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
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.