The Health Room #LentChallenge – 40 Days of Healthy Habits 9

By Luke Jones. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. 

Lemt Challenge

I don’t think I would really label myself as a religious person, but I do recognise that we can learn a lot from religious teachings and practices.

Today marks the beginning of Lent, the period of time in the Christian calendar that represents the forty days and nights Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert, preparing himself to do the work of God. Whilst he was there, Jesus was tempted by the devil, and for this reason, Lent is often associated with giving up a vice; something that tempts you.

Whilst you may have an unhealthy habit you may wish to drop (and I’m all for that), you could also put a positive spin on Lent and use it as an opportunity to take up something new. Something that will move you closer to a healthier future, both for yourself and the people around you.

Many Christians use Lent as a time for self improvement, to help others, or to appreciate the things they already have. These sorts of actions bring us closer to our true nature. You can call it God, Allah, the universe, the Self – whatever word you want to use, Lent is a time to look inside and make changes that are aligned with who we truly are.

So I’m posing a challenge.

Let’s use the next forty days to better ourselves. To get a little closer to our health potential, and live more authenically.

Join me on the Health Room #LentChallenge, and start making those changes you’ve always wanted to make. If you make it through to the end, there might be a special prize…


Simple Mediterranean Wholefood Bowl Recipe

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on Twitter.

Meditteranian Wholefood Bowl

It’s been a while, but we’re back on the recipe hype here at Health Room.

This week we’re keeping it simple with a bowl of rice and veggies, made interesting by the addition of two jarred friends: the artichoke and sun-dried tomato.

The dish is inspired by a combination of two different meals we tried recently.

The first is a superfood bowl we chowed down on at a local veggie/vegan restaurant called Milgi’s. (If for some reason you ever find yourself in the South Wales area of the UK, be sure to check it out).

The second is the tasty vegan pizza from Pizza express (the one topped with artichokes and a shed load of rocket).

We mashed those two sons of guns together, and came out with the following Mediterranean wholefood bowl.


How a Plant Based Diet Can Be the Catalyst for a Complete Lifestyle Change 5

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on Twitter.

make change, alan watts, health roomChange is a funny thing…

Even though it’s one of the few things on Earth that’s a given, our natural response is usually to resist against it. More often than not, it takes either an extreme low (like a health scare) or a particularly self motivated attitude for us to bring about change ourselves, rather than having it forced upon us by external factors.

When we do eventually get that itch to make changes, we often go to the extreme. One change is rarely enough, and we want to alter everything straight off. The usual pattern – we try a complete overhaul, it fails, and we’re back to square one.

Most of us realise that it’s better to make changes one at a time, starting slow, and building gradually. As boring as it sounds, it’s probably the most sustainable way of doing it.

But if you do choose the slow and steady route, which habit should you start with? When you want to eat healthily, meditate regularly, start your own business and run marathons, which one do you go for first?

The obvious answer is to start with the one that excites you the most, but if they all excite you equally, what should you do?

From my own experience, I advocate starting with the food on your plate.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I was going through some health struggles at university. Once I decided to start eating a whole food, plant based diet, a lot of those struggles went away.

But that wasn’t the only benefit I experienced. At the time I didn’t realise that this simple act of switching my diet would spark a whole load of other changes too. It had a knock on effect on the rest of my life, and opened up a whole load of pathways that were hidden before.

Hindsight is always 20-20. Looking back, it all makes sense now. But when you’re in the midst of the storm, surrounded by fog, it can be difficult to see a way out.

So here are a few ways that turning plant powered had an impact on my other habits. If you’re feeling a little stuck and you don’t know where to turn next, hopefully these ideas will reassure you that the path ahead can be one full of opportunity, even if you don’t know exactly where it’s heading…


How to Fit a Plant Based Diet into Your Busy Schedule 1

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on Twitter.

Health Room, Luke Jones, How to Fit a Plant Based Diet into Your Busy Schedule

Fitting a healthy, plant based diet around the manic modern day lifestyle can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task.

Whether you’re a businessperson, student, or stay at home mum; you probably already feel like you have enough on your plate to deal with. Deadlines have to be met, the kids need looking after, there’s always more shit to be done and very little time to stop for a rest.

Our fast-paced lives are often reflected in the fast food we eat. We want meals that we can wolf down on the go, in between meetings, or in front of the TV after a long, hard day slaving away.

Sure, that cheeseburger goes from grill to hand pretty, and it seems to fill the gap. But the quick fix is rarely a sustainable one. The unfortunate truth is that if we continue to prioritize our work schedule and family commitments over our own health, and we carry on fuelling our bodies with food that’s void of nutrients, eventually something is gonna give.

More and more people are realising this, but what’s the solution? How can we make the transition towards a healthier diet, based on whole plant foods, whilst simultaneously juggling a busy schedule?

Let’s take a look at a few ideas…


How to Go Plant-Based When Your Loved Ones Don’t Want to Know

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on Twitter.


A few weeks ago I shared with you a few quotes from some of the pioneers of the plant based movement, to give those of you who are transitioning to a plant based diet (or thinking about it) a little inspiration.

Inspiration is all well and good, but alone it’s not enough to spark significant changes. There’s still a wide gap between inspiration and taking action. Whether we can bridge that gap or not depends on a number of factors.

One of those factors, as I mentioned in this post on New Year’s Resolutions, is having a solid support network. People to turn to if things get tough. People that will hold you accountable and keep you on track.

I’m lucky that those close to me are supportive, and have pretty much backed me up all the way with my dietary changes. But not everyone has that luxury, and it can be difficult to navigate things alone.

I hear about it time and time again. You’re inspired to start making changes; perhaps you read a cool article (or maybe you checked out my eBook, Plant Based Diet 101). You’ve heard about all the potential benefits of eating plant based, from improved health to reducing your carbon footprint (and maybe even losing a bit of weight too). You’re raring to go, ready to drop the animal products and pick up the plants, but there’s one thing holding you back…

The people you care about the most aren’t on board, and still want everything wrapped in bacon…

Maybe it’s your spouse, or your husband to be. It might be your children, your friends, or even your parents. Whoever we’re talking about, even if they’re not joining you on your plant based journey (which is fine), they’re far from being supportive, and it’s getting you down. If you’re not sure where to to turn next, hopefully I can give you a few ideas.

I talked about why people might not respond well to your dietary choices a few months back, but let’s take a look at what you can do about it, in the various scenarios that might pop up. To relieve some of the tension, set the record straight, and increase your chances of achieving your goals.


50 Vegan Quotes from Plant-Based Pioneers (Past and Present) 4

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on Twitter.

vegan quotes, from plant based pioneers

Sometimes, being vegan or eating a plant based diet can make you feel a little isolated.

I think this is especially true if you’re new to it, or you’re just making the transition. I’m lucky that I have a load of understanding people around me who share similar views and provide support, but even so, it can still feel lonely from time to time.

Veganism is not the most socially acceptable stance to take, in a world where there’s a burger joint around every corner, and bacon is hailed as some sort of food from the gods.

It’s easy to feel like an outsider. But you’re not alone, and this post is partly here to remind you that.

I’ve compiled a list of 50 vegan quotes from some of the pioneers in the plant based movement. There are athletes, teachers, doctors, musicians, and even the odd spiritual leader too. People from all walks of life, with one thing in common – the food they put on their plate.

Sure, some of these people probably aren’t/weren’t fully vegan, but they’ve all done their bit for the movement, in their own unique way. And for that, I think they deserve to be recognised.

So if you’re looking for some inspiration to help you through making changes, or you just want to feel like you’re not alone, go check out the quotes.

In the comments section below, let me know your favourite, and if there are any good ones that I missed!