Oh my, has it really been nine years?

Nine years in Singapore; where did the time go? What a rollercoaster ride it’s been!

Having arrived on these shores a novice expat, a trailing spouse with a blended family in tow, we were full of trepidation and excitement. Within the past decade and having embraced everything that Singapore has to offer along the way, it is fair to say that this island has become our home - a Garden City that is clean, efficient, a great springboard to travel the region, fabulous food, people and culture. Singapore has changed me beyond anything I could have imagined.

Promising myself that I would embrace new opportunities in this different chapter of my life, I began to practise yoga, meditation and explore Buddhism, finding myself being drawn to a different way of being. Then one day, a chance television interview on Channel Asia with two American cardiologists caught my eye. They were talking about how they had spent their careers carrying out cardiac bypass surgery, and wondering why the patient’s arteries were continuously clogging up. They stopped operating, and four years of research later, they opened a clinic encouraging patients to adopt a plant-based diet. 

That moment was an epiphany for me, a lightbulb moment. Having 20 years of experience as an NHS nurse working in ‘sick care’ and with this new found knowledge, I became passionate about researching ‘food as medicine’. I realized that maybe, just maybe, we do have some control over whether we get sick and I was going to spend my free time finding out as much as I could.

With all four kids off the payroll and hitting the big 5-0, it was ‘my’ time. Having always been passionate about health and loving food, I took myself to Thailand and trained as a Raw Food Chef with Matthew Kenney Culinary.

I have loved the challenge of thinking about how to make a meal, and having discovered new ingredients, it became exciting to me to try new foods. I’ve always enjoyed cooking for friends and family to showcase what can be done with varied, healthy ingredients.
And so, my reinvention to a plant-based lifestyle really began.

The wonderful thing about this lifestyle is it offers so many benefits:
It is kind to your health in a variety of ways:

• Fall within your natural weight
• Better immune system
• Clearer skin
• Better sleep
• More energy
• Lower blood sugar levels
• Reduced risk of chronic diseases 
• Lower risk of heart disease
• May help to slow or avert some cancers

Not only does it benefit your health, but it is also kind to the planet. A plant-based diet has been scientifically and environmentally proven to reduce the risk of further destruction to the rainforest, land and natural habitats. We need to consider that 2 acres of rainforest is cleared every minute to raise cattle or crops in order to feed them. Then, on top of this, 5 times more land is used to produce animal protein than equal amounts of plant protein. Research shows that animal food production is now the world’s leading cause of climate change and the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions, surpassing the transportation industry.

Finally, amongst other reasons, it is kind to animals. A plant-based diet not only ends the suffering of animals, but it is also a substantially more moral and ethical approach to living, benefitting the life of not only yourself, but billions of livestock too. If we consider that 70% of all the grain grown in the world to feed meat animals could instead be used to feed people, just imagine the difference we could make to our lives and the future lives of  generations to come.