Is Tim Shieff Okay?

Tim
(Tim during his ‘sharing a tough truth’ video)

This morning, Tim released a raw and unedited video titled ‘Sharing a tough truth’. Whilst the messaged shared in this video did no come as a surprise to me, I can imagine that many vegans and non-vegans alike were shocked by Tim’s confession.

I once again find myself asking, is Tim Shieff okay?

As some of you may know, Tim did a self-supervised 35 day water fast not too long ago. That’s right, Tim ate nothing for 35 days and only drank water. At the end of this fast he looked very unwell and was struggling to form complete and coherent sentences. This is when alarm bells started ringing for me.

Tim 2
(Tim shortly after completing his 35 day water fast)

Tim has gained a following for using veganism to improve his fitness and health. There is nothing wrong with that. But for me, it seemed utterly bonkers that he was starving himself for 35 days and being so public about this. Whether he meant to or not, he ended up promoting this water fast to his followers. This was an incredibly dangerous and irresponsible thing to do.

Many of Tim’s followers will have had little diet and nutrition knowledge and/or experience. Some will be battling their own mental health issues and may even be living with an eating disorder. If Tim wanted to try something this extreme for his health, why did he not do it off-screen? Sure, film what you’re doing as you go along but don’t release anything until after you’re done and know how you feel.

Why? Because now he admits that it was a waste of time. That he felt none of the benefits other people have claimed after a lengthy water fast. Yet, at the time he led people to believe that this was an incredible experience and one of the healthiest things you can do for your body (and mind).

During the fast, Tim’s social media erupted with comments from followers stating that they are going to give a water fast a go. As I read those comments, I was thinking, ‘Gosh, someone could die’. And I wondered, what makes people try something so dangerous just because someone on the internet did it?! But this is the problem with social media and with hero worshipping. People will agree with anything and everything someone with a large following says. It’s nuts, but it happens ALL THE TIME.

Anyway, back to Tim’s ‘tough truth’…

So what is the video about? Well, it has emerged that in a state of absolute desperation, Tim Shieff has gone back to eating animals products. He confesses that he has been eating eggs that he bought locally from someone with free-roaming chickens and that he purchased some wild-caught salmon. I found it interesting how he explained this. You can see that Tim is attempting to defend his actions with labels that we, as vegans, know mean absolutely nothing to the animals.

My social media is flooded with vegans who are absolutely outraged. And I get it. After all, he did create a vegan clothing brand called Ethcs – because there is no I in Ethics. But it seems strange now that someone seemingly so into veganism for ethical reasons has gone backward. I can’t help but wonder if Tim was only vegan for health and health alone. Who knows.

I do feel for Tim though. I believe he is ill and that he needs help. I also fear that an outraged vegan community could send Tim further into a dark place. Tim has said and done many things that I don’t agree with, including shaming people for eating processed food, in response to their concerns that he is promoting an unhealthy diet to people who may have eating disorders. I’m not particularly a big fan of his and stopped following him on social media a while ago. But I don’t know if this situation warrants nastiness.

In my opinion, he didn’t need to make a public video at this point. He should just come away from social media and sought help. He isn’t obliged to tell anyone about what he is doing or going through. But if he really wanted to be open he could have addressed his followers at a later date, after taking some time. But, I guess this is a cry for help, and I hope Tim will get what he needs from being open about it now.

I do hope that Tim’s return to animal products won’t be used by non-vegans to argue that a plant-based diet isn’t healthy. Not because we vegans can’t handle it, but because Tim is clearly struggling with something and doesn’t need his situation used in that way.

I really don’t know what this will mean for Tim. But I do sincerely hope that he gets the help he clearly needs.

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The Best Independent Vegan Eateries in and around Reading, UK

Hey gang,

After the success of this years Veganuary and with it being Plant Power Day I thought I would write a post about my recommendations for best vegan eateries in and around Reading. Knowing that the vegan community in Reading is ever growing I thought this would be especially helpful to new vegans in the area who aren’t sure where to go. It also seems that more and more non-vegans are looking to try new things in an effort to cut down on meat, dairy and eggs and so this is for you guys too!

I like to think I know Reading pretty heckin well, having lived in and around Reading my entire life, so I hope that this is useful to some. If, like me, you enjoy scouting out smaller, independently run businesses then you’ll enjoy this, as I aim to run through a variety of independent food outlets. After this I will be writing a follow up post with my best recommendations on eating vegan at chain restaurants found in Reading.

Unfortunately Reading doesn’t yet have an all vegan restaurant or cafe so my recommendations are those which have great, tried and tasted vegan options and have been positively reviewed by my friends and family also. It surely can’t be long before someone opens up shop though as there is definitely a gap in the market.

*After writing this I realised that nearly all of my recommendations are not actually in central Reading but in a small town just across the River Thames called Caversham which is super easy to get to by foot, bike, bus or car.

1# Nomad – a snug bakery situated on Prospect Street in Caversham, just a hop over Caversham Bridge from Reading. Nomad has a constantly changing menu thanks to owner, Laura’s passion for experimenting with new recipes. This cute bakery makes fresh bread daily and has many savoury lunch options from soup to paninis, as well as vegan sweet treats from healthy flapjacks to giant naughty monster cakes. My personal favourite is a Macha Muffin with Oatly Tea or a toasty, letting Nomad have free rain on what veggies they put in. If you’re lucky you might even get to try some of Laura’s delicious seitan – ask about it when you go in. The restaurant is super allergy friendly and so if there is something you like the look of but aren’t sure is suitable Laura and the team will do their best to accommodate you. What I love even more about Nomad is their regular calendar of events which include a Vegan themed evening once every other month or so. You can also privately hire Nomad for an evening dinner party. Find out more here!

 

2# We are Vegivores – a mobile vegan catering business that pops up in and around Reading. They attend a local, small business food market every Wednesday 10am-5pm in the Market Place, just around the corner from Broad Street. I highly recommend you go and check them out on your lunch break if you work locally. They also appear regularly in Bracknell, Wokingham, Newbury and on the Reading University Campus – so students go get your fix! Keep up to date with their movements on Twitter.

vegivores

 

3# The Flowing Spring – a short drive out of town along Henley road you’ll find a quirky pub restaurant that was awarded gold in the free-from eating out awards in 2017. Flowing Spring are very proud of being able to cater to peoples dietary needs, even easily telling you which beers, ciders and wines are suitable for vegans. As you can see my partner and I enjoyed the burgers (one falafel and one veggie mince) but they also have other options available. They also have a calendar of events from unplugged music nights, star gazing and car and bike shows. I recommend checking them out in the summer when you can enjoy their big pub garden!

 

4# Tutu’s Ethiopian Table – Easily the most unique and ethical cafe/bars Global Cafe. is based on London Road, behind the Oracle car park and Vue cinema. If you like authentic Ethiopian cuisine this place is definitely for you. Although Tutu caters for meat eaters she also creates a whole range of allergy friendly foods for coeliacs, vegetarians and vegans. Global Cafe also has a bar that stocks a wide range of locally sourced, fair trade and organic beers, wines, spirits, coffees and teas to wet the tongue. The venue also hosts a number of events from live music to book clubs and is often the hub for Reading Vegan Meetup so keep an eye out for future events. Tutu also takes her Ethiopian table with her to cater at local events so be sure to sample her vegan options if you see her!

 

5# Alto Lounge – although part of the ‘Loungers chain’, Alto Lounge offers more of a unique feel than most common chains. It is a modern cafe/bar on Church Street, Caversham which you can visit for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. They have been providing a full, separate vegan and gluten-free menu since 2003. The vegan menu features 4 brunch options and 5 mains as well as tapas and cakes! To date I have only sampled the vegan breakfast but have heard good thinks about the other options. They also offer soya, almond and oat milk for your tea or coffee.

 

If you are from Berkshire or have visited and have any other suggestions or have gone to any of these places drop me a comment, I’d love to hear about it!

Peace – Nx

Nicola Rose Streak
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