Michael Pollen’s book, In Defense of Food, starts with the statement “Eat Food, Not that Much, Mostly Plants.” This point resonated with me when I read his book last summer. Most of the food we eat today is processed and not real food. Starting in 1953 with the invention of the TV dinner, we slowly lost the art of cooking a homemade meal with fresh ingredients. Instead, we are more likely to take something out of the freezer and heat it up in a microwave for dinner. The third part of Pollen’s statement is eat mostly plants. He does not suggest that we stop eating meat, but, instead to focus more on plant-based foods and on meats and dairy obtained from responsible farms. Because of Michael’s book, I ended up as Alicia Silverstone writes in her book The Kind Diet, flirting with veganism. I read both of these books as I was learning to manage the bloating, stomach and joint pains, and headaches due to my fructose malabsorption. Because food is such a trigger for me, I have taken to heart how and what I eat.
Never say never, but I highly doubt I will ever become completely vegan, I love cheese too much. That being said, I like the idea of flirting. It is a good way for me to eat healthy unprocessed foods and be mindful of where my food is coming from without giving up the foods I do not want to give up. So I have been trying to eat vegan for one to two of my meals per day. This could mean using almond milk instead of skim milk in my morning smoothie or putting pine nuts in my brown rice pasta recipe instead of parmesan cheese. Additionally, in my attempt to eat real food and being mindful of where my food comes from, I have been eating foods without sugar, that are unprocessed, and I began buying fresh and in season vegetables at my local farmer’s market. I now buy non-GMO food products and eggs at the farmer’s market because I know the chickens are fed fruits, vegetables, and grains and are allowed to roam on the farm.
What I have been finding is that I have been feeling better and I am able to eat some of the taboos on the FODMAP (Fermentable, Oligo, Di- Mono-saccharides and Polyols) diet such as a bigger portion of beans and hummus with a small amount of garlic. I need to be careful not to do that often but my body tolerates the slip better which makes eating more fun. The way I have been eating does not feel like denial but another way to find pleasure in what I eat and in a way that makes me feel better physically. Always a good thing when you are struggling with digestive issues.
What are your thoughts on a vegan diet?
Photo taken by George Rex on Flickr