Thursday, March 24, 2011

Whole Food Plant Based Vegan = Herbivore, or, I'm too sexy for this diet

A few months ago I read about this book:
Yes, that says Good Housekeeping. I KNOW - CRAZY!!
At first I thought it was a joke, but then I remembered how the world works. Veganism is now popular enough that Good Housekeeping wants a piece of our vegan pie. Fine by me. It won't clog any arteries and no animal will die for it. Perfecto!
The book looks great, actually. It is perfect for a new vegan, especially one who is approaching this from a health perspective and has access to a basic grocery store. Lots of color photos and simple preparations. The recipes are creative and seriously, I'm gonna make some of them. 

In other news, I am in the process of taking a class through eCornell, the online arm of Cornell University. It's based on Colin Campbell's research including The China Study, plus the work of lots of other influential people who want to use plants as medicine to help cure the woes caused by the standard American diet. It's three classes, two weeks each, for a certificate in plant-based nutrition. I hope to be able to more effectively advocate for a vegan diet, or a more cruelty-free diet, or as it's known in the health circles - a plant-based diet.

So far, I have completed one of the three classes and I am deep into my second. It's eye opening. It's scary what our food choices can mean for our health. I am super motivated and am evaluating much of what I eat and feed my daughter. We do pretty darn well, but there is always room for improvement. The start she is getting will hopefully develop her palate to be one that won't fall victim to mcnuggets, ever. I hope for that so much.

Something that has started to bother me, though, is the simple word "diet." Really, it means "manner of living" but the word has become synonymous with weight loss, fads, pills and exclusionary ways of eating, a la the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, etc. We all know, the word diet has been co-opted & ruined. Today's "diets" are well-executed marketing plans to sell products and make lots of money. That's why there are so many of them. And none of 'em work.

Yet there aren't any vegan / plant-based diets I can think of that come with pre-packaged foods you are required to purchase. You shouldn't have to buy anything in a package, really.  Real food doesn't come in a box that requires you to add water. It comes with roots and is often leafy and green. And those of us encouraging veganism or a plant-based diet don't have any reason to lie to you, we don't even have a product to sell you! On the contrary, we can help you keep your money in your pocket and help you save your own life. So very sexy, indeed.


  1. Great post! I totally agree that real food doesn't come in a box that requires you to add water. :) And while I'm happy that veganism seems to becoming so much more mainstream, I too worry about the word "diet." I know what it means in its true sense, but you're right - in our society, it has come to meet weight loss, fads, restriction, and so on. I am glad that people come to veganism, whatever their motives, but it seems that too often, the ones who are attracted by the promises of weight loss end up ditching veganism if the pounds don't melt off - which is missing the point of veganism completely. I know that quite a few people who initially go veg because of weight loss or health *do* stay vegan, and their reasons for being vegan evolve over time - BUT, I've seen a lot of people ditch veganism as if it were South Beach or Atkins. It's not another fad "diet"!

    I could write my own blogpost about this in the comments section, but I'll stop here. :)

  2. That's awesome!! I can't wait to hear all about what you learn!

  3. It sounds really lame to say it, but knowledge is power! Especially when you can pass it along to others. Congrats on edu-macating yourself (and everyone else!)! I'm a total food/nutrition nerd and will happily soak up the knowledge you throw down!