For those of you who remember my decision to give up added oil and fat in my foods, I have an update for you. For newcomers to my site-Welcome and, if you wish, you can check out my decision here.
In a nutshell, I am eliminating added oil and fat for health reasons-still working on being a Vegan Warrior in all respects. I am following Dr. McDougall’s Health Plan which advocates increased consumption of starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, corn, peas, potatoes, rice and other grains, beans and fruits. This eating plan is based on the diets of Asian countries where they have a much lower incidence of diseases and conditions associated with a typical North American Diet. These would be Heart Disease, Diabetes. Atherosclerosis, High Blood Pressure and Obesity, to name just a few. Basically it is a 100% whole food, plant based diet which restricts the intake of added fat. For this reason, Dr. McDougall considers high fat nuts and seeds to be a delicacy, to be enjoyed occasionally.
Before I decided to go this route, I learned an important fact about the composition of all plant based foods. They are made up of three main elements- fat, carbs and protein. Surprised? I was too. But after thinking about it for a while, I see that it makes perfect sense. Of course, Nature would provide us with everything we need to be strong, energized, productive beings. And we haven’t even touched on all the other elements like vitamins, enzymes, minerals, macro and micro-nutrients housed in all the species of the plant kingdom. I am not an expert in this field, so I will not wax poetic.
The most basic and sensible conclusion for me is that, if we eat a variety of plant based foods, we don’t need any extra fat in the form of oils, margarine and shortening . In fact, many medical studies indicate that added fats, particularly processed fats are very injurious to our health.
Two months ago I decided to take the plunge. I had known for a while that I was eating too much processed fat in the form of Vegan Mayonnaise and Vegan Butter. What did I eat them with and on? Well, just about everything. Butter on my air popped popcorn, veggies, toast, bread, muffins, crackers and Veganaise with most of my meals (except for soup and salad), as well as sandwiches. Does that sound like a lot? Well it was. Although I am not counting calories, I am estimating that it amounted to an extra 300 to 400 calories a day. That’s right-Pretty shocking.
So, I stopped eating these products! Now you have to remember, this is a lifelong habit that I acquired as a child and we all know how long ago that was. Sheesh! I expected that I would miss my beloved condiments and that I would crave them for some time. But two months? That is a little bit too long. I thought I would be over it by now. There is no vegan butter in the house, because my husband never used it anyway, but there is Vegan Mayonnaise, because he does use it sometimes. Every time I open the fridge, it is taunting me, calling my name, waving at me. I push it to the back of the fridge behind the ketchup, another condiment-just not a beloved one. The next time I open the fridge, there it is, the Vegan Mayo, front and center.
I don’t know how long cravings last. Someone told me six weeks, someone suggested I wait a few minutes. Neither seems to be true for me. The only thing I don’t do is dream about vegan butter and vegan mayo. Maybe that comes later when the cravings turn to yearnings and then maybe madness!!!
When I became vegan, I craved cheese (cow’s milk) and hot dogs (by products) -two items that I did not even eat that often. I also craved ham (pig), which I did eat fairly often. But the difference for me is that my choice to give up eating nonhuman animals as food is an ethical one. Giving up Veganaise is not, so it seems to be much harder.
The Vegan Butter, otherwise known as Earth Balance is a bit of a sticky wicket. It has no nonhuman animals (products and by-products) in it, so it is suitable for vegans. However, its main ingredient is palm oil and I do have an issue with the ongoing destruction of nonhuman animal habitats to produce this oil. So, giving up Earth Balance became much easier for me-an ethical choice as it were.
What I have noticed on the positive side of this is, that I am starting to crave plants that are on Dr. McDougall’s Eat as Much as you Like List– sweet potatoes, potatoes, grains, corn, peas, legumes. When they are added to plants I already eat, like tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, greens etc, it makes for a pretty nutrition packed day. I am still working on adding more fruit. Will these healthy cravings replace my ongoing condiment cravings? I sure hope so. Time will tell. In the meantime, I carry on, dueling daily with my love of butter and mayo!
Annie’s Vegan View
I invite you to research, adapt and notice the changes in the way you feel. I take suggestions from many experts and doctors and give myself permission to change my mind if I feel need to. I believe that moderation is key.
I believe that eating a 100% whole food plant based is best for me.
One thing I know for sure, is that it is best for those beings who cannot advocate for themselves.
I wish you good health.
May all beings be happy and free.