March 10, 2021

99: And Suddenly, Everything Changed! Author Alan Twigg

Meet Alan Twigg, a 55 year old English man who li…


Meet Alan Twigg, a 55 year old English man who lives in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He lives with his beautiful German wife. They have two children in Germany and two in the UK. He speaks English, German and Spanish. He also dances Tango and organizes Tango events on the island. He practices yoga and meditation daily as well.

And in this episode, we will be talking about all of that and more including his book titled, and suddenly everything changed. We will talk about the inspiration behind that book and how Alan became plant based himself. Alan was also inspired to write his book because of his own father's heart disease. The objective of the story is to reveal the hidden unhealthy truths about the typical Western diet, about animal agriculture, the impacts of dietary choices on the environment, and ultimately to encourage and motivate everyday people to consider veganism.

On his journey, the character Peter meets intriguing characters. Each of these have their own individual story that they share and all are based on people that Alan knew or heard about. We will also learn about Alan's online course titled Plant Based Heroes. We will learn about his yoga, his Tango, how he enjoys meditation. And we will finally talk about the differences that we see in Spain, the UK and Germany when it comes to plant based eating. I hope you enjoyed this episode.

Transcript

Alan Twigg  00:00

And she slapped this down on the on the on the way around the pool and she slapped it down next to me said here Dad, I know you care about health read this. So she, you know a very clever move on her part. She knew that that was that I was, you know I do sport. I've always kept myself physically active. I do care about health. So instead of trying to persuade me through the animals, she she she obviously went straight for what I was interested in.

 

Maya Acosta  00:28

Welcome to the Plant Based DFW Podcast weekly show with Dr. Riz and Maya. Our podcast focuses on lifestyle medicine, which is the use of evidence based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a whole food plant based diet, regular physical exercise, adequate sleep and stress management to treat and even reverse the lifestyle related chronic diseases that are all too prevalent. Every week, we will feature physicians, dieticians, health coaches, and everyday people who will share those stories and speak on one of these lifestyle medicine modalities. Let's meet today's podcast guest. Alan Twigg is a 55 year old English man who lives in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He lives with his beautiful German wife. They have two children in Germany and two in the UK. He speaks English, German and Spanish. He also dances Tango and organizes Tango events on the island. He practices yoga and meditation daily as well. And in this episode, we will be talking about all of that and more including his book titled, and suddenly everything changed. We will talk about the inspiration behind that book and how Alan became plant based himself. Alan was also inspired to write his book because of his own Father's heart disease. The objective of the story is to reveal the hidden unhealthy truths about the typical Western diet, about animal agriculture, the impacts of dietary choices on the environment, and ultimately to encourage and motivate everyday people to consider veganism. on his journey. The character Peter meets intriguing characters. Each of these have their own individual story that they share and all are based on people that Alan knew or heard about. We will also learn about Alan's online course titled Plant Based Heroes, we will learn about his yoga, his Tango, how he enjoys meditation. And we will finally talk about the differences that we see in Spain, the UK and Germany when it comes to plant based eating. I hope you enjoyed this episode, all the links will be located in the show notes. So welcome, Alan Twigg. 

 

Alan Twigg  02:33

Oh, thank you. Thank you very much. It's lovely to be here with you both this afternoon. Well, late evening for me here. Yeah.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  02:39

Well, you're coming to us from the Canary Islands.

 

Alan Twigg  02:42

Yeah, I'm in the Canary Islands, which is small volcanic island group of the of the African coast and below Spain. And yeah, I've been living here for eight years now. nearly nine years with my, with my wife, my children have returned to Germany. And we're still here.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  03:01

I understand. It's a beautiful place. And it hasn't it has been on my list of places that I'd like to go to in my lifetime.

 

Alan Twigg  03:07

So Tenerife, where I live is the main island it's so I suppose it's like the big island if you're thinking of Hawaii, so it's the it's the main island. It's got the highest mountain in Spain at 3700 meters. I don't know. I don't know how many feet that is, but it's high. It's high. The air is thin up there. And because we've got this huge well, effectively, it's the volcano in the middle of the island. There are 27 different climate zones on the one island and so whatever you want if you like the wind with the like it still feel like it hot rain, the wave and get snow here in the winter. I mean, it's all here. So it's it's amazing Island and also from the vegetation we've got you know, we've got trees like in California, we've got the the pine trees and the, you know, the big old pine trees, but we've also got cactuses, and it's the vegetation around the island is so different depending on which area you're in. It's a really special place. Yeah, very interesting. We, we, we go on, there's a walk that we go on, it's just absolutely fascinating, where you, you literally take five steps and you move from one climate zone to the next. And it's it's literally like a line where on the one side, there's all cactuses. So it's just cactus barren, you know, and then literally five steps later, it's law bear like green. It's really, really strange place in certain places. So yeah, we it's good place to be. Yeah,

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  04:44

Sounds fascinating. Yeah. Yeah, that's so we are we have we have a particular affinity for the Hawaiian Islands and especially Maui, and we go visit there a lot and I've been fascinated by all the different climate zones they have there. Now, I've never experienced that. Just I think on one side of the line or the other, yeah, I can, we can just a few minutes, walk from one place to another, you can tell the difference or a drive. So it that's, that's neat. Yeah, I like that.

 

Maya Acosta  05:11

I want to mention to our listeners that one of the things that you'll share with us is that you as a result of this pandemic, and the lockdown, you have now created your own podcast, and you have an online course related to going vegan. So we before we talk about those, can you share with us your story of how you became vegan plant based.

 

Alan Twigg  05:30

The trigger for me becoming plant based was my daughter, who previously at first become vegetarian. And then a couple of years before she managed to persuade me she'd become plant based. So she wanted to go on a vegan diet, and she was inspired, she'd always been very close to toys, like going and tending to horses. And she spent a lot of the times in the stables and I think, you know, we should probably looked into the eyes of the horse and appreciated, you know, the secretion with feelings and so on. And, you know, she was a young girl, and I think that that happens to a lot of young girls. So she, she became, she became vegan, she dropped the bombshell off on his, she'd returned from a holiday in Germany. We were having a meal one evening, and she said, Look, I've got to tell you, I've decided I'm going to go on a plant based vegan diet. And at that time, this was literally six years ago, I was completely ignorant. I had no religion, no idea at all, what it men really nothing. I said the usual things, you know, you know, you're gonna waste away, you're gonna be anemic, you'll be thin, you'll have no energy. You know, all the all the things that I at that time had in my mind, if somebody said, Oh, you know, you know, What's she going to eat? You can't just live on cabbage and carrots. You know, this, this, this was this was the idea I had about it all. So all the all the things you know, where you're going to get your protein. So I was actually actually genuinely a little bit concerned, genuinely concerned for our health seems absolutely ridiculous now.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  07:09

It is hilarious because our culture eats an unhealthy diet. And so when somebody says they're going to be vegan, which is a healthier diet. Sure. They think, number one, they think you're you've been inducted into a cult, you know, that you said, you said drop the bombshell. Yeah, oh, my God, oh, my god, they're going vegan. And then they and then they do come up with all these health issues, which they're all concerned about. But they they don't make the connection that their diet is actually the unhealthy diet, you know, and

 

Alan Twigg  07:38

That's exactly right. That's exactly right. And it's strange, you know, I used to hear things, and they used to kind of just bounce off me and are you healthy fats? I had no idea what saturated fat? What's a trans fat? You know, who cares? It was just, it meant nothing to me whatsoever. So I'd never I'd never really thought much about diet. I'd always I think like most people thought that was eating a relatively healthy diet. It probably wasn't. But you know, I was kidding myself. I'd never really thought about it that much. You know, so

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  08:11

I get that a lot. As a physician, my patients will talk to me, oh, I eat healthy. And then when you delve into what they're eating, there, their thought process is just it's so unfounded. There's no, there's no science, no data, no evidence. It's just based on what they hear on TV, or somebody else has told them. So yeah, many people think they're eating healthy, but they're really not.

 

Alan Twigg  08:32

I was 50. At the time, you know, nearly five, I think it was 50. And to ever reach that age and being so ignorant to my shame, you know, so, my daughter, she, she, she lives in Germany, she's now 22 years old, she's independent. And she five years ago, she came back and we had a holiday in Lego mera, which is a little island, just off the south coast of Tenerife. And she brought with her the book, How Not To Die from Michael Greger and she slapped this down on the on the on the way around the pool, and she slapped it down next to me said here Dad, I know you care about health read this. So she you know a very clever move on her part. She knew that that was that I was you know I do sport. I've always kept myself physically active. I do care about health. So instead of trying to persuade me through the animals, she she she obviously went straight from what I was interested in. And I read the first chapter. I don't know if you've probably read the book right from from Yeah, and I read the first chapter and it resonated so much with me because my father Well, my my grandfather, first of all had died of heart disease. So that was my grandfather, my my own father age 63, 64 got angina, and then he went through the whole thing you know he had blood thinning. Then he got the stents and then he had the triple bypass. And I saw all this going on, and I knew that did you know, sewing his chest open and it, you know, this, this, this horrible thing that they'd done to him, you know, and taken veins out of his legs and sewn onto his heart and, and I was there the day he came out of hospital, you know, and yeah, I mean, I just didn't fancy that for myself. And since the I'm his son, you know, obviously you think, Well, you know, my grandfather's had heart disease, my father's at heart disease, you know, and I'm now 50. So and so I start reading the book. And of course, the first chapter is about his grandmother who goes in to the to the clinic. She's one of the first people to ever receive the treatment. I think that at that time, I we explained it in the book, but I remember being so it was just jaw dropping, I just couldn't believe what I was reading. I was reading this, this, this, this, this material from Dr. Greger and I just, I read through the first chapter so quickly, and then I reread it because it just just just seems so unbelievable that this information that you could treat effectively treat heart disease, just through diet and exercise. That was like a complete revelation for me. I just, I'd never I'd never really thought that that could never crossed my mind that that that that idea? I mean, when my dad had had heart disease, you know, I did. I remember saying to him, maybe you could eat a little bit healthier diet, but I never really thought you know, that you could actually be used to treat what I had, that those thoughts have never crossed my mind at all. So yeah, I mean, that was I was really on board when I when I read that and, and then I read the following chapters. And I don't think I've ever read a book as fast in my entire life literally went from and it's a big book within, I think two or three days I was, I was through it. And then, and then my daughter took me, you know, because we were on holiday. And we were in a hotel where there's a buffet so you can choose your own food. And we were there for so we were in halfboard so we were there for breakfast and evening meal. And my daughter took me to the buffet, you know, and she was showing me this new world you know, Hey, Dad, look, these are roads. Yes, you are. Yeah, you don't need to put cow's milk on them. You can put this rice milk on or almond milk, honey, give it a try. These here are chia seeds. And there's protein in these here. And she was she was kind of teaching me you know, but I was open then I was open to thinking Well, I'd seen what my father had gone through. And after I read the book, and realize that a lot of the other chronic diseases Well, not just heart disease, but diabetes outside as part of that, you know, there's a whole list of them. So I was enthusiastic about learning. I think more or less made the decision then that it seemed like a sensible thing to do. If you if you could perhaps prevent, you know, chronic disease, then why wouldn't you do that? Yeah, just just seemed logical thing for me then.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  13:04

I liked what you said. You said it's the sensible thing to do. I wish more people understood that and were sensible about their choices. Yeah,

 

Maya Acosta  13:11

You're gonna be surprised on this one. It was Freelee the Banana Girl I know that your daughter was watching Freelee

 

Alan Twigg  13:19

Yeah, well, that was the time when I was say to me, you're gonna die. And she was saying no, there's a woman on YouTube who just lives on bananas. Yeah.

 

Maya Acosta  13:27

It was Freelee who I started watching first before I read Dr. McDougall, his books and all that. I mean, everything happened around the same time, but when I saw how fit she was, she was a cyclist. And she said You do not have to harm animals to be healthy. One day to the next. I was vegan. I was done.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  13:45

And that's funny because I would watch I would be around when she's watching these YouTube videos of Freelee the banana girl I'm a physician I'm like, Oh, this is crazy. And and oh she's a cyclist and but I didn't really watch that stuff. And then she got me educated similar to fashion that your daughter did she she gave me some evidence based stuff and suddenly I was hooked to so it wasn't no you know, the banana girl are the cycles that got me it was real science. I guess you said about five years ago and you were on your holiday and then she was teaching you different foods in the buffet.

 

Alan Twigg  14:23

She was showing me all the all the foods that you could eat and but I was I was really open to my paradigm and changed the way I saw the world that changed because because at that time purely on health grounds, suddenly I couldn't believe it. I thought why why why are we eating meat when it's making a sale because I just read this book and I'd seen the evidence and there's a lot of evidence and and it was almost like why would I want to put that in my body. Now if I know that it's going to probably lead me to the same place that my grandfather was and my own father be stupid, that would be a stupid thing to do, you know, I kind of think maybe got this this impression of me getting to, you know, 65 or whatever, suddenly getting pains in my chest and then thinking, well, you idiot, 15 years ago, you knew how to stop this happening. And I think that was I don't think I could have lived with myself having been so reckless, you know, with myself. So yeah, I was on board, we got back to Tenerife. And my daughter took me then shopping, we cleared out the cupboards here, we identified the things that I could still eat and the things that perhaps were, you know, would never, you know, obviously any meat that might be left in the fridge or so it all went, and we went shopping for the first time. And it was very, very interesting. You know, the first the first shop my daughter showing me that you know, the beans and all the things that you can do and the notes and so I had this shopping trolley full of things that literally I'd never bought before ever in my life. It just looks like a pick somebody else's shopping trolley. And she'd be saying to me at the checkout, looked at, look at everybody else. They've all got trolleys full of dead animals. You know, that's obviously there's always more focus, but thought that's a strange thing to say. And she said, but you now you're you there's no dead animals in your truck.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  16:20

Did you notice that? Probably when you weren't buying all that meat? You're the cost of your groceries went now?

 

Alan Twigg  16:26

Oh, yeah. I mean, where I can? Yeah, I mean, here in Tenerife, there's not a great deal. So we've not got a lot of fresh organic food, but the stores where we can get you know, like, so your legumes and, and all of that kind of thing. And sometimes we'll have some, some plant based meats and those those things. So yeah, I don't I don't think we're actually saving money we could do. I mean, obviously we I mean, I know some fantastic black bean and rice recipes now and you couldn't, you know, I mean, you could you could live really cheaply if you wanted to no doubt about that. And we'll also be doing lately is doing the sprouting. You know, we used to make salads and things. And that's really cheap as well,

 

Maya Acosta  17:08

I hadn't thought about that question that you just asked. But what I've noticed from someone who was buying animal based products at one time when I did groceries is that. Now for that same amount of price, we're getting a lot more ingredients and a lot more spices. So the variety is much larger than when you're eating animal based. So

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  17:29

I always pay attention when I'm checking out at the grocery store. And I look at my, my, my cart, and it's full of diversity of fruits and vegetables and all natural foods. And then the person in front of me, it's all boxed. Or, you know, or there's lots of meats. And you can tell there's, it's such an amazing difference between the foods of a person who eats plant based versus who doesn't. It's, it's fascinating. Yeah,

 

Maya Acosta  17:55

I actually feel proud when I'm putting my all my groceries and I'm looking at the cashier, I'm going I wonder she knows that I'm being looked at all this stuff that I have. And there are a lot of colors, you know, that I'm putting on the on the belt, compared to everybody else. But every Blue Moon, I'm asked how do you cook this? Or how do you eat this? I've been curious. And then I love it when things like that happen, because then I can contribute a little bit and plant a seed.

 

Alan Twigg  18:21

That's right. Yeah, no, it's the for the people that are ready, it's definitely that's the case. If you don't notice the experience in like a normal supermarket, when you walk down, when you have to walk down the nice tail, it's like, really, I don't know, really turns me off. Now, you know, you just want to get out there, it's like a more

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  18:43

what our supermarket actually is designed, so there's a pathway you have to follow. So you literally have to go through the meat section to get to the next area. And I actually hold my breath. Oh, I heard that too. Because the smell the smell is so disgusting to me, or I'm pleasant. So I make a game of it, I take my breath and start walking to see if I can get through the whole section without breathing again, you know,

 

Alan Twigg  19:05

Isn't that strange? And if you were having visitors now to your home, say and they wanted to buy it, you probably wouldn't want the meat in your fridge would you no way.

 

Maya Acosta  19:14

Every time we make a choice to eat, were very aware of what we're doing and that we're not harming animals anymore. So

 

Alan Twigg  19:20

I mean, that came that kicked in afterwards for me.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  19:24

Tell us about that. And I also want to know about, you know, its impact on your family. And what did other family members do as far as their diet?

 

Alan Twigg  19:31

I don't think it was that long. But you know, and I can't really remember why but some at some point, not so long after I'd made the decision. Because when I met usually I'm that kind of person. When I when I make a decision like that, then I do stick to it. You know, I go all in and then that's it. Yeah, at some point, you kind of realize that you're not part of the suffering anymore. That's how I kind of frame it. I realized that, you know, I wasn't yet part of the the industry parts of the killing part of the, all the nonsense that goes on with subsidies and corruption and all of that. And suddenly, I was free of all that I know, and it wasn't going into my body, and I wasn't a part of that. And that was definitely a very, very nice feeling. And he said that point, then, when you can start being honest with yourself, about the all the denial that you've been in for, you know, the last 50 years or 50 years, maybe, since, since you're old enough to understand what's going on. You know, you, I think, I always say that everybody kind of knows, everybody's got to play, you know, you don't go there, you know, that. You know, I mean, I certainly knew that bacon was from a pig, but you never really think about it too much you eat it. And, and, and don't like to go there. It's normal, it's tradition is what everybody does. So you know, that we've always eat, we have to eat, of course, because if we didn't eat it, we would die for protein deficiency. So, you know, we make these, we make these excuses, and we don't go there. And when you when you make a decision to go plant based, then you're able to be a lot more honest with yourself. And, and, and, you know, go to those places and actually start to, to, to think about it. And that's when I started watching all the documentaries, you know, that, you know, my daughter sent me them, as well. But, you know, and then there's the Gary Yourofsky one on YouTube that I remember really clearly. Yeah, and you and you and you realize that it's it's terrible, what's going on not only for, for ourselves, not only for the animals, but also for the environment. And it's just this like, like to say like a whole new world opens up and it's, yeah, you've just entered you, you know, you've taken the red pill, you're in the matrix. And that's, that's the that's it, everything looks different, you know. And it's really weird, you know, we go for a meal. And we'll, if we go, we'll go maybe to an Indian restaurant, or will go somewhere Chinese or live in a somewhere where they do just vegetable dishes. And you can you know, in Tenerife, we don't have very many vegan options as far as dining out. So we tend to go to Asian restaurants and then choose the the the vegetable options, but yeah, and the people around you are in this still in this world that you were in. And I always find that really kind of interesting. And sometimes you know that not so much now, but at the beginning, I wanted to kind of jump over and say, Hey, why are you eating chicken? Don't you know that chickpeas days great?

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  22:44

So Well, when did? or How did your other family members take this and have others changed as well?

 

Alan Twigg  22:50

Well, my wife was was was gray. I mean, she was. So as soon as it felt like we were making this, I mean, I got all enthusiastic about this book, you know, and my wife was just happy to go along with it, you know, if I was so enthusiastic, then why not. And so and we didn't really ever, when my wife was never really cooking all the time. So cooking we used to do between so sometimes I cook sometimes she cooked, we didn't really have much of an idea, either of us, he was just, you know, random, whatever, you know, there was no, there was no love or care taken into cooking anything from either of us. So she was happy to go along with that she saw that it made sense, you know, from from an animal point of view from so very supportive. And that's great. Of course now because, you know, we're both in it together, which is great. And my my brother is a marathon runner, an Ironman athlete, and he's almost accidentally vegan. Anyway, he just eats a little bit of fish because he's very conscious about getting the maximum performance recovery time. And he's he's kind of wandered into it anyway because of your sport. So so he had absolutely no problem. They're my sisters. She's the same very supportive. My children also really strange actually, I think the the only the only it's really only my parents that are still a little bit confused. You know, even my father was, you know, he's still alive. He's at the bypass. And there's their diet is terrible. But they're nearly 80 now, so I don't think they'll they'll change I've tried to explain. But no, I mean, no problem at all. All My Children mean Leah, my son. That's an interesting what my Okay, so I've got four children altogether. Okay, two in England and two in Germany. Okay. Leah is the youngest and as I've explained, the vegan one who changed He's me. But Tom, he, he's 24. And until this year, he smoked, drank and had a normal diet like everybody else and was hanging out with his mates. And that kind of that was his life. But this year, is that a complete transformation because, like a lot of young people now go to the gym he wants to have, you know, I don't know, whether it's instagram, whatever, but everybody seems to have a fantastic, everybody seems to want to have a fantastic body now when you're 24 I can't wait. This is this is the thing so. So, Leah, I mean, obviously Leary been saying to him, Tom, you know, you can you can train, you can have muscles, you can have all of this stuff on on a plant based diet, and he just ignored. He didn't want to know it was don't interested in stupid people, he plans. I mean, we all eat meat, the whole thing. But this year, at some point, he was in the gym. And one of the other guys who was really, I think, 27 few years older than him, perhaps nearly 30 with this fantastic body. And Tom went to have to invent this, you know, ask him if he got any trip tips for him or so on. And he told him that he was it was plant based. So Tom said, you joking? No, no, no, some plant based being eaten mistake, he said. And it's fantastic, because I can then recover quicker, and so on. And he told him to watch the game changes. So my son watch the game changes, and lit and went vegan as well. So since since June, he's been and what he tells me is unbelievable, really unbelievable. So he watched the game changes, he decided to change his diet. And for him, it was purely about getting this body, you know, he wanted to recover quicker, so he could get a really good body. It also had problems with his skin, dry skin, and so on. And he noticed that all of this had cleared up as well. So skin had got better. This is something you notice. So he decided to stop smoking, as well. And then he noticed that because he'd been on this since you've been on this plant based diet there. For some reason he got his hangovers seem to it probably become a little bit more sensitive, I don't know. But he seemed that when he went out drinking, he said that his hunger was not very nice. And so he decided to stop drinking as well. Not it didn't say he was stopping drinking forever, but it definitely wanted to see what would happen. So he's obviously experimented. But he also plays football. And he says, he said to me that it's absolutely unbelievable that he said I can run and run around on a football pitch. Now I said don't even get thirsty. He said I can outrun his my speeds increased is I say endurance is improved, is faster. I mean, he is complete so so to my children now vegan, my other two kids in England, Adams vegetarian wants to go vegan. And David, my eldest son keeps having he's he tries every now and again. But he's difficult for him because his partner isn't he's not very supportive. So yeah.

 

Maya Acosta  28:11

Do you plan on having either of your children on the podcast, I think that would make for an interesting show. Your daughter and how she became plant based how she even knew to bring you the How Not To Die, book. And then of course, your athletic son, that would be a great story to for your podcast,

 

Alan Twigg  28:27

You're right. 

 

Maya Acosta  28:31

So I had the opportunity to listen to your book. 

 

Alan Twigg  28:35

So it's the same story, but it's now called. And Suddenly Everything Changed.

 

Maya Acosta  28:39

I think that's a great title. Because when I think of the reason why you wrote the book, you know, and how you talked about why you didn't do a nonfiction as opposed to kind of a fiction storytelling path, you took that path, because people are tend to be a little bit more open. So a lot of these characters that you mentioned in your book, were inspired by other people in your life or stories that you've heard. And then of course, he narrates the entire book, which I really liked. So as we're speaking, it's like reminded me of the stories that you were telling in your book, I think you have a great voice for narrating as well. So

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  29:16

So tell us a little bit about the book and why you wrote it and what it's about.

 

Alan Twigg  29:20

Well, thank you very much, you know, nobody likes listening to their own voice. Yeah. So it's, it wasn't a difficult decision. I actually put that out. I had a few professional narrators do a an extract. And then I asked people and at the end, people said, Why don't you just do it yourself? You'll be more enthusiastic about it. You'll put your own passion into it. So yeah, I decided to do that.

 

Maya Acosta  29:47

So I was wondering how, how close is Alan to Peter, how similar are they because I know that this is a fictional character, Peter, and he goes to a journey towards where Up to this vegan lifestyle. I wondered how much you borrowed from Alan to create Peter,

 

Alan Twigg  30:06

I never really thought about that. But I think I think like with every author, you know, you you obviously put your own personality, you know, goes into into each character. I think I think Peters probably a little bit how I would have been perhaps if I'd have been a postman in Sheffield, that's probably the kind of attitude I would have had previously. And Peter is also a little bit like my father, my father is very, you know, he's got a very, very working class background, you know, an educator really, you know, not not not stupid, but got that kind of, I don't know, you've got to get on with life, you know, things happen shits happen, he never showed a great deal of sympathy, but in a good way, you know, when we were children, we, he was very, you know, if we have problems, there was never really any sympathy style. Get up, get on with it. And that was the kind of attitude you know, it was. So there's part of that, and definitely in Peter. Because I just think that's how a lot of people people are I mean, I've noticed that in you know, a lot of people who go plant based and vegan, they tend to be more educated people tend to be people who are more aware or, I don't know, somehow in a different circumstance, it just seems to be that if if, because I know, in the tango scene, most people tend to also be very well educated or a business that is that kind of person, you don't find many plumbers, dancing, Argentine Tango, you know, they tend to be psychologists or doctors or teachers or, you know, that's just how it is. But in the in the tango scene, as well, there's a lot of you so you're far more likely to find people who are vegetarian or plant based or vegan or certainly aware of it than you are. Back in my original hometown of Sheffield in the pub, you know, so so that's kind of who I wrote the book for, I wanted to get the message out to people who are perhaps you believe my kind of background have not yet normal people as normal people.

 

Maya Acosta  32:15

What I liked a lot about your story is that Peter goes on this journey and meets various characters. So as I'm listening to it, because I love audiobooks as well. I'm thinking of different people in my life. And I'm thinking how would this book impact them? Could they connect with any of those characters in your book? And also where how would we tell our story, just from listening to you know, Peters journey of having health conditions, and then learning that other people have benefited from going plant based? So can you tell our listeners a little more about Peter, and what your book is about?

 

Alan Twigg  32:51

Yeah, so Peter is the main character in the book. And what I wanted to achieve with the book was the anybody can pick up the book or listen to the book, and not feel threatened in any way, shape, or form. Because Peter himself is skeptical. He's the that was the idea that this guy is the last person on the planet that would ever go on a plant based diet. This is the beginning of his journey. So he starts from a place of where most people are, you know, enough, we're gonna enjoy your food again. It'll never taste nice. Why would you ever want to do that, you know, all the things that everybody says. So this is Peter. So as Peter goes through the book, so he goes on a journey of transformation from he originally gets heart disease, and he's diagnosed with heart disease, and he gets the traditional diagnosis. And, but his wife does yoga. And he explains to his wife and his wife, there's a guy Michael at the yoga class, who's a marathon runner now and she she remembers that marriage, Michael also had heart disease, but never had surgery. But now he's running marathons. So this this makes Peter interested as to how this could happen. So he goes to the yoga class with his wife just to meet Michael and then Michael points him in the direction of the nutritionist and each of these characters So Michael, the marathon runner, and Gail, the nutritionist and all the other characters in the book. Each of these people have their own story as well as you know, if you've listened to it, but the idea is that Peter is the is the listener. So Peter is asking the questions that the listener would want to you know, so if Peters somebody tells him Oh, you know, you can you can you can go on a plant based diet and it will help you to get over your heart disease or whatever it is people are telling him he's skeptical. He doesn't believe it. He's He's questioning so he's taking the role of the of the listener or the person who's reading the book and it makes it very unthreatening. You've just simply following a story or you're listening to how Peter takes on the information and how he interprets it and how he is decides to, you know, make these decisions in his own life. But in a not in a completely non threatening, nobody ever says, Hey, you listener, you've got to go vegan, you know. So that's, that's the idea. So as he progresses through each of these characters, and of course each of these characters have got their own story. And you we follow him as we as he slowly begins to change, and how he is he stuck his minds see starts to see the world in a in a different way, which I think really is the journey that most of us go on when we go on a plant based diet, you know, as we were talking about earlier, I think it's, well, maybe not everybody, I mean, perhaps most people are not quite as ignorant as I was. But there are people who start from that position, who then can go go through and, and learn. So that's why I wanted to achieve that, that people could, and I understand this idea that if if you're already, if you already know what we know. So if you're already on a plant based diet, or you're on a vegan diet, and you're completely, you know, convinced which of course you are, if you're on that day, it's also a book, or a story that you can give to your friends without them hating you.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  36:19

I like what you say without feeling threatened. Because you give them a book that says, You need to be vegan, it's very, it's very different than following a journey of some guy, it might it might cause the person reading the book to be more open to self introspection and self awareness.

 

Alan Twigg  36:35

So what happened was my wife and I, we were on a, we were a tango event. So before Corona happened, we used to travel to dance tango, and we were in Italy in 2000. March 2019, seems like 20 years ago, but it was literally at last year. Yeah. So we've done since or two in the morning, we got up we had some breakfast. And we we were in Vicenza, which is I don't know if you know, but anyways, in northern Italy, we walked down into the, into the city. And we we went into a bar for a coffee. And and I must have had it on my mind. And I just said to my wife, do you know what I'm thinking of writing a book? And I've not really thought is it sounds really odd thing to say. But I did say that to her. And she responded by saying, Well, what will it be about? And just this question. Okay, what will it be about? Yeah. And we literally, I got literally to this this thought process. And by the time so we had the cafe we had maybe something to eat. And by the time we got back to the hotel Two hours later, the host got it. It was the whole story was there. It was like literally that quick, I'd really gone. Okay, yeah. And this guy, and he meets Yeah, and then he could meet this guy. And that could happen. And this could have been bang. And by the time I got back to the hotel, the the outline was just finished. And I said, oh god, that's cool. That's a really cool story. So I didn't write anything down, literally got back to xR Eve, and started writing it.

 

Maya Acosta  38:09

That's amazing. Wonderful. And you're an excellent storyteller. I think that's why I enjoy the audio book. Because it's like, I'm sitting there listening to you telling stories.

 

Alan Twigg  38:20

It's the first book I've ever written.

 

Maya Acosta  38:23

Wow, did you have like an editor or anybody else looking at the book?

 

Alan Twigg  38:27

I did. I I'm not that self confident. I am a self confident, but not that self confident. So I wrote the book, as I thought. And then I went onto Fiverr and found somebody who was offering editing services, and to give you tips about how you could perhaps improve it. She sent me back a draft. And then I rewrote a fair bit try and make it better. And then there was the chapter that did you you remember the chapter where he meets them his mates in the pub? Yes, that chapter was very short. And I went back and completely rewrote that because I thought I could make it a lot better. And and I actually really liked that chapter now because this is the so he's gone through this. He's learned so much. And now he goes to meet his mates in the pub. I don't know what he's in Texas, but you know, at an English pub, that, you know, the lads come together, they all have a pint and they tell you what they think of you and your opinions and everything else. You know, they're very honest.

 

Maya Acosta  39:30

It's where they start kind of teasing him right about he's gaining all this information and his mates are telling him well, you know, whatever.

 

Alan Twigg  39:39

Yeah, I mean, but no, I mean, actually, they were very soft and him compared to what reality?

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  39:45

Probably, yeah.

 

Maya Acosta  39:46

So people can find your book on audible.com. Right?

 

Alan Twigg  39:49

Yes. On my website. There's also it's also on my website, which is allantoic.org. But yeah, it's available on Audible is it's called and suddenly everything changed. And yeah, it's three hours just over three hours long. I didn't want to I don't want to make it too long either. So that that was about my, my goal three hours. Perfect. Yeah,

 

Maya Acosta  40:10

it's amazing that you have the outline done from the time you went in for your coffee till the time you went home, you kind of just knew, right?

 

Alan Twigg  40:17

Yeah, the reason that I, that I, I've listened to a lot of success books over the years, a lot of success books. And that there was one book that I've listened to over and over again, which had a similar format. And it was that that inspired me. So the format of that book where this guy goes and meets different people is completely different story. But the format is similar. And that I really, really, I always found that book was so much more easy to consume and informative than the factual books about whatever it was, you were trying to achieve that you know when. So that was my inspiration for the for the, for the for the structure,

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  40:57

it is a very attractive structures, a journey of self discovery through people you meet in your life, and how you change as a result of it. We love I love that kind of a story.

 

Maya Acosta  41:08

Speaking of that, I like that in your book, you have people that make the decision for the animals, and you have people that make the decision for the environment. So you're really covering? Yeah, you have a farmer who transformed his own land, to growing organic crops, I think it was

 

Alan Twigg  41:24

He inherited a family farm, his farm is the farm had always been a dairy farm, you know it. So it always had this, you know, at some point the cows would be taken away for slaughter. And he inherited inherited the farm, but he got a young family himself. And he just started to question what was going on and started to seeing things in a different light. And eventually, he got to the point where he knew he knew that the animals knew that the trucks were coming to take them away to be slaughtered, he knew the animals knew and they were looking him in the eye, you know, and they got big guys. And it just, you just couldn't live with his conscience anymore. And so he made a decision to go against I mean, it was a family that farm that had been in for generations. So but he decided then to, to not do be part of he didn't want to be part of that anymore. And trans find another way finding the way to start to grow organic crops and so on. And that story was inspired from something I'd watched on a on a BBC documentary about a farmer in the in I'm not sure somewhere in England who would actually done that. So that was that was the inspiration for him in the book. Because Yeah, I'd watched that and thought, Oh, that's cool. And, you know, the, the last, the last cows that had been taken to a sanctuary rather than being taken off to slaughter, and the journey of these pigs of the cows coming down the ramp, and they were free. And I mean to freedom. So yeah, it was a nice, a nice thing. Yeah.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  42:57

So I want to change directions a little bit, because we're obviously going to run out of time. So for our listeners, I want to see if you can discuss your perspective. Most of our listeners are in the United States, we have, we do have we looked at the data and statistics and we had some international listeners, but the majority are here. And so I'd like to know if you've bet would be able to discuss the perspective that you see in you've got experience with Germany, Spain and England, the the perspective of veganism and and plant based life there. I mean, what i what i what i hear and feel is that there's a significant movement, for example, going on in the United Kingdom, where you're, you know, plant based nutrition and veganism is really taking hold. So do you have any thoughts on that for those three, three countries, or just you know, as a representation of Europe for us to hear

 

Alan Twigg  43:46

Definitely true about the UK as a big movement towards plant based eating in the UK, or the major supermarkets now I've got big sections dedicated to plant based foods. So you can see if they're, you know, the supermarkets and investing like they are there is. And the numbers are very impressive. It's a bit it's the big movement in the UK. And even now on the high street and most most cafes will now do a plant based option is actually very encouraging in the UK, that's for sure. Germany, I would say is a little bit further behind the UK. But also, it's a lot easier in Germany than it is here in Spain, Spain is is definitely nowhere near as far honors as the UK and Germany where I am here in the Canary Islands even less so. So in in Spain, obviously Barcelona, Madrid, the big cities, you might you might find some options but I was in Madrid last year. And compared to compared to the UK, it's it's it's not that it isn't the years behind really and the awareness As well in Spain is not as high. In the UK, I think most people would would have a rough idea. And certainly people would know that if you say vegan, it means that you don't eat cheese, dairy products, meat, they would most I would say majority of people would know that. Whereas here in Spain, they don't know that they don't know what it means. So they kind of understand vegetarianism, but they did. Very few people here, understand the difference between being vegan and vegetarian. And so, so yes, Spain is definitely further behind as far as I can see. Apart from of course, in the in the, we were in, in Portugal, so where the big universities are, or where there's lots of tourists, you tend to get a lot of plant based vegan restaurants and so on. We were in Lisbon in Portugal, that was very good. France is terrible, by the way. Apps, absolutely desert, a plant based desert in France. Really.

 

Maya Acosta  46:01

Speaking of that, the last time we traveled, I was already vegan.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  46:04

Yeah. When we were in Madrid and Barcelona,

 

Maya Acosta  46:07

We did a Mediterranean cruise and we were in Spain and France, and I was about five years ago. Yeah. And I remember how difficult and I think you're right, France was the hardest place for me. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. All I can eat is like a baguette. And what else? I mean, really, but so I Alan, I also would like to hear more about your podcast. You just started it in October, what is your goal with your podcast, and then I'd love to learn more about your online course.

 

Alan Twigg  46:36

The podcast actually is absolutely in its infancy, there's only one episode so far. And that was with my sister. And I really love the podcasts, I've always listened to audio. That's why I decided to write the book because I wanted to be an audio. And I but I kind of got stuck a little bit with, you know, you have to kind of find a niche. And obviously you've you've got you guys got your niche, you're a vascular surgeon and so on. That's like a unique point of you know, where you can come at it from that experience, whereas, and I kind of made my first episode and then suddenly got stuck with I want to find, like a my own little space somehow. And so yeah, I'm a little bit stuck by so I don't really know, at this moment, where that's gonna go, I know that I want to want to do it, and I am going to do it. But I'm still a little bit unsure about I had this idea about interviewing professional football players, soccer players in the UK who'd gone plant base. So like, because I wanted to somehow connect it to the book. So the book is more about that kind of normal working class kind of background, they're the kind of people go and watch soccer, you know, so football. And so I thought it'd be really cool if I could speak to athletes who would resonate with with that demographic. So I had that idea. I've actually got a long list of footballers who are plant based, but I've not actually reached out out to them. So I had that thought, well, just like my podcast, my online course is also very much in its infancy. The, the the online course was born simply out of the fact that I couldn't run my Tango event business anymore, you know, we still can't do it now. So everything was obviously all the events were canceled. So I had to think, okay, I wanted to do something else. And I had this idea of doing an online course for, for going plant based to help people. And from you know, I always go back to that to that place of ignorance or knowing very little to help people go all the way through with all the resources, all the excuses that people make out to reply to the excuses, our recipes, habit change. There's eight modules in the in the course all together. And I just started like, I do most things. I had the decision. I can't do it next morning. But I was there writing out the first the first chapter of the first module and day by day and finished at the end of June. And it's over 100, 100 videos, 100 pages, eight modules. And just just just day after day, one after the other, trying to distract myself from the craziness of the corona world. And yeah, and then and it got to the end in June. And now really, I'm slowly getting to the point now what I'm beginning just to find starting to promote it. As I've mentioned before I don't Tango and when I when we first arrived in when we first started here The little tongues dance events that you could go to, they were always free. Okay. But they were always in the worst possible bars, you could imagine where the toilets didn't work where the beer was shocking, where there were no seeds, it was, you know, because it was free, you know, it wasn't enjoyable, really, you know, the sound system was, you know, something out of the 1970s, or is just really, really bad experience. So, I wanted to organize my own dance events, little, they called me longer. So people come together to dance tango. And I decided to charge and I was the first person here on the island to charge for people to come to, to, to dance, it wasn't like, you know, five, five euros or something to for an hour a night of dancing, you know, and, but then you can buy a nice sound system, then you can give the guy at the bar some money for hosting the and, and suddenly the toilets are working. And people this is nice. And so if you pay for something, you take it seriously, don't worry, if we if we if we, if we if you're prepared to put some money into it means you actually been serious about it, whereas so I definitely wanted to make it a paid course. But then I wanted to kind of an attach, I'm going to do like a Facebook group. And I'm going to be there to you know, help people along if they've got questions. My daughter's just, she's just become a certified plant based nutritionist in Germany. So she's going to join in, in the group as well. So, at the moment, I could say, I'm still trying to find out how to promote it kind of connected with the book, I've got other things going on as well. And yeah, you know, you know, it is just like this podcast, time flies, it's unbelievable. It really is,

 

Maya Acosta  51:48

Will you be talking about the environment or anything like that? Or this is just a hands on how to become plant based?

 

Alan Twigg  51:53

No, no, no, no, it's all in the section on the environment. All aspects, I tried to cover as much as I could. And part of it is the community. I want people to join the Facebook group, I want to be there. And 

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  52:06

It's important to have some skin in the game. Because then you take it you take it more seriously.

 

Maya Acosta  52:10

Yeah. And I don't think there is a need to have to justify why there's a charge because at the end of the day, it's your energy, it's your work is your time invested your creativity, your program that you're putting together, I think it's an investment on our health.

 

Alan Twigg  52:25

There's no bigger investment than your health. I mean,

 

Maya Acosta  52:28

I have my notes with me, and I just want to kind of make sure that I'm not forgetting anything. 

 

Alan Twigg  52:33

Tango

 

Maya Acosta  52:34

Oh, I would love to talk, please talk

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  52:36

A little bit about it. But we've just been kind of referencing it from afar.

 

Alan Twigg  52:40

Tango can be dynamite for couples, especially if you've been together a while. He has the you know, history of splitting people up so I'm not sure.

 

Maya Acosta  52:55

You know, couples that sail together sometimes break up because it's there are many challenges along the way.

 

Alan Twigg  53:01

Yes, there are lots of challenges in Tango, and but it I mean, okay, so if you're if you're thinking of dance, maybe, depending on how your relationship is, I mean, obviously, if it's different, my wife and I have managed to weather the storms, going back to sailing, and we are now very, very happy. We've come through the other side, but it was a it was a definitely a bumpy journey. So

 

Maya Acosta  53:26

When did you become interested in Tango? And it sounds like you were one of the main event coordinators in on the islands.

 

Alan Twigg  53:33

It's really funny story. Okay, so I'll try to be as brief but as interesting as possible. Okay, so my wife and I emigrated to Tenerife in 2012. We moved from Germany to generate we brought our two teenage children with us. And as well as being I play golf, and my The first thing I did when I arrived in ternary was to join the golf club while I still had money to do so. But I joined a golf club, and you know how many raise right within within literally a couple of days, you've got three or four mates you're playing golf, you know, it's really easy. Men Connect really quickly, you know, on the ringing you up. You want to come around again. Oh, yeah. And I was playing golf. And so at arrived, I was really, this is just fantastic. I can play golf in my shorts. It's not going to rain. I got friends, and this literally happened within the first 2, 3, 4 months of getting here. But it wasn't long before my wife said Just a minute. You're off. You've got all these friends, you're playing golf, you're having a great time. But you know, we're a couple You know what, what about 30 somethings together. And so she suggested that we went on a dance holiday in Italy to learn while she had a look basically and then To net, and she found that there was a tango holiday happening in Italy. So you could, you could go to Italy, and you could spend a week learning Argentine Tango. Wow. So I just said, okay, whatever I'm happy to do you want to do that, I'll do that. So we, we went over to, to Italy. And we arrived there at this, this this place and I didn't know but everybody else who was on this Tango holiday and actually been dancing Argentine Tango for kind of two years, three years, we were like, you know, we nothing about it at all. And Argentine Tango is different to every other dance because it's an improvised dance and they dance you dance to music from it's really old, you know, music from the 1930s through to 1945 that's like the golden era. So it's music that you've never really heard before. But within a few days, I was just hooked. I just thought it was fantastic. I mean, that was completely useless. Of course. I mean, you know, kicking people's legs, you know, try not to keep people's legs but it had there was something interesting about it and the people seem to be had a different feel to it than all the other dancers because we we've been and done these dance courses with chacha, char and waltz and all these things and jive and they were okay, but they never really got me in that in that same way. But this this was some this was a different level altogether. This Argentine Tango So yeah, I got completely hooked. And we got back to Tenerife and, and I thought this is what my wife wants, you know, this is this is it, you know, we wanted and Dan, this is brilliant, something I love, we can do it together. Fantastic. And I launched myself into this whole new world of Tango found out there was Tango going on here in the island. Yeah, and like I said, we had as a couple, it wasn't actually as smooth as I thought it would be because of various, there's lots of dynamics and a lot of women in Tango tend to be more women the man and you know, you're swapping partners all the time. And it was it was difficult for both of us. You know, we spend a lot of time trying to find we both love it so much. But we had to find a way that we could both enjoy together you know, as a couple. And so so like now I'll before Corona, we go out to international events where there's always the same number of men and women at the event. So there's no imbalance so the energy is good. Because, you know, some sometimes you go to events and you know, there can be like three or four times as many women as men and that's like really bad for everybody because the energy is really bad. And so we've, we've managed, and we've improved your practice a lot. I mean, obviously I'm not organizing myself now in a DJ and yeah, yeah, yeah, I've come a long way and so yeah, that's the tangle and in Tango, there are a lot of people who are plant based a lot of these events where they they they like have a meal and they'll ask people what do you want? Does you know do you want your meat or or veggie or vegan? And it's really surprising how many people go for the for the vegan option last year in in Brussels nearly half of all the dances there were eating the veggie option so yeah, it's it's really surprising is the the people there in the tango world are very open very open to that kind of thing. Yeah, it's a strange group of people the tango world, you know, real? I don't know, it's, you either like it or you're down. You know, it's a weird kind of is, and it's probably not like you imagine either when I thought of Argentine Tango, I thought of all these kind of, you know, leg cakes and the arms and legs flying all over the place. But it's it's really not like that. It's a social dance. And it's really the music is just awesome. When you when you get accustomed to it is like absolutely amazing, really. And yeah, you can you can get really get seriously hooked into Tango,

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  59:08

Well, you make me want to go check out some YouTube videos. Now I'm gonna go research that says, right.

 

Alan Twigg  59:13

I'll send you I'll send you a couple of links to that, because there's a lot of Tango, and I'll send you a couple links. I'll send you a couple to the ones where you can see where they're dancing, the kind of Tango that I'm talking about. It's, it's a living dance. It really is. You can go to any city in Europe, normally. And and and there'll be milongas. And you can just arrive there and you can dance with people you've never met before. And anyway, it's just amazing. It's really really unique dance really. And it's a lifestyle living a living community.

 

Maya Acosta  59:49

Tango has been on my list, but I just it's a it intimidates me a little bit. 

 

Alan Twigg  59:55

For the men. The first year is just awful, really is the women the women And quickly because it First of all, they there's two roles in Tango but if you go Riz, I'm telling you, the first year you you've got to be committed. But if you can get past that, man, it's a good world.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  1:00:12

Okay, I'll, I'll keep that in mind.

 

Maya Acosta  1:00:13

And you know, one of your favorite films is includes ballroom dancing. I forgot the title of it. But we'll definitely going to check out the information you send us. And so tell us what Yoga has done for you. And how long have you been practicing yoga?

 

Alan Twigg  1:00:27

Well, the yoga, the just like so many things in my life, there's nothing planned, really just kind of all Feiner happens by accident. So I decided four years ago, or five years ago that we were going to organize Tango holidays, ourself, I mean, how difficult can they mean we love it, you know, we love being around, we get the teachers in from Berlin in our really good teachers, and I wanted to find this perfect location for a tango holiday. And we the first one we did was have a like a, like a normal hotel. But it was it wasn't right. It was, it was okay. But the atmosphere wasn't right. And one day, I thought, ah, something like a yoga retreat would be perfect for a tango holiday. So I found locally, a yoga retreat here at sunreef. Where this man, the guy called Dennis had arrived 50 years ago, the story goes, he'd wandered around the island, looking for the most energetic spot on the island, where he could create this, this this retreat, while at the time, it wasn't really a retreat somewhere where, you know, kind of spiritual people could come together. And it basically the materials that is used for all the little houses that is built is there's no there's no manmade materials. So you see the wood or stone, or, you know, really natural materials for everything, like literally everything. And there's, you know, so and he won't disrupt nature. So if there's a tree in the place where he wants to build a house, he will build a house around the tree. So in one of the houses, there's a tree, like literally, you know, you the trees in the middle of the house, little house where so this this kind of place. They've got this yoga Hall. And I thought, This is amazing. This is perfect for people dancing tango in this in this yoga Hall. So we went there and said, Can we do a tango holiday here? They were a little bit surprised that we want to do such a thing there. But they agreed. And as we were leaving, they said, Hey, have you ever thought about doing yoga? And I thought, Well, not really. He said, Well, there's a guy coming this evening called Deep MMA Do you want to join this class starts at seven o'clock. So my life I said, What do you think? He said, Well, why not? So yeah, we went to this yoga class. And that was brilliant.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  1:02:48

I was your first time? 

 

Alan Twigg  1:02:49

Yeah. 

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  1:02:50

Wow, 

 

Alan Twigg  1:02:50

I knew nothing about yoga, like literally nothing. And the first yet to sit like in a cross legged position, you know, you know, and I had not done that since I was a school since I was eight or nine years old. God, it was so comfortable, unbelievable. Like, just sit in this cross legged position. After five minutes, the whole, you know, the pain. And but he made a sit like that for 20 minutes. When I actually got cross leg position, I could hardly lie down it was that bad baby, the agony of it. Oh, but he went through these really basic yoga poses, but at the end of it, I felt really good. And because Dennis used before and found the most energetic part of the island. Seriously, you, you could really feel that somehow it was quiet. And it's like a little oasis. So where where this place is it's also around a kind of a holiday place for normal people, you know, like a normal, so hotels, but in once you go in this, this Hacienda cristoforo is called when you go in there, it's it's a different world. It's like birds and animals and green trees and everything. So it has an energy about you. And I really felt him when we were sitting there in this agonizing position and doing the stretching somehow at the end. It just felt so good. I wanted to go and do it again. And and he said to us, he said at the end he said, he said I said if you're going to be serious about doing yoga, you're going to have to become vegetarian. And I said no problem. We're already vegan.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  1:04:31

They're You know, they're they're interested in their health and everything and being more harmonious with nature. And a vegan diet is more harmonious with nature than you know than anything else. You know, so it makes sense.

 

Alan Twigg  1:04:42

I think when you when when you stopped eating meat and you've stopped putting that inside inside yourself. I'm not I mean, I'm from I'm from as you can probably tell, I'm from Sheffield, North of England working class town Steel City, you know that not? But I since I've been on a vegan plant based and since doing this I definitely am more connected to nature more kind of in that in that way. And I think part of that is because I'm not eating the violence anymore. I really do. Yeah, I really enjoy life or this has been challenging. But you know, I've got a lot going on. I've got four children, I've got four grandchildren. And I'd like to be as an a, you know, some of the some of the old guys in Tango, you know, that they're still dancing tango, you know, in their, in their 70s or 80s. Even and, yeah, it's a good ambition to have, if I compare that to how my father is, is just ill in front of the TVs, no life, you know, that's, that's not what I want. So yeah, I'm doing these things. I do yoga, I have a regular yoga prayer every day. My my routine every morning is I get up, I do half an hour meditation, and yoga every day. That's, that's, that's what I do. And meditation, the breathing part is also I absolutely love that, you know, awesome. 

 

Maya Acosta  1:05:57

Wow, I feel like we can talk for hours with you, you're so fascinating in terms of just so much to talk about, I want to make sure is there anything else that we didn't cover that you'd like to share with our listeners?

 

Alan Twigg  1:06:11

Obviously, we never know who's listening. I just encourage anybody to, you know, who's perhaps stumbled across this or listening for ever, maybe they've got health concerns, or whatever, you know, to really look into it is so much easier than you think if you embrace it, and understand that food can be delicious, without, you know, animal products, which it can, I think that's a big concern for most people that they, they think that somehow life will be terrible. The good news is you can still drink beer, you can still drink wine. I mean, alcohol is still there, you know, I mean, right? But there's lots of good good things, that's the things that you really enjoy about your food is there. And what you were saying earlier, Maya was exactly the same for me that my diet now is, is far better, and far more enjoyable than it ever was before. Because now I'm actually conscious about my diet. I'm, I choose my food. Because first of all, I want to make you taste nice. But also I know, it's nutritious. We've not touched upon fiber. I mean, like you say, we could probably go on forever. But you know, when you start eating more fiber, lots of wonderful things happen to your body, my wife had always a real problem with with digestion, and constipation, all sorts of things. And that's been for me, she obviously went into plant based diet, not thinking about that, but that is great. I mean, so many good things happen with fiber. And that's, that's most people don't realize that and yeah, digestion, all those things sleep. I think really, it's just a case of embracing it and saying, this is this is who I am. Now, this is what I'm doing. I'm not doing that nonsense anymore with the animal stuff. And this is for me. And, you know, when you start denying things, when you start resisting temptation, you will feel better about yourself. It boosts your self confidence. Every time you say no, every time you resist temptation, you feel better about yourself as well. There's so there's so much upside to it, really.

 

Maya Acosta  1:08:19

But yeah, it feels good to know that you can continue that you can thrive on this lifestyle.

 

Alan Twigg  1:08:25

And also where we are now that the whole world is going in the direction I think also Corona is moved the world forward in that direction. It's also it's coming anyway, so you might as well embrace it now and and look forward to a long and healthy life. That's the truth, isn't it?

 

Maya Acosta  1:08:40

That's true. Very true.

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  1:08:42

Well, Alan, want to thank you very much. I've enjoyed our conversation, obviously, you know, a long conversation, we could talk more, but I want to thank you for joining us and making the time, you know, from not all the way around the world, but you know, a third of the way around the world from

 

Alan Twigg  1:08:56

it's really been good talking to you both as well. Very, very, very nice. And, yeah, it's, it's nice to see that you're you're both in it together and on a on a journey as well. It's very similar to mine. So

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  1:09:09

Yeah, it certainly helps to have your partner on the same page. Right? Yeah. It's very difficult for those who who are like minded. Okay. 

 

Maya Acosta  1:09:18

Alright. Thank you, Alan, so much for joining us. 

 

Dr. Rizwan Bukhari  1:09:20

Take care. Bye bye.

 

Alan Twigg  1:09:21

Thank you. Bye.

 

Maya Acosta  1:09:23

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