Covid was a wake-up call. If the last two years taught us anything, it’s how fragile life is and how important our health is to sustain it. Vaccines wear off, booster jabs have side effects, long Covid symptoms can last months, and so on. But you get a say in one crucial factor: What you eat.
Diet is key to your overall health and immune systems. Not only does it affect how your body works, but it also affects the way you feel - this is especially true during an illness.
Odette Abou Haidar shares her story on how she went plant-based. She began eating healthier six years ago after her sister was diagnosed with cancer, an illness that runs in the family.
"I was determined that I did not want to be another woman in my family to get cancer. Through my research, I discovered so many ways to live a healthier life. I realized I needed to drastically change my lifestyle if I wanted to prevent cancer," she said.
“I became very conscious about what I put into my body. In the last two years, I've been eating whole foods and following a plant-based diet."
During her journey, Odette felt better but still felt that something was missing. Consequently, she decided to add supplements to bridge the gap between what she is eating and the nutrition she needs. Now, she supplements with vitamins and minerals. Studies show that Vitamins B12 and D, Zinc, Iron, and Calcium are necessary for people who want to eat a plant-based diet.
“This winning combination has proven to give me my best life ever! Not only do I feel more energetic, but my skin also is clearer and I have maintained a healthy weight,” says Odette. “I will never go back to animal-based foods again.
Not everyone changes their diet for health reasons, Sean Tobin, theatre teacher with School of the Arts Singapore, gradually shifted to plant-based eating due to his love for nature and animals. He has an Indian ring neck parrot called Irnie.
"It began with me just feeling uncomfortable eating meat sometimes. My conviction was neither religious nor environmental. It was just part of my sensitivity and imagination. I have been vegetarian for nearly 30 years now!” Sean exclaims.
As a teenager, Sean would make his own meals if there wasn’t a vegetarian option at the family dinner table. “I naturally eliminated meat products one at a time steadily throughout my teens and by the time I was 21 and moved to Singapore to live, I stopped eating all meat.”
“There are so many plant-based options now and Arlene® is my new favorite range of plant-based meals!”
As Rimpy Gupta discovered, the road to becoming meat-free was rather bumpy. She confessed, "I liked meat in my teenage years and tried it for a time. Once I got married and became pregnant, I had an appetite for meat again. However, my body began to feel bloated and I gradually realized it was not for me.”
As Rimpy understands how difficult it is to give up meat, she advises: "Start with one thing andget used to the taste. With so many plant-based food options, you won't miss it so much in a fortnight! You can choose from 17 Halal, plant-based meals offered by Arlene®.
“Nowadays with so many options for vegetarian and vegan food, my cravings are totally in check. I don’t miss it as there are so many tasty and nutritious plant-based meals and they taste like meat, too!”
What are your stories? What made you go plant-based, vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian? We would love to hear from you and help inspire others with your story. Share your comments on our FB and IG pages and, who knows, you might be in our next blog post!
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