Eat Your Greens

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” George Bush Sr.

Maybe President Bush would have eventually learned to like broccoli if he’d eaten a few cookies that had taken on the shape of the ubber green crunchy. Who knows?  What I find funny is how people respond to me when I tell them what I’ve learned about plant-based foods and how they’ve affected my health.  It appears that even solid proof, in the form of blood test results, is not enough to convince some people.  After I received a diabetes diagnosis in late 2011 and changed my eating, I lost 37 lbs and my sugar levels all dropped into the normal range without medication.  Still, I am not a believable witness of what healthy eating can do when it comes to some people. When I tell my diabetic friends, some who are on large amounts of insulin, that I got healthy by drastically reducing my intake of dairy products and meat they get defensive. They tell me what I heard from the medical nutritionists I talked to immediately after my diagnosis (and before I had done my own research), that if you want to control blood sugar you must eat more protein, not less. 

Hunh. That is not how it has worked for me.

Last night I was going through my copy of, Forks Over Knives, again. I was looking for recipes that are plant and fruit heavy. I have not tried many of the recipes in this book, mostly because the ingredients needed to prepare them are not currently in my cupboard. I’m not a big fan of tofu either, and they use it a lot in the recipes. I am willing to try a few of the recipes in this book and even buy weird ingredients in order to prepare them properly, but not having ate them before, I am a little hesitant to spend too much money collecting ingredients that I might use for a single recipe. I wish I knew of a place where you could buy sample packs of these ingredients, packs that held a couple tablespoons of commonly used vegetarian or vegan spices and/or additives.

Note: I am not vegetarian or vegan.  I call myself a flexitarian, because while I do concentrate my greatest efforts on purchasing, perparing and eating plant-base meals, I also eat animal protein in limited amounts.

I don’t know if my friends are hesitant to switch to plant-based foods because, like President Bush, they hate broccoli, or if they have just gotten so used to driving up to the window of a fast food restaurant and ordering the biggest, greasiest, bun-covered concoction they can afford that they can’t imagine eating any other way. I will admit that eating better requires more work and maybe a higher grocery bill, but I’m a firm believer that in this life you either pay now or pay later. I can shave a few dollars off my grocery bill by purchasing white bread, chips, canned soups and boxed meals, and it will fill hungry bodies, but it won’t take my numbers down when I get my blood tested again. Eating tons of fatty beef and pork won’t bring my cholesterol within normal ranges either. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Truthfully, it wasn’t until my eating changed, that my health improved.

My gramma always said, “Eat your greens.”  She was wise in more ways than one.  Finally, I’m following her advise,  and quickly, I’m getting better.

Have you ever tried to eat differently? What changes have you made, in order to get healthy? What proofs have become evident to you about food, after changing your eating habits?