Food is such an integral part of life. I have many nostalgic memories of meals shared with friends and family, filled with laughter and storytelling. My Father was a particularly impressive cook, always experimenting with new flavours; he loved impressing people with unique dishes using unusual fruits and vegetables. When I went to university, meals at home became sacred. My favourite meal upon my return was beef stew, usually accompanied by a glass of red … the ultimate in Winter comfort food.
A few years ago I got sick and after much research looking for things that could ‘heal’ me, a lot of data suggested a vegan diet. My deep love of charcuterie boards, roast beef, steak, lasagna, cheese would make it hard to cut out – but I was also desperate to feel well again. I’d reached a place where it was difficult to work, difficult to eat and was often in and out of hospitals and doctors’ surgeries – so I took the plunge.
Following a vegan diet means not eating meat, fish, dairy or animal biproducts such as eggs, honey or gelatine. I seem to have inherited my Dad’s love of cooking, so the creative side of trying new dishes was fun, but I felt like I had to keep reading research papers to convince myself I was doing the right thing. Not eating a meal made up of meat, carbs and vegetables on the side, felt wrong, as though I would somehow be weakening my body, not strengthening it.
One thing that is important if you give up meat (vegetarians listen up!), is to take a daily B12 supplement (in liquid form) as it is an important part of helping the nerves work and without it can lead to nerve damage. I have to plan meals thoughtfully to ensure that I’m getting the right nutrients from the food I eat but, after several months of experimenting with new vegan dishes, I began to feel better. I’m not ‘healed’, but I was able to return to work, eat solid food again, and even start weaning off some of the medication I’d been put on. I’ve found new favourite meals and enjoyed taste-testing lots of different products to find replacements for the foods I ‘miss’ the most.
In all honesty I don’t think I expected changing my diet to improve my health this drastically, but here I am almost a year later with no desire to revert back. Food should be nourishing and delicious and that is very achievable on a vegan diet.
So what does this have to do with financial planning, you might well ask!? Well, if you try and compare being physically unwell and being financially unwell (lots of debt perhaps; no clear direction; no idea what the best path is; no idea where to start; how and when should I invest…) then the analogy begins to reveal itself!
Depending on what financial problems you have, a personal plan is crucial. A financial plan is different for everyone (although just as with physical health … there are some recurring themes). As with physical problems, the relief from financial ‘pain’ isn’t instant – you aren’t ‘healed’ just because you have a treatment/lifestyle plan. It can take quite some time for the plan to take effect and for you to feel the benefits. As with treatments for physical ailments, sometimes you have to tweak your financial plan to ensure that you remain on track. As time goes by and the ‘treatment’ becomes habitual, you don’t even really have to work that hard at it. In the beginning, there can feel like a long road to travel and a lot of learning to do, but once you’re on your way … it’s liberating and empowering.
This is why we do what we do (and why we love doing it!) – financial freedom and financial wellbeing are absolutely our goals for all of our clients, whatever their financial ‘ailments’ may be.
You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on our blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to us about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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