I’m not vowing to change life pattern of food forever, but I do see things about my body and health that could be better. Our kitchen is beautifully equipped and we eat more whole, unprocessed foods than the majority of Americans, but we can do better. Lately, E has been having stomach problems and a nagging cough. I know allergies can be blamed (so can smoking like a chimney while his father was here, but, since he has stopped, we won’t travel down that road), but so can laziness with our food. Finally, Arwen can truly not be bothered to eat meat. Cheese and yogurt, yes. Meat, you need not exist. Thus, I decided to take us down the road of vegan experimentation for a three short weeks. The caveats being, we may eat a little cheese, E can have milk for his coffee and cereal, and the idea of soy yogurt frightens me, but overall I want to have a vegan home for a trial run. However, I know my weakness of needing a plan so I began a search, because what else is an iPhone for than the search “vegan” on the apps page. As it turns out, that’s EXACTLY what it is for: 21-day vegan kickstart was one of the first hits.
I checked out the associated website and it turns out there is a wonderful list of meals, broken down day-for-day and meal-for-meal. Secondly, there are recipes for each meal. Finally, all ingredients are straightforward. There is no tempeh, seitan, vegan margarines, back-shelf of hippie grocery amino acids. Not at all. In fact, the most foreign ingredients are silken tofu and quinoa – both of which I have on hand (though the tofu expired two months ago). In fact, most of the recipes are super simple and, frankly, a bit dull - which makes this endeavor more exciting because it opens me up to making everything taste even better than the proposed, dull recipe. Afterall, nothing like a few pats of butter and reduced to cream sauce to liven up an simple pasta dish. Oh wait …
As it turns out, this whole 21-day Kickstart program is sponsored by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which seems to be a bunch of animal lovin’, cheese haters dressed as doctors. (I kid, really.) Seriously, their aim is to get people eating healthier without breaking the bank, which is an admirable goal. Admittedly, the campaign aesthetic is a bit cheeseball – complete “Celebrity Tips” – but it is an excellent, clear website that couldn’t have a better motive, especially since September is deemed “National Childhood Obesity Month”:
Based on research by Neal Barnard, M.D., one of America’s leading health advocates, this program is designed for anyone who wants to explore and experience the health benefits of a vegan diet. Low-fat vegan—plant-based—diets are the easiest way to trim excess weight, prevent diabetes, cut cholesterol, lower blood pressure, prevent and reverse heart disease, and reduce cancer risk. They even trim our carbon footprint.
The program "started" September 6, and after a final bolognese sauce with pasta and fresh mozzarella with tomatoes and basil, we will start this weekend. Better late than never.