Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Forks Over Knives"

THIS is an excellent documentary! Our friends Daniel and Jen highly recommended we watch it as we were picking their brains about their new diet...not diet as in losing weight, but diet as in what they eat. Not that they haven't lost weight! I have been watching online, as they posted pictures of their life on Facebook. the ever shrinking of Daniel and Jen. At last count, when we saw them in Tahoe, they had each lost 35 lbs. Jen commented that she hadn't been this thin since high school - all I knew is that they both looked fabulous! Now to begin with both Daniel and Jen are amazing cooks so them adopting a plant based, whole foods diet didn't mean they were going to suffer, they would just take it to a higher level! I was a bit hesitant to watch the movie as I couldn't stomach Michael Moore's "Food Inc" - Bill sat through it but I had to walk out...but Jen assured me it wasn't that kind of movie. I got Bill on board and we sat down one night and watched it...the first thing that Bill said afterwards was "Well, you can't argue with science." Bill views most of life from a scientific viewpoint so the arguments they put forward were compelling. It was hard not to agree that we had to change the way we ate - for Bill, who is on both blood pressure and cholesterol medication and whose father had diabetes, this was a real necessity; I, personally, have had stomach issues my entire life and the last several years I have put on over 20 pounds. It was going to be difficult to give up everything we love to eat but I was willing to try it and, to my amazement, Bill was totally on board. Now, we weren't going to go 100% vegan but we were going to try and make the majority of our diet whole foods and plant based. 

I was a little worried about how we would do this in the RV and more importantly how it would impact my life, being the person who cooks the most. I would be what you would call a lazy cook...I really only enjoy cooking for a crowd and my favorite meal would be throwing a piece of fish and some vegies on the grill or cooking up some shrimp and pasta...easy stuff. But making soups and stews and smoothies and constantly keeping my fridge filled with fresh vegetables and fruits - oy vey, just the thought of it exhausted me. But what could I do...I want Bill to outlive me, I have been trying to get him off the half & half he used in his daily coffee since I met him and I finally had the opportunity to make this a reality.

So we jumped in with both feet. Before leaving Tahoe I spent hours at Grass Roots, the local natural foods store, and combed the health food aisles at Raleys. Luckily enough Tahoe is home to many vegans and it was easy to find the staples I needed. I went through my cupboards and everything that was possible to bag up for donation I did, everything else we thought we'd just use up a little here and there and off we went into the great abyss of healthy eating...or so it felt!

Both Daniel and Jen have been extremely supportive, constantly sending me pics of meals they were making with all the details. Of course, as I mentioned, they are gourmet cooks so everything they make looks like it came out of a magazine. But it gave me some ideas and I tried to think outside my little box. We are doing well – can’t even remember the last time we ate meat and we don’t really miss it. We even made it through Bill’s entire reunion sticking to good food. But we aren’t calling ourselves vegan and are both ok with us straying from time to time. While we are in Cedar Key (a little fishing village) for the winter, Bill will absolutely fish for trout and whiting and we will absolutely eat it…not every night but we will eat it now and then.

Our travels take us to many new places where we love to sample the foods of the area. Finding restaurants with vegan options has definitely been a challenge but we have been very lucky and quite often actually have to make a choice between which restaurants to try. We have to do a lot more planning in advance especially when we know we are not going to be in a large town that will have, say, the coconut coffee “creamer” that Bill likes. I am making large quantities of soups. pastas and quinoas so we have them easily accessible when hunger strikes. A tip I got online was to cut up your kale when you get home from the market and put it in a bag in the freezer – so when I go to make our smoothies I can just grab it and dump it in with everything else. I've even found some interesting frozen items that are better choices that make it easier especially when we’re on the road for a few days in a row.

I have no idea if we’ll be able to maintain this forever, but for now, we’re losing weight, feeling good and having a little fun with it!

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