“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” When did we turn away from this message? We have become a society that searches for cures rather than preventing our chronic diseases. People don’t want to hear ‘everything in moderation,’ that exercise is essential for health, or that fast food is not the answer. People want an easy, quick fix. Being a vegetarian, or even worse, vegan, can be seen as extreme, yet the general public rarely considers the extremism of open-heart surgery and daily doses of prescription medication.
When I tell people that I’m a vegan, I typically get questions like, “What about protein?” and “Isn’t soy bad for you?” and my personal favorite, “Isn’t it expensive?” Often, I have to bite my tongue to not ask them, “Am I overweight? Am I pasty and frail?” No, I’m healthy and live on a tight budget.
It’s a common misconception that eating a vegan diet is expensive. While organic produce is not very cheap, think of all the money you save if you aren’t buying meat, poultry or fish. If a lower monthly grocery bill isn’t enough economic motivation, consider your medical bill. Reducing your need for cholesterol, diabetes or blood pressure medication saves you, and our country’s healthcare, even more.
After the initial questions about my diet, I sometimes get the condescending, “Do you really think you make a difference?” Yes. At least three times a day, I have a say in the economy based on what I choose to put on my plate. Will I send my hard-earned dollars to huge corporations that sicken and fatten our country, or will I give my money to smaller, local farmers that supply me with nutrients?
Getting five servings of fruits and vegetables can be daunting for some people. Have you tried a green smoothie? Almost every day I have a green smoothie that’s loaded with rich, leafy greens, sweet fruit, cinnamon and Chia seeds. This raw meal is a delicious way to boost your immune system with vitamins and antioxidants. Also, because the recipe is so flexible, you can change the flavors with what is in season. To me, this frozen blend far surpasses any ‘frap’ you may grab on the go at Starbucks, and it’s just as quick to make!
I’m suggesting that before you turn to your doctor for pills, look inside your fridge for your medicine. Make a lifestyle change that’s good for you, the environment and the economy.
You cannot control your genes, but you can control what you put into your body.
Hypocrites once said, “Let food be thy medicine.” A simple solution that too many overlook.
by Caroline Miazgowicz