On December 4th, Karel and I watched the Forks over Knives documentary. It was really eye opening for the both of us but I was not quick to make any assumptions. Looking more into the no-fat, vegan "plant-strong" diet, I recognize that this "diet" was extremely restricted. However, there were many positive messages within the documentary and I feel it left an extreme impression on Karel. From the feedback from others, many people have changed eating habits after viewing this film.
What did you think about the film?
Nineteen years ago, I decided to not kill animals. I was around 11 years old and I made this decision on my own, while in middle school. I told my parents and that was that....19 amazing years of not eating fish, chicken, cows, turkey or any other animal.
Over the last 8-10 years, I've probably made the most nutritional changes in my vegetarian diet. Learning more about variety, balance and the nutritional value of certain food sources, I've become more appreciative of what I put into my body. Despite being an endurance athlete, my health is my first priority. Performance gains and PR's..well those are just a side effect of my choices of "fuel".
Prior to then, I simply ate a lot of cheese, pasta, pizza, cheeze-it's and pretzels and emphasized little "color" unless you count bagel bites, air head candy and skittles.
As a health professional, I try to remove my own personal biases when it comes to what works for me and my personal choices for my diet and how I choose to live my life. I have an extreme soft spot for animals and despite me feeling as if fish is a wonderful food source in the diet, I am comfortable with my choices to not eat any animals other than to eat dairy and eat eggs. Once again, I do not tell others to be meat-free but I strongly advise and recommend others to incorporate more variety in the diet. Of course, I find that the best role I have is to inspire others, not to preach. This is why you will not find me discussing "bad" food in my blog or in articles. It isn't worth my time or energy..I'd rather focus on all the amazingly nutritious foods out there, discover new foods and create new creations.
It's never about what you can't eat but rather, what you can eat. Of course, if you don't take time for your health, you will eventually have to make time for illness.
Shortly after watching the Forks over Knives film, Karel told me he wanted to try not eating meat. Although he rarely ate red meat (typically when we would go to Outback for my pre-race meals or when we visited my parents and cooked with the grill), my eyes opened wide but I didn't say what I thought I would say.
I guess I invisioned myself saying "YIPPE!" but rather, I approached the situation with an open mind (like always) and responded with "That sounds great, I'll help you out the best I can to make sure you stay in good health and continue to race strong"
I have never once forced, suggested or advised Karel to not eat meat. Certainly, I have changed a lot in his diet simply by inspiring him to try new foods with my creations but food is never an argument in our house. My job is to take care of myself and to help Karel take care of himself. I appreciate him wanting to take care of himself because as my husband, I want to be with him forever...active, healthy and of course, with Campy always by our side.
Four months strong and Karel has not eaten chicken, turkey or ham (his "old" favorite meats). I still keep fish in our place as I feel this is a wonderful food source for some individuals, choosing to include some type of "animal" protein in their diet. However, in my mind, fish isn't necessary if you are worried about overall health, if you do choose to be vegetarian or vegan. I find that fish, along with some other "power" foods out there are used as "reversal" foods...that is, to reverse what has already been done. So in the case of fish protecting the heart and the brain, well, perhaps a plant strong diet years before a diagnosis of CHF, obesity, cardivascular disease, diabetes and hypertension (to name a few) would have also protected the heart and the brain.
Karel is 100% fueled by plants and my creations are exploding in this house. Far too many for this blog....I'm almost ready to fill a cookbook with my powerful creations!
So, in honor of this special month... I'm happy to announce that Team Karel and Marni are staying strong, fueled all day with lots of yummy plant-strong creations.
I can't say it enough but I appreciate those who continue to read my blog. My goal is not to make this world "meat-free" but to inspire, educate and motivate others to live a more healthful lifestyle, appreciating food for fuel and to foster overall health. For once you feel the gift of health, you never want to lose it.
Karel friendly Fish and potatoes
*Bourbon salmon - fresh, made daily at Publix grocery store. Cook for 7-8 minutes (I cook until 145 degrees) in oven at 350 degrees
*Red potatoes - chopped, tossed in olive oil and seasoned with chili pepper, pinch of sea salt and paprika; cook in oven, on baking sheet lined with tinfoil. Sprinkled with parmesan cheese when cooked
*Asparagus - cook in microwave until soft (with a little water), then put in oven with potatoes, drizzled with olive oil
*Polenta - (Thimade from cornmeal) sliced and cooked in oven on seperate baking sheet
*Thinly sliced cooked red peppers and onions for garnish
Vegetarian Leftover stir-fry:
Cooked in olive oil, seasoned with chili pepper, pinch of sea salt, pepper and curry powder