【charlotte in white专栏】我的素系之道 My Vegan Journey

有时,一个简单的决择会影响一辈子。
SOMETIMES A SIMPLE DECISION CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER.

四年前,我从食肉兽转为素食者。虽然当中有经历过困难的高高低低,我从没有後悔过这个决定。素食,不止是饮食习惯上的改变;而是无论对自己,还是身边的人,也有着微微的正面影响。
I became a vegetarian (and later, vegan) four years ago. Even when it was testing to my mind and my family at times, I have never regretted this decision as it has transformed my life entirely. The diet is more than just an eating habit. Time and time again, it has brought me to the most positive results, and eventually influencing the people around me.

从小就是食肉兽 THE LITTLE 「MEAT-MONSTER」

在典型的中国家庭长大,从小到大我们也对肉食——习惯了。「薯仔炆鸡翼」和「蒸三点蟹」也食我最喜欢的菜色。即使蔬菜类的菜色在中国菜的各种佳肴中从不缺乏(就如蒜蓉蒸小白菜);可以,一餐之中假如没有肉类或海鲜,中国人也许不太习惯吧。

过年过节时,我们也总有一桌子的「大鱼大肉」。烧肉、火锅、自助餐⋯⋯ 最受欢迎的聚会地方,九成也是肉、肉还有肉。彷佛愈多肉,就肉好;愈惹味,就吃得愈过瘾。饮食习惯,其实都是跟家人养成的。

虽然我从没有讨厌过吃蔬果,可是我以前也跟很多人一样,认为素食是刻板沈闷的。素食未流行起来之前,就只有一些传统的中式素食馆,古旧的氛围、老气的菜色,看上去就跟年轻潮流完全拉不上关系⋯⋯ 也不会太吸引到普通肉食者用餐。(那时,我没有任何的朋友是菇素,也不是没有原因的。)

Being raised in a traditional Chinese family, we naturally followed a meat-oriented diet. “Roasted Chicken Wings with Potatoes” and “Steamed Crab” were among my favourite dishes. While there has always been an abundance of vegetable dishes in the Chinese cuisine, one could not have easily imagined a meal without meat or seafood with all these delicious flavours and varieties.

It wasn’t just about the eating habit too. In any family gatherings, our tables were always “big meat big fish” as we called it. Asian barbecue, hotpot, buffet at the hotels, 90% of these popular places are all filled with meat, and more meat. The more, the better; the heavier, the better. It is how we were simply raised to be.

Although I had never detested vegetables or fruits, like everyone else I often thought that the vegetarian diet is only strict and boring. Before it became a trend of itself, there were quite a few traditional Chinese vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, but most of them were old-fashioned, with austere decor, unappealing presentation, and perhaps unexciting flavours. None of my friends were vegetarians, not without reasons too.

WHAT CHANGED MY MIND?

我的跳舞老师 MY DANCE TEACHER

把素食这个概念重新向我传译一次的,是我的跳舞老师。大约十年前,我开始学习现代舞。当时教舞的老师吃了十多年素,每次练舞後他都会带我们一起到素食餐厅。当时我只是好奇,为何能吃素十多年仍有力跳舞、又是非常健康的呢?

As a vegetarian for 20+ years, Andy Wong (a renowned contemporary dance artist) was the first person who introduced me to a vegetarian lifestyle. His way of living totally changed my perception of vegetarianism. I was inspired to see that even for a dancer who needs a lot of energy everyday, he could still follow a vegetarian diet while being so healthy and physically ready at the same time. He was my first model for being a vegetarian.

一次瑜珈断食营 A 5-DAY YOGA RETREAT CAMP

是因为快大一岁了,想给自己一个改变的机会;与其买一份一星期後就会忘记的礼物,我想过一个有意义又可以 「抖抖气」的经历。 对,短短五天让我对食物的看法改变了。知道了素食,或者看起来更好吃的「蔬食料理」不但易做也很好吃、我也开始喜欢上吃水果和喝果汁後轻盈清新的感觉、真正的意识到肉食为身体带来的负担。这种种对身体和心灵的正面影响,驱使了我决定要成为素食者。

It was a gift to myself on my 24th Birthday – rather than getting myself a present that I would probably forget in a week, I decided to experience something more meaningful by joining a yoga retreat camp in Tainan. For a week I adhered to a whole new lifestyle – following a strictly vegetarian diet with lots of fresh, nutritious smoothie, juices and food, gradually experiencing a positive change to my body, as well as practicing meditation and mindfulness with guidance. I was surprised to see that my stomach and digestive system had gotten much better, my skin looked clearer and I felt so much lighter physically and mentally. Ever since this marvellous experience, I decided to be a vegetarian.

痘痘和敏感皮肤 MY ACNE-PRONE & SENSITIVE SKIN

去年的夏天,我经历的一段严重的「青春痘」问题时期。老实说,虽然我已经吃素一段不短的时间,但有时候,对於一些喜欢的食物,我仍会控制不了而多吃的。尤其是涂满牛油的面包、曲奇饼、芝士拼盘、水牛芝士沙律、牛奶咖啡等等⋯⋯全部都有牛奶成分。经过我在网上进行了一些研究之後,我决定要跟长期最爱——牛奶说拜拜。 不过,这并不是件容易的事。 要小心的是,必须注意日常食物有没有含奶的成分,特别是面包或甜点。

I experienced a serious acne problem all of a sudden last summer. After doing some research online, I decided to give up my favourite dairy products and followed a strict-vegan diet. It was not an easy process, even a painful one – you cannot imagine how hard it is to stay away from so many milk-related ingredients in food like bread, cakes and even soup!

这就是我的决定和转变了。现在的我,并不会想念吃肉,因为素食的选择和替代品也有很多。当然,我间中仍会十分想念香浓咖啡上的绵密奶泡,以及奶油与芝士的质感和味道,但为了更好的皮肤,更好的身体,同时也出於消费良心上的考虑,尽可能减少为动物带来痛苦,我决定坚持下去。调查指出,素食是对减碳排放和对环境保护最有效益的方法。对,一开始并不容易的,但慢慢地,心瘾过後,就没有那麽难了。或者像我一样,把好奇心转至找出美味的替代品,就如纯素甜品/蛋糕,又或是植物奶咖啡⋯⋯

So, this is my story of transformation. Now I do not miss meat at all, as there can be thousands of alternatives and vegetarian options. I do miss the richness of dairy products at times, but my stomach and skin are way better since eliminating them completely. Besides, avoiding animal products is also the best way to stand against animal cruelty and exploitation. Research has found that veganism is also the most efficient way to save our planet by reducing carbon emission and conserving water. Yes, It might not be easy at start, but I promise you that it’d become easier when you get over the addiction. It is also certainly another curious habit to search for tasty substitute too, the fascinating vegan cakes and pastries, or just a cup of plant-based milk latte…

「愈简单,愈丰足」不只是饮食,而是生活 LESS FOR MORE, NOT ONLY FOR EATING BUT ALSO LIVING

素,不单改变了我的饮食,而是从食启发衣、住、行等生活细节,情感甚至心态的转变。吃一个真正的、全食物,总比吃加工食品更简单和有营养。对我来说,这个道理可以应用到生活的每一个方面——无论是穿衣、居家、人与人之间的关系等等。当你开始选择一个更简单的生活,你会发现生活的美好,找到日常的快乐泉源。

The plant-based diet has not only nourished my body, but also transformed the way I see my life. Eating a whole, organic planet-based meal is always more nutritious and fulfilling than any of those harmful processed food. “Less for More” – it is way more than a eating habit. For me this lifestyle applies to every aspects of life, including how I dress, the way I live and even the perception of our relationships with other living beings. Once you decide to consume healthier food, simpler clothes, comforting homewares… Soon you will find out that you are not only living a simple lifestyle with less belongings, but also towards a much wholesome and happier lifestyle. It is “LifeStyle In White”.

“The simpler we are, the stronger we become.”
LOVE,

CHARLOTTE

想看更多我素食路上的分享,我的新书《素系风格——素食与简约生活练习》现於香港及台湾各大书局有售。

按此看更多资料:《素系风格——素食与简约生活练习》

To read more about my vegan journey, my new book 《LifeStyle In White》is now available at all major bookstores in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Click here for more information: 《LifeStyle In White》

文章出处/ Charlotte in white

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