At this point in life, I think I'm pretty much done with "diets", so don't read this as a New Year's resolution to lose x number of pounds. In fact, I'm not making this change in my lifestyle to lose weight at all.
Back in high school/college, I was a vegetarian for two or three years. At that time, though, it was about the ethics of eating animals. I don't remember a whole lot about it, except that I ate a lot of Gardenburgers.
This time I won't be eating Gardenburgers, (Why? Because they're processed and contain lots of things I can't pronounce.) but I am going to pursue veganism
My friend Chris recommended The China Study to me, and reading it has proven to be the tipping point for me. I do quite a bit of food reading, and in concert with other books I've read that warn about the health consequences of eating a Western diet and its (lack of) sustainability, The China Study has convinced me to give up animal protein altogether.
Here's what I'm hoping to gain from adopting a vegan diet:
- Preventing Type-2 Diabetes - I've mentioned before that I have an insulin resistance problem. It's part of the joy of PCOS, but it would be nice to prevent if from becoming full-blown diabetes. Really nice.
- Maintaining a healthy weight - Thanks to breastfeeding, my last glucose tolerance test was within normal limits, and feeding two babies helped me reach a healthy post-pregnancy weight. I have a not unfounded fear that weaning will mean the return of IR and consequently the return of unwanted pounds.
- Preventing breast (and other cancers) - Consuming animal protein contributes to the initiation and progression of cancer.
- Preventing a whole other list of ailments - including autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer's, and deterioration associated with aging, to name a few.
- How much soy is safe? My mother, a breast cancer survivor, was told to avoid soy because her cancer was estrogen-sensitive. Given my family history, should I also be avoiding soy? I've yet to find a doctor who could answer that one with anything more than a guess. How much soy is safe for my little ones to eat?
- Should the tots be vegan as well? Or should they be vegetarian?
Beet Ravioli with Balsamic Pickled Figs and Green Garlic Oil
Ponzu-Glazed Tofu Crystal Rolls
Black Soybean and Kabocha Squash Stew
To say nothing of the long list of ingredients I've never heard of. And I say that as a person who could identify more ingredients than any of the contestants on Master Chef. I LOVE food, and I would likely order any of those out, but right now I need practical, quick-fix stuff. Verily, this is a challenge.