Forks Over Knives

I love pulled pork.

There is not a whole lot better in the summertime than a big fat pulled pork sandwich with homemade potato salad, baked beans and sweet tea. (Good Lord, I’m suddenly SO hungry.) While I adore pulled pork and many other kinds of meat, this week, Todd and I watch Forks Over Knives— and for the very first time in my life, I wondered what my life would look like with *less meat in it. While there is really nothing in me that wants to or feels compelled to be vegan, I know could certainly trim back my meat intake and be pickier about the type and quality of animal products I purchase and eat.

My relationship with vegetables has grown, really just over the last 5 years. My mom loves all things green and would always try and get me to eat them, but it took me FOREVER to move past iceberg lettuce, carrots, corn (which it turns out is not really a vegetable) and broccoli covered in melted cheese. I credit my expanded pallet and acceptance of new vegetables to a couple of really phenomenal chefs I met during my time as a server (even though one of them taught me to cook collard greens in apple cider with a hamhock, which is probably not the ideal way to ingest greens. But that’s why we save that method for thanksgiving. 🙂

Anyway, while I can’t really fathom living the rest of my life on a solely plant and whole foods based diet– for the first time, I’m beginning to understand the benefits and reasoning behind the idea. Before, I would’ve told you that while I can see how vegetarianism works at certain times for certain people, I couldn’t condone veganism at all. It seemed extreme and downright unhealthy. But many of the personal stories and arguments made in the film made sense to me– and since I am rather wary of most medication on the market today, I was intrigued by the idea of using preventative/corrective dietary habits to heal and protect the body rather than drugs and surgeries — (whole food filled) forks over (surgical) knives.

I’m still making friends with a lot of vegetables, but have found that often, the easiest way for me to meet my quota of micronutrients for the day is by juicing fruits and veggies and making smoothies. As a person who has been accused of “cocktailing”  many times in my early cooking adventures, making juice and smoothies is the perfect activity to indulge this tendency.

*In this case, cocktailing does not mean drinking while cooking. It means taking several/too many ingredients that you like and just throwing them ALL together in the same dish. I struggle to keep it simple sometimes.

I’m still getting the hang of blending using certain fruits and veggies (beets! lemon! spinach!) and have learned the hard way that not everything that CAN go in the juicer SHOULD go in the juicer (potatoes. copious amounts of ginger. celery that you forgot to wash.). But I’ve also come up with some pretty delicious beverages in the meantime.

My current favorite:

Blend up a handful of spinach, a few segments of frozen peaches (frozen fruit = no ice needed), some blueberries, about 1/3 cup of lowfat vanilla yogurt, splash of soy milk and about 4oz of tazo spearmint green tea with honey and lemongrass– so refreshing!

While cleaning food out of appliances is not my favorite thing to do, I have found this hobby to be worth it and I’m happy to finally be making good use of the awesome blender/food processor we got for our wedding.

In short, Forks Over Knives is a very interesting watch, and it will likely land you with a cart full of fruits and veggies on your next grocery shopping trip. If you want a further dissection, here is a HUGE review/critique of the movie. I skipped around in it, but I think it’s a fair and thorough assessment of a very broad topic. Also, if anyone has suggestions for really awesome ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into your diet, I am all ears! I’ll take a real life recommendation over a Pin any day. 🙂

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