I don't like the word 'Vegan'. Have you noticed whenever anyone says, "I'm a Vegan", there seems to be a shift in the atmosphere! People ever so slightly move away from you, or they can't quite make eye contact, or they look puzzled and confused. Some will even make fun of your lifestyle choice and others will go so far as to deride you personally! ...as if it is an affront to them!
There appears to be a general misconception that being "a Vegan" is only for weird people, or hippies or greenies, or those who know nothing about nutrition. I have to admit...I used to be one of those people. I used to believe that Vegans could not possibly be healthy or be getting adequate nutrition without at least Dairy and eggs!
That was until I went on my own search for health and a natural alternative to the medications that I was dependent on every day just to get my joints moving and be relatively pain free.
On my journey, I found some wonderful companions who showed me a better way to eat for my own personal well-being. Friends like, Dr. Hans Diehl, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Gregor, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and a chiropractor, John Bergman (and yes I used to think Chiropractors were at best a bunch of quacks who cracked bones!)
Listening to these learned people helped to change me from an ignorant know-it-all to a person who was determined to find good health through a completely plant based diet. Notice I didn't say Vegan? As I said, I don't like that term! I eat a plant based diet, based around starches, and as far as I am able, I only eat foods as grown...which means you can recognise what they are before Kellogs, Pringles, Arnotts, McDonalds etc, have changed them into something they are not!
I have learned that food actually is medicine! My diet consists of whole grains/ starches, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, pulses, soy and almond milks, and healthy processed foods such as wholegrain breads and pastas. I no longer need my medication for joint pain and I have slowly, but surely, dropped 8kg of excess body fat. I eat as much as I want, as often as I want, but only plant based food as grown, with the occasional dairy free 80% Cocoa Dark chocolate as a treat.
I did not make my decision to eat a Plant Based Diet lightly, as I knew that it would pose some problems logistically in my own family....I can't force my family to eat the way that I do. I can't force my husband to suddenly eat no animal products, but I can set an example, and I can serve less meat-based meals during the week! Every little bit helps!... because not only does the health of my family improve, but so does the health of our planet!
So...my family now looks like this: Me (totally plant-based), My husband (Eats meat and plant-based diet), My 16 year old son (Vegetarian but eats Eggs and Dairy) and my 13 year old son (who eats a limited amount of foods and is not courageous enough to try new things). Cooking meals is a challenge! As far as I am able, I choose to make food that caters to, many styles of eating. For example, when making a stir-fry, I stir-fry my tofu, then I stir-fry the vegetables, then I stir-fry the meat separately, and combine the components when dishing up as per each person's preference. It does take longer, but it works for me.
Mexican is perhaps the most versatile and easiest to prepare. We all love Burritos or Tacos and preparing this meal is easy, nutritious and delicious! With a meal consisting of Rice, burrito, avocado, whole kidney beans, green leaves, tomato, and salsa...with some meat on the side for the carnivores...it is perfect and quick.
As I write this, I know there will be those who will just disagree with the whole "plant-based thing" and not bother to go any further, there will be others who already choose this way of eating and need no further encouragement, and then there may be others who are interested enough to at least read and research a little further. If that is you, then I am including some video links to talks that I found helpful and useful, and also some research papers that you may like to investigate further.
There is a lot of information in these videos and you don't have to watch all of them at once! But I do encourage you to come back to this page, and when you have some time to yourself, listen to what some of these doctors have to say. Bookmark the page, and do your health a favour by revisiting these talks and find encouragement if you too, are considering choosing a plant based diet for your own health and well-being.
1. 'Food as Medicine and Treating the Most Common Diseases with Diet by Dr Gregor.
2. Dr. Hans Diehl M.D.- Eat More Lose Weight.
3. Dr. John McDougall M.D. - The Ultimate Diet Therapy
4. Professor T.Colin Campbell Phd.- Animal Protein, Meat and Dairy, Causes Cancer
5. Dr. John McDougall M.D.- Inflammatory Arthritis
There are many more informative videos by these Doctors on Youtube if you are interested:)
Some Further Reading-
Public health implications of meat production and consumption
Polly Walker,Pamela Rhubart-Berg,Shawn McKenzie,Kristin Kelling and Robert S Lawrence (2005).
Public Health Nutrition, Volume 8, Issue04, June 2005, pp 348-356
The nutritional adequacy of plant-based diets
T. A. B. Sanders (1999).
Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Volume 58, Issue02, May 1999, pp 265-269
A perspective on vegetarian dietary patterns and risk of metabolic syndrome
Joan Sabaté and Michelle Wien (2015).
British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 113, SupplementS2, April 2015, pp S136-S143
Replacement of meat and dairy by plant-derived foods: estimated effects on land use, iron and SFA intakes in young Dutch adult females
Elisabeth HM Temme,Hilko van der Voet,Jac TNM Thissen,Janneke Verkaik-Kloosterman,Gerda van Donkersgoed and Sanderine Nonhebel (2013).
Public Health Nutrition, Volume 16, Issue10, October 2013, pp 1900-1907
Hi! Welcome to my Soapy Conversations about Soap and AllSorts of other Topics! I live in NSW Australia and I am a mother of five, Grandmother of Five and I sponsor seven children through Compassion Australia. I love making soap, reading, teaching English, and being an Advocate for children and women living in poverty.
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