有時,一個簡單的決擇會影響一輩子。
SOMETIMES A SIMPLE DECISION CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER.

四年前,我從食肉獸轉為素食者。雖然當中有經歷過困難的高高低低,我從沒有後悔過這個決定。素食,不止是飲食習慣上的改變;而是無論對自己,還是身邊的人,也有著微微的正面影響。
I became a vegetarian (and later, vegan) four years ago. Even when it was testing to my mind and my family at times, I have never regretted this decision as it has transformed my life entirely. The diet is more than just an eating habit. Time and time again, it has brought me to the most positive results, and eventually influencing the people around me.

從小就是食肉獸 THE LITTLE 「MEAT-MONSTER」

在典型的中國家庭長大,從小到大我們也對肉食——習慣了。「薯仔炆雞翼」和「蒸三點蟹」也食我最喜歡的菜色。即使蔬菜類的菜色在中國菜的各種佳餚中從不缺乏(就如蒜蓉蒸小白菜);可以,一餐之中假如沒有肉類或海鮮,中國人也許不太習慣吧。

過年過節時,我們也總有一桌子的「大魚大肉」。燒肉、火鍋、自助餐⋯⋯ 最受歡迎的聚會地方,九成也是肉、肉還有肉。彷彿愈多肉,就肉好;愈惹味,就吃得愈過癮。飲食習慣,其實都是跟家人養成的。

雖然我從沒有討厭過吃蔬果,可是我以前也跟很多人一樣,認為素食是刻板沈悶的。素食未流行起來之前,就只有一些傳統的中式素食館,古舊的氛圍、老氣的菜色,看上去就跟年輕潮流完全拉不上關係⋯⋯ 也不會太吸引到普通肉食者用餐。(那時,我沒有任何的朋友是菇素,也不是沒有原因的。)

Being raised in a traditional Chinese family, we naturally followed a meat-oriented diet. “Roasted Chicken Wings with Potatoes” and “Steamed Crab” were among my favourite dishes. While there has always been an abundance of vegetable dishes in the Chinese cuisine, one could not have easily imagined a meal without meat or seafood with all these delicious flavours and varieties.

It wasn’t just about the eating habit too. In any family gatherings, our tables were always “big meat big fish” as we called it. Asian barbecue, hotpot, buffet at the hotels, 90% of these popular places are all filled with meat, and more meat. The more, the better; the heavier, the better. It is how we were simply raised to be.

Although I had never detested vegetables or fruits, like everyone else I often thought that the vegetarian diet is only strict and boring. Before it became a trend of itself, there were quite a few traditional Chinese vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, but most of them were old-fashioned, with austere decor, unappealing presentation, and perhaps unexciting flavours. None of my friends were vegetarians, not without reasons too.

WHAT CHANGED MY MIND?

我的跳舞老師 MY DANCE TEACHER

把素食這個概念重新向我傳譯一次的,是我的跳舞老師。大約十年前,我開始學習現代舞。當時教舞的老師吃了十多年素,每次練舞後他都會帶我們一起到素食餐廳。當時我只是好奇,為何能吃素十多年仍有力跳舞、又是非常健康的呢?

As a vegetarian for 20+ years, Andy Wong (a renowned contemporary dance artist) was the first person who introduced me to a vegetarian lifestyle. His way of living totally changed my perception of vegetarianism. I was inspired to see that even for a dancer who needs a lot of energy everyday, he could still follow a vegetarian diet while being so healthy and physically ready at the same time. He was my first model for being a vegetarian.

一次瑜珈斷食營 A 5-DAY YOGA RETREAT CAMP

是因為快大一歲了,想給自己一個改變的機會;與其買一份一星期後就會忘記的禮物,我想過一個有意義又可以 「抖抖氣」的經歷。 對,短短五天讓我對食物的看法改變了。知道了素食,或者看起來更好吃的「蔬食料理」不但易做也很好吃、我也開始喜歡上吃水果和喝果汁後輕盈清新的感覺、真正的意識到肉食為身體帶來的負擔。這種種對身體和心靈的正面影響,驅使了我決定要成為素食者。

It was a gift to myself on my 24th Birthday – rather than getting myself a present that I would probably forget in a week, I decided to experience something more meaningful by joining a yoga retreat camp in Tainan. For a week I adhered to a whole new lifestyle – following a strictly vegetarian diet with lots of fresh, nutritious smoothie, juices and food, gradually experiencing a positive change to my body, as well as practicing meditation and mindfulness with guidance. I was surprised to see that my stomach and digestive system had gotten much better, my skin looked clearer and I felt so much lighter physically and mentally. Ever since this marvellous experience, I decided to be a vegetarian.

痘痘和敏感皮膚 MY ACNE-PRONE & SENSITIVE SKIN

去年的夏天,我經歷的一段嚴重的「青春痘」問題時期。老實說,雖然我已經吃素一段不短的時間,但有時候,對於一些喜歡的食物,我仍會控制不了而多吃的。尤其是塗滿牛油的麵包、曲奇餅、芝士拼盤、水牛芝士沙律、牛奶咖啡等等⋯⋯全部都有牛奶成分。經過我在網上進行了一些研究之後,我決定要跟長期最愛——牛奶說拜拜。 不過,這並不是件容易的事。 要小心的是,必須注意日常食物有沒有含奶的成分,特別是麵包或甜點。

I experienced a serious acne problem all of a sudden last summer. After doing some research online, I decided to give up my favourite dairy products and followed a strict-vegan diet. It was not an easy process, even a painful one – you cannot imagine how hard it is to stay away from so many milk-related ingredients in food like bread, cakes and even soup!

這就是我的決定和轉變了。現在的我,並不會想念吃肉,因為素食的選擇和替代品也有很多。當然,我間中仍會十分想念香濃咖啡上的綿密奶泡,以及奶油與芝士的質感和味道,但為了更好的皮膚,更好的身體,同時也出於消費良心上的考慮,盡可能減少為動物帶來痛苦,我決定堅持下去。調查指出,素食是對減碳排放和對環境保護最有效益的方法。對,一開始並不容易的,但慢慢地,心癮過後,就沒有那麼難了。或者像我一樣,把好奇心轉至找出美味的替代品,就如純素甜品/蛋糕,又或是植物奶咖啡⋯⋯

So, this is my story of transformation. Now I do not miss meat at all, as there can be thousands of alternatives and vegetarian options. I do miss the richness of dairy products at times, but my stomach and skin are way better since eliminating them completely. Besides, avoiding animal products is also the best way to stand against animal cruelty and exploitation. Research has found that veganism is also the most efficient way to save our planet by reducing carbon emission and conserving water. Yes, It might not be easy at start, but I promise you that it’d become easier when you get over the addiction. It is also certainly another curious habit to search for tasty substitute too, the fascinating vegan cakes and pastries, or just a cup of plant-based milk latte…

「愈簡單,愈豐足」不只是飲食,而是生活 LESS FOR MORE, NOT ONLY FOR EATING BUT ALSO LIVING

素,不單改變了我的飲食,而是從食啟發衣、住、行等生活細節,情感甚至心態的轉變。吃一個真正的、全食物,總比吃加工食品更簡單和有營養。對我來說,這個道理可以應用到生活的每一個方面——無論是穿衣、居家、人與人之間的關係等等。當你開始選擇一個更簡單的生活,你會發現生活的美好,找到日常的快樂泉源。

The plant-based diet has not only nourished my body, but also transformed the way I see my life. Eating a whole, organic planet-based meal is always more nutritious and fulfilling than any of those harmful processed food. “Less for More” – it is way more than a eating habit. For me this lifestyle applies to every aspects of life, including how I dress, the way I live and even the perception of our relationships with other living beings. Once you decide to consume healthier food, simpler clothes, comforting homewares… Soon you will find out that you are not only living a simple lifestyle with less belongings, but also towards a much wholesome and happier lifestyle. It is “LifeStyle In White”.

“The simpler we are, the stronger we become.”
LOVE,

CHARLOTTE

想看更多我素食路上的分享,我的新書《素系風格——素食與簡約生活練習》現於香港及台灣各大書局有售。

按此看更多資料:《素系風格——素食與簡約生活練習》

To read more about my vegan journey, my new book 《LifeStyle In White》is now available at all major bookstores in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Click here for more information: 《LifeStyle In White》

文章出處/ Charlotte in white

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About The Author

Charlotte In White

現為自由身攝影設計師、作家、香港「明報周刊」專欄作家及瑜珈老師。創作作品交融攝影、錄像、設計與時尚,憑藉她的創作才華、簡約純粹的獨特風格,曾與多個藝術團體和品牌合作。同時活躍於社交媒體,在網誌及不同社交平台上分享自己對「美」的一套生活態度。作為素食主義的倡導者,她的故事廣泛地在媒體上報道;在2018年出版她第一本關於素食和生活的書籍《素系風格——素食與簡約生活練習》,希望以真誠的故事與文字影響世界。

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