Just when I thought being a vegetarian was healthy enough I found out that dairy products can be just as bad as meat. Sigh. And I thought milk and eggs were good for me. And well, they are. They’re much better options than some foods, but they are also not ideal. I didn’t quite get it, so I googled “What’s wrong with dairy?” and found this helpful article, which presents it most simply: human beings are not cows. Food is complicated.
My main health goal at the moment is to transition all of my eating habits to healthier, more ethical ones. I am doing this in small manageable shifts, such as poaching eggs for breakfast instead of frying them, and storing a bar of dark chocolate in my desk drawer rather than milk chocolate. These small steps empower me and make me slightly more healthy every day.
Sometimes a small shift isn’t always possible, and a larger one is required to move to the next level. Years ago I switched from 2% milk to skimmed milk, and from there the next step is…soya. I had never had soya, but it doesn’t have the most enthusiastic following from your average dairy-consumer. After a couple of weeks of thinking of maybe trying it, I decided to buy a carton on my latest Tesco run.
This morning I poured the soy milk into my bowl of muesli, not knowing what to expect. It was like trying a veggie burger for the first time, or my first sip of the spinach-based energy drink The Green Monster. These foods were so foreign to me because a. I had never tried them, and b. they carry unfortunate reputations of being weird, earthy people food.
While I am not in love with soya, it is still good! I can definitely get used to drinking it instead of milk occasionally – perhaps just for breakfast at first – which is great because it is so healthy. I was surprised by how sweet it tastes. A palate familiar skim milk must acclimate to the flavor! Most of all, I’m glad that I tried it, and making that extra effort to take care of my body is worth it physically and mentally.