Why the change you ask? For the past year or so I’ve naturally been cutting meat out of my diet. I would consume the occasional pork or chicken with dinner…but noticed myself filling my plate mainly with veggies and only a tiny amount of meat. I also started cutting out my lunch staple – turkey sandwiches – and experimenting with other meat-free options: veggie wraps, hummus and tabouli on toast, avocado and tomato salad, vegetarian soups, etc. I was enjoying this lifestyle and not really finding myself craving much meat at all. And I wasn’t doing it on purpose or for any reason in particular other than my body was just naturally craving more veggies and whole grains and less meats and processed foods.
Then, in early 2012, my boyfriend Ian and I rented a documentary that I’d seen many people posting about on Facebook called Forks Over Knives. I was curious what all the buzz was about. In short, Forks Over Knives attributes animal proteins such as meat and dairy, as much of the reason why 2 out of every 3 Americans are obese, a statistic that is hard to swallow, but is true. It is also true that instead of telling these people to change their diets and exercise, most doctors are pumping them full of pills to treat ailments such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and more. The doctors featured in Forks Over Knives argue that if you eat a diet rich in plant based whole foods (meaning no meat, dairy, refined sugars, processed foods, etc.) you can pretty much reverse the symptoms of the majority of the ailments listed above, and start feeling and living a healthy life again.
After watching this eye-opening documentary, Ian and I were determined to make some dietary changes that we felt would benefit us, both physically and mentally, for the long term. We decided that we would eat meat only on the weekends and started experimenting with lots of new vegetarian recipes such as the Green Goddess (kale, tofu, avocado, broccoli) and Quinoa and Veggie dishes pictured above. These meals not only were super filling and energizing, but also delicious! After a few weeks on our new “diet,” I found myself feeling better than ever before…except on the weekends when I ate the occasional turkey burger or chicken sausage. I then made the conscious decision to cut out meat (for the most part), meaning I will only consume it when I’m TRULY craving it, weekends or not. Does this make me a Vegetarian? No, because I can’t say I won’t ever eat another piece of meat again. However it has made me much more conscious of what I’m putting in my body and how certain foods make me feel.
While I know going veggie (or mostly veggie) isn’t a realistic decision or need for everyone, I do believe that most of us would benefit from cutting some meat out of our diets and making an effort to eat more plant based and less processed foods. I also highly recommend watching Forks Over Knives, even if you are the biggest carnivore out there. Who knows, you might just find yourself enlightened.
For more on Forks Over Knives, check out: www.forksoverknives.com