Making the switch was really not that big of a deal. We've done it before. It was summer of 2011 and Wolverine had just had his annual physical for the DoD and his cholesterol numbers were higher than he was comfortable with...still "normal", just high.
We had just watched Forks over Knives (a great documentary even if you aren't remotely interested in changing your eating habits) and we decided we didn't have anything to lose so we gave the 30 day vegan challenge a try.
Wolverine's cholesterol dropped 30 points in 30 days.
WHOA! That was amazing....but apparently not enough to keep us eating plant based...maybe it was the new baby....maybe it was laziness....maybe it was just familiarity....
Fast forward to February of 2012 and my blood work showed that my cholesterol was a little higher than I wanted as well. Also, I had some trouble with my blood pressure during the last few months of my pregancy and was put on bed rest. Everything worked out ok, but ever since then my blood pressure has been higher that I'd like. Since then, my diastolic blood pressure has never been below 80 (It used to be 60). Everything was still "normal" so I ccould just stick my head in the sand, right?
We went primal again back in February 2013 and it was great - but even with all of our free produce, do you know how easy it is to get sucked into the cheese/eggs/meat/greek yogurt/sour cream/etc trap? That stuff is GOOD!!!
After a lot of research, book reading, soul searching, discussions, looking at family histories of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. we decided that plant based was the way to go. I can list a bunch of titles of documentaries or books if you'd like, but this post is already a novella, so message me if you'd like them. :) I will say that the extended interviews from Forks Over Knives are available on NetFlix and are worth every minute and can provide a very condensed summary of the information found in countless books.
We got rid of all our dairy products, and anything with dairy in it. That was hard - I mean this girl, LOVES cheese! But I didn't really have any issue with it and no pangs of loss. The major question was what to do with the freezer full of meat? There is a lot of money all nicely packaged and organized in that freezer. We decided that we will be eating meat 1x per week until the meat in the freezer is gone and then we won't be buying any more. In all honesty, my guess is that Sushi will be on the menu occasionally ;)
What are we eating?
No meat, eggs, or dairy (see above comment about meat).
No white flour.
No high fructose corn syrup or anything "from concentrate".
Minimal soy (no soy milk or weird to-furkey, "meat" crumbles, etc).
No weird fake "vegan" foods (vegan mayonnaise, vegan margarine, etc)
As many whole plant foods as possible, including fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains (corn, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat flour, steel cut oats, etc).
No technically vegan, but full of processed chemical foods (I'm looking at you Oreo and your dirty friends).
Am I trying to convert you?
You are an educated consumer and you are able to make your own decisions. I do not want anyone telling me what is best for my family, and I am in no way, ever, trying to say that what is best for my family is best for yours.
I am simply telling you about our journey through this amazing life. A life with all of the little adventures and changes in direction that living life with an open mind and an ever evolving understanding of the world around us brings.
What Does that Mean for the Challenge 2013?
This Challenge was so fun....while it lasted. I just can't justify making a bunch of recipes that my family isn't going to eat. There are still quite a few recipes from the book that I can make and I will be making those throughout the year...and maybe even a few that I can tweak.
What is the point of this longest post on record?!
This is a quote from Forks Over Knives that resonates in my ears every day:
Some people say that eating a plant-based diet is extreme. But millions of people this year will have their bodies cut open, and a vein from their leg sewed onto their heart….Some might also say that’s extreme.