41 years as a meat eater and now a vegetarian, how did that happen?

mm-pictureWhat do vegetarianism and jobs have to do with each other I hear you ask!

The answer will surprise you: Becoming a vegetarian means change and so does looking for work, whether it is for the first time or as a career move.  As with any change in our normal routine, both these actions require thought, careful planning and for many of us, a fair bit of anxiety.

I believe most of us want change for the better in our lives, our work and around us.  For change to happen though, there needs to be an intent quickly followed by an action.  Hoping that someone else will make that change happen for us is sadly one of those habits we’ve all acquired over hundreds of years.  We have become good at outsourcing most of the activities and actions that we are responsible for and then when things go wrong, we still rely on others to put things right for us!

My book, ‘Let Go Or Be Dragged’ will show you how you can outsource less,  enjoy making conscious choices, and experiment with new actions which will result in the change we all long for.

So, today on MeatFreeMonday as a gift to you, and to give you a flavour of my book, I am giving you Chapter 1 below which explains how I went from being a carnivore to a vegetarian. Enjoy and have a beautiful day!

We let go of the need to eat meat and as a result a new vegetarian based diet came into being.

So what walet_go_or_be_dragged_cover_for_kindles it that made you decide to become a vegetarian? My Mum asked me. When I look back it’s hard to remember the exact tipping point, but I had become more and more uncomfortable about eating meat, particularly cows. The decision took me completely by surprise. I loved meat and had eaten only organic meat for a number of years. Was it because I’d become more exposed to people who had vegetarian and vegan lifestyles? Was it because I had become more aware of the environmental impact? Did I just think, I don’t need to eat meat anymore? Maybe it was a combination of all those factors.

I wasn’t one of those children who had always loved vegetables so this wasn’t a natural transition for me, but, along with my partner, we decided to try it out. We said to each other if either one of us wants to have meat at any time, we’ll embrace it. The funny thing is it’s been just a handful of times we’ve “felt the urge.”

Why has it worked? I think it’s because we were able to find alternatives to our meat based diet. With a partner who loves to cook and a willing apprentice in me, we took it as an experiment to try new recipes and that experiment continues as it becomes a more permanent way of life for us. We let go of the need to eat meat and as a result a new vegetarian based diet came into being.

So why tell you this story of my change in eating habits?

This book is all about taking the pro-active route to change and this is one such example of that. There was no enforced change put upon me, this was my own personal choice. So what factors were at play here and what can we learn from this? My decision arose from a deeper awareness of what is happening around me combined with giving myself the time and space to reflect on this and experiment with a new way of being.

Making a decision is obviously a key part in creating change, but equally important is taking action and following through. Most changes in diets involve some sort of sacrifice and stopping yourself from eating the selected product(s), however by reframing the shift in our eating habits to one of experimentation, we found that we didn’t feel deprived or lacking in anything, quite the reverse, we embraced the fun of trying the new and simultaneously observing our behaviour and urges.

Try it for yourself. What part of your life would you like to experiment with now?

The great thing I observed about myself as I was making this change through experimentation is that it releases you from some of the perfectionist behaviours you may carry with you. For me, I’ve always had this feeling that I have to get something “right.” I am drawn towards finding the best and the most effective way of doing something. When you start an experimentation through food because we eat every day, each day you have the opportunity to “try again”, to “do something different” and that definitely takes the pressure off and this gives way to more enjoyment.

Another benefit of experimentation through food is that you are flexing your “change muscle” on a daily basis and having that practice every day is a great way to embed a new habit which in turn gives you greater confidence in your ability to bring about further changes. At the very least, it has the ability to revitalise the routine you find yourself in, offering you an opportunity to reconsider and refresh your daily choices and become more alert to everything that’s available to you.

Personally I believe that is the key to enabling change; giving yourself the permission and the opportunity to slow down, observe and reflect upon your daily choices which in turn helps to bring a refreshed awareness to all your activities.

Next time you go into autopilot, stop and ask yourself, what choice am I making now? What am I allowing into my life and am I happy with that?

Enjoyed what you’ve read so far?  Want to read more?

Download the book here now

Thank you for reading, Happy #MeatFreeMonday


Want to run your own business?

Riverford – You grow your business, we grow the veg

Compassionateriverford-franchise Job Coach is about shining the light on new opportunities to live and work, and not necessarily doing a conventional job.  I believe that everyone has potential to do good in society and for the planet, so when I read Guy Watson’s latest blog, it served as a prompt to share it with our readers because it may just be the opportunity, idea or spark that will transform someone’s life and the birth of new relationships.

Guy Watson is the founder of Riverford Organic Farms, and has made it into Debrett’s list of the 500 most influential people in Britain. He’s been listed in the Food and Drink category, alongside the likes of Mary Berry, Jamie Oliver and Yotam Ottolenghi. 2017 marks 30 years since Riverford was born; Guy’s continued commitment to organic and running a sustainable, ethical business is quite an achievement and deserves to be recognised.

So without further ado, here is the blog in question in all its glory:

Guy’s news: Veg men & veg ladies wanted

When we started packing veg boxes back in 1993, marketing consisted of evenings spent photocopying and folding leaflets after I got home from delivering the boxes. As sales grew and I wanted to get back to the fields, I employed feckless young men who crashed my vans and were rude to customers, leaving me increasingly frustrated. For a short while a local group of musicians handled the sales and deliveries, leaving me to grow the veg. It worked well at first but they turned out to be as stubbornly independent and anarchic as me but less reliable; they were all charging different prices, sometimes adding non-organic eggs etc., and often competing with each other in the same village. My big sister, having spent her life marketing in London, told me I should be concentrating on developing my brand; I honestly didn’t know what she was talking about but could see that we needed organisation and consistency to move forward. Taking her advice, I tried to organise my band of anarchists into accepting allocated sales territories and selling produce at the same price and even adopting some common systems, but predictably most told me where I could stick it.

At about that time a bright young staff member called Martin went to a seminar and came back telling me there was a name for what I was trying to do; franchising. For years I just called it “the F word”; there are so many horribly exploitative businesses that have followed this model that I refused to accept it. However, after 20 years I now do; our 61 local franchisees know their customers and areas better than we could ever hope to and deliver a level of personal service we struggle to match when we deliver ourselves. As over 50% of our franchisees came to us as customers first, might it be for you? We need veg men and ladies to help bring our fields into our customers’ homes, connecting them to how their food is grown and helping them enjoy it around the kitchen table. Business should be fun, so we are looking for franchisees who we like, trust and who share our vision for a world where good food, good farming and good business are the norm.

Take a look at riverford.co.uk/franchise to find out more.


Organic Jobs – Abbey Home Farm


Cirencester, Oxfordshire

Abbey Home Farmabbey-home-farm

The land is not ours, it belongs to the future and we should leave it in good heart

Abbey Home Farm is run by Will and Hilary Chester-Master.

They took over the management of the farm from Wills family in 1990 and set about establishing an organic system of farming from day 1.

Both Will and Hilary are totally committed to organic practices and are striving to make Abbey Home Farm a truly sustainable, both environmentally and financially, place.

Will is the general overseer of the land, including the many woods on the farm, and takes many children around the farm on school visits.

Hilary founded and manages the organic farm, the shop cafe, the green room and the vegetable garden.

Current vacancies

The Cafe is getting busier and busier as it should (great food – organic, fresh and mainly grown outside the door) so there are quite a few more opportunities to join the team. Look forward to hearing from you if you would like to join us………see below

Experienced cook who also enjoys front of house work (re-advertised position)

The successful applicant will be:

  • An experienced commercial cook
  • Passionate about/very interested in organic/local food.
  • Inspired and excited by muddy vegetables straight from the field.
  • Undaunted by lots of pastry making.
  • She/He will 
Enjoy working with the public, 
Have a flexible can do attitude and be happy to muck in with whatever needs doing at busy times.

This is a full time position 40 hours approx. 
Tuesdays to Saturdays included, with one Sunday a month.

Pay dependant on experience. Profit share scheme after 6 months.

If you fill the above criteria and would like to apply please send a full cv and email of interest to Hilary.

Please explain why you would like to work with us, in particular outlining your commercial cooking experience and knowledge/interest in local/organic food.

Non smokers only please.

Please note there is no public transport to the farm so own transport is essential.

Student opportunity

We are on the search for a student (16 plus) who is interested in the environment and organic food to join our team. The successful applicant will work Sundays throughout the year and also commit to working 2 extra days a week in holidays and halfterms. They will be trained in the shop and the cafe. Opportunity to join staff profit share scheme after 6 months.

If you are keen email Hilary a cv and letter of interest saying why you would particularly like to work here.

Please note there is no public transport to the farm.

Inspirational Jobs – Commercial Administrator Yeo Valley


Blagdon, Bristol

Full time 12 month contract      Closing date:

Friday 8th Jul 2016

Yeo Valley was born out of the entrepreneurial spirit of Roger and Mary Mead, who started making yoghurt on their farm in Blagdon, near Bristol, in 1974; almost by accident. When they opened a tea house they found themselves with a surplus of skimmed milk from the production of clotted cream and decided to have a go at making yoghurt in a couple of milk churns. Soon Lag Farm, where they lived, was converted into a dairy and the family moved into neighbouring Holt Farm.

Launching the Yeo Valley Organic range in 1993 fitted perfectly with Mead’s allegiance to balanced farming. “Everybody who is a farmer deep down understands the balance of animals and nature and crops and rotations, and I think most farmers have an in-built sense of what is the right thing to do,” he says. Care for the land and the animals at Yeo Valley is a prime concern and all production sites are certified by the Soil Association.

The cows have room to roam, their diet consisting of clover-rich grass grown without the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides. Wildlife is encouraged to flourish and conservation of the land extends to rebuilding limestone walling and placing hedgerows. In an effort to reduce pollution and food miles, lorries transporting Yeo Valley yoghurts are double deckers. The company has twice received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its contribution to sustainable development.

About the opportunity

This is a great opportunity for a Commercial Administrator to join the Yeo Direct team for a 1 year contract based at Yeo Valley HQ in Blagdon.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated individual who will be responsible for the day to day administration/coordination and communication of key commercial information.  You will be responsible for event planning, sales analysis and report compilation. You will also assist in organisation, delivery and attending of front line trade events and help coordinate marketing activity & literature in line with key objectives.

Apply here

Inspiring Jobs – Skip Garden Freelance Chefs


Kings Cross, London

 Global Generation
Part time dependent upon demand and availability

£10 to £12 per hour

Closing date:

Ongoing throughout the year

Global Generation is a youth education charity that operates a moveable vegetable garden and cafe on the King’s Cross development site.  We use land-based activities and the metaphors of ecological and cosmic processes to support building community between each other and the natural world. We primarily work with local young people, businesses and families in King’s Cross as well as at our campsite in Wiltshire. We combine activities such as supporting bees, carpentry, urban food growing, cooking, and eating together with dialogue, story, creative writing, silence and stillness.  These practices help us to create the conditions for people to come together in a fuller and more connected sense of who they are and what they are a part of and from that space, to support them to practically contribute to ecological and social change.

When people think of skips they think of construction, building and dirt. We didn’t. We thought less rubble and more rhubarb. That’s why we started using skips to farm food that, like us, is locally grown. So pop over and say hi. No hard hat needed.

About the opportunity

We are looking for creative, dedicated and passionate Chefs to enter into our pool of freelance Chefs. As one of our freelance chefs you will be responsible for producing and working on events that are taking place in the garden and beyond. These can range from cooking lunch for a workshop for 20 guests over being responsible for one of our street food stations during garden events with 100+ guests to taking our cargo bike out to cater for larger events on the King’s Cross site

The Skip Garden Kitchen acts both as a commercial enterprise producing high quality food and service as well as an important learning platform for young people.

Summer is a busy time for us with many events in the garden and beyond. We are looking for bright, talented and friendly event chefs to help us execute our events to the highest standards. You could be taking the food bike out to events around King’s Cross, catering for weddings, private dining and summer parties. If you are a confident cook with prior experience of working in a busy kitchen come join us!

This is a self-employment opportunity, you must have a valid UTR or be in the process of acquiring one to apply.

Apply Here





Abel and cole
Full time permanent Closing Date:

Wednesday 29th June 2016

Founded in 1988, Abel & Cole is famous for its seasonal organic fruit & veg boxes. We deliver a wide range of fantastic organic food to people’s homes across much of England and South Wales. We represent a refreshing alternative to supermarket shopping, but without being worthy or preachy. No air freight, no silly packaging, no nasty chemicals – just great food produced by people who really love what they do. We deliver to around 80,000 households and we employ about 600 great people. We consider ourselves bold, irreverent, genuine, friendly and honest, and it is crucial that this comes across in all of our marketing.

Project outline

We are firmly based in the market but always seek to develop new and refresh old ways of making our brand stand out. Tied in with this is a desire that has come up time and time again over the years, namely that of having a physical space that we can call our own. One step in this strategy is to launch our very own Abel & Cole Pop Up in September 2016. Food will be at the centre of this project and to this end we are now recruiting a temporary chef to work with the project manager to develop and lead the food element of our Pop Up. This is an exciting role where you’ll be able to have an influence on this brand new project. You will work alongside our in-house food team and translate their recipes to variations adapted to a commercial kitchen. Seasonal, organic and veg focussed (but not necessarily vegetarian) are key words when describing the food. This is a full-time role and shift patterns will include evenings and weekends once the Pop Up is up and running (office hours until then). There will be a Front of House or Restaurant Manager in place in time for the opening.

Apply here

Inspiring Job – Riverford Organic Farmers


Part time or Full time considered

£25,000 per annum (Pro rata)

Buckfastleigh, Devon

Closing date: 2016-06-10

The Riverford box scheme began when Guy Watson started delivering vegetables locally to 30 friends in Devon. We now deliver around 47,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from our regional farms.  We believe in good food, good farming and good business. Everything we grow and make is 100% organic.

About the role:

We are distinctive in our market because we are farmers ourselves, and we have a genuine connection with where the food we sell comes from. To bring this connection to life we are looking to ramp up our video production, as we know from experience that sharing our recipes and stories online really helps spread the Riverford word.

We are looking for a Video Content Producer to join our in-house content production team and working with our farmers, chefs and cooks, bring our veg expertise to life.

An experienced self-shooter with strong editing skills, you will initially be responsible for filming our regular weekly releases of recipe videos. These are a mixture of short graphic-led non-sync videos primarily designed for social media consumption, then moving into presenter-led recipes, working with our talented cooks and chefs, farmers and of course Riverford founder Guy Watson.

Apply Here