Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Forks Over Knives :: Update No. 1

As I mentioned, some friends of ours watched Forks Over Knives and were talking about it and so we watched it also. While finding the film to have certain, um, propaganda qualities to it, we were also persuaded to march towards vegetarianism. And then I went to see a naturopathic physician and she explained how the film uses a lot of bad science to make its point. She does agree that we need not to be eating dairy. However, she would suggest meat in moderation (rare occasions.) Her favorite source of protein though is The Bean which we've always eaten a fair amount of anyway.

I keep mentioning this documentary and how it changed a few things in our diet and I thought I'd take a moment to just...reflect.

I should also probably tell you right up front that I'm not really a person who likes to research things a great deal. Details, details, details! ;) I'm more of a person who likes to ride on the tails of other people's research, provided that I trust them, of course! Research loving people save me infinite amounts of time and I appreciate them very much! Here is a very generalized picture of how things have looked and do look for us in our "More Vegetarian" world which is based entirely on other people's research. I like to think there is a dash of common sense thrown in. You can judge that for yourselves.

Week 1:

We ate nothing but fruits and veggies. Not a bit of protein. That was rather on accident though. Truthfully, I was all inspired to cook with nothing but veggies and I simply forgot about adding even beans! On the one hand, I was massively proud of my creativity with things like eggplants and endives. Just me and the greens! (I even found a way to have my family consume kale without gagging! And Bookworm1 discovered that he dearly loves tomatoes. (He said he wished we could eat tomatoes at every meal.)

I was so veggie powerful. (ROWWRR! Were you scared?)

Except I felt lethargic and I had a pounding headache. (My optimism and enthusiasm can ignore these things. For a little while anyway.)

On Sunday I allowed myself to eat a turkey and bacon sandwich in honor of celebrating Sabbath. I may and or may not have licked up the bacon crumbs which fell from my sandwich and on to the plate.

Week 2:

I went to see the naturopath and asked for her opinion about the video. I explained our diet and she explained that she likes whole foods, some meat products, very tiny bits of cheese, lots of brightly colored fruits and plenty of vegetables. I honed in on "you can eat protein every now and again" and I made soup with ground turkey the very next day. It was so delicious I could have fainted but didn't have to because I had enough protein to keep me alive.

I find that I like a little bit of protein in the morning, more for lunch, and a salad for dinner. This works well because I can experiment with salads which is also fun. The most unusual one we've had so far is a Spring salad with mint, rasberries, raspberry lime dressing and a lemon zest Stilton cheese. It was a little exotic and fruity for our typical tastes but interesting all the same. (My favorite salad so far involves spinach, onions caramelized with red wine sauce, chopped hazelnuts and tomatoes.)

This week I learned that avacados do not taste like what they look like to me. They are alright. We might just become good friends.

I mash Bookworm1's avacados into whatever he is eating so that he doesn't have to think about them. And Bookworm2 declared he really didn't care for tomatoes.

Week 3:

We started the Sabbath/Sunday celebration off right with homemade roasted chicken pizza and we've moved on from there. The chicken was free-range and it didn't look like my regular frozen Foster Farms chicken. It looked like what I guess real chicken looks like. Red in some parts. Bloody. I cut fat off. It was strange looking. I might have been a tiny bit grossed out and I may and/or may not have been grateful that we do not raise our own chickens for meat. Foster Farms must sanitize everything I guess. I haven't decided whether or not I'm grateful. And I should say that the free range chicken TASTED delicious. It was just disgusting to handle.

Now we are moving on into the week with Yumm Yumm! bowls. Have you ever heard of Yumm Yumm sauce? It's the greatest marketed product of all times because what child is not going to like a dish that is already named YUMM? I rest my case.

We have a Cafe Yumm! here in town and they also sell their sauce which is incredibly healthy. (Regrettably, this chain of restaurants appears only to exist in Oregon. I think that gives us extra green bonus points at the same time though!) Basically you put together a rice bowl of your own making. (It's genius to let the kids put together their own bowls in my opinion.) You can put whatever veggies you want into your bowl. We usually have carrots and zucchini, beans, avacados, tomatoes, cheese, and olives. Then you get to slather everything with Yumm Yumm! sauce (and, again, I tell you that the name is perfection!) Whenever I ask the kids what they feel like eating, Yumm Yumm! Bowls make the list! We're going to be eating them tonight which is probably why I'm spending so much time describing them to you. They are on my brain and some drool may have hit the keyboard. (But probably not. No. Of course not.)

So this is where we are at. In a Yumm! place with a bent towards whole foods and a penchant for protein. (It can be beans and that seems to be ok. I just really happen to like meat a lot and see no reason to go, um, cold turkey on it.) Being anemic during pregnancy also makes me adamant about meat being consumed when pregnant - right alongside my blackstrap molasses!

As you can see, the adventure continues!


  1. Oh Carrie! You crack me up! LOL! :) Best wishes on your new endeavors!

  2. I love Cafe Yumm! (wondering if I should add another exclamation point since there is already one involved...)

    Also, whenever I cook I cook without meat, so I am so excited about this you have no idea. In fact, I really want to watch that documentary even though...there might be some issues with the propaganda.

    My ideal eating situation (pretending I was cooking for myself) would be raw food three days out of the week, and vegan or vegetarian the rest. The only exception would be fish.

    With the lethargic and headachey issue. I had that problem my first all raw food day. I found that if I was sure to incorporate nuts/avocados and if I didn't exclude coffee, it got rid of it. Maybe something to consider.

  3. All I can say is you people are too healthy for me to hang out with. ;-)

  4. Had to smile at licking up the bacon crumbs. My son was telling me about an article he read which said bacon is the food which most often makes vegetarians eat meat -- when they are around it it is just too tempting.

  5. I'm trying to stay away from most of the soy food, but the soy bacon and crumbled soy "meat" are my only exceptions! Everytime I've tried to cut out my dairy, I end up feeling like you described your week one. I end up eating and eating, because apparently my body knows I'm missing something.

    My vegetarianism is not overly health related, unfortunately. "sigh" Sugar is my worst enemy.

    I have to admit the chicken part grossed me out. :P I do cook chicken sometimes for the boys and Jonathan, but it has to be frozen. I just can't handle a fresh chicken. Thankfully, Jonathan is okay with that. :)

  6. Ah... bacon. :D We need to eat more vegetables and less breads. I can't give up meat. I am permanently border-line anemic so giving up protein isn't an option - not that I want to!

    As for chickens, my grandpa raised broilers (eating chickens) for Tyson when I was little. Before Tyson came to get the grown chickens my grandparents would spend a weekend butchering a bunch of chickens for their own freezer. Believe me, what you handled was NOTHING compared to the sight and smell of plucking chickens!! {shudder!}