Thursday, July 14, 2011

In Health

Quite suddenly, we've become vegan.

No no, no we haven't. Not entirely. But kind of we've gone vegan

I know that by the very nature of this lifestyle one doesn't kind of do it, but here we are, inching our way in that direction. 

It all started with mac & cheese. I noticed that I was feeling pretty awful after eating the stuff with the kids. And since we tend to eat our fair share, I was noticing it a lot. So I took stock of what happened after each mouthful of cereal, each slice of bread, and you betcha, I had a gluten sensitivity. 

I've always been lactose intolerant, and the gluten business was pretty similar. Had to cut out the gluten, and after one day there was a difference. Two and I was feeling like a new gal. It's been nearly a week and I can't believe how much better I feel all around, outside even of my stomach. 

Two of my friends are also gluten-free, and on a recent evening walk we chatted about nutrition and making the move when the rest of the family doesn't have gluten issues. One of my friends has recently battled breast cancer, and during her treatment and surgeries she found that many of her physicians are vegan. Always a very healthy eater, she was shocked to hear that the general belief behind non-obviously-genetic-type (that's the technical term, I'm sure) cancer is that it's the food we take in and the energy we output (or don't) that does it, or leads to it, or helps it along.

She delved into the subject of vegan eating and immediately her family went in that direction. The other friend on our walk, and several more in our peer group, took their families to the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle soon after, all with tremendous results. Allergies have disappeared, mystery coughs gone, bowels happy to be bowels again. 

I came home and talked to Trevor about it. We talked about his uncle, battling cancer right now, and about our friend, who was the first in our peer group to get it. We talked about what it might be like in that doctor's office, getting a diagnosis, and hearing that it may have been related to diet. Diet! And how, in that moment, we would be horrified that we had not tried harder to prevent it.

And so, now, we are taking a path we never thought we'd take. From a hunting family, Trevor was at first not interested in the least. After our talk, he was the one to suggest we give it a try. 

We're not going to be hardcore - we can't; we know we'd sink and our resolve would be compromised. We're going to lean on fresh fish and continue the eggs. We're not going to force anything on anyone. We're going to walk down for ice cream now and then.

But the other things are big steps for us. Thinking vegetarian is new, and even though we'll continue to make chicken and fish and eggs for the kids, trying to clean up our diets in major ways is hard. We're fumbling a bit right now, but then again, we just started, and we do have a lot to learn. 

We feel great about the adventure of it, though. When we take our long, nearly nightly family walk, we feel like we're doing the right thing, and while I haven't had a chance to talk to Trevor about his energy because he's been working nonstop, I know that I feel lighter and springier already. 

Tonight for dinner I pulled all of our vegetables out of the refrigerator and set them on the counter. I began chopping, and asked Marta and Berit to put them in the pan. Celery and cauliflower, zucchini and edamame, kale and peppers, they all found their way into the girls' bellies before they had a chance with the pan. Our stir-fry was small, but the girls were giddy and full, entirely from our fresh bounty. For dessert they ate gluten-free bread and tomatoes, and the whole time I wondered if it would work. It did.


Michelle Lasley said...

Lisa -- That's great that you were able to find out some of your sensitivities. I would like to suggest you check out the "Weston A Price Foundation", Sally Fallon's book "Nourishing Traditions", and elimination diets (The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook)... Then, if you haven't already, find a reputable Naturopath in your area. :-)

Good luck on your food journey.

aletalane said...

Nourishing Traditions is a great cook book! I am mostly vegetarian, but my boyfriend hunts and would NEVER give up eating meat, so I eat it occasionally too. But meat, if obtained from a good place, can be a good addition to the diet. Too many people over-do meat and processed foods in their diets and wonder why they don't have energy, have anxiety problems, have weight problems, etc.

RachelBrougham said...

Lisa, I have 1000 Vegan Recipes cookbook I highly recommend. Also, I just finished Veganist, which will reaffirm your beliefs that diet can lead to certain illnesses, such as cancer.
Best of luck, so far it's been great for me and Colin.