I am a health nut who has become lactose intolerant.

Essay by Luke Foster

“I am a vegetarian, and I sort of aspire to vegan-hood. So far, I’ve noticed no difference at all in my climbing, but I feel a bit healthier overall. Though that’s only because I’m eating more fruits and vegetables. I think the whole protein thing is overhyped. Most Americans eat far more than we need.” Alex Honnold

Alex Honhold is an American rock climber that I had never heard of before writing this essay but when I researched vegetarianism this quote came up that I like. I saw a photo of him, and he looks very healthy.

For the last few months, I have had lots of gas and an upset tummy, and I went to the doctors thinking perhaps I had become lactose intolerant and he confirmed this and suggested I go off dairy for a month and take some medicine to see if the symptoms would go away. And after a few days the gas and upset tummy went away and I am not sure if it was the meds or going off the dairy or a combination of both.

Now I can go to the gym without clearing the room out with gas after a milk latte before.

For the past few years, I have increased my daily exercise routine and walk on the beach for two hours a day now and only get out of the habit when I visit Sydney or travel abroad or hit the gym that day.

My weight has fluctuated for decades and sometimes I am winning the battle of the bulge and sometimes I get a fat belly. I am 84 kilos today and want to get down to 82 kilos this month and down to in the high 70s by the end of the year.

I have recently returned to drinking lots of water and drink three litres of water a day now. I was going to get a water purifier but some of my friends said that you don’t need to, and that Australia’s tap water is some of the best in the world while other friends say that there is lots of benefits from drinking purified water. So, I am still deciding if I shall get a purifier and the main reason, I haven’t yet is not the cost but because I have limited room on the bench in my kitchen as I live in a small studio apartment.

“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.” Kevin R. Stone

Kevin Robert Stone is an American physician, orthopaedic surgeon, clinician, researcher, and company founder of The Stone Clinic and the Stone Research Foundation in San Francisco.” Google search

I had never heard of Kevin R Stone either but the quote by him seems to ring true.

I am trying to make a lot more different meals for dinner as I have been eating the same things for weeks either pesto and pasta with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms and fresh garlic or satay tofu and haloumi cheese wraps with salad but this last week I cooked up a big batch of vegetable soup and next week it shall be a big pot of pumpkin soup and either lasts at least five days and goes well with a wholemeal roll from the bakery. I guess the haloumi cheese is off the menu now as its dairy and I shall miss it.

I want to learn how to make dahl and rice curry and vegetarian lasagne without cheese, but I don’t have an oven to cook this as I live in a small studio apartment.

I probably don’t eat right as all I have for breakfast is a latte on the way to my beach walk and then a few bananas and Greek yogurts for lunch and I have converted to the dairy free Greek oat yogurts.

I love Greek yogurt and when I was in Athens in January this year I would go to the supermarket in the evening and experiment with the huge selection of small Greek yogurts on offer.

I wrote the whole essay and while having my veggie soup for dinner afterwards I realised that the foundation of my healthy lifestyle as much as vegetarianism and daily exercise is my clean living meaning I don’t drink alcohol, smoke, or do drugs. I call it being straight edge. I would rather spend my money on books and clothes.

I forgot when I wrote this essay that I have started having lite soy milk banana smoothies with chia seeds and two scoops of protein powder for brunch after my beach walk. I started doing that as my support worker Ava said I need to start having breakfast for many reasons. I am not sure if coming off the dairy has done the trick but I have dropped down two kilos this week.