Two years ago I was given a book written by Alicia Silverstone, titled the Kind Diet which put me on the path of flirting with vegetarianism again. In the 80’s, I spent a weekend in the Catskills eating organically produced foods and doing yoga three times a day. When I returned home I became a pure Vegan cooking this way and except for brussel sprouts, my daughter didn’t seem to mind too much. I lived this way until I passed out one day while working as a medical assistant for an orthopedic surgeon. This did not happen because of the diet – it happened because I took an evening job waitressing to get through college. While it was a very high-end private literary club in Manhattan with a gourmet chef, it just wasn’t the same as preparing meals in my own kitchen, so I gave up vegetarianism because I needed the job more.
To quote Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “I have always maintained the belief that food can and should be the first line of defense against disease.” Another physician responsible for the change to a vegetarian diet for President Bill Clinton researched this as well. Findings show that the results of an improved diet can be dramatic, even life-changing such as reversing heart disease. For more go to http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/18/bill.clinton.diet.vegan
The NIH research team showed that following a low-fat vegan diet helps persons with diabetes lower their blood sugars and reduce or even eliminate their need for medications. The secret is that these foods rebalance hormones are kind to skin, cause headaches and joint pains to melt away. “It’s like changing diesel fuel for unleaded gas — Acceleration improves, the ride evens out, and exhaust cleans up,” to quote Alicia Silverstone.
Eating the wrong foods slows you down, interferes with digestion, blood circulation, energy, etc. With the right food, the whole body works better. Getting older doesn’t have to be synonymous with “falling apart”.
So, we are going to go down this road together for several reasons, I need to lose weight, lower cholesterol, and feel better. Now that I don’t have that very stressful job which almost took my life, I am ready to revisit a change of lifestyle. Secondly, due to the recent GI upset attributed to the recent lamb episode, I went to see a doctor. She pulled laboratory work taken almost a year ago and found my cholesterol count was high. Of course, no one ever called me and copies of this lab work was never sent to me….. oh well! So it’s time to start preventing heart disease, diabetes, and yes, even Cancer by following a vegan diet. I have also joined a gym, working out with a trainer twice a week. In the first three days of diet and exercise I am proud to say I have lost 3 pounds and have cleared up my GI tract issues without taking medications.
Eating as many whole grains and vegetables as I like, chewing food extremely well to distribute their enzymes, eliminating white sugar, using salt, shoyu, miso in moderation will help me achieve these goals. I now start each day with a satisfying breakfast (still drink caffeine which I need to work on), I am not eating anything 3 hours before bedtime, and I have fun exercising 3-4 times a week at the gym. Btw, following a Louise Hay’s tradition, I also tell myself how cute I am every day in the mirror!
Hippocrates was known for having said, “Let they food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food.”
Did you know that heart disease (not breast cancer) is the number one killer of women in the U.S.? Saturated fat increases cholesterol, causing plaque in the arteries, increases blood pressure, leads to stroke, and heart attack. Eggs contain 250 mg cholesterol. 64% of egg calories are fat. Chicken, beef, trout contain the same amount of cholesterol. No meat is LO FAT food. Following a low-fat plant based diet decreases a person’s risk of having a heart attack by 85%!!!!! So, going around boasting about being a vegetarian for two years. All this meant was I was simply flirting with it. By eliminating red meat, I was not a vegetarian and it makes complete sense that my cholesterol count became high and I wasn’t even aware of it. What makes it worse is that after two years, I broke down and broiled 2 lamb chops which I craved and wound up in a doctor’s office because of Gastro-intestinal side effects.
Eating red meat produces something called Neu5Gc, causing inflammation and helping tumors grow. 93% exposure to dioxin comes from eating beef, lamb, pork, chicken, dairy, eggs, and fish. Oh no!!!! For more read: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/dioxins/
Dioxin settles and accumulates in fat. Increasing the animal food we eat, increases dioxin. When we become vegans this decreases dioxin levels…..Makes sense to me.
Meat contributes to Osteoporosis. When you eat meat, your blood becomes acidic. In order to balance acidity, bones release minerals, leaving the blood balanced but your bones weak. As the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points out, “When people go from an American diet to a vegetarian diet they have over 50 percent less bone loss.” So why are women taking so many pills to ward off bone loss?
Meat is hard to digest. Meat has no fiber. High meat consumption leads to colitis, diverticulitis, colon cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney stones, etc.
Meat and farmed fish are full of antibiotics. We already knew that didn’t we?
Meat carries pathogens: Approximately 89% of beef ground into patties contain traces of E. coli according to the USDA report published in 2000. Why are Americans still feeding ourselves and their children fast food hamburgers? At least I haven’t had a burger in 2 years. Actually just the smell makes me sick.
Another bug called campylobacter is the leading cause of food-borne illness, arriving via chicken flesh, infecting greater than 2.4 million Americans a year. It is estimated that 70% of American chickens and 90% of our turkeys are contaminated with campylobacter which result from the birds being housed in ridiculously crowed conditions then treating them with increased dosing of antibiotics. Why was I still eating chicken and turkey?
Meat as well as dairy is full of hormones. Eggs are full of hormones as well as farmed fish. We humans have our own hormones, and the body is constantly working to keep them in balance – we don’t need more. Cattle, pigs, and chickens are routinely pumped full of hormones to promote muscle mass and these hormones are passed directly on to you and me. So why was I calling myself vegetarian and still not careful about eating chickens, farmed raised fish, and eggs?
Fish and Mercury: Coal burning power plants release mercury into the air. It then falls into the ocean. Bacteria eats mercury then it is consumed by small fish which continues up the food chain. Salmon, cod, shrimp, trout have fewer levels of mercury. Swordfish, tile fish, mackerel, and tuna have highest levels of mercury. They all contain mercury which has been shown to damage the brain, kidneys, and lungs, particularly dangerous to pregnant women and growing babies. So stay away from farmed salmon which contains levels of the toxin PCB (16 times higher than wild Salmon). And I continued to believe eating fish was ok?
Did you think now that Humans are just not built for this?
If 650 thousand Americans die of heart disease and a half million Americans die of Cancer why are we slaying our population like a modern plague when all this is completely preventable and often reversible through diet and lifestyle change? Want to know more? Carnivore intestines are only 6’ long while human intestines are 20’ long. When we eat meat it takes 72 hours to pass through us. Meat just isn’t meant to hang out in the gut forever. You may not feel the process right now, but try to abstain from red meat like I did for two years and then eat some meat. You will feel how heavy and dense, and miserable it feels in your gut.
Ok, did I get your attention? …….stay tuned for more.