Vegan Wanna-Be Turning the Corner

There’s been some added pressure to get legit with this whole vegan thing since taking this full-time job marketing Engine 2 for Whole Foods Market.  You haven’t heard from me in a while because… well…it’s Diet Season, y’all.  The New Year, New Me thing really happens and anyone working for a health food store or a Diet business of some kind is officially buried this month.

I’ve had all kinds of mental stuff come up over the last six months that has had me resist embracing plant-based 100%. My latest trap?  I just qualified for “platinum” at work. What does this mean? Well, everyone that works at Whole Foods Market automatically gets 20% off at the store.  Then, because the company is so committed to it’s employees health, they’ve got an incentive program to earn up to a 30% discount based on your scores of biomarker tests:  nicotene, cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI are the basics.  And based on your numbers, you’ll either keep 20%, or get bronze, silver, gold, or platinum – 30%.

So, I look at my platinum score and I think — I’m not at risk. An egg here or there and fish and dairy on occasion — no big deal.  Then I started reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals.  Foer is one of my all-time favorite authors. Love his fiction. And this non-fiction is mind-blowing. I’m so grossed out by factory farming after reading his book, that I find myself happily, fully plant-based. Now, if someone offers me a piece of cake made with eggs, I admit I will not turn it down. But right now, the thought of scrambled eggs and toast which used to appeal to me every weekend, sounds absolutely heinous to me.

What motivated me to avoid dairy?  T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study, an in-depth, well-documented, peer-reviewed study of the relationship between diet and disease. One of his many discoveries was that casein, the protein found in milk products, promotes cancer tumor growth.

What about calcium? How can we get what we need without dairy?

Tragic irony is at play here. Maybe some day someone will sue the dairy industry like we did with tobacco companies. Despite the highly successful ad campaign, milk does not do your body good.  Here’s the problem: the animal protein in milk increases the acidity in the bloodstream. To offset the increased acid load and even out your body’s pH levels, your body will leach calcium – a strong base – from your bones and actually do the opposite of what you intended by consuming dairy!

Did you know that countries around the world that consume the most dairy also have the highest rate of osteoporosis?

You can get all the calcium you need from sources without animal protein that contradict your body’s ability to absorb it.  Try fortified non-dairy milks and cereals and load up on your leafy greens!  Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens – all great sources of calcium.

I’m now sneaking leafy greens into my girls’ diets twice a day at least four days a week.  We do our green smoothies in the morning that they say, “tastes like candy!” because we make them with sweet frozen fruit like pineapple or peaches (plus coconut water, almond butter, vegan protein powder, etc).  And at night, we’re sneaking in a green leafy to whatever we’re making for dinner.  Curried lentils and rice with carrots, cauliflower and kale, vegan enchiladas with spinach, vegan lasagna with sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini and spinach….

And every night they lap down their fortified oat milk. So much natural sugar in this….we should really switch to unsweetened Almond Milk…but hell, I’m doing the best I can.

Anyone reading this that is proudly carnivorous — please don’t feel any judgment from me.  Whatever your personal choice is with food, go for it.  My advocacy is for Americans to eat as “plant-strong” as possible and shift from being a country that is upside with chronic disease and related health care costs to one that is healthy on all fronts.

Love to All!

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One Response to “Vegan Wanna-Be Turning the Corner”

  1. Sarah S says:

    first time here and I just wanted to stop by to say hello!!

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