So, this post actually started out as a letter Abbie, Dane's sister, and I found myself thinking that I have so many more people that I would love to share this with....
So, I don't know how much time you have for reading these days, but I have a recommendation for you. I think you may have seen me reading it on the cruise: Healthy at 100 by John Robbins. I know that Emalei thumbed through it reading chapter headings and finally concluded that "this book promotes veganism." That is not entirely true, but I can see how some one who has not read the book could get that initial impression. It addresses not only the importance of a healthy diet, but also exercise (no real news) and also focusses on the importance that social relationships play in our health in a refreshing, well thought and very well researched perspective. For me, it has been nice to read the actually studies, rather than rely solely on what the food industry might be pushing for health, or what my vague general knowledge and experience has told me.
I don't know if Dane has told you but we are making big changes in our lifestyle these days...Yep, less meat, actually less animal products overall, soy milk, and lot and lots more veggies. We still do cheese, and to be honest, this is something that I have actually be very interested in for a while but never ever thought that it would fly with Dane.
Well to say the least, mostly thanks to the research and studies that we have read in this book, I am proud to say that Dane is just as excited, if not more than I am about this whole change. The perfect example of this happened just a few nights ago when Dane called me from the grocery store, picking up a few things to make dinner. He asked me, "Do you know how to make tofu?" (or something along those lines....I don't really remember exactly, because I was immediately flooded with thoughts of eating tofu on my mission, loving it, as well as thoughts like, who is this and what have you done with my husband?) I was very excited. We made "orange chicken" with tofu substituting the chicken. To my delightful surprise we gobbled it all up. We even had invited a few of Dale's friends over for dinner that night, so here I was sitting with 4 fully grown guys listening to comments like "This is way good! The tofu actually tastes like chicken!" I was WOWed. I told the guys I was proud of them and that it takes a "real man" to admit he likes tofu.
Yeah for health!
Anyway, so back to the book. There are actually no parts in particular that at any point lobby for a strictly "vegan" lifestyle, but it does focus on the health benefits of a plant-based diet. This basically means relying mostly on plants for major sources of nutrition. It makes sense really. For example, if I am looking to get protein in my diet, let's compare beans, tofu and nuts to meat. Each have protein but that is not all. Meat is full of saturated fat, omega-6 fatty acids (not good for you, can increase your cholesterol, blood pleasure and other things). Beans, legumes and nuts also include fiber (good!), unsaturated (healthy) fats, fewer calories and are much more nutrient dense.
And that is only the beginning. The benefits of a diet high in plants and natural nutrient rich foods (like as opposed to supplementing your diet with vitamins and medication to counter the effects of processed foods) are nothing to scoff at. How about reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, asthma, high blood preassure, ostioperosis, and even cancer by astronomical levels.
Anyway, has anyone of you ever considered the thought that today, compared to say 100 years ago, people are not really living longer, but just dying longer? To some respects it is true. So if any of you are interested in just knowing more about what our culture is doing to our bodies, not only by the food we eat, but by our perception (or should I say obsession) with youth--I recommend this book. I am not saying that you should all stop eating meat, or change to an organic lifestyle based off of what I have said, but that there are important studies that have been made where the results are indisputable. Anyone who has seen the film Super Size Me would be able to agree.
So, I will get off of my soap box and just say READ this book!