Monday, August 22, 2011

Thinking about Going Veggie?

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So many people are becoming Vegetarians and Vegans (going Veggie). Their friends are doing it. Hollywood is doing it! Former President Bill Clinton is now a Vegan. Mike Tyson, too. Natalie Portman. Alicia Silverstone has never looked better since she made the switch to a Vegan diet.

Are you thinking about eliminating meat from your diet because it might be healthier? Good for you. That could be a step in the right direction and we should talk. However, if you're considering radically changing the way you eat because it's cool or just because everyone else is doing it- THOSE ARE THE WRONG REASONS!

If you think it's just about giving up meat and replacing it with packaged, processed faux food that looks like meat, tastes like meat but really isn't meat and you have no idea what it is and you don't care as long as a cow, pig, chicken, turkey, lamb or fish was not killed or harmed in the process AND you think you will reap the benefits of a true Vegetarian/Vegan  by eating this fake "meat" and your regular diet of chips, dip,  mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, boxed macaroni and cheese, cookies, cake, candy and NO vegetables ('cause you really don't dig those) .......THINK AGAIN! Veggie corn-dogs and chocolate pudding is not a Vegetarian diet. Neither is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and carrot sticks.  Just because you don't do meat doesn't mean you're healthy!   

The best diet advice (and when I say 'diet', I mean how you eat for life--not a starvation plan that is mostly denial and deprivation) comes from Michael Pollan:

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

FOOD:  real, wholesome, food in its most natural state. Not stuff from a box, a can, or from the freezer section of the local grocery store.

NOT TOO MUCH: anything in excess is never good- including healthy stuff.

PLANTS:  those green leafy things that grow in the ground or on trees and bushes.  And.....fresh fruit, nuts, beans, and grains like wheat, oats, barley, quinoa, rice (the brown kind--not the pretty bleached-white processed instant stuff you buy in a box).

If you are interesting in preventing sickness and disease, fighting obesity and living the best life you can possibly live, here's the secret:

Eat reasonable quantities of pure, natural, living, un-adulterated REAL FOOD!

Okay. Now what about meat?

Your choice. Some people just love meat. I don't. I function better without it. Others find it difficult to function when they don't have it.  Everyone is different. However, if you make your diet mostly plants, a piece of anti-biotic and hormone-free, organically fed (no corn or fillers), free-range chicken, beef from grazing, grass-fed cattle or wild salmon (not the cheap, artificially-colored farmed kind) is okay. If you really want it or need it, go ahead and eat it!

Are you shocked to hear this from the mouth a VEGAN? Someone who doesn't eat any animal products AT ALL?

Just because it works for me doesn't mean it will work for you. And no matter how I try to encourage a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet, people are going to do what they want to do. Some just refuse to stop eating meat. And quite honestly, if they are not disciplined and dedicated, perhaps they should reconsider giving up meat!

So what am I supposed to do with clients who can't or won't give up their meat? Give up on them because they refuse to do it MY way?  Go VEGAN or go elsewhere? I can't do that. But I can work around their meat-eating ways and still help them become healthy, wealthy and wise. And maintain a comfortable weight.  I would rather say it's okay to have a burger once in awhile than to find out they're sneaking one behind my back. That's not helping anyone!

I steer my clients away from the Typical American Diet and encourage them to eat mostly plants.  I hate the idea of eating animals or animal products. It doesn't matter if a cow or chicken lived its entire life cooped up in a cage or roaming around free in a pasture until led to the slaughter.  But I always have to remember, these are my convictions. Until they become part of the heart and soul of another person, they will remain my convictions.

For those of you who really want to go Veggie all the way (you're so ready to forever sacrifice those Quarter Pounders for the greater good), or you have health reasons, environmental, ethical or spiritual convictions, or you just saw a real live cow for the very first time and can't ever eat a steak again, make sure you do it the right way. Get educated. Talk with your doctor, get tips and ideas from other successful (healthy) non-meat eaters, or camp out at a local yoga studio and find out what they're eating. Many yogis are vegetarians- some are not.  You should hear and understand the pros and cons of each personal choice. Research, research, research.  And be sure to contact me. That's why I am here. .

It doesn't matter if you are a Die-Hard Carnivore or an Aspiring Veggie.  Let's chat and discover together the best eating plan that suits your needs and your lifestyle.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

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