Okay, so my whole life I have eaten meat!!!! I was raised with all kinds of delicious European meals being as my Mother’s family is from Slovakia. You can only imagine the types of meals that I was fortunate enough to eat !! To add to this, my paternal Grandmother is from France and let’s just say that I am fond of cheese !! With a food background like that, you can only imagine how difficult the choice to become Vegan could be for me.
As of recently, within the past few months, I have dabbled with the idea of becoming vegetarian. The reason for this came from the fact that every time I cooked meat, I was a bit repulsed. To see blood sliding around in the package of meat as I put it into my shopping cart was not too appetizing. Cooking it was worse, my food, in the pan and simmering with blood moving around it. Blood pouring out of my food as it was cooking. Ewww…….I was just one step closer to Vegetarian. But what about bacon? And all of Mom’s traditional Slovak foods? Mmmm…..and what other options do I have left for food without meat?
Now let’s take a little step back. During my pregnancy, the doctor recommended that I limit my red meat intake and NO seafood at all !! I know all you Mommies out there are familiar with this schpeal. And so, after research, I followed Docs orders. Now , let’s think this through for a moment. Why would the Dr’s tell pregnant woman not to consume meat or seafood during pregnancy? My Doc took it a step further and informed me that human’s aren’t even supposed to consume cow’s milk. What? I have never heard that one before. But, because my Mom had acquired 8 cavities during her pregnancy with me due to lack of calcium, I was all over the milk drinking and was consuming 2 gallons of milk a week throughout my pregnancy !!!! I thought I had it planned out so well, that I would never be calcium deficient. After all, I had two Grandmothers with Arthritis, one of which couldn’t use her hands at all. During all of this milk drinking it never occurred to me that I should be consuming Vitamin D !!!
So let’s jump back to the here and now. As of a few days ago, Wednesday April 7th to be exact, I have declared myself Vegan. To be honest with you, I don’t miss meat a bit !! And I know, it’s only been 5 days but I have a feeling I’m not going to care too much about meat in the least. Frankly I am becoming pretty repulsed by the idea of eating animals. We love them and give them a home, but have no problem eating them? There is a reason Doctors don’t want pregnant woman eating meat and there is a reason humans shouldn’t either. After reading all the facts, this is really becoming quit easy !!
“Livestock feed is routinely beefed up with slaughterhouse wastes like blood, bone, vescera as well as the remains of euthanized cats and dogs” -(Michael Satchell & Stephen Hedges, The next bad beef scandal, US News & World Report, Sept 1, 1997)
So if you think you are safe buying organic meat that are only grass-fed think again. Red meat has been linked to all the following health conditions…Heart Disease, Cancer, Osteoporosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Bingo !!!! There is part of my problem, red meat linked to arthritis? Well, logically one would stop eating it and so I have !!
Red meat contains a molecule known as Neu5Gc that has been linked to found in Cancer tumors. But Humans do not produce this molecule. What we do produce is the antibodies which fight it and that leads to …………..inflammation. So for those of you sitting there thinking, “How silly of her to give up meat and think it will heal her” Sit on those facts for a bit.
Here are some links with some more facts in relation to this topic.
Why didn’t I find out about this sooner? I really hope that in the future, this type of information will be accessable in our schools. Children and their parents should be informed about this and the public has the right to know. I’m sure that many of those living with cancer would rewind to go back in time and take meat out of their diet if it meant not developing Cancer or one of the many other diseases linked to it. Remember, my inflammation didn’t start until a month after my soon was born. After nine months of no red meat !
Now that I have given you a few facts, on with the show !!! So no meat, no dairy. So far, so good !! So, what have I been eating? I have always loved salads and my new favorite is a simple salad composed of baby spinach topped with fresh-cut strawberries and balsamic vinaigrette. Yum !! For snacks, I love to have grapes, raisins and any type of fruit available. I find that raisins come in handy as a small dessert after having something spicy. Another great snack is corn chips and salsa. You get a small serving a veggies in this way too ! A good way to get your protein is through beans and tofu. And there are lots of ways to eat tofu, so don’t write it off just yet ! Now a days stores like Wegmans and Whole Foods offer so many selections on Vegan foods. Many companies will print Vegan on the front of the package to make it a little easier to find. And let me tell you, there are many yummy desserts to choose from. I have these great chocolate doughnuts that you keep frozen !! And boy do I love chocolate. Also, there are many meat like products available that are Vegan. I have bought Vegan chicken nuggets for some time now and they are wonderful, even Joe likes them !
So, what has been my biggest challenge so far? I do love all things dairy…cheese, ice cream, etc. Luckily, they do make yummy Vegan Ice cream now. But I have yet to find a cheese I really like. If anyone knows of a brand please let me know. But really, everything is great !! I am still going and soooo excited !!!!!