To put you in the picture, this blog started out several years ago in 2006 on a very specific journey, a journey which marked the beginning of my new life, as a Non-Dieting Person. Through reading a book called Beyond Chocolate, I embarked on a path of intuitive eating, and have come out feeling like a new(ish) woman. Give or take a couple of wrinkles.
But I don't want to repeat myself here. So rather than wade into the tale of why I felt I needed to ditch the diet and liberate myself from the chains of calorie counting, weighing scale obsession, carb-cutting and so forth, you can read all about it on the former 'About page' of Chocolate and Beyond.
Yes. I have a 'former' about page. That's because things have changed tremendously for me since I began this site. And it's time for a different direction, with a fresh outlook and a bit of funkiness thrown in. That funkiness is going to come in the form of veganism, because at the beginning of January 2012, I decided to 'turn into' a vegan, for ethical reasons. Which are the only reasons you'd be vegan (as opposed to a plant-based eater, who might go without animal produce for health reasons).
Aha. You heard. A VEGAN. You know, one of those weird people who has to sift through moss to find their nutrients, and wears t-shirts that say "I ❤ Tofu"? Or not, as the case may be.
I'd like to show that my vegan life does not fit any tired old boring stereotypes, and that it is actually exciting, vibrant and full of energy. I eat some of the best food I've ever tasted, because constraints lead to creativity, and I've started to lose weight effortlessly with some of my health problems disappearing of their own accord.
I think the title of my blog is still very apt in its shiny new context. You see now, I really am going BEYOND chocolate. Beyond it on many levels. From chocolate (and other food) no longer being important enough for me to want to eat it, where suffering of animals is involved (such as within the dairy industry), to the fact that food has stopped playing any part in my life - as an intuitive eater - where I felt it was 'controlling' me.
I did worry that I wouldn't be able to eat chocolate anymore as a vegan (although, I'd rather go without than have it at the expense of animals' lives), but I've actually found plenty of vegan choc to tuck into. And it's often much healthier, too.
Also, since going vegan, I've been creating so many yummy recipes (even if I say so myself, haha) that I really want to share them. You don't have to be vegan to eat fantastic vegan food, and hopefully I'll encourage non-vegan people to increase their kitchen repertoire - and miss out the animal produce for some of their meals. Which is better all round - for health, for animals, and for the environment.
All in all, there will still be some general anti-dieting rants here (I don't want to let you down) and thoughts on intuitive eating, but I will also be exploring my life as a vegan. Sharing recipes, discussing some of the issues and politics, and debunking some of the myths around a vegan diet.
So, I hope you enjoy Chocolate and Beyond going forwards.