I am very happy that you have found this blog. Welcome!
My name is Ida Hemmingsson-Holl and I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years. Quitting meat is something I look back at as one of those decisions from my teenage years which actually feels pretty mature and thought through… It has always felt like a smart and also decent choice. Animal protein is more often than not unhealthy, it is terrible for the environment, and it causes immense suffering for the animals raised to become meat or give us milk or eggs. It is even something that works against solving the big issue of world starvation since the meat and milk industries are such terribly inefficient users of resource, when comparing to plant-based alternatives.
So all in all, it is a pretty strong package deal argumentation wise…. And this is not by any means my point of view, but actual facts backed up by some of the world’s most well respected scientific institutions. I think anyone would struggle today to find a serious scientist or expert who’s saying that today’s meat consumption is sustainable and healthy.
A very strong additional argument to why I eat this way is that I happen to love the food. Buying it, cooking it and eating it. It is beautiful, it is healthy, it is sustainable and it is absolutely incredibly delicious. I am a passionate vegetarian cook and I come up with lots of new recipes every week. The best of them, I share here on the blog.
I am not a professional cook though (EDIT: this changed in 2015 when I trained to become a certified plant-based chef), nor am I a doctor, nutritionist, environmentalist or animal rights activist. My background is in fact in international marketing, which is something I think the plant-based world needs more of: effective marketing of the immense untapped potential of vegetarianism. If significantly more people ate significantly less meat we would together make a real difference for the world and our health. Yet in the western world we continue to eat animal proteins with almost every meal, and the developing world is quickly following our lead. This means, that despite all the facts about its downsides, today’s global meat consumption is simply getting out of control. It needs to change.
I full heartedly understand how difficult it is to kill old eating habits (if someone told me consuming chocolate or red wine involved immense suffering for other beings I simply don’t know what I would do!). But I deeply believe that eating more vegetarian foods doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice or a complicated and boring undertaking. On the contrary, the meals you will find on this blog are delicious, nourishing, creative and very easy to prepare. And if you’re anything like me, and like the feeling that comes with taking action and doing good in our everyday choices, well then that’s just a great bonus of this way of eating.
My vegetarian journey has not been a straight one in anyway. Sometimes a vegetarian, sometimes a strict vegan, and at times I have even eaten fish. What started as an ethical decision – I was a passionate animal lover in my early life – became a health matter when I researched what would best help me heal and stay calm and focused following a fractured spine due to a horse riding accident in 2008 which at first scared me to the core. I followed a strictly wholefood vegan eating plan during this time, I healed very rapidly, and paradoxically I felt healthier and more in harmony with the world during this phase than I had ever done before. The knowledge I gathered while reading up on all this (it took months before I could walk so I had a lot of time on my hands to look into the details!), changed my way of eating and was – even if I didn’t know it back then – the starting point for this new blog journey.
Today, I eat mainly vegan, although I do sometimes indulge in cheese and even sometimes eggs on the very odd occasion. My cooking is inspired by the many places where I’ve lived and worked – New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris, Munich (where I currently reside) and Stockholm (where I spend my summers – I am a native Swede). I try to create as nutrient-dense meals as possible, packed with vegetables of varying kinds and colours, beans, nuts, seeds and fruit. I am celiac, which means I only cook food 100% free from gluten. I also try to always avoid white refined sugar. I do have an intense sweet tooth though, so many of the recipes on this blog will represent my constant hunt for amazing desserts and other treats that still manage to tick both the vegan and the health(-ier) box.
Four years ago I had my first child, Liv, and then last year came Gustav. And like for most people, having kids is a deeply transformative event, which leads you to think carefully of what kind of life you want to create for them. And I realized that much of what I wish for my children is aligned with the way I have chosen to eat: I want them to live long and healthy lives free from disease. I want them to breathe fresh air and rest safe knowing their children and grandchildren will be able to do the same. And I want my children to grow into ethically sound individuals grounded in a belief system that all living beings deserve respect and fair treatment. I want them to want to live responsible lives and to do good. I believe the way we eat supports these wishes. It is a diet I highly recommend for so many reasons, and I am dying for more people to consider it.
Thanks again for visiting this blog, I hope you will check back in soon.