Thursday, July 28, 2011

If You're Going to be a Vet, You Can't Eat Your Patients!

There are many things I love about my husband.  Besides being a loving, supportive, and funny man, he’s also smart, handsome and incredibly humble about it all.  With this humility, he isn’t likely to express his opinion very loudly, unless he’s among his closest friends – he just assumes that everyone has their own path, and it’s not his place to barge in and tell them how to live.

So I was more than a little surprised when he told me recently that he challenged a patient of his who said she was going to be a vet.  “So you must be a vegetarian?” he asked the young college girl.  “Ummm … no…” she said hesitantly.  “Hmm.”  He paused.  “Well, I’m a doctor and I’m not a cannibal – how can you be a vet and eat your patients?”

At this point of the story, I was on the floor rolling – mainly due to his comment, and also due to his bravado in standing up for the veg*n diet.  Like I said, he’s generally pretty quiet about his opinions when he’s with strangers.  I can imagine this poor girl who came in for a routine eye exam, only to have her doctor nail her to the wall about eating her future patients!  But I’m sure he made a point that stuck with her.  YAY, husband!!

So, for today’s blog, I simply ask you:  “Do you stand up for your veg*n diet?”  You don’t need to throw blood on fur-wearing opera fans if that’s not your style, but can you at least stand up for what you believe?  Can you proudly tell people that you eat this way, and briefly explain why?  If not, then practice your elevator speech.  You never know when you might say something that sticks.a

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why You Can't Seem to Quit Eating Cheese

If you’re having a hard time going vegan because you just can’t seem to give up cheese, you’re not alone!  Many of us have felt the pull to cheese like a crack addict to crack.  In fact, you may even feel like you’re … addicted. 

Believe it or not, it could very well be that you are addicted to cheese!  Cheese contains casein, which breaks apart in digestion to release naturally occurring opiates called casomorphins.  Astonishingly, casomorphins mimic the reaction of morphine on our brain!  These opiates in dairy products may be responsible for the calming effect of nursing in infants, and also for the addictive qualities in cheese.

Before I was vegan, my four personal food groups were Swiss, Havarti, Cheddar and Chocolate.  In college, I was always a cheap date because I’d choose fettuccine alfredo over steak or lobster any day.  Interestingly, when I wanted to lose weight, I fantasized about someone putting padlocks on my refrigerator so I simply couldn’t get to the food.  (Sounds like the fantasy of an addict to me.)  I remember when I first read the advice in a Susan Powter book to give up dairy, it seemed like it would be easier to give up everything else except for dairy, and specifically cheese. I think I might have been one of those cheese addicts.

So what do you do if you suspect you are a cheese addict?  Don’t despair!  You won’t have to put yourself in lockdown if you really want to give up cheese.  You simply have to clean out your taste buds for about 30 days before whole, natural foods start tasting amazing once again, and foods like cheese, ice cream and chocolate start to sound unappealing.  I know this sounds impossible, but trust me, I’ve seen it happen to many people, including myself.  In fact, in Tina’s Blog (see my last blog post,) she surprisingly announced that this started happening to her around Day 15 or so of the 30 Day Challenge in
Vegan in 30 Days.  Food just wasn’t tasting very good anymore – things she used to love were becoming too salty now.  All she wants to eat now are fruit smoothies made with ripe, juicy, natural fruits.  Now that’s an improvement!

To learn more about the 30 Day Vegan Challenge and how to clean out your taste buds for a lifetime of good health, you can read more in Vegan in 30 Days.  To learn more about the chemical effects of how casein turns into casomorphins, you may want to google Neal Barnard or Bill Harris, both of whom are medical doctors that I have heard speak to this topic.  Neal Barnard’s book Breaking the Food Seduction, specifically speaks to this topic.  To read Tina’s humorous blog, click here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tina Goes "Vegan in 30 Days!"

Raspberry lemonade does NOT count as two servings of fruit and caramel corn does NOT count as a serving of vegetables!!  If you love a good laugh, read Tina's Blog as she goes “Vegan in 30 Days.” 

Modeled after my book, Vegan in 30 Days, Tina takes the vegan challenge and decides to follow the 30 day plan to slowly give up all meat, dairy and eggs, and go 100% vegan.  However, with her incredible humor, she’ll have you rolling!  Here are some excerpts:

Day 3 – The Fruit & Veg Cleanse
“So, I'm not what you would call a "go-getter" first thing in the morning.  I wake up gradually.  Consciousness sneaks up on me with little cat feet; it doesn't drop on me like Queen Latifah ...  Keeping all this in mind, my morning started with me actually getting out of bed (as all mornings do), taking a shower, going on Facebook to harvest my Cityville crops, and then grabbing 3 leftover Bottle Caps from last night's Blockbuster snack pack.  I ate them before I even realized what day it was.  So, within 15 minutes of getting out of bed, I'd already violated the Fruit and Veg Cleanse with Willy Wonka candy.  Oops.”

Day 5 – Find Substitutes
“I do frequent the health food store in Chelan, probably 5 times a year or so, even though it's 60 miles one way and gas is like $85 a gallon.  I do this because it makes me feel trendy and green, and because I figure there's going to be some single men there.”

Read more from Tina’s Blog here!