Alas, the month of October--that time of year where Fall is at its prime, where the leaves trickle to the ground, adorning it with its warm and bright earth tones. It's also that time of year when we celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month. I've never shared much about my diet on my blog so I thought this month would be a swell opportunity to share with you something I am very passionate about--food.
I was born and raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and for years before I was born my family had switched over to a vegetarian diet. The Seventh-Day Adventist movement was born during an era of 19th century health reform. Our church as a whole places great value in the message of taking care of God's temple (our bodies) through a whole foods plant-based diet. It is not an obligation imposed by the church but a teaching that is joyfully embraced by many. The teaching consists of tending to our body, mind, and soul in order to enrich our communication and intimate relationship with our Heavenly King. The teaching has its roots in the Levitical laws (Leviticus 11) where God relays to the Israelites what kinds of foods they should or should not eat. God did not tell them that to impose senseless rules on them, but rather because He sought their wellbeing and health. Though many will argue that those laws no longer apply to our daily living, God is not a God of contradictions. If swine flesh was unhealthy and unrecommended then, what makes it healthy now? The requirements of those laws may change but the principle does not change. In addition, in Genesis 1:29 we find God's original intent for our diet, "Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." God never intended us to eat flesh; that's why our bodies are not built to eat it. For these reasons, our church promotes a plant-based diet excluding meat, fish, and poultry. Many members also make the decision to eliminate dairy and eggs from their diet as well. Not to boast or anything, but did you know the Adventist community is regarded as one of groups of people who live the longest in the world? Here's a video link. It's pretty neat!
As for me, I was raised on a vegetarian diet from birth. I've never put a piece of meat in my mouth. As a teen, I was mocked for not eating meat given I grew up surrounded by people who did eat meat, but I never once doubted that this was the way to go. If you're reading this and you mocked me, no harsh feelings! You're comments helped reinforce my beliefs. I feel so grateful to my parents and so blessed to have been born into a message that values all aspects of health. Beginning this past summer, I've begun a transition into a vegan diet. I've significantly cut out dairy and eggs from my diet and introduced a lot more fruits and vegetables and juicing into my daily eating routine. You feel so alive and energetic when you eat the right stuff. It's incredible! This shift happened after watching the amazing documentary Forks Over Knives which talked about the scientific evidence that supports the health benefits of a plant-based diet in preventing/reversing heart disease, turning cancer on and off, and healing a majority of chronic diseases like diabetes. Hippocrates once said, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food" and boy was he right! Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure costs this country $120 billion each year. Diet is so much more important than anyone has ever thought. The solution to our chronic health problems is so simple yet the culture we live in makes it seem like the answer is a pill, heart surgery, or chemotherapy. The food you eat can change your life both now and in the future. It's worth giving it some thought. For this reason, over the month of October, I will be sharing recipes, fun facts, and inspiration to encourage you to think twice about what goes into our bodies.
How about a challenge? If you look at the right sidebar on the blog, you'll notice an ad with some carrots on it. That picture will lead you to the website for Vegetarian Awareness Month. They are encouraging people to give up meat for a month for a chance to win a monetary prize. If you don't want to do that, that's fine! Try it for one week, even one day and see how you feel! If you have any questions/comments, I would love to hear from you! You can write them on the comments below and I will be happy to answer them!
Cheers to good health!