I awoke the morning of August 8, 1993, without the slightest idea that this would be the day my life would alter its course so fundamentally. You never know what’s around the corner in your life and in my case this metaphor was just a little bit too real. Put it this way — I certainly wasn’t expecting a speeding police motorcycle would send me flying into the air and into a deep and lasting daytime darkness.
It’s been a long time now since my accident. I’m able to look back on this event as a twist of fate that was a horribly painful beginning to what was to become a fascinating journey of self discovery on a rollercoaster ride to what I would later understand to be Veganism.
I really don’t mean for a second to trivialise my accident — the shock, the trauma and pain, or indeed the selfless love and support I received from so many people to help get me back on my feet. I will never forget it! I revisit this fateful day now by means of an introduction to how I was introduced to the healing power of a natural, plant-based diet which went on to transform my life.
A Leap of faith into Veganism
First of all, I had my recovery to deal with however, the impact with the police motorcycle had thrown my body in one direction, and my left leg in another! I had also suffered severe injuries to my head, pelvis, ribs and lungs. I was very lucky to be alive.
Unfortunately, my leg could not be saved. It had been severed below the knee, during my recovery there was a serious problem. An infection in my residual limb stubbornly refused to heal despite the strongest antibiotics. In the end, no biological weapon in the pharmacist’s armoury could touch my infection. Eventually, the bone became infected, resulting in the amputation of a further two inches from my limb. I really did not want to loose my knee. Being an above knee amputee creates even more complications and I was at the point that I would try anything.
At this time a good friend of mine recommended Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, which she believed put her breast cancer in remission. She spoke of her time there with such passion and genuine belief that it sparked my own very real leap of faith, and to the open mouthed surprise of many of those close to me, I checked myself out of the hospital and flew to Florida to begin my alternative therapy.
VEGANISM THE ALTERNATIVE THERAPY
I suppose many people would think that putting yourself in the hands of alternative therapists in such serious circumstances was a brave or perhaps even foolhardy decision to make. As I saw it, I really didn’t have much choice; this infection seemed untreatable.
I simply had to believe that I had made the right decision. I had started out on a journey of belief in the healing power of our natural world.
At the institute, meat and dairy was immediately taken off the menu and was replaced with a whole food, vegan, raw food diet and natural therapies.
Enzyme rich wheatgrass shots and garlic poultices were applied to my wound, and in just a matter of a few weeks my radical change in diet and associated plant-based remedies had cleared up my infection entirely.
The healing process actually advanced so quickly in fact, that I was able to have a prosthetic leg fitted whilst at the institute. This had been absolutely unthinkable whilst the infection was still present in my hospital bed just a short while before. I was finally able to get on with, getting on with the rest of my life.
To personally witness such a miraculous recovery of my physical body by embracing the natural and the organic was an incredibly life affirming experience and one that has gone on to shape the rest of my life.
My time spent at Hippocrates had given me a deeper understanding of the importance of good nutrition and personal wellbeing; this has had a lasting effect on the way I live my life.
I came to the understanding that individually we are responsible for the way in which we live and for the care of our human frame by good nutrition, proper exercise and a balanced lifestyle. It is this, together with a strong focused mind, that enables us to draw from our vast inner resources and strength to make the most of our time on this planet.
The changes in my life came by way of a massive physical and psychological shock and were implemented for the purpose of healing and motivating my recovery. A change in our diet and lifestyle of course can be started at any time, and is of interest to anybody wishing to maximise their health and vitality, leading to a more fulfilling life.
This was how I discovered the benefits of cutting meat and dairy from my diet and then taking the correct care of my body’s nutritional requirements to help heal my mind, body and soul.
It was this enlightened approach to food nutrition and balanced organic living that not only healed my infection, but also then enabled me to reach above and beyond what I would have been able to achieve in my life without it.
This new vegan diet and way of living literally transformed me.
I’M IN LOVE WITH VEGAN FOOD
I am in love with food; I always have been. Eating is such a huge pleasure in my life. In order to heal my infection all those years ago I embraced a living raw food diet which is rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins.
To begin with, I found it difficult to make the change to a plant based diet as a permanent one. In truth, I missed all my old recipes. When you have been cooking a certain way for a very long time it can be difficult to completely change the way you do things overnight, however good your intentions.
Over the years I have collected and amended recipes from all over the world, in order to create what’s essentially a vegan cookbook of all the nation’s favourite foods.
In many of these recipes I have substituted ‘meat’ with meatless meats, which have been specially formulated using healthier substitutes. Meatless meats retain the texture, flavour and constitution of meat, which means it is really easy for carnivores to continue eating the meals they love without giving up on great tasting, satisfying food.
The issue I faced was finding suitable meatless meats and fish substitutes that I could use in my cooking. Having searched high and low I found a small food company called Redwood, and after years of negotiations I finally bought the company. We expanded and developed it to have 74 of the best tasting Vegan faux meats, cheeses and fish products which are now distributed to 24 countries worldwide.
Redwood was re-branded, where we changed the name to match my VBites Cafes. The re-brand would bring the two closer together and establish the basis for a worldwide brand name.
VBites the Vegan food company is born
VBites specialise in producing delicious foods that are suitable for vegans, vegetarians and anyone wishing to eat yummy tasty food. Totally free from animal ingredients for a tastier, kinder alternative to meat and fish.
Passionate about creating the very best in natural plant-based foods, VBites not only help protect animals, people and the environment, but produce foods that are free from hydrogenated fats, eggs, GMOs, cholesterol and artificial colours. VBites is also Kosher / Pareve certified.
VBites is now sold in 24 countries and includes faux cheeses and over 70 other products to make the transitional period easy to adopt a fully plant-based diet. It has been proven to work and is the fastest growing movement in food in 2015.
Cooking with Heather, Vegan Style!
Having witnessed first hand the power of adopting a vegan diet I wanted to share my discovery with the rest of the world, so I decided to write a recipe book LoveBites.
The recipe book is filled with really easy to prepare family favourite recipes that I am certain will tantalise your taste buds.
For the Vegans and Veggies I hope this recipe book can become an inspirational and delicious point of reference! Everybody can enjoy the great variety of dishes it offers in order to create exciting, friendly menus filled with the most important ingredient of all, LOVE!
Since removing meat and dairy from my diet I can honestly say that I feel more vitally alive, my energy levels soared, my eyes brightened, my skin, hair and nails all improved in condition.
I am now 47 years old with the same body (minus one leg and a ton of sports injuries) as I had at 22 years old. I am still breaking world records and winning medals. Aside from my dogged determination and genes, the rest is my Vegan lifestyle.
Go try it, even for a day, a week, a month. What have you got to lose!