We started eating plant based back in 2012 after I saw the documentary “Forks Over Knives”. It was a huge eye-opener for me, especially as a nurse. Why didn’t I know all this stuff?! Why was this the first time I was really understanding how food effects disease?
Ok, so I had this new information: eliminate dairy, meat, fish and oils from our diet, the healthiest populations have done it and there’s science to back all this up.
But good gravy — we had just filled our new freezer with steaks, roasts and ground meat from a grass-fed steer our neighbor raised.
Ummm, what were we supposed to do with that? My husband and I decided to still eat the beef, but take out less of it for our meals then we normally would. One steak, not two or three, for dinner; and we’d add lots of grains and vegetables to the meal.
That worked out pretty well and now we don’t even buy meat to eat at home. It’s been an evolution.
As we crowded these foods out we saw changes in our own health from lowered cholesterol to better running to losing weight. However, we still had to eat with others…Doug at the firehouse and all of us with our extended family.
Fortunately, the Goduti’s (my family), are open-minded people so they too started making some changes in their eating habits. We even were able to bring more plant based foods to our holiday and vacation meals when all 25 of us were together.
We did the same thing we did at home…crowded out the not-so-good choices and made lots of other delicious options.
One of the last people in the family to “buy-in” was my dad. He was not amused that we wanted to eliminate meat or his favorite, cheese, from the big family dinners. He grumbles and mumbles but usually eats what we make.
Over the years as he ate more and more of the foods my sisters, mom and I put out, he adapted and started to enjoy it – although he may not admit it! All he wants is “flavor”. So as long as we don’t give him cilantro (he thinks it tastes like soap) then he’ll eat just about anything we make.
As if to prove that it’s an evolution — just last week we were at my sisters eating a fantastic whole-foods plant based meal, complete with veggies, peanut sauce and ….tofu. I was sitting next to my dad and half-way through dinner he says to me:
“hey, can you pass the tofu? I’d like some more tofu.” -Dad
WHAAAATTT?? Did dad really just ask for more tofu? Alleluia! He’s evolved! I would never have dreamed that he would say that, ever, back when we first started in 2012. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!
So just take one step, make one simple change on your plate. Then make another one. Before you know it you may be asking to “pass the tofu” too.
Our dinner that night:
Baked Tofu: press and cut into cubes. Toss with 6T tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), 1/4 cup maple syrup until well-coated. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 45 min at 400 degrees until lightly browned.
Bowl: Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Cut up vegetables and herbs to serve: bell pepper, avocado, snap peas, grated carrots, spinach, cilantro, mint, cucumber, edamame and/or red cabbage. Do what ever you like here there’s no rules!
Peanut Sauce: 4 T tamari, 2 T peanut butter (or almond butter), 1 T maple syrup, 1 T rice vinegar, juice of lime. Wisk together or mix in blender and adjust to taste.
Pour over bowl of noodles, veggies and tofu…yummmmm.