Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Forks Over Knives

Wesley Chapel, Florida

I am intrigued by the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.  I am doing more reading.  What exactly do they eat and what do they not eat?  How could you possibly live without animal protein?

The China Study is an  interesting book,  but I knew Al would never read it.   I also know that I would have a very difficult time changing my eating habits if Al isn’t willing to make some changes as well.

After a few chapters of the The China Study, I try to relay some of the information to Al.   He listens, but always seems to have a comeback, like  “I’m not giving up meat”, or  “I’m not giving up beer.”


The Good Luck Ducks turned me on to a movie called,  Forks Over Knives.  

You can watch it Here.

It is very interesting,  and I encourage everyone to at least give it 5-10 minutes.  I don’t think you’ll find it boring.  You may not choose to make any changes to your diet, but at least you may get a better understanding of the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. 

We both found it extremely interesting.  

I have always admired people where food was not such an important part of their life.  People that “ate to live,”  instead of “lived to eat”  like we do!

That’s not to say that I don’t want to enjoy good food.  I just would like food to not be so all consuming.   I’d like to have more control over what and how much I eat.   I’d like to be healthier and have more energy.  I’d like to lose some weight.  Boy, would I like to lose some weight.

Al takes a daily blood pressure pill, and a Lipitor for his cholesterol. 

I currently take no medications but I imagine my time is coming….unless of course I make some changes.

I am starting to see some benefits from a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.

Do I think we could do it? 

I don’t know.

It would be a lot more difficult for Al, I think.  He has always been a meat and potatoes kind of guy.  He never wanted any of his foods mixed together (like casserole) and he ate very few vegetables.  He wouldn’t try anything new and on the rare occasion I could get him to try something new, he “hated”  it before it ever got in his mouth.  He was determined he wouldn’t like anything new, and he didn’t.

When we moved to Georgia and started to grow our own vegetables, he decided to give them an honest try.  He discovered he liked a lot of the things he would never eat before.  He started to listen to me if I said something was good, he’d try it.

It was a “new”  Al and sometimes I am still shocked by the things he now eats and likes.  A common phrase around here, is  “boy, if your Mother could see you now.”   All of his life, she cooked an entirely separate meal for Al. 

Never in a million years would I have thought Al would even consider being a vegetarian, let alone a vegan. 

He has not committed to it and neither have I, but we do find it interesting.

We have committed to trying it for a few days.

Could we actually find enough food that we like without meat and dairy?  Would we be able to find delicious foods that we love?  How much trouble would it be?  I am not a cook and have no desire to learn now!

He will not give up beer.  Some other things may be negotiable, but beer is not!   Hey isn’t beer vegan?

Steaks?   Hamburgers?      Well…..we just don’t know.   One step at a time.

Today is  the beginning of day three of our trial.

We have had plenty to eat, munched off and on all day,  and were never hungry.  I have no idea how many calories we had.

Yesterday,  something unusual happened.  I don’t know if it’s related to what we are eating (or not eating) or not.

Yesterday (day 2) I woke up before 6 am and felt pretty energetic.  It was probably more because we went to bed earlier than we had been.  Now that we finished watching 24, we didn’t stay up so late!

We went for a walk,  came home,  drank some coffee, got on the computers,  and ate breakfast.  I had a hand full of almonds and some fresh blueberries.   Al had the same, but added a yogurt (dairy) with his breakfast.  It was in the refrigerator and we didn’t want to waste it. 

A couple hours later, I got hungry so I put some Hummus (ground chick peas with lots of spices) on some corn chips.  It was actually very good and filling.

I started noticing I felt kind of antsy.  A good antsy, not like if you get jittery from not eating, but like I had energy. What was this unusual feeling???   I felt like doing something constructive like cleaning house.  (I resisted)

Al was out and when he came home we went grocery shopping at the local Whole Foods Store that Sherry and David love so much.

I was still feeling this energy.  It kind of reminded me of how I felt when I used to take diet pills.  I was extremely chatty!   Motor mouth might be a  better word! 

Al wasn’t feeling this same burst of energy.   Was that what gave me this sudden energy?   I felt very energetic all day, but Al didn’t notice anything different. He had dairy and I didn’t.  I had hummus and he didn’t.   Later on, he ate some hummus to see if gave him a burst of energy.  It didn’t.

So….I don’t know what that’s all about but I’d like that energy boost to come back today.

Was it the food I’m eating?   Was it the food I’m not eating?  Was it a fluke?

Today for breakfast I had almonds, walnuts and a vegan protein shake.  It’s green in color but actually very tasty with a nutmeg flavor.

I’m not even going to tell you what Al ate for dinner last night!



This picture is our neighbor across the street.  This nice lady picked up this dog wandering around on a busy highway.   He is a white Boxer.  She is fostering him until the local Boxer rescue can find him a home. He has sure bonded with her.  He sits in the window and waits patiently for her to come back.   Isn’t he cute?




The next picture is of crazy little Baxter when we came home from the store with a batch of fresh kale.  He loved the smell of it.

baxter eating kale

There isn’t much he doesn’t like.  He even ate some of the hot and spicy hummus I gave him.  I never thought he’d eat that, but he did.   Notice the size of his feet?  

Al has a doctors appointment today. I don’t guess we’ll stop off at the local fast food for lunch.   Smile


  1. We try to have one veggie meal a week. For us that is a big step. Growing up in MT, it was all meat and potatoes for me. And Jim is a huge fan of meat and fish. Now that we have some walleye in the freezer we can have fish more often which is healthier than those burgers. I'm going to try and get two veggie meals a week in without him noticing. Good luck to you guys. I'm like Al, I just love that meat.

  2. Rick could be a veggie person no problem..I'm the problem in this family...grew up as a meat veggie and potato girl..nothing I love more than a good steak off the bbq..:(....but maybe I could do it a couple of days a week? better than not at all I say...

    1. Al and I both love a good steak too. I imagine we will still have one on occasion, but who knows.

  3. Interesting post, Karen. Maybe I should think about starting a McVeggie fast food outlet?

    I'll be curious about how this goes with you and Al. I'm going to give it a pass during this lifetime.

    1. we're taking it one day at a time. No promises.

  4. I have been a vegetarian since 1976 and vegan since 1993. It's not hard to do. Feeling good is normal these days. In fact, I am starting a 10 day juicing reboot after seeing how Annie and Roxie did it.
    You will be surprised at your good health and energy. Try it.

  5. Hope you'll have success with this. I know Al could come of his meds if he would change his diet tons of people have. Here's to your health!!

    1. Thanks. Boy would I love to pick your brain. Maybe after David comes home.

  6. come off of his meds is what that was "supposed" to say.

  7. What a hoot...I am reading your post while eating a hot dog. Oh dear.
    Paul and I don't actually eat much meat. We do love chicken and have it over any other type of food. The hot dog was leftover from our picnic on Sunday.
    Will follow along to see if the change in diet has given you the boost of energy or is it in the spicy hummus?

    1. was it by chance a tofurky hot dog??

  8. Enjoying your ideas. I could write a very long post. Read all the same books and tried some of the ideas. Really tried to cut down on salt. Was surprised to learn how much salt I had been eating. I have been eating acording to Leviticus for years. Completely lost my appetite a year ago and my weight dropped dramatically. Scared me the first time and the appetite came back. The second time it happened, I told myself "good". I had to force myself to eat and never thought of food. Lost more weight and then the appetite came back. I could eat cardboard now. If I could figure out what happened, I'd make a billion bucks. Keep posting. Maybe we'll figure this out.

  9. YES! This is what I want from food - for it to sustain me, and not control me. To think of food when I'm hungry, then eat some and stop thinking about it until I'm hungry again.

    We were vegetarian (plenty of dairy) before we went vegan, and I had very little energy. Dropping the dairy was a biggie for me, and I get those bursts of energy, now, too. Very odd - I had to figure out what to do with them.

    [Beer is vegan.]

    1. Exactly....I don't want food to control me.

      I'm hoping to see a big energy boost. So far, so good.

  10. I have been vegetarian (except for wild caught fish) for about 10 years. My main reason is because we live in one of the biggest poultry production areas in the country. I know how they are raised - or manufactured. A recently hired coworker of mine (he's maybe 60 years old) credits "Forks over Knives " for saving his life. Another video to go along with Forks is "Food Inc."
    Also if you think vegetarian is boring do yourself a favor : learn about Indian food.

    1. I don't know about Indian food. I'm not a big fan of curry. Maybe something for later, or maybe I just don't know enough about it.

  11. I have been vegetarian (except for wild caught fish) for about 10 years. My main reason is because we live in one of the biggest poultry production areas in the country. I know how they are raised - or manufactured. A recently hired coworker of mine (he's maybe 60 years old) credits "Forks over Knives " for saving his life. Another video to go along with Forks is "Food Inc."
    Also if you think vegetarian is boring do yourself a favor : learn about Indian food.

  12. You've pick a great time of the year to give this food change a go. All the fresh produce makes eating wonderful. We live on tomato, cucumber sandwiches, baked potato with salsa, corn on the cob w/o butter, fresh brocolli, ripe peaches, and whatever if fresh and beautiful at the farmers market or store:o)) Once you make the change, give up the added oil and salt, and eat fresh foods, you will really TASTE food for the first time!! It takes about 3 weeks for your tastes to change, but they will change!! Wish you the best and hope it brings you good health:o))

  13. I eat many more vegetarian meals now than I ever did, but I also will eat chicken, fish, and most meats except beef. OK, I will also eat beef occasionally.

    Don't try to change to much to fast. Emphasise eating healthIER. There are so many wonderful, healthful foods you will wonder why you ever wasted your time eating fast food!

    1. I am afraid if we just try to modify our diets a little, we will fail just like we always did. We're both on board with this for the moment, so I think it's best to give it our best shot. So far, so good. That movie was a powerful incentive!

  14. Not all beers are vegan. If you want to know more, check out www.barnivore.com. It lists which beers, wines, and boozes are vegan and which are not.

    My hub stated that he has found that food is more flavorful since he quit eating dairy. And, when he ate a bison burger after not eating meat for about 6 months, he said afterwards that he felt like he'd eaten a brick. (This is a man who used to say "I have incisors, therefore I eat meat.")

  15. While my hubby is still what I can a "vegetarian-in-training," he's made great strides and I'm really proud of him for the changes in his diet. We have a deal: our kitchen is kept "clean," no meat or dairy of any kind except for what we feed the dog, but when we go out to eat he can order whatever he wants, no recriminations. It's working out very well so far!


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