In September, I watched the astounding, life-changing documentary "Forks Over Knives." It opened my eyes and gave me more information on nutrition than any health class ever did. It explained why even "healthy" foods, such as meat and milk, are really not healthy for us at all. Not only that, it explained why this information hasn't been given to us sooner. In a nutshell it's due to the fact that the world is run by money and there's no money in healthy people- the money is in sick people. However, thousands of doctors and researchers did extensive studies over the last several decades to compare the typical American diet (the western diet) to countries and cultures who ate almost entirely off of plant based foods. What they found was that people who eliminated meat and animal by-products from their diet rarely had heart disease or any types of cancers, where as the American rate of cancer and heart disease has sky rocketed over the last century when things like fast food chains and processed foods became highly in demand and the economy boosted from it. The correlation didn't go unnoticed and as a result, the effects of plant based diets vs animal based diets were analyzed and compared and filmmaker Lee Fulkerson put together these results in his award winning documentary "Forks Over Knives."
The Vegetarian Chronicles; Part 4: The Finale
My 30 day transition into a healthier lifestyle, thanks to the incredible documentary "Forks Over Knives," has finally come to pass. I lost 14 pounds and gained a fresh perspective
What Changed When I Changed My Diet
I decided that I wanted to be healthier, and now I had the right motivation. It wasn't about losing weight so I could look like a model and all my problems would be solved. It was about truly changing my lifestyle and seeing all the benefits that would come along.
Choosing to do this in the month of October wasn't the best idea for me personally because the closer I got to Halloween, the more weight-obsessed I became because I'm a Halloween FANATIC and I wanted to look smashing in my homemade mermaid costume.
It's hard to say that there is an ending to this 30 days because I'm not really stopping. It wasn't a 30 day "diet." It was a transition that I intend to keep up with.
- Changing my diet, I'm not quite so fatigued and don't nap nearly as much. I used to take a nap at the very least 2-3 times a week, whether it be week night or week end, I'm always tired and find a reason to take a quick snooze. I don't feel the need to do that anymore.
- Another huge thing that changed when I changed my diet was my daily routine of having a stomach ache. I would go through 2 small bottles of pepto a month- which I keep in my purse for handy use. The only time I've had to use it in the month of October was when I felt sick after eating Halloween candy- I was just not used to that sugar anymore. And once or twice when I went out to eat with family and had processed, fried, fatty foods.
- I felt more awake when giving up sugar and whenever I went back to it, I'd feel sick. I'd feel tired and have a headache and/or stomach ache. I can only do sugar in small doses now.
At home, I stayed pretty healthy and not only that, I developed a better sense of self control and I am the last person to have self control over food. I've never been the type to stop when I'm full, I'm a mental eater: I stop when its no longer in front of me.
Forks Over Knives explains how all of the processed sugars we are eating give us a mild addiction and that's absolutely true because a week into changing what I ate, I could easily stop when I was just starting to feel full without even thinking about it. I'd walk by food that looked good but I could stay away because I simply didn't feel hungry.
That said, it doesn't mean that I didn't face obstacles.
My "Halloween Crunch" Paid Off
If you read part 3, you know I was on the edge of breakdown. I was "hangry," and there was delicious food all around me from an office party we had- delicious food I wouldn't allow myself to touch. I'm proud of myself for showing such great self restraint but it was a mental battle between the western diet I was raised with, which was making me incredibly unhealthy, and choosing to be healthier, even if it meant denying myself a momentary taste of yummyness.
I indulged in some sweets throughout the month but getting closer to Halloween, and the 30 day mark, I completely cut out sugar. I only ate fruits and vegetables and the results were great: I lost 14 pounds in one month. Bonus, I lost that weight without any exercise. I didn't even give up everything bad- I had pumpkin roll and pizza and candy. What made me lose the weight was the fact that my meals mostly consisted of fruits or vegetables and I gave up meat.
I think it is so important to have your own motto or inspirational quote you can refer to when you are on a diet, or doing anything challenging. I don't have much of an "inspirational quote" but every time I thought about eating something I knew wasn't good for me I'd ask myself, "Do I really want this absorbed into my body?" -even if it was just candy. That little piece is extra calories and carbs that I'll need to work off, even it's just a little bit, that I could avoid by just saying no. Fruits and vegetables are full of good things like fiber and protein and negative calories (you burn more calories digesting the food than the number of calories in the food) These are all things I do want in my body so I'm going to turn to fruits and veggies rather than sugar.
If you read about my first experience with tofu, you know I have a kinship with the movie "Julie and Julia." While I'm sure I should find my own Julie/Julia path, I probably relied on this too much. Julie wanted to give up and she didn't and although this is absolutely nothing like her project, I figured if she could keep going, I could too. There was a moment when I was flipping through the channels and for whatever reason I was feeling really discouraged. "What am I doing? What was I thinking? This isn't going to work." These were the type of unwelcome thoughts which plagued my good-hearted brain, and wouldn't you know it- there on the screen "Julie and Julia" started playing. It was the universes way of telling me not to give up, so I didn't.
Try This Diet for Yourself
If anyone wants to adopt healthier eating habits, I encourage you to go for it- even if you just want to try it for 30 days and see how you like it. I will give as much support and knowledge and advice as I can.
My first tip is to watch Forks Over Knives. It is a fantastic movie that really explains why we're addicted to the foods we eat and why they are unhealthy, as well as what is healthy.
- The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars and states: "here is a film that could save your life. Forks Over Knives is not subtle. It plays as if it had been made for doctors to see in medical school."
Definitely check that out. My second piece of advice is: DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. This is easy and it's okay to still have sugars and sweets sometimes- I did and I still lost 14 lbs. Just don't give up. Make sure you are getting a hefty dose of fruits and vegetables and cut out meat (I still ate fish) and you're golden.
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The trailblazing film Forks Over Knives helped spark a medical and nutritional revolution. Backed by scientific research, the film’s doctors and expert researchers made a radica...
|Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year|
A whole-foods, plant-based diet has never been easier or tastier—300 brand-new recipes for cooking the Forks Over Knives way, every day!Forks Over Knives—the book, the film, the...
Forks Over Knives - Trailer
While I wasn't wise enough to take any "before" pictures I do have an "after" photo I am proud of, as well as Halloween photos so enjoy! P.S. Ignore the messy room!