Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Adventures in Nutrition

Welcome to my brand new blog! I thought I'd start it out by telling you a little about myself and why I decided to create this blog. First, about me. I'm a Home Economics teacher; I teach high school students about nutrition, food preparation, and issues surrounding food. As such, I considered myself to be relatively knowledgeable about what "good" nutrition is. I was raised on the standard western diet - heavy on meat, dairy, and processed foods. I did go through periods of trying to eat "healthier" by choosing chicken breast over beef, skim milk over 2%, staying away from overly processed foods, etc., but I could never seem to get a handle on my weight. I've tried a bunch of diets, including Weight Watchers and LA Weight Loss. While I lost weight on both, I was never able to keep it off because those "diets" are all about controlling your calorie intake - once you go off them, you just start eating more and end up right back where you started! After giving birth to my son a few years ago, I found that I just couldn't lose weight. I had neither the time nor the energy to do it. I needed something new... I needed a complete lifestyle change that I could commit to for the rest of my life so that once I did lose the weight, I would keep it off for good.

And then one fateful day I decided to watch the documentary "Forks Over Knives." For those who haven't seen this film, it basically provides a very convincing argument for switching to a whole-foods plant-based diet. It's somewhat inspired by the book The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. I was intrigued by the movie and decided to read The China Study to learn more. And wow, did I learn! I was so convinced by the book and the movie that I decided to suggest going vegan to my husband. Luckily, he agreed to give it a try!

Since I was very interested in learning more about this new diet we were embarking upon, I decided to also take a course that was advertised in the back of The China Study book. It was through eCornell (Cornell University's online continuing education branch),  and was sponsored by the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. So, after three two-week courses, I am now a proud holder of a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition. Check out more info on this program here - I highly recommend it!

So, it's now been about four months since we became vegan, and I am absolutely loving it! I have never felt better in my life. Weird aches and pains that I used to have are gone, my weight has started to drop (with the help of a killer boot camp program!), and I have more energy than I used to. I have learned to love plant foods in all of their gorgeous colours and delicious flavours! I decided that I better start telling people about how awesome this holistic lifestyle is... hence, this blog. I believe becoming vegan changed my life, and I believe it can change yours too.

I will try to post regularly with awesome recipes we have made, and I hope you will try making them too! I'll also be adding commentary from what I learned during my certificate courses to help you understand more about why whole-foods plant-based nutrition is the way to true health. Thanks for joining me on this culinary and health adventure...

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