Forks Over Knives

Every once in awhile a movie can change the way you think.  After seeing Food, Inc. I gave up poultry for a while.  It also spurred Peter and I on to better eating.  We gave up processed foods.  If you still need help with this Fork Over Knives will cure you of it!  We began eating seasonally almost two years ago.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a more mild climate, but as we approach fall I’m anxious for meals with kale and swiss chard, and ready to start making soup again.

Not quite a week into our meatless diet journey we decided to watch Forks Over Knives.  The general gist is that the healthiest way to eat is to stick to a plant based diet.  No meat products including dairy and eggs.  I’ve been thinking hard about this the last couple days.  Could I really give up cheese?  And then I remember, I already did.  But that was supposed to be for six weeks.  Can I just eat an animal product in a few meals a week?  Probably.

Going vegan seemed extreme – and I was a little upset and frustrated when I first saw where this was going.  But the research behind it is fascinating, at least to me.  The basic idea is that two major studies were being done at the same time on how health conditions can alter by changing the patients diet.  It is remarkable enough that changing to a plant based diet can reduce your risk of cancer, heart diseaseand diabetes.  The amazing thing is it can actually change the disease!

Is there something a hereditary medical issue you are likely to face someday?  For me it’s most likely heart disease – and now I have a way to prevent it from happening.  To alter what has already shown up on tests, and turn it around.  Between clinical trials with American and Canadian patients and field tests in the Philippines and China, the same conclusion was found by Dr. T. Colin Campbell (The China Study) and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, from the Cleveland Clinic).  Through more than 20 years of research, treatment and study, both found plant based diets to be the most beneficial treatment for a myriad of diseases.

The movie follows the story of several people who actually treated for chronic conditions through the plant based diet.  Some of them are actually able to go off the medication they’d been taking for years to keep the disease under control.  While I don’t have quite the reasoning these people do to take this on and meet the challenge, the fact that it can prevent somethings from ever becoming an issue is worth remembering.

It is a huge lifestyle change to take on.  A change like this would alter how you cook and bake, and what food you buy and where. Fewer options when eating, dinner parties and family events can become challenging. All important to consider certainly.  For me I also have to consider, do I do this, even if Peter does not?  Do I try to limit my animal products to a piece of fish at dinner one day and a cup of cottage cheese for breakfast another day?  The movie did encourage me to kick the few processed foods I’ve gone back to, of course just after buying a new box of cereal.  It also inspired Peter to buy soy milk instead of cows milk.   As we work on cutting out the few remaining options of animal products or limit them to certain meals, I’m sure we will revisit this.  I’ve been unwilling to watch Food, Inc. again, as many of the lessons have been burned into my brain.  I may actually watch this movie again though as we get down to the final week.

While I certainly don’t want to try and convince everyone I know to become vegan, I hope you will watch this movie and think about how you can change your diet to limit certain things and increase other food options you don’t get as much of.  Because I want everyone to live a long and healthy life.  And none of us should rely on prescriptions to help us achieve that.

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