Wednesday, May 9, 2012

what? go vegan?

Two weeks ago if you had told me I would no longer voluntarily be eating dairy, meat or added oils (e.g. olive oil, soy butter, vegetable oil), I probably would not have believed you.

Yet that is exactly what has happened.

After learning that my dad has significant blockages in his right carotid artery and his heart, I began reading
 "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn. It's a book that outlines the importance of a "plant-strong diet" for lowering cholesterol levels and fighting the leading causes of death for Americans in the modern era...heart disease, cancer, stroke, obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's. Here's a link to the CDC if you want to verify the numbers.

Although Rip is not a doctor, his father is and the Engine 2 Diet is based upon Dr. Esselstyn's long-term and ongoing study and findings that a plant-based diet void of any meats, dairy, added oils (and for patients with heart disease, no nuts, avocados, coconut, simple sugars) can not only prevent heart disease, it can even reverse it. Dr. Esselstyn captured this evidence in his book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease."

The evidence is so compelling, my dad currently is praying about whether he undergoes the schedule multiple bypass surgery or treats the blockages through this diet. My mom spoke with Dr. Esselstyn who confirmed that it would be possible for my dad to do this - we just have to wait on what path God would have him follow. :) Regardless, my dad is on this diet's a reality for him if he wants to prevent further blockages from occurring.

At first, I thought I would also go on this diet as a way of supporting my dad, especially since we live close by and often share meals as a larger family. But after reading "The Engine 2 Diet," and learning exactly what meat and dairy especially do to your body, I'm kind of disgusted at the thought of eating it.

And I thought I would share this journey with you. Because I think many of us have false information about what "healthy' really is. I certainly did. But the only way you can know for yourself is to read the books. :)

Now that butter and butter-like products are off the menu, here's a recipe I came up with for croutons:

Though it's obviously much faster to buy a box and throw them on a salad, it's much cheaper and so simple to make your own. Plus I'm not sure there are many, or any, croutons on the market with no added oils, little salt and on 100% whole wheat bread. If there is, please let me know. :)

Here's what you need:
  • 100% whole grain bread (gluten-free if need be)
  • Hummus (oil & tahini free - Sahara Cuisine makes some or you could make your own)
  • Seasonings such as parsley, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
  • An oven, a baking sheet and a knife

Here's what you do:
  • Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of hummus and then sprinkle on your seasonings to your personal taste.
  • Turn the slices over and do the same on the other side
  • Place the slices on a baking sheet and place under the broiler in your oven. Setting the timer helps so you won't forget to check them (something I've done way too often). I start with 2 minutes, then go in one-minute increments for the first side until it's nicely toasted, then flip it over and the same for the other side.
  • Once finished, slice up into bite-sized pieces and serve with soups, salads or as a snack
Keeping it in perspective:
  •  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4 NIV)
  • Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35 NIV)


Clover Wheeler said...

This post was for me! I feel like I have blog support! My dad has controlled diabetes for 25 years with eating the extreme! Now it is my turn to have health issues...and my turn to have to change my life habits...and eat healthy! Thanks for these tips and books..and recipes!
Let the journey begin! :)

PrairieJenn said...

Sounds like a good series:) So glad you are sharing this journey with us. Prayers for your father and you all!

Courtney said...

I definitely look forward to you educating me on this subject. As you know, my family has had its share of heart disease, and since I have high cholesterol, this issue is very personal. Also - love the button! Good work :)

PS I want the same thing that you do for Mother's Day!