Like a lot of black folks in this country, my family throws down when it comes time to eat. Golden brown fried chicken, thick ham slices, bubbling mac n’ cheese made with an entire stick of butter and all those other soul food staples. Family dinners around the holidays are delicious, but filled with not exactly healthy choices. My family’s medical history is a testament to that. Heart disease, all types of cancers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are the reality for way too many people in my family.
Over the years, I’ve done little things to make sure I stay far far away from all of that. I’d walk rather than take the train if the weather’s nice, I’ve limited fast food to no more than a couple times a week and I had entire days when the only beverages I would have that day would be milk or water. A couple months ago, I decided to cut back on meat consumption. I didn’t cut out meat completely (Oh, how I love lamb gyros!), but I did scale back to maybe two or three days a week instead of everyday in almost every meal.
Then I talked to Dr. Clarence Ing and that conversation gave me just the push I needed to stop eating meat. Dr. Ing heads up the NewStart Lifestyle Program, a program that seeks to set people up on a lifetime of healthy living through a plant-based diet coupled with regular exercise. We talked on a Sunday night (after dinner time) and starting that Monday morning, I became a pescetarian ( a made-up word that is essentially a vegetarian who eats fish).
I’d like to share with you some of the things Dr. Ing said that made this black woman go meat-less. You might find yourself thinking about changing your diet too.