I’ve decided to become a vegan, a person who eats a whole foods plant based diet that excludes all meat products. I know, insert shocked gaping mouth here. But, seriously, I think after much deliberation and debate and weighing a whole lot of options, it’s a great choice for me. I set out to start my vegan diet on May 1st, for 30 days, but after day 10, I am committing to becoming vegan at home. (My husband is going to be vegetarian and my kids are still eating a few meats a week). I say “at home” because I realize that eating out happens occasionally and I do want to be able to enjoy a good steak at a restaurant or eat the yummy things my friends make for dinner when we go there. Mostly, a controlled diet will just be happening where we eat 98% of the time, “at home”.
I know that people always ask, “why so extreme?” So, here’s a few explanations:
1. I have heart disease and cancer rampant in both sides of my family. In fact, both grandparents on my mom’s side died in their mid-60’s from heart problems or complications due to an earlier heart problem. I can’t ignore that simple fact. If I keep on the path I have chosen, I’m ending up in the same boat. I’m choosing to be proactive in the fight against heart disease and cancer.
2. I know that legumes and vegetables are good for me. They have a lot of nutrients, but I have no idea how to incorporate them more in my diet. I choose the same variety over and over. I am choosing vegan to enrich my diet, not detract from it.
3. I am not a crash dieter, but need to lose 50 lbs and keep it off. It seems that no matter what I do including “healthy” eating, I just can’t seem to get ahead, because it’s just not sustainable for me. So, veganism is a sustainable lifestyle for me, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, and I don’t really have to count calories which is a beautiful concept. I have lost 8 lbs in 10 days. The average vegan looses 50 lbs and keeps it off.
4. I feel amazing! That is probably the most shocking aspect to me. I’m no longer bloated, constipated (tmi, I know), and have the energizer bunny level of activity–something I thought was impossible with 4 kids -3 of which are age 1 and under.
3. Although, I could list out 100’s of more reasons, I won’t. But one big factor is that I watched three documentaries and weighed what they were saying and found truth in them. I highly recommend them to understand all the why’s of veganism.
Food, Inc. takes a look at our food industry and what is going on in the development of our foods. The first part of the film looks at production of meat and the meat market. The second looks at the industrial production of grains and vegetables and the third segment takes a look at the food label laws.
Forks Over Knives is a documentary that examines whether its true that a plant-based diet can control and reverse many diseases. It follows two doctors, an American cardiac physician and his colleague a professor of nutritional biochemistry, as they provide the clinical and case studies to prove that it is in fact a cure for many diseases.
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead is a documentary about a man who is severely overweight at 310 lbs, has an autoimmune disease, and his doctors keep prescribing more pills that aren’t working. He decides to go on a quest to reclaim his health through a 6 week fruit and veggie detox and then live on a plant-based diet.