Why I'm Moving Away From a Plantbased Diet

I recently took three weeks to travel around Eastern Europe.

It was honestly the best three weeks I’ve had in months! I returned feeling so fresh, renewed, relaxed and content.

I realised a few things about myself, discovered what I’m made of and met so many amazing and inspiring people… which is what travelling is all about to me.

One of the biggest things I did was avoid social media. I posted no tweets, shared no blogs, rarely went on my @life_bylaura Instagram and engaged in actual conversations (shock) instead of virtual ones.

The result? I feel so happy, renewed and calm. Social media really is the junk food of the digital world to me. It drains you of energy, productivity and happiness. It’s very rich coming from me, I know: I blog, I work in digital and social media, and I always share my breakfast on Instagram.

But while travelling, there is so much more to life than always trying to find wifi!

I enjoy my job and sharing my breakfast pics, but having that time away to reset was exactly what I needed. I rediscovered what I love to do, learnt so much about different people from all corners of the world, and practised being present. I enjoyed just taking in views, enjoying delicious food, people watching…!

Speaking of food, my trip also forced me to be more relaxed about my diet.

I’m not super restrictive anyway — I don’t count calories or macros — but I also live a pretty vegan lifestyle. I’ve come to see how restrictive this can be outside the health and wellness bubble of London.

At a restaurant in Eastern Europe, faced with vegan options like onion ring salad or lettuce and tomato sandwich, I realised I needed to be a bit more open to different things. So I ate eggs, had milk in my iced coffee, and even had mussels on my final night in Croatia. 

I have no regrets about this, and in fact it’s encouraged me to bring this openness back to London. It's great for your health and the environment to live a sustainable, plantbased diet of course, but when it prevents you from experiencing the world to its fullest, I think it's okay to compromise. 

Whilst I will continue to be vegetarian for the foreseeable future, I’m considering the prospect of eating seafood once or twice a month. I’m going to be less stringent about being strictly vegan — the biggest change is that I'll continue to eat free range eggs.

This may mean a controversial shift away from plantbased, but to me, it’s more sustainable and realistic. I want to live a lifestyle that doesn't impose restrictions that prevent me from experiencing life to its full potential. I don't want to be on holiday thinking 'Oh, I can't eat that.' I want to experience the world and food is such a huge part of a country's culture.

What are your thoughts? Have you had a similar experience while travelling?

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