While in college studying nutrition, my friend heard from a teacher that it is easier for a person to change their religion than to change their eating habits.
But necessity is the mother of invention. When my dad got sick and was hospitalized for cancer, I started researching to learn how to protect ourselves and heal from cancer. While watching "A Delicate Balance," on Vimeo I heard nutritional researcher T. Colin Campbell describe the results from the largest study ever done on nutrition and cancer as detailed in his book, the "The China Study."
A friend had given me the book years before but it had been a deal-breaker since it advocated a vegan diet, which meant giving up all animal foods including vegetarian food like cheese and eggs. But in the fight for my dad's life I was willing to do what it took so I read the book and couldn't put it down. My first thought upon finishing it was "knowledge is power."
The premise of the book is that animal protein causes cancer cells to multiply while plant protein causes cancer cells to shrink. This research is backed by empirical scientific evidence and published in scholarly journals. It is detailed in Chapter 3 of the book and would be a compelling place to start your own research. But the research is silenced by lobbyists for the food industry who don't want this kind of information available.
After reading the China Study and realizing how many ailments are caused by the "Standard American Diet" or SAD, I vowed to go vegan. Turning vegan seemed like an easy choice to protect my health from the dreaded cancer menace.
Although a seasoned vegetarian, I lacked skill making tasty vegan food without cheese and eggs. Committed to the health benefits of a vegan diet, I enrolled in vegan chef school and trained for three weeks with a master vegan chef.
Throughout chef school I lived exclusively on vegan food. The first thing you notice is the amazing energy gained from eating the fresh wholesome food. Antioxidants color the fruits and vegetables which fortify our own systems.
When people inevitability ask where our protein comes from one expert responds, "I get my protein from the same place your protein gets its protein." Leafy greens, grains, nuts, legumes, beans, seeds are some "whole food plant-based" sources of protein.
And the best thing is that the food tastes magnificent. Cashew cheese, almond milk and coconut butter are staples. Toss tofu cubes with nutritional yeast, tamari and olive oil then bake for savory nuggets. Steam tempeh cubes for 20 minutes – mix with vegan mayonnaise, garlic, onion, basil and parsley. Place in pita for a "mock" chicken salad sandwich.
My passion is well-being and vegan food benefits human health, animal health, and environmental health. Looking for a place to start? Mark Reinfeld of Vegan Fusion offers a series of cookbooks on Amazon.