How a plant-based diet changed my life

How a plant-based diet changed my life

It was a sunny day in August 1993, and there was not a cloud in the clear blue sky. If ever there was a day to dust-away the cobwebs and to begin again, it was this. However, change doesn’t always come in ways you expect, and to say what happened that day, took me by surprise is somewhat of an understatement.

I had just returned from working on the front line in the former Yugoslavia tackling human security and safety. So the last thing I thought would happen when I awoke the morning was a speeding Police motorcycle attending a false alarm would send me flying into the air amputating my leg, crushing my pelvis and puncturing my lung.

It’s been a long time since my accident, and I’m now able to look back on it as a twist of fate – a harrowing beginning to a fascinating journey of self-discovery and a rollercoaster ride of an experience.

I don’t mean 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 again. I will never forget any of it!

But the details of my accident are not the purpose of this introduction. I only ever revisit that day to introduce the story of how I learned about the healing power of a plant-based diet. One that became the foundation of my recovery and went onto transform my life. Significantly increasing my energy levels and helping me become healthier and more consciously aware of the world around me.

“When you’ve rubbed shoulders with death and survived, everything changes from that moment onwards.”

Heather Mills

I began to appreciate life more earnestly. I focussed on the most important things, such as my friends and loved ones and wanted to make a real difference with the time I had left. Living in the moment and making the most of every day became my mantra.

First of all, I had to deal with my recovery. The police motorcycle’s impact had thrown my body in one direction, and my left leg in another! I had suffered severe injuries.

I was lucky to be alive.

Fortunately, a doctor near the scene’s, swift first-aid stopped me from bleeding to death. I have him to thank for saving my life. Unfortunately, they could not save my leg as it was severed below the knee. I was going to have to learn to live without it.

My mum lost hers in a traffic accident when I was a young girl. However, they reattached it, which is not always a good thing because she died at 47 because of complications.

During my recovery, there was a severe problem in the hospital. A nasty and very persistent infection in my residual limb stubbornly refused to heal despite the most potent antibiotics over a 5-month hospital stay.

Doctors tried many pills of varied colours, shapes and sizes with the most unpronounceable names but to no avail. 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 left leg.

At this point, a good friend of mine recommended the Hippocrates Institute in Florida, which she claimed had helped to cure her breast cancer. She spoke of her time there with such passion and genuine belief I decided to take-a-leap of faith and, to the surprise of friends and family, I checked out of my London hospital and flew to the USA to begin alternative therapy.

You may think that putting myself in the hands of alternative therapists in Florida in such grave circumstances was a brave or perhaps even foolhardy decision to make. As I saw it, I didn’t have much choice; this infection seemed untreatable, and the amputations were getting closer to my knee, and I really didn’t want to lose it

It became apparent that the further amputation had not cured the problem. I had to believe that I had made the right decision. I had started on a journey of belief in our natural world’s healing power — a view by the way that gets stronger and stronger with every passing day.

At the Institute meat and dairy were immediately taken off the menu and replaced by a whole food vegan raw food diet and homoeopathic treatments.

Therapists replaced my London hospital’s pills with enzyme-rich wheatgrass shots and garlic poultices applied to my wound. 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 advanced so quickly that I could have a prosthetic leg fitted whilst at the Institute. Something unthinkable whilst the infection was still present in my hospital bed in London just a few short weeks previously. I was finally able to get on with the rest of my life.

To personally witness the miraculous recovery of my physical body by embracing a plant-based diet was an incredibly life-affirming experience and one that has gone on to shape the rest of my life.

When I left the Hippocrates Institute all those years ago, I remember nature seemed incredibly vibrant and vivid, the colours more intense than I had ever remembered. It was like I saw the natural world again with brand new eyes. I wanted to shout from the rooftops about my miraculous recovery and tell the world about the wonders of a plant-based diet.

I started growing wheatgrass in window boxes at my London flat, and I became filled with wonder by the natural world’s healing properties. It struck me then that we human beings think of ourselves as intelligent when everything has been provided for us already by nature. Luckily people are starting to wake up to the idea that if we live in harmony with the world’s natural laws, we’ll lead a balanced, happy, healthy and fulfilled life.

My time spent at the Hippocrates Institute has given me a deeper understanding of the importance of good nutrition and personal wellbeing; this has had a lasting effect on how I live my life.

I came to understand that individually we are responsible for the way we live our lives. We must take care of our body through good nutrition, the right exercise and a healthy balanced lifestyle. Only through a healthy body and a healthy mind, can we make the most of our time on this planet.

A change in our diet and lifestyle can be started at any time and is of interest to anybody wishing to maximise their health and vitality to lead a more fulfilling life.

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. We all have the opportunity to make positive changes in our lives at any moment we choose. All you need is the awareness of the need to change and the free will to decide.

With VBites we try to make it as simple as possible to replace the products you love, like-for-like and trigger the tastebuds to add more Whole Foods to accompany those products rather than eat meat, fish and dairy.

Though I no longer live on a raw plant-based diet as I cannot digest raw food due to low Hydrochloric acid, if you can, it’s a great thing to be able to do especially when you’re sick. I like to have cooked grains and vegetables with a vegan protein alternative, that is why I love VBites products, we’ve got something for everyone.

Heather Mills

Founder, VBites

VBites X One Planet Pizza

VBites X One Planet Pizza

We are excited to be collaborating with One Planet Pizza to support them creating incredible tasting pizzas with our delicious VBites cheezly through our collaboration with VBites Ventures.

One Planet Pizza has been making their classic range of vegan frozen pizzas for just over 2 years and are already available in over 450 shops across the UK and mainland Europe, as well as winning various industry awards. Run by father and son team Mike and Joe Hill, it was the first vegan company to equity crowdfund in the UK, and has over 100 micro investors, many of them veggie or vegan.


Heather Mills said “This is another really exciting investment for me, and my team at VBites Ventures as we are looking to help leading plant-based business to grow quickly and meet the massive demand that is now present in the market. One Planet are a classic example of that, they have established themselves as a leading vegan pizza company in the UK already and I now believe I can help them become one of the best in the world.”

One Planet Pizza with the stringy VBites Cheezly

“We need to expand our production very quickly in order to meet the increasing demand for our pizzas, including a February launch on Ocado, and to launch some exciting new products. We will be using VBites 100% plant-based manufacturing facilities to help scale their production and increase their distribution nationwide and internationally. We are also looking forward to using VBites new melty “cheese” as well as some of their other award-winning products on our pizzas, as well as working closing with the other VBites Ventures companies.” – One Planet Pizza

Pea and VBites Gammon Rissoto

Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300g risotto rice
11⁄4l vegetable stock
150g frozen peas
1 VBites gammon joint diced
2 tsp English mustard
100g Oatly creamy oat fraiche
100g vbites cheddar, grated, plus extra to serve (optional)
70g bag pea shoots (optional

Instructions:

• Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and cook the
onion for 5 mins over a medium heat to soften. Stir in the garlic
and the risotto rice, and cook for another 30 secs-1 min. Pour in
the stock and bring to the boil, then cover and cook for about 15
mins on a medium heat, stirring every so often. The rice should be
almost done.
• Add the frozen peas, cubed VBites gammon mustard and creay
oat fraiche to the pan, and cook for another few mins until the rice
is just right and the cheese if added is melted.
• Season and serve topped with a handful of the pea shoots and a
little extra Vbites cheese, if you like.

Pulled Pork VBites Burger

Pulled Pork VBites Burger

Ingredients

For 4 people

• 1 tbs of smoked paprika
• generous pinch of salt
• 1 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tsp ground cumin (cumin powder)
• 1 tsp mild chilli powder
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
SAUCE
• 1cups apple cider vinegar
• 1/2 cup ketchup
• 2 tablespoons mustard
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cayenne

Method

  1. Place all dry ingredients for rub in a sandwich bag & add Vbites
    meat free pork pieces, seal bag & shake and set aside in fridge for at
    least 1hour or night day before.
  2. Combine all ingredients for sauce in a saucepan and simmer while
    stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Once pork pieces have marinated for an hour,
    Finely chop VBites pork pieces into strips or shred in a mixer.
  4. Then pan fry the VBites pork pieces in a hot pan in a small amount of
    oil, coconut or you can use sesame for extra flavour. This is to seal in the flavour of spices & meat free pieces.
  5. Remove the sauce from heat and pour over meat free pork pieces &
    dish up.
  6. Make a vegan slaw and recommend to serve in a vegan brioche with
    pickles.