The other night my husband was sick (allergies are kicking our tails this year) and therefore very agreeable about the movie selection. Feeling “Foodie” I picked “Forks Over Knives.” I was in a mood to learn something, having really enjoyed “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” and “Vegucated.” (not affiliate links).
So we hit play on our Netflix “rental.” We watched, and we learned A TON about animal derived foods. According to the data presented in the film, animal derived casein (the main ingredient in milk) can actually feed cancer cells living in your body. Meaning, that if you eat casein (drink milk, eat cheese, etc) you are actually helping cancer develop inside your body. Yikes!
My husband is a staunch meat and potatoes guy, or at least he was, until we started learning more about our bodies and how animal based foods affect our system. Even he, with his pension for barbeque pork, was caught reconsidering what we thought was “Just a little bit” of animal based foods.
This article from the Wall Street Journal features the same doctor that helped with the “Forks and Knives” documentary. His name is Dr. Colin Campbell, and he presents the idea that not only is protein readily and abundantly available in fruit and vegetable form, but the casein found in animal based foods can actually cause cancer.
The article does a good job of showcasing the pros and cons of a vegan diet (as the title suggests) by also featuring another prominent doctor who takes the opposing view on animal based foods. I suggest you read both perspectives and draw your best conclusion.
For my husband and I, we are surrounded by individuals that eat entirely too much protein. Even when I go online to search for “meal plans” for my family, every single meal (and often snack suggestions, too) include meat, or animal based foods. It’s hard to find “easy” meals that include “real” food over processed foods, and it is even more difficult to find good–family friendly meals–that are vegan. I feel like I’m asking my husband to eat salads all the time, and he hates that idea. Not to mention, I am a huge cheese and crackers fan (the fruit/cheese combo is one of my favorite desserts).
But the information we’ve found in “Forks and Knives” as well as in articles like the one from WSJ are compelling. It seems that even a short term “vegan” lifestyle that might include a “cheat day” where one day a week you ate animal proteins that you like, would probably improve your healthy simply from all of the other “good stuff” you were giving your body the rest of the week.
To test the theory for ourselves, we have decided to give vegan eating a week’s try, and then beyond that week, we are going to live “low fat fully raw vegan” for a week and see how we feel. Of course, I’ll update here to let you know. Yesterday was my husband’s first “no animal based products at all” day, and he had a headache and was moody. I think that’s his body detoxing and letting go of all of the “bad foods’ he’s been eating. I also had a headache from giving up coffee, so I had a cup this morning (with milk), and I also finished off the cheese and crackers last night. I told myself that I was going to “get rid of the animal food in the house” in preparation for the “vegan trial” we are doing together. Since my husband is going “cold turkey” (Maybe “cold tofurkey”?) he’s likely not going to let me get away with any more cheats. So the rest of the day today is “animal free” for me. We’ll see how it goes. It’s exciting to be trying new things, but it is difficult to change your habits. Right now we feel like rabbits, eating nothing but plants and fruits. I believe as we get used to this diet, we will fall into a routine that’s not un-similar to what we had before we decided to do a “vegan trial”. I am also starting an exercise routine today where I will walk (and possibly jog, but let’s not over-commit) every day, or at list 6 days, out of the week. My goal is to lose weight by Christmas. My husband’s goal is to find out whether or not this Dr. Campbell guy knows what he’s talking about or is full of bollucks, as they say. Stay tuned! More vegan adventures to come.