Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 24 - A Heart Choice or A Hard Choice?

So it's  fifth day into the same seven day vegan challenge that Oprah offered to her employees.  We decided to do the same thing to see how we felt after spending seven days not eating any meat or dairy products. And attempted to keep sugar out of our diet too.  For my boyfriend, meat is the missed staple of choice.  For me it's the cheese.  I love cheese.  I could be a semi-vegetarian by eating only fish and seafood with the vegetable/fruit diet and that would suit me fine.

The things that I've observed on this diet about our bodies is that the first few days water is essential as you have headaches from the withdrawal.  The energy level is much higher as it's like putting pure gas into a car or gas with sugar in it.  The car that tries to run on the gas with impurities in it doesn't work.  My bloating and water retention went away immediately.  So overall I think it's a good thing to do.  However as Americans, we love our meat.  I don't think we need to eliminate meat from our diets but I do think it's possible to adjust our intake of meat down to 2 or 3 times a week and our overall health as a nation would improve.

We have eaten beans and rice which provides all 9 essential amino acids and plenty of protein.  Milk from a cow can be substituted with Rice Vanilla Milk and Almond Vanilla Milk.  (Soy milk tends to provide too much estrogen for me and the last thing I need to do is gain more weight!)  We've eaten home-made soup with whole-wheat noodles.  Tabouli with pita bread is good. The Vegetarian Pizza with pineapple, mushrooms, peppers, onions and olives was great. There is an organic butter called Earthly Butter which tastes exactly like butter.  You cannot tell the difference.  Additionally there is a mayonnaise that doesn't have eggs and it is great as well.  We ate Almonds, Pecans, Salads of all kinds.  One lunch I even made a clover salad.  I didn't think it was possible but it was actually good with blueberries and red, yellow and orange peppers covered with vinegar and lemon juice and Italian herbs.

So we learned about products that are better for us that we can substitute and make a little difference in our daily food intake.  We ordered vegetarian subs at Subway and overall it was a positive experience.  But as the Brand name of the Organic Earl Gray Tea called "Choice" indicates, it really is a choice.  This choice of lifestyle has a downside as well.  Particularly if you are unemployed.  The trip to the organic store getting about 20 items rang a total of $47.  I think that this was crazy.  $5 for butter?  But then I thought, well I don't pay money for meat, so it ends up being the same when it evens out.  The money we save for being healthy pays for this lifestyle too.  I honestly think it takes money to start it however. At least on the front end if we don't have our own garden.  If we adopted this lifestyle choice as a gradual change whereby at the time when we run out of mayonnaise, we go to the whole foods store and buy the vegan mayonnaise, and then next week we replace the milk and snacks, I think it is doable.

I for one don't like to think of the animals I'm eating and what it takes for this piece of meat to get to my plate.  It is horrible.  I watched a show the other night showing famous celebrities who have had heart surgery and their human heart valve was replaced with a cows heart valve.  One of them said they just couldn't eat beef anymore.  I understand.  Think of what choices we can make in our food intake now that would be the right thing to do for each of us.  Every person is different. 

From what I can tell heart attacks can not be detected.  Many people have had stress tests within the previous 4 weeks and ended up having emergency heart surgery.  President Clinton, Barbara Walters and David Letterman are some of the famous people but there are plenty of non-famous people who are like you and me who have had the same experience.  There simply is no way to detect when our hearts will just stop. A family member of mine is in the hospital as I write this due to heart problems.  Upon release he is to go straight to, do-not-pass-go, straight to see a heart specialist.  I'm sure he's going to get "the talk."  Change your diet, exercise more.  No more red meat, lower your cholesterol by eating food with less fat. 

Joyce Meyers gives a great sermon about how her best friend who told her about this bread diet that worked so wonderfully for her.  She kept telling everyone, "You have to do this, you should do this. I prayed for God to show me how to lose weight and he showed me."   She did it so much that Joyce finally had to pull her aside and tell her what she felt God wanted her friend to hear.  "Just because God has shared with you this wonderful way for you to lose weight, it may not be God's intention that this is the same way that God wants others to lose weight.  Because it's good for you, doesn't mean it's good for everyone." 

We get like this sometimes.  We get so excited that something works for ourselves, we demand that others we know should do the same thing that worked for US.  The right thing may be to give the information and understand that the choice is ultimately theirs.  I've enjoyed the experience this week and I want to chose the right thing to do for me.  I'm not quite sure what right is but I do know what I'm missing the most.... a salami and cheese sandwich and a side of nachos and cheese

“A strong and secure man digests his experiences (deeds and misdeeds alike) just as he digests his meat, even when he has some bits to swallow.” Friedrich Nietzsche

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