I’m really into Netflix right now with all the fantastic documentaries. One that my husband and I watched a couple years ago was Vegucated. It was a fun and informative documentary about 3 people that were challenged to be vegan for 6 weeks. They learned all about veganism from doing store tours, factory farming, and farm sanctuaries along with a vegan festival. In the end, two of the people became 100% vegan or almost vegan and still are 8 years later. The third person that really struggled did stick with a vegetarian diet to this day.
After seeing this documentary years ago Bali and I started to transition to a vegan lifestyle and then we moved into the city and went back to meat and dairy fully. Why I don’t know because we were really moved by the film and I have done the vegan thing on and off for years and have full knowledge and understanding as to how to do it and why we should make this choice. Not to mention the fast weight loss and hundreds of health benefits, emotional benefits, spiritual benefits, environmental reason, and arguments for compassion and living creatures.
Here we are two years later and fat, my husband and I, not my sons, they are perfect. My sons have gotten flemy, snotty colds twice this summer during a time they should be the healthiest. I have been struggling with exhaustion and nausea daily. I’ve been trying a low carb diet focused on meat and vegetables. Sounds healthy and many people love the Paleo diet. All our meat, eggs and dairy is clean, grass fed, hormone free, free range, certified humane, blah, blah, and blah.
I prayed on this. What would Jesus do? What would Jesus eat? Then I remembered how many ear infections Arjan used to get until we cut out the dairy. The vegan lifestyle is nothing new to me.
The vegan lifestyle is nothing new to me.
My first experience with Veganism was at age 15 when my mother sent me to an activist summer camp. I met Ram Dass, learned how to do walking meditations, and ate completely vegan. I enjoyed the food and it was the first time my horrendous case of acne cleared up. I started losing weight, felt good, and tried so hard to continue on returning home but I just didn’t have the creativity in the kitchen to make dishes that were wholesome, well balanced, and delicious so that I would enjoy the journey.
Years later I was presented with this life style again. Before I married my husband I had moved to a coastal town and worked for two years at a Raw Food Culinary school. I worked in the market and cafe and then on to the office. This was the greatest experience and education ever. In the market place, I read stacks of books on raw food and veganism, the lifestyle, the benefits, the positive effects on mind, body, soul, and environment. I learned just how to do it properly with a balanced and well-rounded diet for maximum vitality. In the cafe, I tasted all sorts of amazing dishes and learned how to make smoothies and juices, along with soups and salads. In the office, I had to put together many of the class binders and would read them all. I learned the science and health benefits and effects of a plant based diet. I am very vegucated.
Bali and I have gone vegan several times before the Vegucated film but we don’t last long for one reason or another…usually a baked chicken. However, when we are vegan we love it and each time we try again I get more creative in the kitchen and learn more tricks to please our meat loving palates. I find more products we like. Not to mention that each year veganism becomes more popular and is growing so fast that stores of all kinds are stocking lots of vegan products and each year there are more products to try and they keep getting yummier and yummier (probably not a word right?).
The verdict is that a vegan diet is one of the best ways to eat for over all health and sanity. It has a huge positive environmental impact and is 100% cruelty free.
I found that movie the other night, Vegucated, and enjoyed it once more along with Live and Let Live. We have been moving toward veganism for weeks now and we are all starting to flourish. My eldest’s breath has cleared up, the colds are gone, I’m feeling lighter and cleaner internally and my energy is powering up more every day. My husband is probably eating beef jerky at work.
We will not be perfect vegans because we do eat eggs. I’m a little hesitant to get rid of everything but I have noticed that since changing the menu my boys are eating far more veggies and fruit, nuts, and green juices. Their taste and desires shift quickly and they begin to forget about junk food. When we spend our days snacking on apples, almonds, carrots, pickles, and avocados I feel like a good parent. I know that if we keep this up we will avoid many diseases and doctors. My sons will grow up healthy, thin, and vibrant. I know that Bali and I will grow younger instead of older and we may even slim down over the years.
There is also an emotional and spiritual aspect of being vegan. As your body cleanses and heals, your mind begins to clear as well. Your energy gets stronger and you start to feel more peaceful. I truly believe that what we put in our mouth has an energy and we take that in and it affects us on subtle emotional levels. It affects our spirit. When we eat death there are consequences. When we eat death from a factory farmed animal that has lived in a torturous and painful existence and with fear its whole life, you eat that energy.
When you eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and grains that have grown from the earth, air, and the sun, you feel alive, clean, light, and a happiness. You have not contributed to pain and suffering, you have not contributed to the devastation that raising meat is doing to the earth.
Now, when you go one step further and eat food that is plant based and organic…woweee! You are supporting Mother Nature and all the living critters. You are supporting clean, healthy soil, air, and water. You are supporting farm workers to work in healthy and natural environments where they are not being poisoned to death by round up and other chemicals. You are saving bees and birds from the poisons as well.
With all these positive and love based food choices, you take on a sense of well being. You are making food choices that heal your family, the earth, and creatures big and small.
If you are a meat eater for life, the Paleo is good as far as it promotes compassionate and clean food as well. I understand that not everyone can do a vegetarian diet for various reasons.
There are great documentaries and books out there for those of you interested:
Forks over Knives, Live and Let Live, Vegucated, Farmaggedon…these are some documentaries to educate you on the diet and factory farming.
Some books would be The China Study, Skinny Bitch, and The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.
Now, I know that some of us really want to be vegan but we truly love that bar b q. Our taste buds have been our down fall. The exciting thing is that it is so easy to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet now. There are some fantastic cook books, recipes for free online from some really hip chefs, and dishes that can replicate some of our all time favorites.
And the foods out there! The alternative meats, cheeses, and eggs are amazing now. Veganaise is a fantastic mayonnaise that tastes better than real mayo and is made out of healthy ingredients, some sliced cheese makes great grilled cheese sandwiches (but not raw), then there are Quorn products made from mushroom meat that tastes like turkey, ribs, crab cakes, and so much more that are deeelicioussss! For butter Earth Balance is good and for milk you will have so many choices of almond, cashew, rice, hemp, and soy.
I would suggest that if you are considering a change; go slow, ease into it, find good recipes and start experimenting with dishes and alternatives until you find a list of things you really love to eat. watch the documentaries to educate yourself. If you have reasons to change and goals you will more likely stay with it.
People go extreme and feel trapped. Have the dairy or egg or chicken leg once in awhile if you feel like you’ll lose it. Go partial vegan or part time vegetarian. Every step helps your health, the animals, and the environment. Be vegan only half the week. Have fun trying new things, learning about a whole new world, and enjoy the changes. Make sure to learn how to eat very healthy and balanced or you won’t feel well. Also, extra vitamins D and B12 are needed on this diet.