January 27, 2007 by Lifepainter
We have done the Ornish diet a few years back, which is primarily vegetarian. Not vegan, though – there is a dramatic difference as I learned from my daughter – see her blog Veganville. When we did the conversion to Ornish, I had to completely rework my kitchen pantry, learn to cook in a completely different way, and I came to have an appreciation for the amount of time it can take to prepare food the vegetarian way.
I’m still enamoured with the 1970’s ‘Earth Mother’ imagery; growing a garden, putting up food, drying herbs and produce, cooking vegetarian, long dresses, getting back and closer to nature. Times have changed since the 70’s, and now it is more about sustainable living; organic produce; vegan; intentional living; home-schooling; family values – but it still much resembles much of those efforts of the 1960’s into 1970’s. No, I never was into the drug culture at any decade of my 55 years, and no I am not a left over hippie by any means. I was a young military wife to a young husband, drafted and sent to Vietnam – I wasn’t sure then what to think of the 60’s hippies protests and lifestyles. I just knew drugs wasn’t part of what I wanted, so I was one who observed from the sidelines, rather then one who lived the lifestyle.
Somehow, I think I wanted to participate in the sanitized version – drug free and in possession of my mental faculties. I look back now at some of those 1970s era cookbooks with the few vegetarian recipes which seem pretty boring now. I’m not new to lifestyle changes. Not sure I can do what my daughter did and go completely vegan = no animal products at all; no dairy, (no eggs, no butter, no milk) and no meats whatsoever. But I took the self-test at RealAge.com (it has since become part of Sharecare) and had my husband take the self test too. It measures chronological age against life habits to come up with your ‘healthy’ age. My husband and I lost years and while our heads knew some of our unhealthy lifestyle habits, a wake up call is helpful. We are over the hill now and losing years is not a welcome concept.
Not without hope though, along with the test results, RealAge also provides a fairly comprehensive personalized regimen of lifestyle changes we can make now to influence having more, not less years. And interestingly, for both of us, our regimen indicated a reduction of red meat to 4 oz. a week. As we convert to that standard, it makes sense to begin overall reduction of meat in our diets(carnivore eating).
Hat’s off to my daughter then, for her dedicated effort to completely convert her family to vegan – not easily done when she has a husband who is a serious meat eater.
She took it steps further than I was able to take it and has taught me much about today’s standards for animal farming. I tend to think of that image of a farm with a couple of cows for milk, cutter, roasts, and steaks; some chickens for eggs; a pig to butcher for family’s winter supply of meat; a farm dog; a produce garden; kids running around; a keeping room; canning preserves and such like images. Nice safe images of yesteryear. My daughter’s wake up call is unsettling in that yesteryear is no more with animal farming and husbandry. Steroids, animal cruelty beyond inhumane, killer chickens, exhausted cows dying from producing milk 24/7, slaughterhouses which are far from humane, animal testing…. yes, it’s enough to make us flinch from contributing to the misuse of our animal friends.