Tag Archives: Forks Over Knives

The Accidental Vegetarian?

I am reluctant to give myself the label vegetarian. I feel like doing so will only set me up for hypocrisy. However, it’s looking more and more like vegetarianism is in my future. It began this summer, when in my hot yoga frenzy I decided to cut back my meat consumption and eat more cleanly. Inspired by films like Forks Over KnivesFat Sick and Nearly Dead, and Food Inc., I knew something in my diet was off, so Alex and I agreed we would eat less meat and make sure all the meat we ate was sourced, (grass-fed, free-range, etc.).

What I did not expect is that it would not be so easy to alternate between eating meat and not eating meat. While the beginning of summer was virtually meat-free, my weeks of travel were not, leaving me sick when I returned to my first hot yoga class, (yes, I know there may have been other factors at play, but I feel diet was a big piece of it). After feeling run over in my post-vacation meat-eating hangover, I decided to return to limited meat consumption.

To my surprise, I found myself not even wanting to buy meat at the grocery store, even when tempted by high-quality choices at Whole Foods or the Farmer’s Market. Instead, just the thought of it was suddenly repulsive. I did not begin this whole experiment feeling the least bit disgusted by meat. It was more about health and the way eating meat makes me physically feel. However, the final straw was this weekend, when Alex and I ate at the Rutherford Grill in Wine Country and I could not even eat a quarter of his sourced cheeseburger. It lost all appeal.

So, here I am, a former meat-eater standing at a crossroads. I still don’t want to call myself a vegetarian because I think it’s possible I’ll still eat meat sometimes. However, the thought of eating any mammal now grosses me out and I’m finding it relatively easy to choose food that is satisfying without meat. Just strange, because I never set out to be a vegetarian, I just set out to eat less meat. For now, I guess I’ll leave myself without labels, but we’ll see where I end up.

If you’ve stopped eating meat, what was your motivation? Do you feel healthier? Happier?

I’m discovering vegetarian options to be surprisingly delicious and more energizing than meat alternatives, (Sol Food Puerto Rican in San Rafael).

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Mission: Fruit & Veggie Consumption!

Lately, the universe has been screaming at me: Eat your veggies!

As you may remember, Alex and I did a juice fast last summer after watching the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, (streamable on Netflix, trailer below).  It was amazing, helped Alex shed quite a few pounds, and altered our diet for months to follow.  However, once the holidays rolled around, we got sucked back into white flour, sugar, and processed foods.

Now, we’re both ready to up our fruit and veggie intake, lower our meat consumption, and cut out white flour and sugar with the occasional splurge.  My friend Jen was a big inspiration for this shift.  She, her husband, and her sister recently watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead and embarked on their own reboot raw food diet.  Since their “reboot,” Jen has not had to use her asthma inhaler and feels like she is in the best athletic condition of her life, (which is pretty incredible because she is always training for triathlons and other intense races!).

More inspiration came from watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, (trailer also below, streamable on Netflix).  The film emphasizes the importance of eating fruits and veggies and minimizing meat consumption.  Ironically, one of my students, a quirky kid with a highly developed sense of irony, also mentioned this film this week when I asked him about his daily lunch of multiple strips of bacon.  It seems that even bacon-eating children know that our diets need to change!

So, here I am, taking on the challenge of integrating as many fruits and vegetables as possible into our meals.  So far, so good.  One week in, I’m craving fresh produce and have managed to eat very little processed food.  The first couple of days were challenging, but now I’m certain I can keep it going, (especially after a delicious breakfast of freshly juiced OJ, avocado/tomato/jalapeno guacamole on black bean, brown rice, and egg tacos, and a strawberry/banana fruit bowl!).

At one point in my life, I would have thought that this was extreme, but now I’m convinced that it’s critical to our health, (see mom, I do listen!).  Nonetheless, I’m still eager for more easy-to-make recipes that highlight fruits and veggies, (especially for lunch!).  If you have any favorites that fit this description, please send them my way!

Also, make sure to check out the trailers below, they’re super inspiring!

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