Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day Two and Revelations

Ok, here's what my Vegan KickOff email suggested I cook for today:

Breakfast: Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes and Facon Bacon
Lunch: Spinach Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing
Snack: Edamame  (what the heck is that?!)
Dinner: Whole Wheat Pasta with Marinara Sauce

And after my trip to the grocery store to get ingredients for the vegan recipes, I've come to the bottom line.  (Oh oh, have we arrived here so soon?)

I've spent hours researching soy, the benefits and dangers, fermented soy products versus nonfermented, the soy industry's claims and how much soy the Asian culture really has historically consumed.  (Not that I have ever consumed that much anyway....but I do have my Lite Chocolate Soy/Banana shake most days.  And I like marinated tofu, but haven't eaten much of it.)  Since I signed onto the Vegan KickOff initiative, I've had second thoughts.

All this talk about diet and health.  I'm sure you, like me, are tired of thinking one food is healthy one day only to read the next that it isn't.  There have been many examples of this over the few decades I've walked the earth, eggs for one example.  (At this point, it's the egg yolk with the fat and cholesterol, but the whites are considered excellent protein.)  Then there are the pesticides, the contaminents in our soil and water, the lower percentage of vitamins in foods as compared to a century ago, mercury in the fish, growth hormones in dairy, corn-fed beef versus grass-fed, carcinogens in bar-b-q'ed meats, nitrates in processed meats like bacon, salami, pepperoni,  etc.

So....I have decided to modify my vegan kickoff to follow what I, myself, think is healthy.  And that is to increase my fruits and vegetables, buying organic or locally grown whenever possible.  I love vegetables, so this won't be hard.  Fruits I've never been too fond of, but am learning to be.  And I intend to try many of the vegan and vegetarian recipes in the books I just bought, as well as those recipes offered daily by the Vegan Kickoff email communications....the ones that don't have a lot of soy or tofu....occasional soy or tofu, okay, but I'm not going to go overboard.

I already eat whole wheat, not white, bread and use whole wheat pasta.  I need to include more beans and legumes, so that will become a priority.  I love nuts, but will confine that to an ounce or so a day, just for calories' sake.  And I prefer wild rice any day to white.

I'll continue using olive oil for cooking and having occasional glasses of red wine. (Very occasional simply because I'd rather chew my calories.)

But I will continue to eat wild salmon, which I adore, water-packed light tuna (not albacore, as I've read there is more mercury contamination in it), egg whites and occasional chicken breasts or turkey.

I have cut my consumption of cheese by like 90% and drink skim milk when I drink milk at all, so I'll have to monitor my calcium in foods.  I wish I could learn to like yogurt.  The smell of it nauseates me.  Even if someone else has just eaten it and I detect it on them (so please keep your distance from me if you've just imbibed.)

I will just incorporate "moderation", focus on healthy, whole foods, and experiment with a new recipe a day from the cookbooks.  That's what I'll report here. 

(Hey, seems to me I recall a saying about a woman and her mind-changing prerogative!)

After all, if Julie Child can live until 91 consuming all that butter-rich French cooking, how can we say with certainty that we have all of the definitive answers on the food-health relationship?

No comments: