BY： Rachel Choi
Rachel Choi is a vegan mother born in the ‘80s in Hong Kong. She is fond of green living and also good at vegan cooking. Last year, she gave birth to a healthy and cute vegan baby boy. Rachel is also a versatile yoga teacher who teaches yoga at various places.
I met Angie in class four years ago, and she gave me the impression of being a very sporty and healthy woman. Then I heard her story of beating cancer with a vegan diet. At that time, I often had stomachache and had to take medicine 2-3 times a month. So I tried to be a vegetarian, the only meat-free diet I knew at that time. After seeing how healthy Angie was on a vegan diet, I decided to try it. I went home that night and immediately searched for information about veganism, and the next day I made up my mind to become vegan.
It was a bit difficult at first because although a vegetarian diet does sound similar to a vegan one, in reality it is very different. A vegan diet is much more difficult because many foods contain dairy products and eggs. These include many types of bread, cakes, and even salads (with non-vegan salad dressing). Sometimes in a coffee shop or fast food restaurant, they do not have vegan food choices.
I'm glad that when I started my new diet, there were already many vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, providing vegetarian cuisine from all over the world. I ate at many vegetarian restaurants in the Central and Western Districts while I was working there back then. I also fell in love with cooking. It increases my appetite to see so many colourful veggies on the table. These colourful veggies are also obviously very healthy. I have had no sick visits to the doctor in a long time.
Eating alone was no problem, but eating with family was a big challenge. I usually ate at home one or two nights a week. My mom was upset seeing my vegan diet, because she worried that my diet would lack nutrition. My husband was even more angry because I no longer went to restaurants to eat meat with him. He felt as if he had lost his wife.
I knew that it would take knowledge for my family to feel at ease with my diet. So I took part in classes to learn about vegan nutrition. I remember one year I took my mom out to dinner on her birthday and didn’t tell her it was a vegetarian restaurant until we finished the meal. She was amazed that vegan food could be so delicious! Sometimes I would also cook vegan food for my family and gradually they started to accept my vegan lifestyle.
Luckily I got pregnant two years after becoming a vegan and had my son, Hei Hei, last year. I give my son a vegan diet because I know first hand the benefits of being a vegan. He has a great appetite and never vomits up milk. l feel that his digestion is very good.
I welcome the opportunity to share with you my experience of being a vegan and raising a vegan baby. Next time I'll talk about my son's funny story about eating.