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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Debate/Discussion: Forks Over Knives (plus an announcement!)

My husband and I watched this documentary a few days ago and what they said in it really rang true for us. If you haven't heard of it I definitely say check out the official website for more information.

A good friend sent Chema the film. He kept hounding me that I had to see it but I wasn't really that interested. Granted, I had no idea what it was about. I think I just wasn't in the mood for a documentary-type film.

However, we finally found some quiet time and watched it. Amazing. 

The premise of the film is about a study started in China back in the 1970s concerning the prevalence of cancer-related illnesses throughout the country. If I remember correctly, one of the communist leaders of that time contracted cancer. So he wanted to educate himself, as well as his people, about the disease. This study tracked millions of Chinese people in every region of China and wasn't completed until the late 1990s.

It showed how diet, can promote or suppress different types of cancer. 

One would assume that because all of the people in the study had the same ethnicity, and were in the same age groups, that the prevalence of cancer would be the same. That was not the case. In fact, different regions had very different types of cancer.

I am definitely not doing the documentary justice so I say rent it, buy it, or borrow it from a freind and watch it. But there were three people in the film that were able to treat things like high cholesterol and diabetes with diet. 

A strictly vegan diet was able to reverse, in many cases, chronic illnesses, more so than medication or surgery.

A couple of people in the film had gone through triple bypass surgery. After switching to a strictly vegan diet their health improved radically. It was really interesting to see.

Chema and I were inspired by the film. We've decided that starting November 22nd we are "going vegan" for 6 months. 
We chose this date for 2 reasons:

  • We went shopping before we saw the documentary and bought kefir and salmon. Sorry, but I am not about to waste food
  • Our anniversary is on Sunday and I organized a getaway for us at a culinary institute. Sorry, but I am not about to waste money!
I already know that it is going to be really difficult to have a strictly vegan diet. For me, not so much because I haven't eaten red meat or pork in years and I hardly ever eat fish or chicken. I do have milk with cereal and I enjoy yogurt but those products will be easy to give up as well. There's already soy milk in the fridge!

Another negative is that Thanksgiving is coming up. It sucks that I won't be able to eat traditional foods but I found a lot of cool recipes for vegan macaroni and cheese and potato salad. Two of my favorite side dishes. 

It's going to be an adventure discovering new recipes and adapting to situations when we want to eat out. The good thing is that I already subscribe to some vegan centered blogs so I hope they give me some new-found inspiration.

Funnily, when I told my younger brother and my mother that I was "going vegan" they attacked me! They said it was a lie. Everyone knows that meat and dairy are necessary for protein and nutrients. 

I mean they went off

My younger sister also said that I would have to start taking tons of vitamins because all the people she knows who are vegans don't get all their nutrients. 

(Side Note: My mom has agreed to "go vegan" with us for a month. Mainly to lose some weight before her birthday in November!)

What are your thoughts on the documentary, the topic, vegans, diet? Do you think it is healthy and/or possible for athletes to be vegans? Do you know any vegans who are athletic? Do vegans really lack necessary nutrients? Is it wrong/bad/unhealthy not to eat dairy or meat?


  1. I think I am going to repost your question to a friend of mine who is a personal trainer/gym teacher/mma fighter/cross fit trainer and see what he has to say for you. (And I didn't say TONS of vitamins. Just some if your diet does not meet your body's needs.)

  2. I have mixed feelings on going vegan. I have a vegan friend and, yes, she does have to take a lot of supplements.But at the same time she is fit/healthy & looks younger than her age.

    Personally I'm not a big meat eater. I prefer fish but even at that I eat it sparingly. Problem is I can't imagine cooking tasty meals without meat - the taste is in the stock!

    Secondly I HATE swallowing pills. Can't spending the rest of my life on a diet of supplements. But I'd really love to go all the way. Might try it for a month & see how it goes.

    Good luck with the diet, Sam.


  3. @Ash: Thanks Ash! I'd be interested to hear what he has to say. Sounds like he does a lot and he's vegan?

    @Oluchi: Hi Oluchi! Yea, I'm not interested in taking a lot of vitamins. I don't want that to be my life at all. That's the main reason why the first goal is 6 months. As for the stock, you can buy really good veggie ones too! I'm definitely going to document everything...recipes, how my body feels...even how my mom likes it since she's doing it for a month.