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The unbearable lightness of beans

About 10 years ago, The Happy Pear twins, David and Stephen Flynn, launched their first Happy Heart course.

It was held once a week in the evening, upstairs from their flagship shop in Greystones, once the customers had left for the day.

I have known the Flynns since the day they took over the local Fruit and Veg Shop and gave it a wheatgrass shot in the arm to transform it into the iconic place that is now.

I decided to join another 15 or so souls and signed up to the course.

It was great fun, the lads were full of enthusiasm and you couldn't but think "I'll drink whatever smoothie they are having!!".

My heart was fine then, and thankfully it is still fine now, but as always, I thought prevention is better than the cure and if this course really didi what it said on the organic tin, well why not...

After the five weeks of vegan diet that the course recommended I took the decision that it was worth to give it another couple of months to see how it would go.

And so it started my journey into the world of Vegetarianism (I wasn't going to give up eggs and the mozzarella on the pizza, sorry lads).

Aside from being a real pain for the rest of the family, including Christmas dinners were I would be tucking into my Nut Roast while the rest enjoyed the big bird, I felt much better, lost a lot of weight and felt more energised.

Ten years of not even giving a side glance at a chicken or a beef burger. Ten years of experimenting with black beans, chickpeas, aduki, cannellini and endless amounts of greens.

All of which I love and enjoy.

But then 6 months ago I got bored and tired with it all.

I got tired of reading headlines about how most of the beans are mass produced, how soya production is killing off livelihoods, how cashew nuts are contributing to the misery of people that they are producing them, how our hunger for quinoa is driving the price so high that the producers are now eating junk food...

And I can go on, but I won't.

So I am back to be an omnivore - my late parents are drawing a sigh of relief I have no doubt - "What do you mean you don't eat prosciutto anymore? Is there something wrong with you? - but keeping my diet to an 80 - 20 split.

There is still plenty of kale on my plate - Irish Kale that is - but I can't see how an avocado with more miles than a Ryanair pilot, can be any better than a steak from the farmer down the road.

I am trying to eat food that are at least share the same seasons as me.

As per the Happy Pear Twins, they have my complete admiration and respect for the work that they have been doing for the past 15 years for our town and community and the healthy movement as a whole.

I am looking forward to share a coffee with them in the next couple of day, just don't ask me to have a macha-latte-frappucino with mushroom dusting, please !!!

"I do not like them

In a house.

I do not like them

With a mouse.

I do not like them

Here or there.

I do not like them


I do not like green eggs and ham.

I do not like them, Sam-I-am."

Dr Seuss - Green Eggs & Ham

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