Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vegan


Bryan's on Spring Break right now, so we're out in Virginia visiting his family.  I could write an entire post on how grateful I am that Bryan actually has Spring Break now (boo to BYU for loving EFY kids more than Spring Break), but that's not what this post is about.

Since the moment we arrived here last week, my mother-in-law has been telling us all about the way she's been eating vegan for the past couple months.  It all started when she watched Forks Over Knives on Netflix, studied up on it all some more, and made the switch.  So now she (mostly--having family visiting tends to ruin any good healthy eating plan) eats a "whole foods, plant-based diet."

Ever since I fully recovered from my miscarriage back in January, I've been trying to change my lifestyle to be healthy all around, rather than dieting and/or exercising in spurts.  So even before we started hearing the "whole foods, plant-based diet" preached from the rooftops around here, it was really something I was already trying to do on my own.  But I constantly found myself feeling like I sort of knew which foods were good and bad, but not really knowing.

Last night Bryan and I watched Forks Over Knives and I had already started reading The China Study the day before.  So far the film (it's a documentary, not an infomercial, in case you were wondering) and what I've read in the book so far has really rung true for me.  It's one thing to encounter a fad diet and make a complete overhaul on your life on a whim.  But, like I said before, this was basically something I was trying to do anyway.  And I think calling it a fad diet would be inaccurate.  Eating whole foods and lots of plants is something people have been doing from the beginning.

Anyway, the basic premise is that instead of eating a typical American diet (which I think we can all agree is not leading the way to good health) eating a "whole foods, plant-based diet" means eating things like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.  This also means cutting out dairy, eggs, and other animal products like meat.

I won't go into most of the science and details since I definitely don't feel like an expert on the subject, but, from the research that has been done, cutting out animal products can prevent (and even reverse) heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases and help you live a healthier life all around.  I've known enough people in my life who got cancer "for no apparent reason" and both of my paternal grandparents had diabetes, so the idea that I could eat healthier, feel better, and stay away from these lethal diseases really hit home for me.

Anyway, I haven't gone full-blown hard core vegan yet.  But I am very seriously thinking about it.


P.S. I've started a vegan board on Pinterest.  All of the things there are either recipes that are already vegan or that could easily be altered to be vegan.  If you have other great yummy vegan recipes, I'd love to hear about them!

12 comments:

Dorothy said...

We've been (mostly) Vegan for a little over two years now and love it. The hardest part is trying to fit into social situations.

Caroline said...

I recently made the thai curry noodles and vegetables from Our Best Bites. It was delicious and you could easily make more vegetables and less pasta. Also, I've been making super quick and delicious tomato basil soup with veg stock and just the tiniest amount of butter (which you could leave out). Let me know if you are interested and want the recipe

Marae said...

ooh i hope we hear more about this! many many of my recipes on pinterest are (or can easily be) vegan if you're needing inspiration for dinner.

Lisa Lou said...

I think the hardest part (at least to think about) for Mark and me would be the dairy. Especially since I get so much milk from WIC right now, it'd be hard to NOT use it. BUT, we've been eating more fruits, veggies, grains and beans and I can tell that I feel more energized throughout the day. Which is saying a lot with a 2-month old with reflux.

CrafterBerly said...

I try vegan stuff here and there. With a busy life (pure excuse) and a hunter husband it's hard to maintain. Following you on Pinterest under mrsschafer and crafterberly!

Erin said...

Katie, let us know how it goes! Chris and I watched Forks Over Knives and decided to eat a plant based diet, the way they recommend, for one month. We've had a couple of cheat days to go out to dinner for birthdays, and things like that, but for the most part we've had no animal products and almost no treats, and have tried really hard to have whole grain breads and stuff instead of white (although there have been some exceptions). It's been good, and we've kind of decided that once our month is up, we will still basically eat like this. We have missed cheese and yogurt though! But anyway, that is awesome, and good luck! I've found some good recipes too, if you want any!

Megan said...

Alan's family has a history of heart disease, so when his dad learned about the benefits of a "whole foods" diet, he decided to give it a try. Hopefully it helps him! I'm not sure we could ever go fully vegan, but we are definitely trying to eat a lot more whole foods because if nothing else, they're so good for you! I'm just not sure I could ever give up dairy... :)

Randi said...

I, too, am pondering the switch. I just read over at MrsPriss about how she read Eat to Live and made the lifestyle change. I was worried that it'd be too drastic since I'm more of the Live to Eat kind of person. After reading the book and trying some of the suggested recipes online: WOW! Some vegan (and in some cases vegetarian because I love me some cheese) recipes are so tasty you don't even realize they don't have meat. Three words: Black bean burgers.

Good luck to you and good health!

Kathy Haynie said...

I like the idea of trying something out for a period of time. We eat very little meat any more, but we still use eggs and dairy. Usually almost half of my shopping cart is filled with fresh fruits/vegies every week, and I love that. And we make most of our foods from whole ingredients. I hope you'll post some yummy recipes!

Sylvia Louise said...

This is most intriguing. I've considered trying vegan-eating for a few months and seeing how I feel. I am looking forward to hearing more about your experience.

alee said...

Yikes- you are a better woman than I am because I can't even fathom going vegan! Best of luck to you!

beanland said...

Oh Katie, I can't believe I just read this! Kudos to you for making a positive change for your family. Change is hard but I can say from experience that this one gets easier (and better) the longer you stick with it.

We switched to a whole foods, plant-based diet 5 1/2 years ago and love it. I generally get 90% of my calories from veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, and fruit and then the other 10% is typically cheese or a dessert.

I love the way it fills me up and keeps me slim without any calorie counting. I also feel so much better. No more sugar cravings or crashes, and no more love/hate relationship with food (except when I'm morning sick.)

Plus, you will find out when you kick the low-nutrient stuff OUT of your diet, there is so much good stuff you were probably ignoring before. We eat much more variety now and so much more seasonal, colorful produce. It's awesome.

Anyway, holler if you want more reading material or recipes. I recommend any book by Dr. Fuhrman, in particular. :)