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Procrastinating Vegan for Mindful Eating

by Dave Christensen


Everyday more and more people are hearing about a growing movement called Vegan-ism.  To the term, one might think, “Oh, I’ve eaten Vegan before, it’s great.”  Being Vegan is more than merely a diet, it’s a philosophy.  In definition, “ Vegan-ism /ˈviːɡənɪzəm/ is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of Vegan-ism is known as a vegan.” Wikipedia “Vegan-ism”.

Why Vegan?

Vegan, as a lifestyle, is everyone’s right in America.

BBQ or Vegan?
Country BBQ

For the BBQ loving carnivore, forget about it, simply it isn’t going to happen.  However, if you struggle with heart disease, colon and lung cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, liver, kidney dysfunctions, hypertension, and obesity, to name a few;  considering a Vegan diet just might be the solution to your bodies dysfunction.

Vegan diet eliminates accumulating animal protein in your bloodstream. Lowering animal protein in your diet will lower your LDL cholesterol.  Michael Greger, in his documentary, Uprooting The Leading Cause Of Death, said “ 75 percent of heart attack victims fell within the recommended targets for LDL cholesterol

Plaque Build-up

levels”, and noted that  “For plaque progression to cease, it appears that the serum total cholesterol needs to be lowered to the 150 mg/dl area….the serum level…of that of the average vegetarian.”

If you have high cholesterol, unless you adopt a vegetarian diet, the only other choice you have is to lower your LDL cholesterol level is with pharmaceuticals. This year new side effects warning label for such pharmaceuticals reads, “side effects: increased in associated memory loss and confusion, an increase of blood sugar levels, as well as new onset diabetes.”  Still, many carnivore vow, “If I can’t live the way I want to live, then I don’t want to live.” Sadly, many won’t.

In the documentary, Vegan: The Silent Healer, William Castelli M.D., Director of Cardiovascular Studies at the Framingham Heart Study, was quoted,

Vegan Recipes
Vegan Recipes

“If Americans adopted a vegetarian diet, the whole thing (heart disease epidemic) would go away.” The choice is yours: Pharmaceuticals with severe side effects? Or a vegetarian diet? You live or die with YOUR decision.

In considering a Vegan diet, be aware that Vegan is a mindset;  a mindfulness of not harming another living being and making them suffer in order for you to eat. Mindful eating results in more healthy eating. Mindful eating considers how the food was raised, processed, and also asks what chemicals are being consumed, and how will they affect one’s health. Mindful eating can have a profound affect on one’s overall health.

Where Do I Start?

Start with being mindful of what you already eat.  The

Mindful Eating
Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food

book, Mindful Eating A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, by Jan Chozen Bays, MD, explores ones relationship, habits and patterns with food. It also gives six simple guidelines for Mindful Eating. In definition, “Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, being fully aware of what is happening both inside yourself–in your body, heart, and mind–and outside yourself, in your environment.  Mindfulness is awareness without judgement or criticism.”  (Mindful Eating… p.2)

Even if you’re determined NOT to give up the ceremonial BBQ, mindful eating can be beneficial to your health.  Routine doctor visits and regularly checking your blood pressure, with a well balanced diet and exercise program are daily routines for the health conscious. Just by allowing food to go back to the original purpose of nourishing the body, rather than pacifying an appetite, is mindful eating.

Educating yourself about how your food was processed can affect your appetite. For example, back in the late 70’s, I had a job that delivered to a slaughter house. I had to take bags of linens over slaughtered carcasses to make the delivery. Witnessing the killing (as much as I love beef), I couldn’t eat it for a few seasons after witnessing how it was processed. Slaughterhouse sights, smells, sounds had a profound affect on my appetite.

There are a lot of videos on Vegan vs. Meat Eater. View and take note of the good information.  There are some extremist, however most Vegans are objective, especially those who are short-time Vegan. They remember the difficulty of the mindset adjustment and sometimes people just don’t understand “different.”

Slow Food

Slow Food Logo
Slow Food

In college, I researched “Slow Food” style of eating. “Slow Food is a global, grassroots organisation with supporters in over 150 countries around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the  environment.”

Slow vs Fast
Slow Food vs. Fast Food

With slow food, in opposition to “fast food”; everything about  how the food is grown; nutrients, and making sure the beef, poultry or pork  is treated humanely; what grain it was fed, prohibiting injection of hormones or steroids. Microwaves or any form of radiation in cooking is prohibited. There is sort of a backwards in time style of cooking and mindset. Food is to be taken seriously, and enjoyed thoroughly.

On the other hand, costs are much more expensive because the feed for cattle, or organic elements of the soil where the vegetables are grown are evaluated. No pesticides, artificial flavors or  additives are allowed. Therefore the cost of a slow food turkey, ham, or roast beef may be much higher than the meat products on sale at your local supermarket. Then again, for about the same cost of eating fast food everyday, one can adopt a “slow food” lifestyle if they are conscious about their diet. (Slow Food)

Most people look favorable on Vegan diet, whereas Vegan-ism is a whole different story. Change in diet doesn’t have to involve a political movement. However, awareness of how your food is grown before it is consumed is beneficial for your health. Healthier diets begin with awareness.

Breaking away from unhealthy eating habits confronts everyone at one time or another.  The internet hosts a vast variety, (including Holistic Thymes) of educational information about how to eat healthier, and why. There are pros and cons to every argument. Ultimately, you are responsible for your health. Changing from a “see-food” diet to “Mindful Eating,” or adopting Vegan-ism, or simply counting calories, will benefit your health.  Common sense, awareness and mindfulness are the keys to healthy eating.  GOD BLESS!