I usually don't participate in New Years Resolutions or weight loss programs but this 2014 was different. I just turned 50 years old in February and decided I wanted to feel better, look better and have better numbers when I go to the doctor for my annual check up. My wife and I along with other family members decided to have a little wager and see who could lose the most percentage of weight in 90 days. We called it Hudgins Biggest Loser which later humorously changed to Dump Your Rump. The two weight loss programs that I was looking into were The Daniel Plan(Rick Warren and friends) and Forks Over Knives. Both I learned are lifestyle changes, not diets. I read the Daniel Plan book and was ready to dive into this program until one night my wife and I watched a Documentary on Netflix(recommended by our good friends Dave and Liz) that changed the way we view food choices and how the food we put into our bodies can actually cause or prevent cancer, diabetes, Heart disease and many other serious conditions and I recommend everyone check this Documentary out, it's called Forks Over Knives.
Wikipedia describes Forks Over Knives as "Forks Over Knives is a 2011 American documentary film directed by American independent filmmaker Lee Fulkerson that advocates a low-fat whole-food, plant-based diet as a means of combating a number of diseases".
The following is a Forks Over Knives Synopsis:
What has happened to us? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure.Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population. About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to “battle” these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases.
Could it be there’s a single solution to all of these problems? A solution so comprehensive, but so straightforward, that it’s mind-boggling that more of us haven’t taken it seriously?
FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. The major storyline in the film traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering yet under-appreciated researchers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
Dr. Campbell, a nutritional scientist at Cornell University, was concerned in the late 1960’s with producing “high quality” animal protein to bring to the poor and malnourished areas of the third world. While in the Philippines, he made a life-changing discovery: the country’s wealthier children, who were consuming relatively high amounts of animal-based foods, were much more likely to get liver cancer. Dr. Esselstyn, a top surgeon and head of the Breast Cancer Task Force at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, found that many of the diseases he routinely treated were virtually unknown in parts of the world where animal-based foods were rarely consumed.
These discoveries inspired Campbell and Esselstyn, who didn’t know each other yet, to conduct several groundbreaking studies. One of them took place in China and is still among the most comprehensive health-related investigations ever undertaken. Their research led them to a startling conclusion: degenerative diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even several forms of cancer, could almost always be prevented—and in many cases reversed—by adopting a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Despite the profound implications of their findings, their work has remained relatively unknown to the public.
The filmmakers travel with Drs. Campbell and Esselstyn on their separate but similar paths, from their childhood farms where they both produced “nature’s perfect food”; to China and Cleveland, where they explored ideas that challenged the established thinking and shook their own core beliefs.
The idea of food as medicine is put to the test. Throughout the film, cameras follow “reality patients” who have chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Doctors teach these patients how to adopt a whole-foods plant-based diet as the primary approach to treat their ailments—while the challenges and triumphs of their journeys are revealed.
FORKS OVER KNIVES utilizes state of the art 3-D graphics and rare archival footage. The film features leading experts on health, examines the question “why we don’t know”, and tackles the issue of diet and disease in a way that will have people talking for years.
FORKS OVER KNIVES was filmed all over the United States, and in Canada and China.
Check out this promo video below:
If you're worried about getting enough protein on a vegetarian diet, you may be in for a surprise. Are you sitting down? The truth is, most Americans get way too much protein, and vegetarians can easily get more than enough protein in their diet as well. Many people still believe that protein is only available from meat and animal sources and we will all fall over dead without animal protein! Unless you're pregnant or an Olympic bodybuilder, you will likely get more than enough protein without even trying. Here are the best sources of protein for vegetarians and whole food consumers.
Whole grains are a great source of protein, but the queen of whole grains when it comes to protein content is quinoa. Just one cup of cooked quinoa contains 18 grams of protein, as well as nine grams of fiber. Other whole grains, including whole grain bread, brown rice, barley are all healthy protein-rich foods for vegetarians and vegans as well.
Protein content: One cup of cooked quinoa provides about 18 grams of protein.
Why you should eat it: Whole grains are a bargain! Shop in bulk and you can stock up on whole grains for about $1.50 a pound.
2. Beans, Lentils and Legumes
Protein content: One cup of canned kidney beans contains about 13.4 grams of protein.
Why you should eat it: Beans are one of the most common protein-rich foods for vegetarians. You can find beans in the grocery store or on the menu just about everywhere you may be.
Protein content: A half-cup of tofu contains 10 grams, and soy milk contains 7 grams of protein per cup.
Why you should eat it: You can add a bit of tofu to just about anything you cook, including stir-fries, pasta sauces, soups and salads.
4. Nuts, Seeds and Nut Butters
Protein content: Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains about 8 grams of protein.
Why you should eat it: Convenience! Stop into any 7-11 and pick up a snack of nuts to get a protein boost. And of course, kids love peanut butter too.
Read the label of your store-bought meat substitute products and veggie burgers and you'll find they are quite high in protein! Most commercial meat substitutes are made from either soy protein, wheat protein (wheat gluten) or a combination of the two. So toss a few veggie burgers on the grill or in the microwave, and watch those daily protein grams add right up. Homemade seitan is quite high in protein as well.
Protein content: One veggie patty contains about 10 grams of protein, and 100 grams of seitan provides 21 grams of protein.
Why you should eat it: Seitan and mock meats are great for barbecues or anytime you just want something hearty and filling.
Pictured: Seitan meat substitute
Protein content: Varies by brand, but as a guideline, one serving of tempeh (100 grams) provides about 18 grams of protein (that's even more protein per gram than tofu!)
Why you should eat it: Tempeh is a great alternative for folks who don't like tofu.
So what if you are an Olympic body builder or are trying to gain some serious muscle? In this case, your protein needs will be higher than us average vegetarians and you may be considering supplementing with protein powders or protein shakes. My personal trainer says to read the label and watch out for cheap fillers in whey and soy protein powders. She says it's best to shell out and invest in a good quality. Here's a few of my favorite vegan protein powders.
Protein content: Varies by brand, so read the label.
Why you should eat it: Well, you shouldn't really unless you have special protein needs, as real food is always best.
Pictured: Strawberry protein shake
Pictured: Vegetarian Quiche with 20 grams of protein