The new experiment that I alluded to in my last post has to deal with eating more of a plant-based diet and minimizing the amount of processed food. I don’t want to put a title like vegetarian or vegan on it at this point, but that’s the direction I’m heading.
It all started innocently enough. At work, I was asked to be on a wellness committee aimed and making our employees more aware of some of the benefits we offer, as well as, expanding those benefits. One of the things we do is hang up poster throughout the building on different topics, such as, drinking or texting while driving, eating better, exercising more, etc. One such sign, located by a microwave, simply said “Food Matters”. As I was heating my lunch up one day, a co-worker came by and said, “That was a good movie” as she pointed at the sign. The sign was so simple that I did realize it was a movie.
That night I went home and watch it. It definitely got me thinking, but I wouldn’t say it was a come-to-Jesus moment. It did lead me to seek out other food documentaries like, Get Vegucated, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives, Fire Engine #2 Diet, Mad Cowboy. These documentaries typically focus on either the health benefits of a plant-based diet or the cruelty to animals (and environment) side of the argument. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Forks Over Knives. However, if you’re obese and looking for a “solution” then Fat Sick & Nearly Dead is worth 90 minutes of your time.
Probably not surprising, I’m more concerned with the health benefits. We constantly hear about the Western Diet and the correlation between our health care woes. We hear it so much that it’s hard for me to think anyone in this country isn’t aware that “food matters.” We just don’t want to do anything about it. We like the taste of our meat, dairy, sweets, chips, etc. And we like the convenience of our highly processed, pre-packaged food. But as any of the documentaries will tell you, these foods are high in calories and low in nutrients.
I like to think I was eating healthy. Breakfast typically consisted of a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, or similar cereal, with a banana and milk. Then I’d have yogurt for a morning snack. Lunch was usually leftovers from the previous dinner or canned soup if I was in a pinch. Almost every lunch also included carrots, pretzels and an apple. Dinners didn’t include a lot of red meat, but we like chicken and probably eat brats once or twice a week in the summer. There’s frozen pizza most Friday nights. Once in awhile we’ll throw in canned veggies like peas or corn.
It’s hard to go from all that to plant-based over night, but like I said, I’m heading that direction. One thing eliminated is the cereal and milk for breakfast. I’ve replaced that with a NutriBlast. Basically, it involves filing a “blender” half with leafy greens and half with fruit, plus you can throw in some nuts, seeds, powder, etc., and add some water. It’s a simple as that.
Other than that I’ve just been keeping an eye on processed foods. Instead of eating a granola bar or graham crackers after lunch, I’ll reach for some extra fruit. I think this is a process like running. It’s hard to know where to begin at first, but once you jump in and start seeing some results, you can’t wait to proceed even further.
Today I was thinking about all the New Year’s Resolutions about getting healthy that have probably already been forgotten. I think people would have an easier time keeping these resolutions if they educated themselves about healthy eating, at the time they were making their resolution, rather than just saying, “I’m going to eat healthy”.
Of course, you don’t need a new year to make a resolution.