Name: Luke Jones
Occupation: I’m a blogger at my site Health Room, where I explore and share ideas in plant-based nutrition, moving freely, living mindfully, and existing sustainably. I write a little for Mind Body Green and Natural News too. I have also just published my first eBook about plant-based nutrition, so I guess you could say I’m an author now as well, which sounds a bit surreal to me…
How long have you been vegan?
I first tried the vegan diet a few years ago in 2012. I initially did it for 6 months, then switched to a more of a paleo type diet for a couple months, just to see how that made me feel. I definitely preferred the vegan diet for a number of reasons, so changed back to that, and I haven’t looked back since!
Why did you choose to be vegan?
I’ve had a few health problems since my late teens, and they worsened whilst at university. I would get run down a lot of the time, with mouth ulcers and stomach issues. It wasn’t too fun!
So I initially turned towards the plant-based diet to help with these health problems, after reading about it on the web and listening to Rich Roll on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. And I can definitely say that the change in diet has helped significantly.
I also noticed that it improved my athletic performance. I’ve always been really active, and love martial arts, bodyweight strength training, climbing, football, yoga… All sorts of things. I feel that this diet lets me perform better for longer, and helps me recover quicker.
And aside from the benefits to me personally, there are also those wider impacts on the planet and the other species we share our home with. It’s staggering how much energy, land and water is needed to sustain the standard western diet. Being vegan significantly reduces the impact we’re having on the planet, and I think that’s great.
Then there’s also the ethical benefits, which are becoming increasingly important to me. I’m thriving on a plant-based diet, and I can’t justify taking a life when I don’t need to. I think everyone is naturally compassionate, and no one wants to cause unnecessary suffering, but there’s such a disconnect between what goes on in the slaughter houses and what arrives on people’s plate. Most people have such strong ingrained habits that they will turn a blind eye to what’s going on. But I don’t want to be a part of that if I can help it.
Aside from the benefits I mentioned above, I love the fact that I can share this message with others, and help them realise their health potential. It’s always great to hear stories from readers who have taken charge of their life, maybe losing unwanted weight or curing a lifelong illness. It’s amazing the power of a few changes in diet and lifestyle.
And it’s not people just online I get to interact with. I love that I get the chance to share this experience with those closest to me – my friends, family and my beautiful girlfriend (who is also vegan). Making meals with her and sharing similar views is so awesome, I’m very lucky.
I actually didn’t really struggle with the change to a vegan diet. I had been interested in nutrition for a few years prior, so had already cut out dairy, reduced the amount of processed foods, and upped my fruit and veggie intake. So the transition was pretty smooth. I also knew that it would benefit my health massively, and the thought of that was much stronger than any cravings for chicken.
The only challenge now I think is seeing so many people who are basically poisoning themselves and their children with unhealthy foods, often because no one has told them otherwise. It’s quite difficult to watch that happen all around you, every day. But I do still feel optimistic for the future!
Favourite vegan food:
You can’t beat some ripe bananas and juicy medjool dates. In terms of cooked meals though, it’s a tie between homemade Mexican burritos and homemade Indian food. I’m getting hungry now…
Are you involved in animal rights, vegan outreach, or other types of activism or education?
I’m not involved in any activism as such, but I try my best to share the positive message and educate others via my site, Health Room.
I try my best to present the information in an accessible way and avoid preaching. I wanna help people, but I think there’s a fine line between educating and forcing our views on others. Sometimes it can be hard to find that balance.
I don’t ever want to tell people what they have to do. So I try to share what has worked for me, and then let the readers make their own decisions. Take what resonates with them and throw away the rest.
Advice for new vegans:
Firstly, thanks for making the decision to try a vegan diet! It could be the best thing you ever do for your health, and for the planet.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to make the transition slowly. Go at your own pace, maybe cut out dairy first, then cut out meat when you feel comfortable. Do what you need to do to make your changes sustainable.
Finally, try your best to eat mainly whole foods. Fruits, veggies, legumes, whole-grains, nuts and seeds. Being vegan is great, but being a healthy vegan is even better. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of people out there willing to give a hand, me included 🙂
Eat more plants. Move your body. Laugh, smile and help others. Go after your dreams. Don’t leave a trace. And create more than you consume.
Thanks Jean for the opportunity, and keep up the great work!
Thank you, Luke! Your profile is inspiring!