Search This Blog

Friday, October 19, 2012

Getting Inspired With "Forks Over Knives"

About five days ago my husband and I watched Forks Over Knives (which is available on Netlix), an amazingly informative documentary on the link between meat/dairy-focused diets and the rise of heart disease (and other illnesses). "We are sicker than ever by nearly every measure," states, and really, who of us can argue? Two out of three Americans are obese, myself included.

I, personally, have been battling my weight for years - in high school I weighed 135lbs and I thought I was fat (compared to the majority of cheerleader-build peers), but now I would give just about anything to weigh 135lbs again! Years later, weighing about 150ish, I moved out on my own and got engaged and that's when I really started to pack on "Happy Fat." Since then, I've ballooned up about 30lbs - the equivalent of carrying a one-year old child around constantly! - and I have the symptoms that follow weight gain; asthma, acid reflux, back pain, trouble sleeping, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem. Recently I've gotten concerned about heart problems (my family has a history of heart issues) and cholesterol - I had it checked and it could be a bit better.

I'll overeat for taste rather than hunger. I crave fatty, sweet, salty foods, and I have indulged more than I should, and every time I imagine my arteries clogging up - it's scary and anxiety-inducing and I want to stop putting this junk into my body - but the craving is so hard to fight! In Forks Over Knives, they likened this craving for heavily processed, hyperpalatable foods to a drug addiction, and in fact your body responds similarly to the food like a heroine addict would to drugs...pretty soon one hit won't get you high, so you have to eat more for the same fix. I had read about this in other articles such as in First for Woman, but it was really eye-opening for me! Hello, my name is Nicole and I'm addicted to food!  Processed, hyperpalatable foods, specifically...and it's harming my body.

Watching this documentary gave me hope with this message: all this damage can be reversed. The doctors and specialists on the film had heart patients, diabetes patients, cancer patients, ect., some who were on Death's Door, adopt a whole foods diet (with doctor supervision) and just about everyone saw their disease enter remission, completely heal, or become more manageable, and the majority no longer needed their medications for treatment. As Hypocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine...." Weight loss was just a symptom of their healing. I was so relieved watching this documentary that I cried.

In Forks Over Knives, they showed when a person eats meat, it fills the stomach less than vegetables/fruits, so they end up consuming more empty calories in order to feel full. Other graphs showed the rates of coronary heart disease and cancers increased dramatically with the consumption of meat and dairy products, versus nations that had a primarily plant/whole foods diet. Thinking about this, it makes vegetarian friends look about ten years younger than their meat-eating peers and seem to get sick less often.
So my husband and I been inspired to model our lifestyle change similarly to the Full Plate Diet (recommended to me by a friend), a whole foods diet which focuses on the use of fiber and teaches one how to pack their meal with nutrients, fiber, and protein (yes, all vegetables and fruits have protein, meat is not the only source, nor is it the best). For example, if I'm eating a Caesar salad, the Full Plate Diet would probably suggest amping it up in nutrition by adding tomatoes, cucumber, corn, maybe fruit, or beans, ect. I've done this and the taste is so much better and I feel more satiated for longer. I particularly like that the creators of the Full Plate Diet (doctors and nutritionists) are a non-profit organization, offer free membership, and give you the eBook for free as well as other weight loss tools.

My vege-packed quiche, low fat, low sodium!
If you're a meat and potatoes kind of person and don't think that recipes that call for only vegetables could be satisfying or tasty, I'm here to prove you wrong! I dare you to take a bite of my Vege-Packed Quiche and tell me you don't like it...

Here's the recipe. Feel free to substitute with whatever kind of vegetables you have on hand, and remember that the measurements are approximate (I usually just eye-ball it) and do not have to be exact...

Basic Pie Dough Recipe From Martha Stewart (or you could nix the dough to make it gluten free)
1 medium zucchini
1 medium onion
1/4 of a whole cabbage
3 celery stalks
4-5 kale leaves, stalks removed
2 cups spinach
5 eggs
1 cup Almond Milk
1 cup cottage cheese (you could substitute a vegan cheese for lactose intolerance or nix it completely)
2 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
2 tsp garlic salt (or sea salt/himalayan salt with fresh herbs)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax

Prepared Pie Crust and roll out for a 13inch pan. Preheat oven to 375 (or 350 if your oven is like mine and runs a little hotter). Mince onion and saute with butter (or coconut oil) in big pan over medium-high heat until translucent. Halve zucchini and celery and dice slightly thin and add to onions (add more butter/oil if necessary), cook on medium for about 10-15 minutes or until tender (alternately, you can boil them ahead of time). Chop cabbage, kale, spinach somewhat finely and add to pan for a couple minutes until well wilted. Season with garlic salt, chia seeds, flax seeds, mix and simmer on low for a few minutes. Then take pan off heat.

Prepare eggs in separate bowl, add almond milk, cottage cheese and mix. Add to vegetables and mix well. Then pour into pie crust and bake for 55 minutes.


Have any hearty, tasty vegetable dishes to share? Any inspiring weight loss stories?
~Nicole A.

No comments:

Post a Comment