Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Kind Diet, kinda

Okay, so I've been hiding a little bit. And why does one hide? Because one has been naughty.

But hey, naughty in a good way. Inadvertently naughty. With the best intentions. I'll explain in a sec.

As I mentioned in my last post of a thousand years ago, I've come across the most amazing, life changing way of eating, thinking and living. It's based on Alicia Silverstone's thought-provoking book, The Kind Diet. You know Alicia ... lovely actress, originally known for her lead role in Clueless? She is very vegan and has written this wonderful book that even has this cheeseburger-chowin', ribeye-devouring gal kinda thinking about going kinda veggie, organic and raw.

The Kind Diet is not just about how to eat, it's an ideology about being kind to your body, kind to the animals, and kind to the planet. You have to read her narrative chapters (followed by yummy recipes) to grasp the importance of her concepts, but the gist of it is this:

As you continue on this journey you will experience amazing changes. Some will come quickly, some slowly, but eventually meat's hardness will melt away, leaving your body and heart soft and open. You will begin to feel more deeply. Compassion will flow from your core toward all other living beings. This is the most amazing gift of eating plant-based diet ... feeling the sacred connectedness of all living things. from The Kind Life, pg. 94

I want that.

This is not to say that I will become a purist vegan or even a devoted vegetarian. This is only to say that it has me leaning, leaning, leaning in these directions. Which is all Alicia asks ... that you begin to flirt with the idea of a plant-based diet. Just to see where it leads you.

A couple of weeks ago I had a nice big steak defrosting on the kitchen counter. There were still a couple of steaks in the freezer so I thought, let's use them up, Mike and I will share one. But by now the pages of The Kind Diet are sinking in and every time I walk past that defrosting steak throughout the course of the day, I stare at it with trepidation. It just seemed ... wrong. Yes, I ate my portion. But it was weird, and that, people, is something I never thought I'd say.

At this point I've not given up meats and animal-based foods entirely. But I have taken the following baby steps:

1.) I'm kicking refined sugar.
2.) I'm eating organic and raw as much as possible.
3.) I'm trying to eat brown rice everyday.
4.) I'm scaling way back on meat.
5.) I'm scaling way back on dairy.
6.) I'm eating way more veggies, dammit.

So what do all of these healthy, conscientious concepts have to do with my recent naughty coupla extra pounds, you ask? Here I've found this really exciting, healthy diet and I've ... whaaaa? gained some weight? That's because, being the dessert/carby fiend that I am, I tried out almost every dessert/carby recipe in the Kind Diet the first 2 weeks. Because, you know ... they're really healthy and everything (she says not so convincingly) ... all organic, no refined sugar, no dairy, only whole wheat flour, the whole shebang. Gobble, gobble, gobble. But as someone pointed out on Alicia's website the other day, vegan foods have calories too. Ooooooh that's right, and I'm wearing them.

Oh, but the vegan oatmeal walnut cookies ... to die for! The peach crumble ... yes! The Cheesy, Oozy Guacamole Bean Dip .. thank you God! And the cornbread is the best I've ever had ... and I've made it for friends (3 times) who totally agree! Nevertheless, take it from The Dessert/Carby Master ... pace yourself, sister, pace yourself.

When I first heard that Alicia Silverstone had written a book about healthy eating, I thought ... hmmm, now what is this .. this .. Clueless whippersnapper, who's young enough to be my daughter going to teach me!!? But now I say bravo, Alicia. Because here's what I think you've taught me: that the foods we eat and the respect and kindness we show our bodies is in direct proportion to the respect and kindness we show our planet and the precious animals we share it with. Seem like a stretch? Get the book and read on. If it makes me of all people, look at a ribeye funny, it'll make anyone think twice before firing up the grill.
There. I've come out of hiding. Back on track. Scaling way back on healthy oatmeal walnut cookies and eating my veggies like a good girl, not a naughty one.

Be healthy, everyone!