My Family’s Journey: From Meat and Dairy Eaters to Whole Foods, Oil Free Vegans
My name is Jeanette Whitten. My husband, my two kids, my parents, and I have eaten a whole foods, vegan, oil free, diet since November 2013. Rememberance Day is our vegan anniversary.
Forks Over Knives – the documentary
So… to learn more, we watched the Forks Over Knives Film on Netflix and we were impressed by the evidence it presented, we went whole foods, plant based vegan with our kids the next day. The idea behind the documentary is you can use food (forks) as medicine, to prevent and reverse many serious diseases, instead of medical interventions (knives, like scalpels). The film explains, based on population studies and research results, how increasing our intake of plant based foods can prevent and reverse all sorts of diseases. The experts in the film explain, how eating animal based foods and oils leads to faster cancer growth, cardiovascular disease and other health issues.
Since then we have been learning from other healthy experts as well, role models who show us how to to eat plant based and feel great.
The Problems We Are Trying to Solve
The documentary discusses studies that have been repeated – where cancer tumors grow when animals are fed milk protein, and shrink when they stop eating dairy. Greg’s mom passed away from brain cancer in her sixties. It was not easy watching her struggle. My mom had uterine cancer. We have known many people who died from cancer. I had skin cancer removed in 2007, when I was 34 years old.
If avoiding dairy makes it harder for cancerous tumors to grow, we were in!
Heart Disease and Associated Cardiovascular Illnesses
The documentary explained that heart disease is a diet related illness – not hereditary. There is a great explanation of how cholesterol and animal foods causes our arterial walls to be inflamed and how that causes blockages.
A friend of ours died from a heart attack in his fifties. My husband was experiencing chest pains at age thirty-nine. Some of our friends parents had died from heart attacks.
We didn’t want to go down the same heart disease path as them.
FOK explained how important fibre is to our digestion, and that animal products contain zero fibre. We already knew how sick dairy could make us feel. I have struggled with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) since I was a child. Greg had become lactose intolerant. The movie suggested these problems would be helped with a plant based diet. Sounded good to us!
Before going vegan, I was constantly trying to eat less and be thin, I was always counting calories, it was a lot of work.
FOK explained high calorie animal foods have small volume, and leave our stomachs feeling empty. Plant based foods have low calories, but fill you up, so you feel satisfied.
Sounded good to me – I love to eat!
The documentary showed the resources it takes to raise livestock vs. plants. How changing our diet would reduce pollution and energy use.
We want to help the environment.
I loved the idea of being healthier and stopping cruelty towards animals as well. Who wouldn’t?
The film showed evidence that people who eat plant based live longer, disease free. It features very healthy looking, active, strong, smart people who were thriving on plant based, whole foods diets. We love our life, and want to live as long as we can, we wanted to be like them!
Let’s Do It!
After learning so much that we previously did not realize, about health, and the impact our food choices make on the world and ourselves, it was an easy decision to become a vegan family, we couldn’t see anything else making sense. We knew with the support of the Forks Over Knives resources we could totally succeed at it.
The promises made in Forks Over Knives have all come true for us.
For four years after going vegan I had no symptoms of IBS, at all. I could travel and eat without digestive distress. Unfortunately, I have had a flare up of my IBS, in August of 2017, I discovered the recent research about FODMAPs in food and how they contribute to IBS symptoms. I am now creating and posting recipes that are whole-foods plant-based and low FODMAP as I heal my digestive system. No more chest pains for my husband. He stopped snoring. We lost weight. Our skin improved. Our cardiovascular endurance improved. We feel awesome. Our kids shine with health and have great cardio abilities as well. I was an overweight child, my kids will not have to struggle with body image issues from weight. I stopped having to count calories, I have no food guilt after eating, I don’t have to starve myself anymore to keep my weight.
We have high energy, we have learned a lot about what and how to eat to feel our best.
The amount of packaging we buy and garbage we produce is drastically less.
Our kitchen is cleaner
No grease, no meat, I rinse dishes with water and they are squeaky, no soap required. Our kitchen sink sponge lasts for months, no smell.
My conscience is clear
I look at animals with a new bond, a respect, I celebrate their lives, their rights. That is impossible to do when you’re eating them. I couldn’t even think about animal farming and trauma before, I avoided it. It feels fantastic to live in alignment with your real values of kindness, treating living beings how you, yourself, want to be treated.
It feels good to admit that you are not powerless – you can help solve problems with our food system.
I truly believe we are all vegan inside, and just need some direction and education, to see how we can change our actions to match our values.
If I asked you – do you support pain and suffering of innocent creatures?
I bet your answer is no – see?
You are vegan already.
My parents are whole foods vegan too
My mother was fighting uterine cancer, my father had high blood pressure, Crohn’s Disease, and Parkinson’s.
My mother is now cancer free, my father is off the blood pressure meds, and his Crohn’s Disease is no longer an issue for him. He still has Parkinson’s but it has improved and the progression is very slow.
My father loves asking everyone, “have you ever considered a plant based diet?”
My mother has food sensitivities, and follows a vegan, gluten-free and low FODMAP diet, she is a great source for the latest in nutrition news.
Both of my father’s parents died before they reached 60 years old.
We are breaking that pattern with our lifestyle choices, my dad was born in 1940 and is still with us. He cheers me on as I build VeganEnvy.com.
VeganEnvy.com shows off a healthy vegan diet
so that others will want to try it – because eating vegan looks rewarding from the outside. One inclusive, colorful, meal at a time. Let’s make vegan food mainstream – because it makes sense, and solves problems with our current food system. It can be challenging to eat plant-based, we face struggles – eating out, school hot lunches, pizza parties and pot-lucks. But, we are committed to our own health, the environment and to living a thoughtful compassionate life. Our family unit is strong, loving, supportive and we have figured out strategies that I share to help you and your family. We are not perfect, we do not always eat plant-based, but we are learning new things all the time that help us stay on track.
A fun, relevant, engaging, social, and helpful resource for YOU
Eating plant-based is like a pebble making ripples in a pond. You start by changing the way you and your family eats, your health improves, your family looks and feels better, you help animals, you reduce environment impacts, you save healthcare costs, you prevent the most common diseases from hurting your loved ones. Let’s work together to offer vegan food and choices to friends and family as often as we can and make more ripples.
I invite YOU to join this inclusive vegan party! Let’s be friends :).
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We are ordinary everyday people with families, jobs, regular lives, we eat whole foods vegan and you should too.
We NEED to do this for ourselves and our children.
I will teach you…
about plant based foods, recipes, techniques, reasons, and why eating plants will give you super advantages.
I will encourage you…
to exercise daily, to eat plants, to move and use your body, to avoid surgery and drugs, and to prevent and reverse your physical problems with lifestyle.
Let’s enjoy our planet, our world, and nature by co-existing peacefully with it. Start by feeding your body better.
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