living in belfast

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Vegan,

I just wanted to email you to say thank you SO MUCH for helping me regain my health and quite possibly saving my life. Here’s my story:
I found you, along with High Carb Hannah, around this time last year. I was living in Belfast, Northern Ireland while studying for my master’s, and I was literally starving. I was about 210lbs (and have been over 200lbs since I was 12-13 years old) and still stuck in the low-carb, high protein diet mentality. Meat in the UK/Ireland is crazy expensive, and I could only afford the equivalent of about $20-30/week in food. I was eating fatty chicken thighs and salmon and soaking my food in oil just to feel satisfied. At one point, I counted calories and realized I was eating less than 1000 calories a day. I lived off of the free coffee in my university’s study halls. In addition to eating so little, I was walking between 5-7 miles a day because I didn’t have a car and Belfast’s public transportation was inconsistent and less than stellar.
Despite literally starving, I wasn’t losing a lot of weight. I had lost about 20lbs before then but my weight completely plateaued from there– for obvious reasons. I knew something needed to change. I can’t remember how it happened exactly, but I stumbled across one of High Carb Hannah’s videos and from there found you two. I read the Starch Solution because of you and my life changed completely! Not only did a lose a ridiculous amount of weight– dropping from 210 to 155lbs– but I was finally eating enough food! Although meat was expensive, guess what’s plentiful and dirt cheap in Ireland? POTATOES. I started eating a high carb diet, eating potatoes and porridge every single day, along with pounds of fresh veg that I could pick up at my local farmer’s market for pennies. I tracked my calories to make sure I was eating enough, and on just $20-30/week I was able to eat over 2500 calories a day. I had tons of energy and felt healthy for the first time in my life. I am FINALLY at a healthy BMI (I’m 5'8’). I want to lose about another 15-20lbs, and I know that I can without feeling deprived or miserable.
I want you to know that your message for WSLF is life-saving, not just for health but also for people like me who were living below the poverty line. I’m back in the United States for now, and I’m planning to work with local non-profits in Orlando (where there is a huge amount of poverty) to tackle the inadequate nutrition of the working poor by encouraging starch-based diets. There is a misconception that the vegan diet is one of privilege. And indeed, if you’re eating mock-meats and Chao cheese or dining at expensive vegan restaurants, it absolutely is. But a healthy, starch-based diet is not, and I can say I am proof of that. 

Here’s my before and after, and you have my permission to share my story and pictures if you wish. 

​This ended up being a way longer email than I intended, but I really felt like I had to reach out and share another perspective/compelling reason to advocate for the starch-based diet. Thank you again for doing what you do! You’re doing more than you can possibly imagine, and I hope my story continues to inspire you.  

Marisa J.


You know when you think you’re out of a hellhole for good only to fall right back into it due to some small character that keeps being stuck on your mind? 

That is you, Connor.

I am not saying I will update a lot but god dammit these Assassin’s are going to be the death of me. 

how easier Connor’s life would have been if he only had Yellow pages to help him


Bob Dylan     Visions of Johanna, Live in Belfast     1966

…Little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He’s sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I’m in the hall
Oh, how can I explain?
It’s so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn…