Futurama knows funny but they sure as hell don’t know vegans. In an episode geared at making fun of conscious herbivores, some whacked out hipsters on the show used a lion forced to eat a diet of tofu as an example of a vegan diet’s “numerous benefits.” Said lion was puny, impish and sickly looking, aka: vegan stereotype. When people hear I and my whole family – 14 month-old toddler included – eat an exclusive animal-free diet, it appears they’re surprised we don’t look like strung out lions forced to eat a diet completely contradictory to our bodies’ natural physiology. “But… but… how?!”
Fact is, eating a vegan diet – not the lazy man’s Coke and Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Doritoes diet but a real, ground grown vegan diet (with maybe the occasional guilty hydrolyzed chips pleasure) – can make you stronger and healthier than those sustaining off of flesh foods, specifically in regards to the plague of modern day man. Cancer. Some carcinogenic factors are totally out of our control – genes, environment in some cases – but all’s not lost. There’s something we can all do every day to significantly reduce our risk. Like they say, mama knows best – eat your fruits and veggies!
Loaded with a plethora of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, these plant-produced power foods can literally save your life. I’ve heard many an omni nil-for-brains argue that our bodies need meat and dairy to live and be healthy. Oh, is that so Mr. Omniscient God of the Omnivorous Masses? More meat, more dairy = more likely to get cancer*. More fruits, more veggies = less likely to get cancer.
For bodies apparently so hell-bent on leeching every needed nutrient from rotting flesh and putrid bodily fluids, this all seems a li’l backwards. After millions of years of evolution, you’d think our bodies would evolve to thrive off of what we need. Oh wait. THEY DO. Which is precisely why that T-bone can end with a guy sticking probes up your rear in search of cancer causing polyp nastiness. There is no amount of blueberries you can eat that will cause any type of cancer whereas daily doses of filet can result in frequent does of chemo.
It doesn’t even stop there. The list of preventable chronic diseases that can be curbed with a vegan diet is ridiculously ginormous. Oh, fruits and veggies, how I love thee.
If you’re not already at the fridge groping around for that maybe-still-good celery stalk, here’s some advice from a former junk food vegan on downing your 5-a-day. Eat organic produce ranging in a variety of colors – different colors usually is generally a good sign of different concentrations of nutrients. A half-cup of blueberries, a half-cup of strawberries, a cup of 100% fruit juice each equal one serving. Not so daunting, huh? Toss the lot in a blender with a whole banana and some vanilla soy yogurt and now you’ve got a smoothie packed with your entire recommended daily intake.
Be sure you buy produce you like otherwise you’re just going to end up with some of the best compost on the block right next to your carton of Almond Breeze. Try new things but if it’s a no-go for the taste buds, steer clear. If you tend to be out and about, stock the pantry with portable grub. While I’m a sucker for a perfectly ripe mango, dried slices are a close second – they’re a great go-anywhere nutrient packed power snack… that fights freaking cancer! Try finding a bag of pork rids with that kind of resume.
So next time a skeptic squeezes in their two cents about proper nutrition in between bites of their mega bacon triple patty burger barf fest, take a second before your next green leaf garnished falafel wrap mouthful to appreciate the palpable irony.
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