Published on January 21st, 2013 | by Alicia Silverstone
Kind Lifer Linda recently shared how she recommitted to a vegan lifestyle. Check it out:
“The first time I went vegan was after reading John Robbins’ riveting book Diet for a New America. It was around 2003, when the soy-based mock meats were finally tasty and convincing. I had already been cooking with soymilk and tofu, so adding the processed soybean ‘meat’ added to our load of phytoestrogen and chemicals. My husband started to feel bad and then to feel worse.
“After reading up on soy, we stopped eating it. My husband started to feel more energetic in days and was back up to full strength in several months. During this period, we switched back to eating vegetarian, including eggs and dairy in our diets.
“I went vegan for the second time in early December, just before holiday baking season. I’d been a vegetarian cooking teacher and author, gradually reducing the dairy and eggs from my recipes, when two events made me take the all-plant plunge:
“I saw Bill McKibben of 350.org speak at a small church crowded with environmentalists. He described our planet as being so changed that it isn’t recognizable.
“Still shaken from McKibben’s talk, I went to my first holiday party of the season, where my vegan friend Denny gave me a hard, hard time about writing another cookbook that included eggs and dairy. He’d gone vegan about 15 months ago, after his fifth heart attack, and was certain doing so had saved his life.
“Denny and his wife were so convincing, so glowing with health, that I re-read The China Study that weekend, cleaned out my fridge, and started cooking the kind way. My husband and I expected it to be hard. We’d tried living vegan before, but hadn’t had the support from books like The Kind Diet and vegan websites like The Kind Life.
“This time, it’s been a breeze and we both feel great. The difference? We’re eating only real, unprocessed food. I eat tofu or have soy about once a month, but my husband never does. And finding great food to eat is so much easier now. In just a few years, good vegan food is available at restaurants, in grocery stores, and in recipes.
“It’s so easy to eat an all-plant diet! I feel terrific; much lighter and more energetic. I lost a few pounds over Christmas instead of gaining them like most Americans do. And it’s downright thrilling to see how welcoming people are in my cooking classes and elsewhere, especially when I phrase my diet as ‘heart-healthy’ or ‘cholesterol-free.’
“Reworking recipes has been easier than I would have thought. I’ve learned to love dishes like dairy-free pizza with hummus and roasted butternut squash. For special occasions, I bake rich desserts like my Sweet Heart, Strong Heart Chocolate Cake. But more often, I simply reduce the sugar and oil in treats like my Sweet Sixteen Oatmeal-Raisin Bars. It’s a pleasure to have my food and my philosophy in line. Thanks for the inspiration, Alicia!”
Yay, Linda! I’m so happy you’re sharing your kind cooking with your family, friends and students. Congrats!! Also, for all you Kind Lifers who are wondering about soy, please read my blog about soy here. It will answer a lot of your questions, including what types of soy are healthiest, how often you should eat it, and the overall benefits of including soy in your diet. It also lists some alternatives for those of you who are allergic to soy.
Kind lifers, private message me with your success stories and I may feature you on the site!