Before we jump into food I want to share why I made the choice to follow a vegan diet. The transition was a process. I gave up beef for a year in 2008 for health. I have never been big on beef; pot roast, steak, etc. It grossed me out. What I did enjoy was ground beef in the form of burgers. I figured it would be healthier just to give it up. The next year I also gave up poultry & pork; now for animal rights reasons. This left me with fish, eggs & cheese.
In September 2010, I attended a series of nutrition & cooking classes called Food for Life through the Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine's Cancer Project. They focused on cancer prevention & survival. Studies have shown immense benefits from a plant based diet. What is plant based? Fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans. The benefits of this diet are that it is low fat & high fiber as well as loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & phytonutrients which all play a role in cancer risk.
With years of school & two degrees in nutrition, it only made sense to follow one of my favorite quotes, “Let food be thy medicine.” I have now received training & teach these same classes to patients weekly at work.
I have learned through further research of texts & studies that a plant based diet is not only very healthy, but is safe. Yes, I get plenty of protein. Do note, B12 should be supplemented. For curiosity, I had a full lab work up, B12, iron panel, vitamin D, etc. My iron levels are now higher than they were when I ate meat. I eat much more leafy greens & beans now which are also good sources of iron.
If you choose to follow in my footsteps, I will support you & help you make the transition. Way to go! Everyone could benefits from trimming some fat from the diet, increasing fiber intake & increasing fruits & vegetables.
If compassion for animals motivates you & you have a strong stomach, please view Meet Your Meat.