Thursday, February 18, 2010

My life as a freegan vegan flexitarian

There is no denying the amazing benefits of a vegan lifestyle. If you are regularly sucking down dairy, eggs and meat, you increase your chances of asthma, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's. Your immune system is weaker (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine).

Check out the diets of many professional and Olympic athletes. Yeah, they're no dummies.

More and more studies are showing that older adults who switch over to a vegan or vegetarian diet can prevent and actually reverse many chronic illnesses. My parents are currently living that out in front of our eyes. They have both dropped about 20 lbs in two months, are cooking together and eating at home much more often. In fact, I've never heard my dad talk so positively about food in my life. Strange to have him message me recipes. We've talked about a lot of things in my 37 years, but recipes is not one of them.

With all the February sex talk on my blog, I found it fascinating that Michael F. Roizen, MD, has found that meat eaters "experience accelerated cognitive and sexual dysfunction at a younger age." He's the guy that wrote "The RealAge Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat." I can definitely see the correlation between my libido and my diet changes.

So, after all these years and all I have learned, where do I land?

I'm a freegan vegan flexitarian. I guess.

I shoot for a vegan diet with more raw food than not. Some days I rock it. Some weeks I knock it out of the park. Yet, it is sometimes not possible.

The members of my family, first and foremost, are freegans. We accept all that is given to us graciously. When our neighbor thanks us with fish, we prepare and eat that fish. When we are invited to eat in someone's home, we smile and fellowship and share in the love with which everything was prepared. When a family gave us an entire processed steer, we ate and shared an abundance of red meat for a year. We are extremely thankful for all that has been given to us ... and we eat it.

We also live our lives as flexitarians. We have a dear friend who allows us free eggs from his hens. We know those chickens. We know what they eat. We watch them lay. Sometimes we get to bring them straight home and have some amazingly fresh egg sandwiches right away. Our friend also brings us raw cow milk, chock full of many beneficial ingredients which have not been destroyed through homogenization. It's a living food.

When we go out to eat, our children are able to choose what they want. It's usually really gross and full of cholesterol. It's occasional. It's okay, and it gives them the power of choice. I do not deny myself a fat piece of pizza when it's on the buffet. Sometimes two four.

As in most areas of my life, I do not fit neatly into a little label or check box. There is no denying the benefits of cutting out animal proteins. While I do not have a problem eating animals, their eggs or milk, I do have a MAJOR problem with how our selfish, wasteful and exorbitant American diet has caused us to show utter disdain for animals and the gift which is the planet Earth. We need animals. We need soil. We need trees. They are not a perk of life, they are vital to sustainability. Sometimes we crap all over it.

So, my family lives in a constantly shifting balance when it comes to our diet. We cannot go wrong with that which comes to us from the earth and nature. We focus on those things. We let our food be our strongest medicine. We choose animal products which are produced in a way which honors the balance of nature, the balance we are to manage. Yet, in those priorities, we also honor the people in our lives. What they choose to share is a gift, and we take it with much gratitude. We are blessed by their community and care.

It is a wonderfully healthy way to live and love.

18 comments:

Cammie said...

I friggin' LOVE this post! It shows me how incredibly flexible you are...in your life, in youf food, in your teaching, with your kids. LOVE this post (have I said that already?)!

J. said...

yep, boxes suck, you go girl, not having a box throws more people off and it is so much fun!

Kerrie said...

Ahhhhh. I love flexibility.

Elizabeth @ TexasEbeth said...

I'm with Cammie - I love this post! Nothing is more annoying than soap box fanaticism (sp?) in regards to food. I love the words "freegan" & "flexitarian".

lizvelrene said...

"While I do not have a problem eating animals, their eggs or milk, I do have a MAJOR problem with how our selfish, wasteful and exorbitant American diet has caused us to show utter disdain for animals and the gift which is the planet Earth."

This is a wonderful way to put it. That's exactly how I feel on the subject.

Ellen said...

Would you consider doing something for us? Would you keep track of your menu/diet for a week or two and give a report? This is the kind of change that I want for our family, but I just get overwhelmed by the day-to-day practical application...

When you have grown up eating and thinking one way, it is hard to program yourself differently. I have recently started really reading the labels on our food, and I am generally horrified. It's like starting from scratch. Even the stuff I think is "good" is really BAD when I really objectively look at it.

My final straw was when I recently heard the report that drinking Coke might lead to pancreatic cancer. Our American diet is such garbage, but it's how I've been raised! Blerg.

Steph, G's Mom said...

Ok...

if someone was.....ahem....I AM many scads of pounds overweight but i'm also a single working mom so quickness and convenience and easy-ness and things-that-go-good-with-someone-who-doesn't-plan-ahead-ness are what is at the top of my list. could you list like 10 things someone who wants to eat more of this vegan freegan lifestyle should have in their fridge/cabinet to grab so that they find themselves eating it more often than not? if i can master that maybe i can get to the next step!

Christine said...

Ellen and Steph, at the bottom of the post, click on the tag "food." It will bring up everything I've ever posted on food and diet and recipes and such. You'll find a ton on there. Then, always, ALWAYS feel free to email me with more questions: christinemoers [at] hotmail [dot] com

Stacey, Mike & las cinco chicas locas said...

I couldn't have said it better!
You hit the nail on the head, we try to eat veggie as much as possible... hubby has dropped 25lb since Sept. without even trying!

ldw said...

Swing by when you get a chance for your award.

Hannah_Rae said...

This is what we are shooting for. We've been doing really well here at home, but of coarse blew it like crazy while we were away this week. Now it's time to get back on track.

I love how God has given you the gift of clarity. The ability to take things that tend to be very complicated and cinch them down to simple simplicity.

Blessings!

Hannah

Major Mom said...

i love this post. so refreshing!

tikesbestfriend said...

All I want is some black eyed peas and corn bread. I remember the first time I told my wife that, here comment was: "Black eyed peas? Isn't that pig food?"

/facepalm

Givans Family said...

I totally agree with the libido part...well, more the end results anyway. I don't think I had ever felt the earth shake until I went veagan....now that we have allowed some other stuff back into our diet...I am back to struggling with the whole end result. Now, I found out that a skin condition I deal with might also be directly related to some of that stuff that I had cut out....it's got to go, PERMANANTLY! What I have found helps us out the most is if we go shopping for a few days worth of food, and then cut it all up in the same day and put it in tupperware containers. That way it's there for easy snacking and makes prep time of cooking go so much faster in those times that you just don't seem to have time to cook. The really cool part, I think, is if you do it this way, cooking a veggie meal takes 15 min at the most! Now that's something I can love!

Jae said...

Love it! Flexible, responsible and smart! :)

Story of our Life said...

I've been trying to figure out how our "vacation" to Washington and Utah this summer could include coming to your place for a week to learn how to live this lifestyle.

Seriously!! I'm truly wishing/hoping/praying to figure out a way.

It might be easier to have you come here. hehehehe Then the 'getting more vacation time than I have to use' woudln't be such a problem. Then again, I wouldn't have to trick my dh into learning about something I know he has no desire to learn about. Trust me..I know. I've fwd your posts to him, asked if he read them and his response is a 'uh-huh" as in to say...what do u want me to thinka bout it...

:) Love Ya!!

Kristi said...

This is so right on! Thanks for stating this so straightforward and eloquently. Luv it!

Heather Lynn said...

That is awesome. Love this post!