Usually on New Year’s Eve, Ron and I make it a point to look at what we’ve done over the last year and decide what we want to do over the next year. We write it down and then tuck it between the mattress and the boxspring so that we can read it on New Year’s next year (its amazing how many things we write down actually end up being done). Despite talking and planning for it, we didn’t do it this year. Maybe because we moved and I have no idea where last year’s paper went, or maybe because this was such a hard year…..NO as I sit here and reflect I think the real reason is that in a heartbeat life changes. One day you consider yourself healthy and life is normal, and a day later you have cancer and now you have a “new normal.” Instead of looking at your life through a crystal ball to the future you are just trying to make it through the day. It changes you and it changes the people who love and live with you. Instead of writing down what we want next year to look like, we talked about how we are going to make our health a priority, what transitioning from an animal based diet to a whole food plant based diet will look like, what are the first steps we need to take, how we will support each other, and how this isn’t a diet but an actual “lifestyle change” for us.
After finishing the book The China Study by Campbell, I’m more than convinced that many of the beliefs I previously had about healthy eating were wrong. I’m horrified by the link between animal protein and its impact on cancer as well as most of the chronic diseases found in this country. One of the studies that stood out for me had to do with a 2 year study that Campbell conducted at MIT where he fed a group of rats a known carcinogen (so they all started out with the same potential cancer), and then fed one group a diet with 20% animal protein, and the other group a diet with 5% animal protein. The 20% group developed cancerous tumors while the 5% group did not. Half way through he decided to switch the diet to see if there was any change. The 5% group now got 20% of the protein, and the 20% group got 5%. The tumors stopped growing in the in the original 20% group, and the 5% group now started developing tumors once fed the 20% animal protein. Obviously this is only one study, and hardly enough to base any statement on, however it is only one of numerous studies done over a 35 year period by the author. Some of the other surprises for me, is that too much calcium in the body actually causes calcium to leach from the bones. There were a number of studies that showed the correlation between calcium from animal based products (can you say “got milk”) and osteoporosis. Okay, so there goes my daily yogurt and calcium supplements. I’m moving to almond milk J I know I’m on a soapbox here so I’ll quit, but I do encourage you to do your own research, and if you are so inclined read the book – it will change the way you currently think about the food you eat and what you feed your family.
It is also not difficult to understand the economic ramifications to this country if we all suddenly decided to go vegetarian – it isn’t just about the cattle ranchers or the dairy farmers, but it’s about us, our jobs, the way our food is made, how its transported, the grocery stores its sold in.
Anyway I volunteer to make myself a guinea pig. I’ve bought in now I’m going to walk it. I’m going to continue to work with my doctors, but I’m also going vegan. The next 8 weeks should show a measurable change so we’ll see.
And I guess that is my resolution for 2011.