Thursday, May 31, 2012

What it looks like today

In our house we aren't 100% raw yet.  We aren't even 100% vegan.  We aren't even 100% vegetarian.

For years we have been saying that we are flexitarians, eating vegetarian anywhere from one to six days per week.  Rarely did we go a whole week without eating some form of meat, and often our vegetarian meals included some form of animal protein.

Last February I was at a gathering at the home of a friend, and one of the guests there is a chef who prepares raw vegan food.  She fed us a raw vegan snack, and I noticed how that snack made me feel in my body.  Not like a sugar rush.  Not like a caffeine pick-me-up.  I felt nourished.  The feeling seemed almost instantaneous.  Like my body was grateful. Somewhere in the back of my mind I filed away a little tidbit:  Raw vegan feels good.  After that I visited her restaurant a couple of times, and both times the meal gave me that deeply nourished feeling.

It's more than nourishment though.  I also get a sort of peaceful, zen quality from the food.  As I eat the food I can almost feel my stress levels going down.  If I were to take a sip from a fountain of youth, this is what I would imagine it might feel like.

Since I made a commitment last summer to teach our youngest how to cook, we've been enjoying a lot of cooking shows on Netflix.  On the documentary Take Home Chef, we saw how a chef goes into different homes to prepare a meal for the people who live there, and sometimes those people are vegan.  The chef was able to prepare some amazing gourmet meals for all of these people regardless of their food lifestyles.  Then we saw Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue.  I thought it was going to be about a group of firefighters cooking up mouthwatering meals in a firehouse.  Instead, it was about a firefighter who found that most of his rescues weren't about fighting fires but coming to the rescue of people who need help due to medical problems caused by diet.  This led to the creation of a plant based diet to save lives.

This short documentary had a huge impact on me because I thought we were already eating pretty well.  We've already been talking about increasing our intake of fresh vegetables.  But in this documentary they were extolling the virtues of the plant based diet.  My husband and I looked at each other, astonished to realize that there was more that we could be doing to be healthy.  The fact was staring us in the face:  What we had been doing was not working.

We went on to watch other documentaries that showed how animals proteins contribute to a myriad of health issues that are typically blamed on the aging process.

One example is the informative documentary Fork Over Knives.  Perhaps later I will compile a list of documentaries and other media materials that helped to inform our decision.

My husband began looking into raw veganism, and he liked what he saw.  The two of us quickly came to be on the same page, and now we are in the learning process.

We have just started to begin sprouting seeds.  A food dehydrator and new parts for our food processor have just arrived.  In the meantime, a little at a time, we are consuming the last of the animal products that we have on hand.  We aren't having one last meat fest, it's more like occasionally we incorporate some of it into the meal. But when it's gone, it's gone.

I keep wanting to emphasize that we aren't saying we will never eat meat again.  This isn't like giving up smoking cigarettes.  We are not equating non-vegan foods with addiction or a bad habit that we need to "kick."  We simply wish to improve our nutrition.  We want the foods we consume to be easier for our bodies to deal with, with more helpful nutrients and fewer ingredients that take a toll.  The ultimate goal is to feel better and to be more healthy.

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?