Updated: Feb 16
Turn the clock back 15 years and I was in a completely different place where diet was concerned. If someone had told me then that there would come a time when I would no longer eat meat, dairy, or indeed any food of animal origin, I would not have believed it, let alone desired it. But this is what happened.
I now wonder if my diet would have changed to such a significant degree had it not been for my wife, and the other half of Henry and Henry, Annette. I doubt it. For change to occur, we first require the motivation, a reason, and, just like in the chemistry lab, we need to create the right conditions and provide the catalyst for a reaction to occur. Being overweight and the effect it was having on my health was the motivation for me to do something. But putting it into action was the problem, and this is where Annette made such a difference. She was my catalyst to change.
The irony is that Annette didn't deliberately set out to change how and what I ate. Nor did she take any sort of control over my diet. It was simply down to the fact she had already adapted her own diet in order to better manage her own health condition that was sufficient, I simply adapted how I ate to suit. What had worked so well for Annette, proved to work for me too. Over the years, our diet has continued to evolve and we have both now arrived at a place on our dietary journey that feels like home, which is a whole food plant based way of eating.
As if that wasn't already enough, Annette stepped up again more recently and inspired me to immerse myself into the science and practice of better breathing. She fell upon this (for us) new and uncharted area thanks to a book called ‘Breath' by James Nestor, which had been recommended to her. It became the start of a voyage of discovery which culminated in her studying to become a breathing re-education instructor. When you live with and are close to someone who is consumed by a new and exciting passion, it's difficult not to become infected as well. I willingly agreed to be one of Annette's case studies and threw myself into the exercises she taught me. It made a big difference in a very short period of time, improving my sleep, reducing my snoring and enabling me to run faster and for longer without getting breathless. So taken by this turn of events, I decided to follow Annette's example and also qualified as a breathing re-education instructor.
I can therefore fully understand the challenge anyone faces when they feel an urge to change their own situation but don't know how or where to start. Annette herself has suffered from insomnia for more than three decades, and has finally stumbled upon something that has made a difference, improving the way she breathes, thanks in large part to the chance recommendation of a book endowed with some nuggets of wisdom. This is where the support, experience and knowledge of others can make a huge difference. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. There are some excellent resources out there which can help to make the seemingly impossible achievable.
We hope that the workshops, classes and programs in the area of plant-based nutrition and better breathing that we ourselves now run may be the helping hand you are looking for on your own journey to better health.
If you'd like to find out more about what we offer, go to The Conversation to find out more about our food and nutrition-related content
For information about our Breathing Re-Education Programs go to The Breathing Space
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