Thanks to Oprah and Freckle Wonder, we have decided to go vegan for a week starting on Monday. That means NO dairy, meat, poultry, eggs, etc. No animal products at all. Our decisions is mostly health related although we are big promoters of humane organic farming. It makes me sick to see how animals are being treated in slaughter houses. As I mentioned in my Meatless Monday intro post, we have cut out a lot of meat from our diet already so this next step won't be too bad. At least I hope not.
Freckle Wonder has already lost 7lbs and her Vegan week isn't even over yet! You go girl! I want some of that. I have gotten a little pudgy since I weaned Amelia. Man did breastfeeding work for me! Besides the perks of weight loss on a vegan diet I am sincerely interested in the health benefits. I want to detox and clean my pipes out if you will. Red Meat takes longer to digest so it sits in the intestines for a long time. Higher consumption of red meat has been linked to colon cancer. I found out in the beginning of last year that I do not digest read meat very well. Not good. I have to limit my red meat intake or my stomach will ache.
Heart disease, as well as cancer, runs in my family and this is a big factor in me wanting to at least become more vegan-ish in the long run as Oprah called it. A good balance. Unfortunately most Americans do not have a balance when it comes to meat consumption especially red meat. I know way too many people who rarely put a green vegetable on the dinner table. I feel wrong when there is not a green vegetable on my table. I am blessed that our daughter eats pretty much anything! She loves salads and vegetables of all kinds.
"ScienceDaily (July 3, 2009) — The American Dietetic Association has released an updated position paper on vegetarian diets that concludes such diets, if well-planned, are healthful and nutritious for adults, infants, children and adolescents and can help prevent and treat chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes."It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes.Vegetarian diets are often associated with health advantages including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels and lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes, according to ADA's position. "Vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and have higher levels of dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, vitamins C and E, folate, carotenoids, flavonoids and other phytochemicals. These nutritional differences may explain some of the health advantages of those following a varied, balanced vegetarian diet."
It can be a little tricky for my family to enjoy a lot of the vegan treats they have in the stores these days because we are a gluten and soy free household. Many of the vegan snacks, meat and cheese substitutes are soy and/or wheat based. Luckily we don't buy junk food and we rarely buy processed foods so it won't be that big of a deal. We already avoid dairy milk but we do enjoy cheese and yogurt from time to time. We love SO Delicious coconut milk creamer and kefir. I want to pick up some tapioca and rice cheese since my daughter loves cheese. We will stick with legumes, hemp, nuts and quinoa as our source of protein and add lots of fun vegetable dishes like quinoa confetti salad.
When it's all said and done I'm not sure that I would become 100% vegan but most definitely vegan-ish or vegetarian. Who knows? After one week I may feel so good that I will stick with it longer. We will see.
Vegan Recipe Sites