“Chris Packham, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery (Wild Justice) believe that intensive grouse shooting is bad for people, the environment and wildlife. People; grouse shooting is economically insignificant when contrasted with other real and potential uses of the UK’s uplands.”
A special report on climate and land has been commissioned by the United Nations; it found that global warming will happen faster than we think. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are falling significantly short unless we make drastic changes to land use for human diets.
This message from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may not come as a surprise to you, yet many media outlets this week are reporting on this advice to reduce meat consumption.
3 Valley Vegans’ Phil was interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds yesterday, describing how people can move towards a vegetarian or vegan diet, how it is easier than ever, and what support is available for individuals. You can hear the discussion on ‘The Big Yorkshire Phone In 08/08/2019‘ from around 1h 11m in, until early September.
The report was compiled over recent months by more than 100 experts, around half of whom hail from developing countries.
“We don’t want to tell people what to eat,” says Hans-Otto Pörtner, an ecologist who co-chairs the IPCC’s working group on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. “But it would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if people in many rich countries consumed less meat, and if politics would create appropriate incentives to that effect.”
(Image by Luca Basili via Unsplash)
From time to time, we will be interviewing people in the upper Calder Valley, asking them to share their experiences about becoming fully or partly vegan. This time, we spoke to Sally Wilkinson.
What inspired you to take up a healthy, plant-based diet?
My name’s Sally Wilkinson, and I’m a Registered Nutritional Therapist, working from Physio & Therapies in Todmorden. I became a whole-food, plant-based vegan five years ago after watching the documentary Vegucated on Netflix, and though most of my clients aren’t vegan, people are becoming increasingly aware of the negative impacts of a diet high in animal products, and the effects of industrial farming on animals and the planet. It’s rewarding to help individuals work towards a more plant-based way of eating, and see how surprised they are by the power of fruits and vegetables on their health. Personally, I think it’s important to focus on a nutrient dense vegan diet, because the healthier we are, the more likely we are to remain vegan in the long term and promote a good image to others.
Why did you become a nutritional therapist?
I became a nutritional therapist because of health experiences with both myself and my daughter, who was born with a genetic condition, Pallister-Killian Syndrome, and has since developed an auto-immune condition, Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Before I had my daughter, I was interested in health, but after she was born and I saw how it could improve her quality of life, it became a passion. There’s a saying that you take good health for granted until it’s gone, and this is absolutely true. I’m a prime example, as I spent so many years worrying about and looking after my daughter, I neglected myself, and eventually became exhausted and ill.
So why don’t we notice until it’s too late? Is it that we purposely ignore our bodies’ help signals?
Sometimes we do, but mainly it’s to do with the way we are designed. Our bodily systems naturally try to keep everything in balance no matter what pressures we put on them (stress, insufficient sleep, eating a lot of high salt/high fat/high sugar foods, drinking large quantities of alcohol, living a sedentary lifestyle). This process of keeping balance is called ‘homeostasis’. Homeostasis means we often don’t realise our health is buckling under the sheer weight of our lifestyle until it reaches a tipping point; many times the result of a really stressful event or an infection. With the increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and arthritis, autoimmune conditions and cancers, it is evident that greater numbers in our population are reaching the tipping point.
Thankfully, for most people, a simple change in diet leads to an improvement in their symptoms and conditions. There’s nothing complicated in this – it simply means including more high fibre foods, especially eating 5 or more portions of fruits and vegetables a day (something that many of the population rarely achieve).
If something so simple can have such a high rate of success, why do so many of us find it difficult or don’t want to do it?
The reasons are complex, but my belief is that the main reason people neglect good eating habits is because the link between good nutrition and health and wellbeing is never fully understood. Food isn’t just fuel that’s burned for energy. Our bodies need the right combination of vitamins, minerals, fibre, phytochemicals (special chemicals in plants that help our bodies to fight off inflammation and thrive), complex carbohydrates, amino acids (proteins) and healthy fats to function properly. Without these we can’t make sufficient energy; fight off infections; repair damage; digest food; eliminate toxins; balance mood; reproduce; develop and grow or even sleep properly. It’s like trying to drive a car with very little oil and threadbare tyres. You can do it, but eventually, the car will let you down.
I find a little education is all that people need to eat a healthier diet. When clients come to see me, and I explain the science behind why their bodies are behaving as they are, and what they need to do exactly to relieve their symptoms, their focus on a healthier way of eating is astounding.
What other reasons might there be?
There’s also the fear factor. As I explained, food isn’t just fuel for energy. It’s also a source of comfort, and often, there’s a deeply social aspect to it. I find people worry that in order to eat more healthily, they have to give up every single thing they love, or not be able to do the things they enjoy. It’s not true. Recent science show that it is not just what we eat, but what we DON’T eat that is having the most negative impact on our health. This means eating cake or chips is possible (but please not every day!), but you have to make sure you also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (plus wholegrains and legumes) too, or your you might find your car breaking down when you’re in full throttle on the motorway.
I’m glad that treats are still okay! Do you have a recipe for something healthy yet still a bit naughty?
To prove you can ‘have your cake and eat it’, I’ve provided a healthy version of a traditional blondie recipe. It’s proven very popular with my clients and members of the public, and takes very little cooking skill. It’s a good source of fibre, protein, omega-3, folate, iron, zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and many other nutrients.
How can people find out more?
If you want any more information about nutritional therapy, you can contact me through my website, through my Facebook page, or contact me by phone on 07935 599449. I am available not only for one-to-one consultations but also for talks and workshops.
Monthly Foodie Friday events are running this summer and autumn in Calderdale. “A feast for the senses on the last Friday of each month.” 3 Valley Vegans are hosting a stall on Todmorden open air market on Friday, 26 July 2019.
Our information stall will be a celebration of veganism and will promote all things vegan. We will provide information about how and why to go vegan and where to buy and eat vegan food in the area. There will be vegan recipes demonstrated and written down for people to take away and free samples of vegan food for people to try. If anyone would like to help out either by baking or creating some food samples to give away or by helping out on the stall then please contact Hilary on email@example.com. Even a few hours would be wonderful.
- 3 Valley Vegans vegan food and information stall
- Friday, 26 July 2019
- Start: 9am (time TBC)
- Finish: 7pm or earlier (time TBC)
- Even if you could come for an hour or two, that would be great
- Location: Todmorden outdoor market, OL14 5AJ
Contact: Hilary on firstname.lastname@example.org
Edit: Photos from the event
This is your chance to come to one of our popular evenings where we provide tasters, recipes and info on a plant-based diet.
Want to get inspired to cook more, find new recipes or vegan alternatives?
We have started a series of world cookery demos. This time we head out east, between the Mediterranean and South East Asia.
Sign up by emailing email@example.com today.
- Monday, 24th June 2019
- Central Methodist Church, Todmorden
- Suggested donation: £3
- Gluten-free options
- Wheelchair accessible
- Halifax Road OL14 5AW, behind Tod market
Sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org today.
( See Facebook event)
(Note: photographs and videos will be taken, please tell us if you don’t want to be in them.)
Update: photos from the event
Video of Gig cooking Pad Thai and sweetcorn fitters
The University of Manchester hosts an annual Volunteer of the Year event on 2 May 2019, recognising the achievements of its staff, students and alumni making a positive contribution with various communities around the world. We are delighted to announce that our own Phil Reed was shortlisted and subsequently awarded the “highly commended” certificate for his voluntary work with 3 Valley Vegans! His nomination highlighted the cookery demonstrations that the group have hosted, promoting healthy plant-based lifestyles and providing information to residents of Calderdale and beyond, plus his time with the core group meetings and implementation of digital technology and skills.