• Jacques Brennan

Who influences our food choices?

A life's choice






... our food journey


Our eating habits vary throughout our lives.


When we are young and growing, we eat what is put in front of us. The choices of what we eat depends on our parents.

As teenagers we change, our taste buds change, we start to explore different foods and we get into fast food. We rarely think of food as healthy or not.


Then we may meet a significant other and because of culture, habit and taste and especially if that person does most of the cooking, we can be influenced and our diets change again.


We often see the biggest challenge when our own children arrive. What to feed them? We believe we know what is good, healthy and right ... we just follow what our parents fed us and carry-on.




But sometimes we stop and re-consider, other influences...


Mahmood's family are doing just that ...


" Hey Jacques,

I was just chatting with Hiba this morning at breakfast, and later was reflecting myself on our food choices, and then I found your email in my inbox! ( read the post - What We Choose to Eat )

Thinking about the time when we initially met, I remember my diet was very meat-rich. At maximum, there was rarely 1 day a week without meat, typically there was meat at least in one of the meals each day. Today, nine years later, our typical week is about 50/50, sometimes more, sometimes less. Dahls, salads, veggie sambos, veggie pizzas, veggie stir fries, eggs... these have all become a significant part of week's habit and being main meals, instead of side dishes to the meat.

Another thing that's particularly helped me is the lack of traveling in the last 7 months. Fast eating around Europe was not so healthy, and now eating every day at home, and changing diet, I'm sure I've lost weight (don't know exactly how much), and feel lighter on my feet, and not sluggish after meals.

We are still not there at 100% veggie, and sometimes it feels like slow changes, but taking the two time points - my arrival to Ireland (meeting you) and now - there is certainly a big change. I think there are multiple reasons: being able to choose food for nutritional value, more veggie / vegan recipes we've taken on, seeing the health benefits, thinking about health of the kids, being inspired from your family and home cooking (every time we come back from your place, Hiba says she wants to learn how you made that particular dish). It may also be due to financial means. I'm not sure, no real evidence, but it does seem like we spend more to get better food (quality and quantity of raw veggies). Could be it's not true, since young kids add so much variability to the costs. I know that my average monthly food costs have increased (2020 compared to 2017 for example), but that could be due to whole hosts of reasons, so it's just an impression. Could be interesting to see the cost of living veggie / vegan vs cost of living as a meat eater.

We are (slowly) continuing on our food journey, but clearly we have been impacted.


Thanks for your amazing work and friendship which has added a lot of value for us, which funny enough I can even quantify when it comes to food impact."

Mahmood and Hiba




Yes, this pizza is vegan


... yes, it tasted soooooooooooooo good!



And why not a wee recipe for you.


My mother, one of the stronger influences on my choice of food and chief editor of this blog, asked me, " Why is there no recipe with this posting?".


Who can ever refuse a mother? So here it is. Click here for - Stove Top Pizza



Confessions of a Vegan Chef

... a cook with an ulterior motive


I love cooking for people.


Cooking is one of my favourite things to do. It is completely creative, colourful, it affects all the senses; sight, sound, touch, feel, smell and at the end I get to taste of my work.


The other favourite thing to do is to have people over for dinner.


To meet others, to laugh, to tell stories, to eat and drink, I like nothing better. And today I do this with vegan food. I only cook vegan food, so people who share my table are subjected to vegan cooking, dishes of all type - pasta, chilli, burgers, Falafel and yes, pizza!


I hope that by eating vegan cooking they can understand how easy and especially how tasty it is to eat only plants ...did I mention healthy!


Enough, enough!!!










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