Monday, July 15, 2013

Wanna Start an EVolution?!

Call it what ya want:  vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, plant-strong, kind, compassionate.  People are writing about it, talking about it and most importantly trying it!  But with all of the good press and open minds, I can't help but feel a little nervous.  I already see a rise here in Barbados of processed and essentially "junk" vegetarian foods.  The same food scientists and marketers that got you to LOVE McDonalds are hard at work for your newly minted vegetarian dollars. 

I attended a raw food demonstration and lunch with Chef Manuela Scalini last weekend and it was so literally food for thought.  As we discussed the benefits of one ingredient over another, where to get sea moss, how to purchase coconut jelly and the best brands of nutritional yeast, I had an out of body moment.  Three years ago (two years ago!) I wouldn't have had a CLUE as to what anyone was speaking about.

That's the evolution of diet. 

Three years ago I started by removing the meat and substituting things that look and taste like meat. Remember, I was coming from 20 years in a fitness culture that preaches 10 chicken breasts a day and calls potatoes The Devil.  Where was I going to go from there?  Straight to Morningstar Farms Chix Patties is where!  The path I took was junkie (I can't read half of the ingredients on any MF package) but it worked.  And my diet evolved from there.

When I eliminated dairy and eggs, that was another step in the process.  Learning to make my own veggie burgers propelled me forward again, and I was able to walk away from processed fake burgers.

When I started added greens and green shakes to my diet my taste buds started to change.  I craved (and still do) all those greens I missed for 40 years.  Greens lead to other things - more vocabulary - chia, salba, hemp, spirulina. 

Now my focus has turned to the work of pioneering doctors (Esselstyn, Campbell, Barnard, Klaper, McDougall, etc.) and the way they are reversing diabetes and heart disease through plant-based, whole food diets. It's the most inspiring reading, watching and learning that I've ever done.  Lest we forget, I'm a fitness junkie at heart!

Which brings me back to the raw food demo last weekend.  The food was beautiful, Manuela was beautiful and I so enjoyed spending an afternoon with like-minded women but I have to admit that a raw food diet is farther out on the evolutionary spectrum then I'm ready for.  I took some great things from that class - a kickass recipe for Passionfruit Flan and this little piece of self awareness.

My evolution isn't over and neither is yours.  Keep growing, keep learning, keep eliminating and adding new foods.  Don't believe anything on the front of any food package - read the ingredients. Take a step and then take another one. As animal-free diets rise, so will the naysayers, the lobbying groups and the companies that have too much invested to just let you walk away.  Do your own research and feed your body whole food - often.  Most importantly: Enjoy your evolution!

I was inspired this week by the following interview with one of my favorites, Dr. Michael Klaper.  He is one of the most kind people and an excellent messenger.  Your time will not be wasted :)

Evolve On!

1 comment:

  1. I love this Lauren! I have been reading a lot about raw too! It's a process, just like going completely vegan. It seems like the ultimate way to eat! I watch Fully Raw Kristina's videos and am amazed by the amount of food she eats....ALL RAW!
    Some days are better than other days as far as the amount that is raw in my diet, and I have had some bad 'experiences' with over doing it in a day. I will just leave it at that. ;) I love the spiralized, raw zucchini and Kristina has a couple of sauces for a 'pasta' dish. One I have tried and it's delicious! Anyway, I love that you are researching this!! Keep it coming! :)