Recently a reader commented about a recipe, asking if pasta was healthy because she heard that it wasn't from someone. (Thank you BTW, we love questions and comments.)
I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the recipes here and how to decide if any given recipe is right for you and your family.
The choices you make depend on a number of considerations.
First off I like to think of a diet continuum. At one end is a diet heavy in animal products with little or no fresh fruit or vegetables. This diet includes fried and fatty food, lots of sugar, preservatives, chemicals, processed foods, GMOs, etc. There is little concern about what should be eaten beside what tastes good and satisfies the current craving or addiction or is cheap. Needless to say this is NOT at all healthy.
At the other end is a diet that consist only of fresh fruits and vegetables that are freshly picked and eaten in their natural state. Go out to the back yard, pick an organic apple or tomato or green and eat it. This is as close to nature and the way other animals eat as possible. This is the ultimate healthy diet.
Most of us will eat somewhere in between these two extremes. Our goal should be to get as close to the healthy end as possible.
Secondly, let me state that Dr. Opare advocates a VEGAN diet for all people. No animal products are safe to eat. We are by design vegetarian. Our bodies are anatomically suited for vegetarian diets, not animal based diets. To find out more about this check out this article by Dr. Milton Mills on The Comparative Anatomy of Eating and read Dr Opare's Rule Book And User Guide For Healthy Living.
Thirdly, processing plant based foods in any form be it to grind it, cook it, irradiate it, or spray chemicals on it, takes it from its natural healthy state and creates varying levels of toxic or unusable substances that are harmful to our systems. One of the most common ways of processing is to cook.
How close you come to the healthy end of the continuum will depend on several factors:
Your current state of health. Are you relatively healthy now? Or do you have, as Dr. Opare often says, "One foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel?" If you are sick and trying to heal than you need to go to the ultimate healthy diet. Give your body only what it needs for healing without adding anything that is or is potentially illness causing.
If you are basically healthy than moving away from that ultimate diet to some degree is less problematic.
How long have you been vegan? If you are brand new it is often helpful to start by eating vegan foods that are somewhat close to what you have been used to eating. As you get more acclimated to a vegan diet you may be better able to move further up the continuum.
How does your body react? Some people are very sensitive to gluten products. Some are allergic to nuts. Even so-called healthy foods should be avoided if FOR YOU they cause problems.
So as you can see deciding what SHOULD or SHOULDN'T be eaten is not a cut and dry thing. You have to make that decision for yourself.
The recipes on this site aim to meet you where you are at.
New to veganism? Then you might want to try more of the cooked recipes that can replace your animal based versions.
Been vegan a while and ready to kick it up a notch? You might want to focus on adding more of the raw food recipes.
Have health problems? Then the salads, smoothies and juices may be where you want to focus.
No matter where you are, look for organic when possible. Stay away from preservatives, additives, GMOs and highly refined and processed ingredients.
Ultimately deciding what is healthy for you and your family is decision only you can make. Educate yourself, start and keep a food journal. Listen to your body. Keep your end goal in mind. And remember, you are not alone!
What do you think? How do you decide what your diet should be? We would love to hear your thoughts.