Last weekend, I got back from my husbands family cabin and noticed a text from one of my best friends. She was asking if I’d watched a documentary called, “What the Health.” I am all about health docs so I was happy to hear about a new one to watch that she recommended. Later that day, my husband and I sat in the TV room and watched the hour and a half long movie. A lot of the information didn’t surprise me, however, there was some new information that I found quite disturbing. Unfortunately, there are some things from this documentary that I don’t buy, like carbs and sugar have only a small impact to diabetes and weight gain and so forth. High carb diets and sugars (especially processed sugars) can be directly transformed into fat if you’re not burning it up by expending a lot of energy or if you’re eating too much of it.
First, I know that in our environment, we are exposed to toxins on a daily basis, but I didn’t realize the dangers of one that was brought up called dioxin. This toxic chemical builds up in the fat of animals from the environment they live and food they ingest. This means that anytime you eat animal protein, especially the most fatty meats/dairy/eggs/fish, you are ingesting a toxin that sticks around in your body for about 11 years. Most disturbing, is the fact that fetuses are at an even greater risk from what their mother is eating and then later when the baby is breastfed or even with formula with an alarming 77 times more exposure than what is supposedly deemed safe. I have been eating a lot of meat and eggs during this pregnancy, albeit they are organic and locally raised, which unfortunately doesn’t matter because they still contain dioxins. Research has found that animal proteins account for 90% of the exposure to this lingering toxin. Others come from paper and feminine product bleaching, smoking, manufacturing of pesticides and herbicides, burning garbage, and forest fires.
Second, I was disgusted that factory farms or conventional farming was a large contributor to the destruction to our environment by poisoning low income families and the land and animals from waste bi-products from their large farming practices. It didn’t surprise me learning this, but I still was very upset that someone could get away with this type of pollution and found it disgusting that this is happening A LOT!
Third, the fact that animal protein contributed to the main causes of death in the world (cancer, heart disease, and even more surprising- diabetes, plus more) yet, each of these nationally recognized support groups for these diseases supported, not warned, their followers to implement these foods in their diet for optimal health. Later, it was discovered that the sponsors for these groups were large companies which sell and process meat, dairy, eggs, etc. These companies were lining the pockets of these groups who are supposed to be helping people get healthier, but instead are contributing to people continuing to get more sick. What a sad and disturbing vicious cycle.
After watching the documentary, my husband and I decided to follow a vegan diet for 30 days. Originally, we were going to start this Saturday due to meal planning, but after learning of the dangers of dioxins and babies, we haven’t eaten any animal proteins since. My husband suffers from horrible and debilitating migraines and we are curious if these will go away when following this diet. Being pregnant, I freaked out a little when I learned of the toxins in utero and while breastfeeding, so I researched a little more and found that spirulina, chlorella, and chlorophyll help to detox, not only dioxins but other built up toxins in the body. Other natural remedies include lemon, Epsom salt baths, green tea, and more. I will be implementing these as well as the diet change. I have eaten a vegan diet in the past and it worked for me for a while, that is why we are going to try this for 30 days and see how we feel. If it comes down to it not working, I will eat small amounts of lean meat again from a trusted source. That is the key whenever you change your diet, to listen to your body. Everyone is different and certain things work and others don’t. I think the main thing to remember with any diet is that it focuses on whole foods, lots of vegetables, and as local, in season, chemical free as possible and to limit or eliminate junk food.
How to fight against this horrible system:
1. Stop supporting factory/conventional farmers by only buying from small, local, and trusted farms- voting with our dollar has a huge impact!!
2. Stop eating out at fast food restaurants and cook together as a family
3. Watch documentaries with your loved ones regarding food like What the Health, Forks to Knives, Vegucated, etc. and share them with others
4. Speak out to our government officials and other leaders in the community
5. Try the free 21 day Vegan kickstart (starts every 1st of the month)