Monday, January 5, 2015

Finding a Sustainable Solution

I have a tendency to enter every book store I go into, be it regular or used. Here in Israel, the books are (obviously) in Hebrew but nevertheless, I go into them all the time to see if they have any new English books on the shelves.

One day, perusing the shelves I saw the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman. I picked it up, read the jacket and then put it down. I prefer to read reviews and do research on a book before I pay the inflated Israeli price and give it precious real estate on my bookshelf.

After doing some research online, I returned to the book store and picked up the book and proceeded to read it cover to cover. What I learned really blew me away. I must say it was this book that introduced me to what real nutrition is and meant to be and I thought that it might be a better approach for me than 80/10/10. A larger variety of food, cooked food.. things were a changing.

The Eat to Live diet is one that embraces a whole food plant based diet with a focus primarily on the consumption of greens. Lots and lots of leafy greens. So far so good. That is, until I discovered Dr. John McDougall. Then my life really changed. I'm not sure where I first heard his name or was introduced to his idea of a plant based diet. Perhaps Dr. Fuhrman himself quoted Dr. McDougall. All I know is that as soon as I heard starch based diet, I was sold. Personally, I have always been a lover of carbohydrates. Hearing that they are good for you and can even help you lose weight made me delirious with joy. I mentioned in my previous post that since high school, I have avoided potatoes. My siblings even made fun of me that I would eat everything unhealthy but potatoes not. Truthfully, potatoes were a fear food for me- I loved them in every.single. incarnation and I knew that they could be dangerous for my weight. What Dr. McDougall taught me was that potatoes themselves aren't unhealthy, it's the way they are prepared that make them unhealthy. I am proud to say that I have had potatoes every single day for the last six months. I have never been happier :)

At about the time I discovered the Starch Solution way of life, I also started to read about animal abuses in the food industry. While I had embarked on this journey primarily for health, my sensitivities toward animals certainly heightened. It was only after seeing some grisly footage that I decided to swear off all animal products permanently. And so, for about six months, I have been 100% percent animal product free. I am very proud of making that decision.

This past October, I flew home to visit my parent and in the process stocked up on plenty of books and cookbooks including the life changing China Study, Forks Over Knives, The Starch Solution, the Happy Herbivore cookbooks and more. I have not looked back since. I have also joined the FB group McDougall Friends and find there a wealth of inspiration and support. It is critical in staying on the wagon. I find myself pretty self-motivated and knowing what animal products do to the body is enough for me to not veer off this path. That said, I am a pretty simple person and I keep it simple. I enjoy oatmeal and berries for breakfast, a large vegetable salad with baked potatoes for lunch and dinner is usually rice and beans or some sort of soup or other concoction.

And there you have it. How I became a McDougaller in a nutshell. I am so grateful that my eyes were opened and that I have gotten to where I am today. I don't believe in being preachy about my lifestyle, but I am hoping that I am able to lead by example if only just a little. 

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