Okay, so I've had a crazy week after posting about my decision to cut WAAAAAAAY back on the meat we eat here in this house. Saying that I'm switching over to a semi-Vegan diet apparently was like saying that I'm joining a new church. EVERYONE has an opinion, and let's face it...people in this country LOVE meat. It's a second religion.
My good friend's husband (who happens to be my husband's best friend) is not about to let me influence his wife (who is reading The China Study right now) to stop eating meat (or more importantly--to stop feeding him meat). Our food swapping days have come to an end. He brought some pork in an envelope to my husband for their weekly basketball night with a note attached that read "Always eat meat." I actually think it's pretty funny, and am glad I've gotten such a rise out of the most mild-tempered guy I've ever met!
If my only motivation to stop eating meat was to save the animals, I don't think I'd last very long. And I'm not doing it to lose weight (for obvious reasons...I'm steadily gaining more than I'd like to admit with only 3 months to go). I'm not doing it to mimic any celebrities, or because it's the "cool" thing to do. In my few short days of announcing my new meal plan, I've actually found it to be quite unpopular. I'm doing it because I really, honestly, truly feel like cutting back on animal products, and increasing my consumption of whole, plant-based foods is really the healthier way to live.
I know I will have uncomfortable moments at social gatherings, and I may still occasionally eat some meat. But I am an extremist when it comes to health, and I'm up for the challenge. My bigger challenge will be to not make anyone else uncomfortable. Don't be afraid to invite us over, or out to eat. I will not be scrutinizing what is on your plate, or what is going into your mouth. And I won't ask you to prepare any special dishes for me. I may eat before I come, or I may leave a bit hungry. That's my decision...not your worry. I'm okay with that.
Lucky for me, I love vegetables. And even the ones I don't love, I love. I'm the weird girl who will drink the nastiest concoction of vegetables, and like it just because it's good for me. But I'm also excited to experiment, and to find some super tasty, super healthy dishes. Last week, I had great luck with a vegetable soup, coconut beans and rice, and Vegan lasagna. My family hasn't starved, and my husband even said he would eat it all again.
Some people are leery of change, but I'm the type who makes up my mind, and jumps head first into the water. I don't mind a total life overhaul every once in a while. It's actually quite refreshing.
As for all of you readers, thanks for all the tips! A few more books I'm going to read (thanks to your input) are:
"Eat To Live" (Fuhrman)
"The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals" (Michael Pollan)
"In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" (Michael Pollan)
"Food Rules: An Eater's Manual" (Michael Pollan)
I'm also visiting the following websites for much-needed help:
I would like to encourage those of you who are brave and willing to just give this lifestyle a try. You can dive in headfirst like me, or slowly add changes to your diet. Add an extra serving of vegetables to every meal. Just go meatless a few days a week. Find some good vegetarian recipes that don't leave you feeling like something was missing (and share them with me!) There are enormous benefits from eating a whole foods, plant-based diet. Try it out! Who's willing?