Although for a long while, there has been more publicity in the US due to the exploits/fame of Mr Money Mustache, FIRE in the UK has been quieter but steadily growing, the community expanding and awareness increasing.
Even the BBC picked it up with this article, which unlike some of the other articles, does not include the usual hysterical negative comments.
In one way, I’m finding it quite exciting that FIRE is in the public eye. It’s good to hear about UK ‘ambassadors’ of FI, people happy and willing to go public and get the message out there to the masses.
Personally, I think more people should aim for FIRE, even if their ultimate aim isn’t to retire early – ok, that means aiming for FI! It won’t do them any harm and if they don’t ultimately achieve it (whatever ‘it’ is), their personal finances would be in a far more reasonable state than had they not made the attempt to follow some of the ideas or the ethos.
However, in another way, I’m not sure I’m totally comfortable with all this publicity that FIRE is getting. Not because I liked being in a secret little club (like Fight Club, you don’t talk about it, etc). I’ve been on this journey a while now but I’m no ‘ambassador’, nor do I have any interest in being one or being in the public eye.
With FIRE becoming more mainstream, there’s an increased chance of someone stumbling across my blog and saying “OMG – I know Weenie!”.
I’ve been blogging semi-anonymously all this time and no one I know is aware of my blog.
@Firethe9to5 once commented that she was surprised my friends and family didn’t know about the blog. Well, they’re obviously not interested in FIRE or never thought to search for it. Except now it’s going mainstream…
If my family discovered my blog, I think I’ll be fine with it. Probably.
If it was friend or colleague, I think I will be mortified!
Because it feels ok for me to be talking publicly about my finances to a bunch of people I don’t know on the internet but not to discuss them in minute detail with my friends.
I’m sure it’s not just me. If there is the rare conversation about money, there are definitely no numbers involved anyway.
It’s possible that my friends might view my blog positively but I quite like not having to talk about it with anyone who knows me personally. It seems too…private, and yet here I am sharing all with anyone who happens to read my blog!
I take care not to mention the name of the company I work for – don’t want to be sacked for integrity/reputation issues after all.
So, it seems there’s no stopping FIRE and that the media will continue to talk about it, so to delay the inevitable, the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that I’ve slightly adjusted my avatar – can’t remember what I did but the image has been ‘stylised’ or made cartoony. I was going to replace it completely but then realised that I would lose a bit of my ‘online’ identity’, for what it’s worth. I think it still looks like me, just a bit less so…
Ah well, if I get found out, I’ll get found out! I’d just rather it was later than sooner, ie when I’m near achieving my goal as I’m sure I couldn’t care less by then!
I won’t go into detail since it’s all explained in his post but essentially, Huel has been marketed as a nutritionally complete food, convenient, affordable with minimum impact on animals and the environment. It’s 100% vegan.
I commented that this wasn’t for me but to cut a long story short, I somehow ended up ordering a couple of bags to try out myself!
I’ve been trying to shift a few pounds of excess weight (from last winter!) and thought perhaps that Huel could help.
Well, I’ve been on it for over month now and I’ve probably only lost a couple of pounds, so not very positive on that front.
However, my clothes seem to fit me better so it seems like I’m a little less bloated, not that I thought I was bloated before.
I have only replaced one meal a day, 5 times a week. Normally, the meal I’m replacing is my breakfast – it’s all very well work providing free breakfast as a perk but that huge bowl of Crunchy Nut cornflakes I used to scoff most days was not good for me and rather high in calories! A Huel shake in the morning is better for me and still keeps me full until lunchtime. It’s also a great post-workout drink.
My standard Huel shake is made with milk (soya or semi-skimmed), topped up with decaff instant coffee and a teaspoon of chia seeds. The coffee seems to make the shake less sweet – the flavour I’m on is vanilla (new).
One thing I have noticed is that the Huel shakes are very high in fibre – even though I’m generally vegetarian during the week, (just for convenience rather than for anything else), I could always do with more fibre in my diet so this is a good thing.
I don’t feel any different or any worse, energy levels are the same but I can see that if I do want to seriously diet, I have the option to up my Huel meals.
As TFS mentions though, there is a placebo effect – since I’ve started on Huel, I’ve consciously cut down on snacks and upped my exercise.
I got some great info from the Huel website and forum which is likely to be a life changer for me – I’ve been going about my life thinking that an average woman needs 2000 calories to maintain healthy weight. However, I’m smaller than the average woman so need less calories (only around 1500), so with that in mind, I’ve started to adjust my normal food consumption.
I don’t think I could ever replace all my food and go 100% Huel but I think replacing occasional meals the way I have can be sustained fairly long-term.
My food shopping bill has gone down a little, though not by too much.
If anyone is interested in trying Huel and wants a £10 voucher (I get one too!) to use if they place an order >£40, please contact me direct and I’ll send you the link.
Is Huel the food of the future? Not so sure, but in a small way, it’s environmentally friendly so perhaps it has its place.
Have a great weekend all.