Monday, September 12, 2011

Forks Over Knives...What a Great Film!

This weekend, my husband and I watched the documentary film Forks Over Knives.  This was a film that I had been excited to watch since seeing the trailer...and it certainly did not let me down.  It is definitely a great documentary that everyone, especially vegetarians and vegans, should see.

This film really gets the point across about just how important food is towards our over all health. I think if you can watch this film and not change your diet, then you just don't care about your health at all! My husband and I were just amazed at the research and the people who are living proof that a plant-based diet is the answer to so many illnesses. If we weren't convinced before, we are now!

I was surprised to see so many of the people I have learned about over these last few years in this film.  Along my way to become vegan, I have done so much research and have found so many great people that I look to for advice and information, and many of them seem to be in this film.  People like Dr. Colin Campbell, who is co-author of The China Study, which I am currently reading.  Also, there were others such as, Dr. Neal Bernard, founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the reason I started my vegan challenge; Dr. John McDougall, founder of Dr. McDougall's Health and Medical Center and others I have seen along the way.

After watching this film, it amazes me that not everyone is vegan.  I also feel a bit angry!  If the evidence is so clear, why does not every doctor recommend this way of eating to all their patients?  I'm guessing there is a political answer in there somewhere.  It makes me angry because if the research is correct that milk protein is linked directly to cancer, why then does the government subsidize the dairy industry and why do we have commercials that tell us to give milk to our children because "milk does the body good?"

If there is a direct correlation between consumption of milk and osteoporosis cases, why then do they tell women to drink more milk to prevent this disease? Why not broccoli, kale or spinach?  Why do we not have a million dollar campaign asking "got kale?" It just doesn't make sense and I feel like I have been cheated out of the diet I should have been eating for the last thirty-nine years. 

I'm hoping one day it will change and we will see vegetable and fruits in commercials and on billboards on the highway.  I suppose with each person that changes to a plant-based diet, the fight will gain strength.  Maybe one day health will prevail over politics and money and the way things work will begin to make sense.  Maybe the FDA and Department of Agriculture should watch Forks Over Knives!

Forks Over Knives along with The China Study are great tools for all people, not just vegans, to help us make better decisions about our food and health.  I am so happy that there are doctors out there that are not afraid to step out and share the true information that people should know in order to be the healthiest they can be.

Now that I know this information, I will not cheat my children and I will make sure that they have all the information needed to make a good heath conscious decision about how to eat.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Easy Morning Glory Muffins

I love making these muffins. They are yummy and filled with great things such as carrots, apples, coconut, and raisins. They make a great breakfast or snack. I love to make a big batch and use them for a quick breakfast on the go...I pre pack them in sandwich bags and just pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and then I'm on my way. 

I started making these muffins before the transition to vegan. So back then I of course, used eggs.  But I recently tried to make them without the egg, and they cam out just as good. 

Because of the oil and sugar, they are definitely not low calorie (I calculated around 350 per muffin).  I wouldn't have too many at a time if you're counting calories. But given the fact that they are loaded with fruits and carrots, at least they are not empty calories!

When I made these, I made a few changes to the recipe:
To make them dairy-free, I used ground flax seed with water to replace the eggs. 

I also used unbleached all-purpose flour (I would love to use whole wheat flour but my kids can tell and will complain).

I also left out the walnuts (because my daughter doesn't like nuts).

Next time, I am going to try with applesauce instead of the oil to cut out many of the calories...I'll post the results.

For the recipie, click here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Being Vegan...

This Sunday will be my 39th birthday.  As I approach this wonderful age, I am discovering who I am and who I want to become. I am figuring out how so many different aspects of my life actually fit together and come full circle, such as my love for animals and my choice to be vegan.  My new life as a vegan has taken me on a journey that I would have never imagined just two years ago.  I spent the first thirty-seven years of my life loving milk and eating meat.  Never before would I have imagined that I would become a vegan mom raising a vegan child with a vegan husband!

It was only when I was laid off from my job two years ago that I started to re-asses my life and started to research about many things, including food. I quickly realized that I wanted my life to be about more than just me.  I wanted to live each day making this world just a bit better than the day before.  I have learned that every decision we make, has an effect...we have to decide whether we want that effect to be positive or not.  My research into becoming vegan has showed me that everything from buying food to shampoo has an effect on our animals, people and the earth. 

I have definitely become a more conscious consumer.  I have come to realize that our money has power and every time I spend money, I am supporting everything that has happened to make that product.  Shopping for me now takes a much longer because I read the label on everything before I buy it.  I recommend everyone do this, because you will be surprised to see just what things are in the products we buy. 

Not eating meat, was only the beginning. I no longer buy anything leather products or products tested on animals (at least that I am aware of). I still have the products that I had before.  But now as they wear out, I replace them with animal-free products.  My husband's birthday was last Saturday. He already had three leather jackets and I was so proud of him because he was willing to donate them. So for his birthday I went out and got him a really nice jacket that looks like leather, but isn't. Now he still looks cool...and doesn't smell like a dead cow!

My teenagers sometimes do not understand why I will not buy them certain products.  Sure I could tell myself that I'll buy it for just them and I won't eat it.  But in my head, I always get this little voice that tells me, "if you buy that chicken, they will have to kill another to replace it".  At that moment I can see the effect of my decision, so I can not bring myself to make the wrong choice.  This is not how I was before.  My new lifestyle as a vegan has opened my consciousness and I can feel the effects of my choices.  It's a heavy burden, but one necessary to keep me a compassionate consumer and person.

I have become particularly moved by the things I've read and seen about the lives of dairy cows.  I never would have figured that of all the cute animals in the world, the cow would be the one that moves me so much.  The cruelties they endure just to provide humans with a product that they should not drink, are too much for me to bare.  Even though I know there are a few good dairy farms that may treat their cows well, it does not change that they are contained and forced to bare children just to produce milk, not for their young, but for us. I have become committed to share the information I learn so others can become aware and make better choices as well. 

Becoming vegan has changed me greatly.  I feel it has made me a better and more compassionate human. I see things differently than I ever did before.  It has made me more aware of the world...of it's good and of it's bad.  As I grow older, I hope that I am able to continue learning and growing. I hope that my children will be inspired to look beyond themselves and make conscious choices that will have a direct positive impact on our world and all living things.

The Dairy Cow: The Most Overworked Mother on the Planet