My husband, Adam, and I made the decision to eliminate all animal protein almost a year ago. We watched the eye opening film, Forks Over Knives, which explores the idea of controlling or eliminating many degenerative diseases through eating a plant-based diet. This is a diet comprised of whole, fresh foods, and plant-protein sources, without over-consuming protein. Now, this diet challenges the status quo that high-protein diets are important to good health. In fact it turns it on it's head. But this claim is backed with scientific facts and research from some of the world's greatest doctors and biochemists. In this post, I will share our inspiration, experience, and, of course, an amazing recipe that eaters with all types of diets will really love and gobble right up!
Now that we are more informed, and are trying it for ourselves, our decision to eat a plant-based diet is constantly being reinforced by true stories of miraculous recoveries. Just last week, we posted an interview with Amy-Lee Goodman, the author of The Meaty Truth, a work of undercover journalism on the sad realities of the meat industry, and Rethink Food, where 100+ doctors support the claim that illness can be reversed and prevented by adopting a plant-based diet. I bring up Amy-Lee here, because her sister, Jessica, used a plant-based diet to cure her childhood rheumatoid arthritis. Adam and I were at Amy-Lee's presentation at a plant-based conference and her sister's before and after pictures totally shocked us. But, we were overjoyed to know that there is hope for people struggling with illnesses and disease or worried about developing them. Please check out our interview with Amy-Lee and find even more amazing recovery stories in the articles posted by Forks Over Knives.
As Adam and I get older (we are both 60 now), we are aware of the possibility of developing illnesses that could interfere with our quality of life. We have started seeing a lot of our friends, family, and people our age suffering from a number of health issues. When we tell people about our meat-free and dairy-free lifestyle, and our journey to try to stay disease free, many think we have lost our minds. What? Give up meat and dairy! I would never do that, some have said to us. It really does take time and some adjustment, but it is worth it to feel great, plus we love the food!
You eat the food that our food eats! That is another comment that we get. That is a rather interesting statement actually. Animals grow healthy and strong eating only plants -- some of the largest and strongest being gorillas, buffaloes, elephants, and cows. They are all vegetarian. Our human bodies, specifically our long digestive tracks, are more similar to these plant-eating mammals than carnivorous animals. These animals also don't consume milk after infancy. So isn’t it quite possible, using the same logic, that we could be healthy and strong eating plants and not meat, plus receive all of our protein, calcium, and nutrition from eating plants? Yes. You might be interested to read what Iron Man, ultra athlete, and plant-based eater, Rich Roll, has to say around plant-based foods and strength.
I hope this blog has helped you to question long-withstanding ideas about food and inspire you to try some new foods to see how you feel. It is not my goal to judge or lecture anyone about their diet. My only goal is to feel good as I age, be able to keep up with my kids, and continue to be able to run, bike, swim, dance, and do other fun things; and maybe in the process, help to pass along information I have found that has helped me.
Which brings me to my recipe for today that is a great starter meal for anyone exploring the plant-based diet. I love a great burger -- veggie burger! You can buy pre-made ones, but they are typically processed and have hidden sugars and oils. I suggest making them yourself. Here is a great recipe I use and love:
- 1 can black beans (rinsed)
- 3 heaping T. corn
- 3 heaping T. chopped onions
- 3 heaping T. brown rice
- Squirt each of organic catsup and brown mustard
- 2 shakes each organic ground cumin and garlic (and chili powder if you like it spicy!)
Pull all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse. Squirt more catsup and mustard if you need. You don't want it to be too moist. Put waxed paper on a plate, spoon mixture onto paper and gently press flat with spoon, then cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Chill for at least an hour, as it will firm them up a little. You can bake, or I used a non-stick stove-top grill.
If you enjoy this post, please let us know. We enjoy hearing from you. Thanks for reading, and please pass along our blog to your friends and families. Check out our store to purchase the sources of information referenced in this post. Enjoy your plant-based life!