When Everyday is Meatless Monday
Have you ever watched a documentary that changed the way you looked at things?
Last week, we watched the movie, “Forks Over Knives,” which advocates a “plant based, whole foods” diet, which is evidently the new way to say “vegan.”
I’ve written before about going vegetarian for 9 months, and then a deep fried pork tenderloin called my name and I fell off the wagon.
It was difficult because my husband and mother, who I also cooked for at that time, were not vegetarians. My mom didn’t eat a lot of meat, but Dale has always been a meat and potatoes guy, so most days I found myself cooking two meals.
Even working from home, that was a real pain.
I’ve been seeing a doctor trained in traditional Chinese medicine and he believes that we can heal most things by altering our diets. He believes a little meat in the diet is ok, but dairy is a big no-no and told me to effectively treat my exhaustion, obesity (yes, I’m technically obese) and severe peri-menopause, I am going to have to especially cut out dairy.
He recommended I sit down with my husband and we watch it together, which isn’t a problem since we have only one television. However, I never expected for Dale to take it seriously. He watched the movie “Food Inc.” and it basically had no effect.
However, FOK (Forks over Knives) is more about our health and how a plant based, whole foods diet can help us and less about the environmental and cruel effects of factory farming.
At the end of FOK, Dale said, “I think we need to give this a try,” and I about fell off the couch.
So, I did a lot of internet research. I made a comprehensive grocery list. I found recipes I thought would keep him going and I shopped at the local health food store, buying organic, non-GMO when available.
We began our new eating habits—and I am calling it an eating habit, rather than a diet, because diets always fail—on Sunday.
Dale complained he was hungry the whole day. He crinkled his nose up at the hummus I served as a snack with chips and only ate half of the little snack bag of dried edamame snacks.
He did dive into the enchiladas I prepared for dinner though and actually said they had a good flavor.
Here’s my take from Day 1 & 2 of eating a plant based, whole food diet: The food was good, but since I prepared nearly everything from scratch, it was very labor intensive.
I’m still excited to try new foods. We ate quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) for the first time on Sunday, instead of rice. It was different.
This will be an interesting journey, although friends are already telling me that most people do not even stick to a vegetarian diet, much less a vegan one.
Dale is going to take one day a week to eat whatever he is hungry for. I know from experience if I fall off of the wagon, I won’t get back on. Since I am the main cook in the house, one of us needs to keep us on track, so I’m not planning any “free days.”
But isn’t it always the woman who is really the stronger of the sexes?
Have you ever tried a vegetarian or vegan diet? Share your experiences and why you think it worked, or didn’t, for you.