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Eat Plants

Explaining the food lifestyle I follow is basically simple:

“I don’t eat anything that had a face or a mother.” 

My eating plan consists of plants – lots of them and in a huge variety. Leafy greens, fruit, beans, legumes, and seeds. 

On April 1st, I made a commitment to really focus on eating a true plant-based diet. I had fallen into the “vegan trap” of eating all of those high-in-fat vegan mock foods and piling on way too many nuts into my diet. What caused me to upgrade my vegan diet to a whole foods, plant-based diet? My scale.

On March 30th, I stood on the scale and looked down – I was abnormally obese, coming in at 262 pounds. For a guy of five foot, eight inches tall, this amounted to a BMI over over 39!! Holy cow! That Saturday morning I committed to reforming my diet, chucking all those mock burgers and fake chik’en from the freezer and replacing them with broccoli. All the “good oils” were poured down the drain and replaced with … nothing. Who really needs olive oil since it is 100% fat? The cashews, peanuts, and walnuts went to the squirrels. Trust me, they were thrilled to get them. 

Whole Foods recently reduced prices on various greens, so I stocked up. Part of my commitment is to eat two salads a day consisting of kale, spinach, and whatever other greens I could get. And I was off. It’s been less than a month and I’m down almost 12 pounds from March 30th.

When I mention to people that I have reformed my diet away from the mock-vegan meats and stuff and now center what I eat around greens, beans, and fruit, of course that elicits a series of questions that try to pin me down to show that what I eat is not healthy.

“What the hell does ‘I don’t eat anything that had a face or a mother’ mean?”

“Uh, I don’t eat anything that comes from an animal. And you shouldn’t use the word ‘hell.’ You’re taking the Lord’s name in vain.”

“OK. No more cursing in front of you, if using the word hell is an actual curse. Back to your diet. Do you mean that you don’t eat hamburgers or steak or KFC?”

“No.”

“What about a good beef stew?”

“Nope.”

“You gotta eat a hot dog or two? You’re a baseball fan.”

“Uh, while I am a Yankees fan, I don’t eat hot dogs.”

“What about cheese? You gotta eat pizza. You’re Italian.”

“No cheese. No dairy. No yogurt.”

“But you have to eat fish? Doctors say it is good for you, those Omega oils and stuff. Keeps your brain in good shape.”

“No fish, either. And you can get those omega oils from plants and seeds.”

“Seeds? Birds eat seeds. Humans eat steak. Where the hell do you get your protein?”

“The word ‘hell,’ again.”

“OK, OK.”

“Protein comes from plants.”

“Oh, come on! There isn’t enough real protein in lettuce!”

“I know this is shocking, but there is protein in vegetables, even in lettuce. Real, honest to goodness protein. Plus, I eat kale. And spinach. And Swiss chard.”

“So, you’re telling me that eating a bowl of green stuff is equal in protein to eating a steak?”

“No, the greens have less protein, but it is good protein since it doesn’t come from an animal. And you don’t need all that protein you get from eating animals.”

“That’s bull! You need protein for life. Didn’t you listen in health class in high school? Protein is the building blocks of life. Protein is best when it comes from a steak or chicken. That has all the protein chain-building things needed for muscle growth.”

“And green leafy vegetables have enough protein to satisfy any human being’s protein needs.”

“Come on! You admittedly get less protein and you don’t drink milk. Where are you getting your calcium from?”

“Kale. Oh, and other green leafy vegetables.”

“So you’re saying that there is calcium in kale? Milk has calcium and lots of it. And it tastes good on cereal and when you dunk an Oreo. Kale tastes terrible.”

“No, kale tastes good. But that’s an argument for another day. Let’s stick with milk: It comes from the mammary glands of a cow or a goat and designed for baby cows and goats to drink so they can grow up to become big cows and goats. It is not designed for human beings to drink. Why? It gives you all the hormones that baby cows and goats need to grow. And it is high in fat.”

“Are you calling me fat? But that’s why you drink skim milk. Less fat.”

“And what about the hormones?”

“Eh, who cares! Milk tastes great cold. Don’t you watch the Indianapolis 500? The winners get to chug milk. There isn’t anything more American than milk and the Indy 500.”

“Yeah. I love the Indy 500. But let’s be honest, if a vegan won the race, they’d probably forego the milk chugging unless it was almond or oat milk.”

“Oat milk? Almond milk? Hate to break it to you, but you can’t milk an almond or a bowl of oatmeal.”

“No, you can’t milk it the way you milk a cow. You create it from combining oats or almonds with water.”

“But that’s all that its in there, water and almonds. Where do you get your calcium?”

“The speciality milks are fortified with vitamins.”

“Ah-ha!! See! You can’t get anything from milking a bowl of oatmeal. All the good stuff needs to be added like calcium and Vitamin D.”

“You know that they add Vitamin D to cow’s milk, don’t you?”

“Well, yeah, but at least you don’t have to add calcium to it like you have to do with oatmeal milk.”

“That’s oat milk. It tastes great. You should try it.”

“Nah, I’m sticking with normal cow’s milk.”

“That’s milk baby cows need to grow up into big, fat cows.”

“Stop that!”

“I love oat milk. It tastes great on a bowl of oats and fruit.”

“Don’t you think it’s weird to pour oat milk over a bowl of oats?”

“Weird? Why?”

“Oat milk over oats? Wouldn’t be easier just to pour water over it?”

“You are making no sense.”

“OK. You say you get protein and vegetables from plants. But without eating meat or dairy, isn’t your diet dangerous?”

“Dangerous? To who?”

“You!! It doesn’t sound like a completely rounded diet. Not enough protein. No amino acids. Calcium from veggies and not milk.”

“So, you’re telling me that eating plants and only plants is less healthy than eating hamburgers or fried chicken?”

“Well, at least you’re getting enough protein.”

“Didn’t we already have this conversation?”

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