As I was getting set to do a 4th of July BBQ for one of my regular clients a few weeks ago, which was to be a typical meat laden extravaganza, I got a call saying they had all gone vegan. Huh? Everyone? For 4th of July? Hell yes, this was going to be a first! As you already know I’m a healthy cook…..organic, grass fed, whole grains, & all that but vegan? This was going to be a new one especially for a big bbq. Of course I pulled it off and the guests all loved it so thank God for that. I might have to change my name to the Healthy Irish-Veganman. This is not the point of my post but it does correspond.
I had wondered how their new vegan lifestyle came to be all of a sudden so I asked. Low and behold they had seen a movie called Forks over Knives. I’d heard of it and imagined it was along the lines of other food related movies I had seen like Ingredients, Food Inc, & Food Matters but I hadn’t seen it yet. My client really wanted me to see it so they sent me a copy. As some of you may know the missus and I had a baby last month so movies have not been high on the agenda but yesterday we found time to watch it in between the 45….. hundred diaper changes.
The premise: eating a plant based diet (and avoiding processed foods) along with whole grains can help control if not reverse some degenerative diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes. Now for me eating a diet loaded with fruits and veggies is a no-brainer for health, but as well as this you have to learn more about what not to eat like all the processed foods on the market nowadays. Now, full disclosure, I’m not vegan but I don’t eat a lot of meat and/or dairy and haven’t eaten red meat in years. Christy is vegetarian so I guess that makes it easier when deciding what to have for dinner and the fact I love vegetables helps. That stems from how I grew up in Ireland. We didn’t have TV dinners or fast food in those days.
The movie follows two doctors who unbeknown to each other were on the same path of proving the benefits of eating a vegan diet. I think when people hear the word ‘vegan’ they think tree hugging hippies traveling around in a bus listening to Blues Traveler smoking weed wearing hemp clothes, which may indeed be the case for some but I think you’ll find a lot more people are actually leading a plant based diet life style than we realize, especially for the health benefits. Even an Irishman is open it.
As my Mexican-born & raised neighbor said today, “When any of us were sick or coming down with something my grandmother used to say, ‘Nutrition first then medicine.’ Thanks to her I saved my tonsils. I smelled like garlic and onions for days but the infections and pain went away & saved my tonsils.”
The whole idea of eating for health and self medicating with food is not a new one but this movie actually had science to back up some claims. I’m not hear to preach but I do think if you get a chance watch this movie. It might just open your eyes to something new and you never know it may even help you. It’s worth a look I promise you.
If you’ve seen it or plan on it I’d love to hear your thoughts when you do.