sunday at the Bridge? You bet and the thought of never again having Vacherin, wafer thin slices of the finest Iberico ham or another Carabineros prawn? Unthinkable
So I have challenged myself over the past week, asking myself the question can I be more selective and the answer is yes I can and I should. There are plant based foods that I wouldn't want to miss out on and there are animal based I would not miss at all.
Would I be ok if I could never have a perfectly seasoned roasted tomato or mushroom again? No it wouldn't and this list could go on.
The issue comes with dishes like Kalettes with Old Winchester and Pedro Ximenez or Mushroom Rarebit at the Bridge. The vegetable is amazing but the addition of dairy elevates them to something quite wonderful.
What I love is good food. Food is not a means to refuel for me but a means to savour flavour while passing time gloriously with loved ones and I think that I can and should be more selective.
First things first though, how valid are the claims of the documentary - it's easy to dismiss them - why not test them out? Especially as I can, I have two pubs as well as home which serves a good selection of plant based dishes.
It can't be as difficult going plant based for 7 days as going without sugar - which I have tried and done for 10 days before and that is really tough in the early days this is just swapping tasty for tasty.
What if I don't feel any different? Thats the easy one but what if I feel so much better? - Only one way to find out.
I have decided to do 7 days plant based? Fancy joining me?
Darren has been cajoled heavily and i am at this point optimistic that he is going to join me for 7 days plant based eating. We have the luxury of being able to eat breakfast lunch and dinner in The Devonshire and / or The Bridge and you are welcome to join us.
Haven't set the date to start yet but we think waiting until January would be a bit of a cop out and fadish so the next week or so is looking favourite at the moment.
Interested in taking up the challenge for better health drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think I am looking forward to this and the journey may be entertaining on onlookers!