Archive for the ‘Recovering Carnivore 12 Step Program’ Category

Recovering Carnivore Step #5 – Educate yo’ self

Step #5:

We have admitted that all our ideas about healthy food are crap and that the people who taught us about health don’t have a clue either. We are free to right the wrongs of our dietary past and move on with our lives.

 This is a 12-part series delving deep into each step of the Recovering Carnivore 12 Step Program.

I really got mad when I first heard that the average doctor, who has over 7 years of education, only takes about 3 hours of nutrition courses to become a Doctor.

I mean, these people save lives. At least, that is the way I’ve always viewed them. Doctors are automatic hero’s. They show up at work everyday, they heal, cure and bring people back to life and BOOM! HERO!! It is an amazing thing.

And yet, think about all the lives they could save by prescribing dietary changes to avoid the life saving moments.

We could get into the politics of it all and the money. Oh, the beautiful money. But let’s take a moment to rise above it all…

If we take responsibility for our own lives, rid ourselves of the old ideologies we have about food and eat our way into a healthier existence; we can avoid having to go see a Doctor, to get another prescription, to push our healthcare costs up even higher, etc, etc.

Let’s come together as intelligent, focused and conscious human beings and change not only our lives, but also make a dent in the world doing it.

Recovering Carnivore Step #4 – Say No to the Pillbox

Step #4:

We have made a searching and fearless inventory of our general health and realized that it is complete shit. SAY NO TO THE PILL BOX.

This is a 12-part series delving deep into each one of these steps.

“Say no to the pillbox” is becoming one of my favorite phrases. It is my mantra, my call to arms, my power-phrase. It’s what I say when I am frustrated with my food choices and need to get back on track. If I were to give a Braveheart-esque speech, this would be how I would finish it.

Before I get too carried away with this… You all do know what a pillbox is, right? It is that rectangular box with the different compartments with the days of the week written on them.

Say No to the Pillbox!!

You might have one, your parents might have one, your grandma, sister, neighbor, etc might have one. The point is, these boxes are a growing trend in American health care. And that scares the hell out of me.

Think about it… every morning when you get up, having to go over to the pillbox and pull out your meds. All the insurance co-pays and trips to the pharmacy for refills. I can’t even begin to imagine how much money in pill form that little box sees over its lifetime. And to think—it’s all because of the foods you choose to eat that the pillbox is even in your life.

Making a decision to adopt a plant-based diet for me is a long-term decision. I hope to never get to that point in my life where I become slave to the pillbox and it’s contents within. It has never been more clear to me that veganism + exercise = a long and healthy life.

Say no to the pillbox and say yes to life!


Recovering Carnivore Step #3 – Be the change you want to see in the world

Step #3:

We have made a decision to turn our will over to the produce section. We have shut down our deep fryers, put away our steak knives and started going to a Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning.

This is a 12-part series delving deep into each one of these steps.

Everyone has read the infamous words spoken by an even more infamous person…

Be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Ghandi

The point I am trying to make with the 3rd step of a recovering carnivore is very simple: Love your diet like you love yourself. There is no better way  to influence your friends and family, than living the life you love. They will recognize the changes for the better and start questioning their own eating habits.

There is no need to preach about “being vegan”. Practice what you preach and you won’t have to. The extra energy, focus and natural glow cannot be ignored.

There are also some other mental shifts you should consider. Like…

Changing your vocabulary from, “I can’t eat that because I’m vegan” to “I CHOOSE not to eat that because I’m vegan”.

And…

  • I don’t want to have a triple by-pass at age 50
  • I don’t want to have high cholesterol
  • I don’t want to have type-2 diabetes
  • I don’t want to die from cancer.

If you just want to keep it simple… I just want to look good naked.

How difficult of a concept is that?

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Essentials books, movies and websites to help your cause:

Essential reads for vegans:

Essential movies for vegans:

Essential websites for vegans:

If you have any suggestions to add to these lists, please share in the comments!


Recovering Carnivore Step #2 – Sanity and The Plant Based Diet

Step #2:

We believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore our sanity—FRESH, HEALTHY, LOCAL FOOD!

This is a 12-part series delving deep into each one of these steps.

This step requires a break down of parts. The first part is restoring sanity into our lives. The second part is how to do it. Let’s look at the parts individually than come full circle at the end. (This is starting to sound like one of my mid-term papers for 11th grade English—boring! I promise it’s not.)

Part 1 – SANITY.

Ever feel your world is spinning out of control? Ever feel like wherever you look there are three sources supporting your life decisions and then five more disputing them? Well, I have always felt this way about FOOD.

They just make it so damn complicated to get it right. Just the other day, Melody asked me if the fruit I grabbed at the grocery store was organic. I went back and looked and it wasn’t. But it was local, grown just a few miles up the road.

Now what do we do?

Do we buy the organic fruit because it’s better for you? Or do we buy the local produce because we are supporting our local economy and reducing our carbon footprint at the same time.

Also, the non-organic fruit is cheaper. Melody says it’s okay to buy, but only if we don’t eat the skin (The skin retains the pest control sprays or something). So now I’m thinking about how long it will take to peal the fruit to eat it and I’m back to thinking I want the organic fruit…. AHHHHHH!!!!

This is exactly the type of over-complicated headaches that I am trying to avoid. Now think about it in terms of the meat you buy.  9 out of 10 times, you will have no idea where the meat comes from. You will never know if they inject the meat with hormones—giving you cancer. You will never know if they give it heavy doses of antibiotics—giving you cancer. Forget about the preservatives to ship it to the store and have it last longer on the shelves—giving you cancer.

Let’s say it’s pre-made sausages. (I used to eat them ALL the time).  After asking ourselves where the meat is from and what they injected and dosed it with, let’s ask ourselves what part of the animal the meat comes from? What did they spray it with? How was it treated? What did they do to preserve it? Who handled it? What type of fat to meat ratio did they use? Is it fat from the same animal?

Am I even asking the right questions about this meat?

This is all before I start to ask myself what the meat will do to my body…

  • Like make my ass fat, or worse…
  • Give me a heart attack.
  • Or, give me cancer.

With the fruit, I am deciding between eating healthy and eating healthier. And that is SANITY!

Part 2 – Fresh, healthy, local food.

This is the fun part… the adventure… the beautiful, life-giving part.

Remember…

  • No one ever died from eating their veggies.
  • No one has ever gotten salmonella poisoning from farmer’s market potatoes.
  • No one has ever gotten fat from bingeing on salads.

Now…

  • Go out there and learn about Super Foods like spinach and kale.
  • Wake up early on a Saturday morning and chat up your local farmer about what’s coming into season.
  • Get a nice “raw glow” going from eating your veggies without grilling all the life out of them.

Embrace life and life will embrace you.

Recovering Carnivore Step #1 – Making a change

Weekly Series: Defining the 12 Steps

Step #1:

We admit that steaks, shakes and fried chicken are our aphrodisiac. The food comas, beer gut and bad health that go along with the indulgence, have gone on long enough.

This is going to be a 12-part series delving deep into each one of these steps. First, let me just clear the air—Yes, I stole this from Alcoholics Anonymous. No, it should not be taken literally. If you don’t have a sense of humor and appreciate my playfulness with this, you need to move on.

Now that the explanation and disclaimer are out of the way, lets get down to the meat and potatoes. (Side note: Can I still use this turn of phrase as a vegan?? I need a vegan-friendly referee to provide a ruling).

This first step is a simple one. It’s the part in alcoholics anonymous where we admit we have a problem. We have done some reading, consulted a nutritionist and had a little sit-down with ourselves. It is a time for us to come to terms with reality.

MEAT = BAD ———— VEGGIES = GOOD

Now I know this is a VERY simplified concept. I know that all the “experts” out there will ridicule me for breaking it down so plainly. I am a guy… I am a very busy guy. Anymore complicated than that and I stop paying attention.

Anyway… a few examples my ignorance are as follows (I’m sure you have a few you can share too):

I never knew that food comas were NOT normal. Seriously! Having to unbutton your pants after a large meal was commonplace growing up and even a running joke in our family.

We were also told to eat our veggies. Enforcing that at the dinner table was a different story. (Funny how that’s all I eat now).

I also never knew that taking drugs to solve a health issue was NOT the only option. Our bodies are fine-tuned machines that have been evolving and changing for a millennia. On the seventh day, God created man in his image. And did an incredible job!

We should be listening to every ache, cramp and noise our body makes. If we sleep longer than normal—why do you think that is? If we can’t concentrate—why do you think this is? I think you’re getting the point here.

For me, this first step was definitely the hardest. I wanted to continue to eat my steaks without any idea that they were killing me. What’s the line in the Matrix?? “Ignorance is bliss”.

Yes it is… until it kills you.

The point I’m trying to make is that once you make the decision to eat a healthy, plant based diet, it’s all down hill from there. Ever since I chose to adopt this lifestyle 10 months ago (Jan 1, 2011), I have been on one of the best adventures OF MY LIFE!

Life is all about perspective—taking this first step with me will change yours forever.