Eat your veggies

When I was 13, my brother and I watched a news story on slaughterhouses…I remember being traumatized and we bet one another who could stop eating meat the longest.  My brother lost that one…I can’t remember when he went back to meat, but I do know it was soon after.  But 19 years later, I continue on.  I would see a slab of beef, a burger, a drumstick, and see the faces of the animal it came from.  As the years went by, I read up on the health benefits of being vegetarian and kept hearing horrific stories about animal cruelty.  There was no going back for me.  For the most part, my family and friends were supportive, but didn’t quite understand my decision.  I remember, on a few occasions, they tried sneaking meat into my food…like ordering a pizza with pepperoni hidden beneath the cheese, or telling me those chunks of chicken were really tofu.  When I think about it, that’s pretty sad.

I realized that meat was in everything…beef broth in french onion soup, rennet in cheese, chicken stock in sauces, lard in refried beans, and how could I forget gelatin…which is found in most candy, Jello, marshmallows, etc.  I became the biggest label reader!  As I got older, and began to drink beer/wine, I found out the hidden truth about how most alcoholic beverages were made….dare I even begin to talk about that?!  Some companies “clarify” their product using edible gelatins, fish bladder (isinglass), milk powders, or animal albumin (egg albumin or dried blood powder).  There are some helpful websites that list the legit or vegan beers/wines.

Just when people didn’t understand why I was vegetarian….I made the leap to being vegan and was flooded with questions.  Where are you going to get your protein?  Calcium?  What do you eat?  The questions I could handle, it was the rude comments that irritated me….”Vegans don’t live long,” or “You can only get protein from animals.”  It was a struggle to defend my diet and beliefs without offending the other person.  It’s hard to explain to someone who has been eating meat all their life, why I stay away from all animal products (in all aspects of my life).

Well, you can imagine how just about everyone flipped out when I chose to go mostly raw!  I remember thinking a few years ago, “I could never be a raw foodist, it’s too expensive and so bland.”  Today, I enjoy so many incredible food options and the possibilities are endless.  Thanks to my family for chipping in and getting us an Excalibur food dehydrator and a Vitamix blender….I can make anything – kale chips, raw breads/crackers, raw granola, raw pizza and so much more.  Since I have adopted this diet, I have eliminated the cost of prescription medications, over the counter drugs, and no more visits to the doctor.  I have more energy and don’t feel so weighed down by the food I used to eat.  I chose this diet because there’s nothing added to my food products…I can actually read and pronounce every ingredient.   I still answer the old question, “Where do you get your protein?”  Easy, leafy green vegetables are packed full of calcium, vitamins, and protein.  Did you know that kale has the highest content of protein among the leafy greens?  In just 100 g of kale you can get six grams of protein.  My favorite meal is a giant salad (spinach, arugula, kale) topped with a homemade hemp seed dressing, avocado, and walnuts.  Hemp seeds have numerous health benefits and nutrients – omegas, antioxidants, and protein.  Another great source is raw almonds – in a cupful of almonds you can get 21 grams of protein.

David Wolfe and raw food:

I don’t expect everyone or anyone, for that matter, to agree with what I am saying – or to follow the same diet.  Also, I do not judge those who eat meat.  I really just want to share my findings and maybe answer some questions regarding a diet often times misunderstood.