Thursday, November 10, 2011

Forks Over Knifes

A couple nights ago I went to a screening of the film Forks Over Knives at our local historic Town Hall Theatre.  The premise of the movie is that Americans as a whole have a wretched diet and it is causing us as a nation to become sicker and sicker.  The film asserts that a dramatic change of diet can do more to make us healthy than any medicine or surgery can.  The film advocates a plant-based, whole foods diet that ideally excludes meat and dairy altogether.  Although all the information in the movie has been out there for a while, it was still a nice pep talk on refocusing your diet with the emphasis on veggies, grains, legumes, and fruit.  It was also inspirational to see what profound effects a diet change had on the sick case studies in the film.  One guy was taking 9 different prescription meds every day but still had something like 29 different complaints such as: insomnia, headaches, shortness of breath, constipation, etc., etc.  After just 3 months of eating a healthy vegan diet AND STOPPING ALL THE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, all but one of his issues had vanished!  All his tests showed dramatic improvement as well.

I myself was a practicing vegetarian for 15 years.  But not really.  I ate sushi sometimes that included raw fish.  I would crave it.  Especially raw salmon.  OMG.  But other than giving in to those occasional raw fish cravings I was a veg-head, a lacto-ovo-veg-head because I did eat dairy and eggs, for many years.  For the past 10 years I have incorporated meat back in.  I read a new label to describe my eating style: Flexitarian.  Whatever.  I cook dinner every night for our family of three.  An average of 4 out of 7 nights the meals don't include meat.  The other 3 nights the evening meal might include some grass-fed lamb or beef, fish, or occasionally chicken.  This is budget friendly and I feel like it is a healthy balance for our family.  We are lucky to have local sources for both grass-fed lamb (Hulsman Ranch) and beef (Thompson Valley Ranch).

Although certainly proportions of different types of foods matter, as a friend and I were discussing yesterday, it is also so much about the food QUALITY.  As I get older, I've begun to notice that I become more and more of a food snob.  My snobbiness is less about how a food is prepared or presented as it is about the quality of the ingredients.  Oh, okay mom, I know you are reading this.  Maybe it is about whether there has been care in preparing it as well.  You know, we all have those things we are particular about.  My husband likes his coffee in the morning.  As his tastes have become more defined over the years he now could be considered a coffee snob.  Together we are bread snobs.  You will never find mainstream grocery store bread in our house.  Admittedly, SNOB is not the nicest of words.  My computer gives this definition: A person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people.  Hopefully we don't feel superior, just particular and discriminating.  I think Americans as a whole would do well to adopt more discrimination about what they put into their bodies. This is the message certainly conveyed in Forks Over Knives.

Here are a few photos from last nights dinner:
Butternut squash
Butternut gratin with sage
and goat cheese

Wild caught salmon

Salmon cakes

Our simple Fall table


  1. This food appreciator thinks the salmon cakes and squash look delicious!

  2. Well, that's a nice looking table. I bet that would go well with a bottle of Zenaida Zin.

  3. Well anonymous, you think anything is improved with a bottle of Zenaida Zin!

  4. Wonderful blog Karen, I'm a friend of your parents from Sebastopol, it's obvioius by you musings that the seed doesn't fall far from the tree!