Our Kinder, Vegetarian Diet: Week 1

by Dagmar Bleasdale on January 13, 2010

It’s been about a week that we dramatically changed things here in the Bleasdale kitchen. After reading Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet and watching the DVD Eating and the movie Food Inc., Don decided that he wants to radically change his eating habits to hopefully get rid of the pain he has been in for months.

He is fed up with all the doctors who seem to have no clue about what’s the matter with him and all the medicines that don’t help. So he’s determined to change his diet to get rid of the inflammation that is upsetting his body.

So here are a few things we have done so far:

Eliminated meat:

I went to the grocery market yesterday and it was really liberating to pass all that meat and not buy any of it. I’m not a big fan of meat since childhood, and I can’t stand having to prepare it, so we already didn’t eat much meat at home, but for Don this is a big adjustment.

Yet after watching disturbing videos on YouTube about how cows and chicken suffer before they land on our dinner table, and how unsanitary the processing conditions are, becoming a vegetarian is a natural and easy progression.

Don and I and also his sister Maria have been talking a lot about all the information we are now seeking out and “digesting” in this adventure of eating a mostly plant-based diet, and we certainly feel better about our actions toward other creatures and our environment when avoiding beef, pork, and chicken.

Shop more at farmer’s markets and health food stores:

Don and I have been shopping at a farmer’s market and Mrs. Green’s, which is more expensive but so much more satisfying. And I think in the end it’s going to be the same cost: we are paying more for organic health food-store food, but we are also saving about the same amount by not buying any meat products.

Discovered Daikon:

Daikon, a root vegetable, is going to become a staple in our house. After Don brought home a Daikon the other day to try it out, it’s my new favorite vegetable. I love eating it raw, but it was also delicious in the vegetable soup I made with it. And guess what, it has great diuretic properties, something I’m all in favor off after gaining five pounds recently.

Eat out less and cook more at home:

I’m cooking more and actually enjoying it! The other day, I tried out my new Cuisinart Rice/soup/oatmeal cooker for the first time and made a delicious risotto with green beans.

And yesterday we cooked as a family together for the first time. Don made his one signature dish: rice and beans. We made it with brown rice, two kinds of beans, broccoli, garlic and onion —  which I cut because I am the one with the contact lenses :)

Make our own healthy salad dressing:

No more store-bought, commercial, sugar-laden salad dressings for us — from now on we are making our own dressing with balsamic vinegar and good olive oil. That will save us money and is one small step to eliminate unnecessary sugar from our diet. Did you realize how much sugar is in those dressings?

It will also free up refrigerator space. Remember this picture?

Use Bragg Liquid Aminos to flavor dishes instead of salt:

Don bought this concoction home from the health food store. His sister Maria has been using it for years. It’s an all-natural, all-purpose seasoning made from soy protein and contains 16 amino acids. It’s pretty salty tasting but hardly contains sodium. You can use Bragg for salads, soups, tofu, really anything. What a great find!

Skip the agave nectar:

We have been using agave nectar instead of maple syrup for over a year now, thinking it is so much better than syrup. Well, according to this article, “Agave Nectar: Worse Than We Thought” and this one, agave nectar we buy in the store is no better than high-fructose corn syrup! I guess it was too good to be true. So we are back to using organic sugar in moderation.

If you want to make changes in your diet, have healthier options in the house!

If there is something you want to avoid eating, don’t have it in the house — it’s that simple! Trust me, you might crave that Snickers bar at midnight, but you are not going to get in the car and head for the closest gas station to get it.

If you are trying to eat less sugar, like me, have nuts, raisins, bananas, and lots of other fruit in the house so you can grab that instead. If you don’t have replacements handy, it’s going to be really hard to change bad habits.

That’s it for now. I will keep you updated on our progress with our kinder, vegetarian diet.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Bella December 30, 2010 at 8:22 PM

A couple years ago I was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Since, I have changed my diet because I felt so crappy all the time. It really did help a lot. It helps with depression and anxiety as well I think because if your body isn’t aching, your mind is easier t distract.


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