What Led Us to a Whole Food Plant Based Diet?
We have been eating a whole food planted based diet for over 5 years now. (Yes, that includes our children!) I had known about 7 years ago that our eating habits needed to change.
The only time we had any type of red meat was either when someone else made it for us or if we were out to dinner. The main type of meat we ate was turkey and had very few vegetarian dishes for dinner. We ate a pretty typical standard American diet. After Rico was born we followed Dr. Christopher's mucusless diet for a few months before I became pregnant with Fredhead and I just needed to eat anything that I didn't make. My cooking went and so did the diet.
A couple of months after Fredhead was born we watched some animal slaughterhouse videos on YouTube. I would recommend not watching any of these if you want to continue eating your McDonald's double cheeseburger without any guilt.
After we cut out all fast food, next up was meat altogether. Heavenly Father tends to lead Jordan and I in a direction pretty swiftly so this happened within a couple of weeks. We were studying in Doctrine and Covenants section 89 and re-reading the section about eating meat.
"12 Yea, flesh of the beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”
To be completely honest, we thought we were using meat sparingly. I think most people think that even if they eat it with three meals. No, we did not eat meat with every meal, but most of them. And can I say that it was with thanksgiving? No.
So let's jump to Genesis chapter 9. The Lord is speaking to Noah. I believe this fits quite nicely with the Doctrine and Covenants reference above. I'm using the Joseph Smith translation. I love when I am confused by something in the Bible. Usually there is a JS translation that takes away all confusion. (For those who don't know, the Bible has been translated several times and some of the meaning and different scriptures have been changed. When Joseph Smith restored Christ's church he was also commanded by Heavenly Father to go through the Bible and translate certain scriptures to their original wording. We use the King James Version and believe it to be the most correct translation.) Joseph Smith's changes are italicized.
10 But, the blood of all flesh which I have given you for meat, shall be shed upon the ground, which taketh life thereof, and the blood ye shall not eat.
11 And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat, to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.
We read that and thought, well, that makes sparingly seem even more...sparingly! If I am to only eat meat to save my life, and in the D&C scripture quoted above only in times of winter, cold or famine (which in most parts of the world would result in saving lives) then why were we eating it constantly? If the Lord has said that we would be held accountable to all the animals we eat, then would eating meat be necessary for survival?
The next morning Jordan told me he could not sleep the night before thinking about all of the animals lined up in heaven. Animals that he had eaten or taken bits and pieces out of. Not a pretty picture, but we decided we did not want to answer for any more unless it was so save ourselves.
We have also watched a couple documentaries. The first being Forks Over Knives. We were convinced of the ill effects of dairy after watching that movie. Jordan asked when we would be cutting it out and we did that day.
The reason I say we eat a whole food plant-based diet is because we try to eat non-processed food in their whole state. We eat raw and cooked fruits and veggies, grains, nuts, and seeds. We typically do not have dairy in the house. Cheese is a delicacy for us and we all love it! When we are eating at other people’s homes we eat what they are serving and if they ask we tell them we are vegetarian. It is helpful for them to know that we do not eat meat but also allows them less stress in figuring out a meal for us.
When I was pregnant with each of my girls I had chicken and tuna a handful of times. I had a strong craving for it and after a couple of weeks I got the best chicken I could afford and it satisfied the craving. Since those times, I have not had any meat. I think eating this way helped me have very healthy pregnancies, great birth experiences and my milk supply has always been more than adequate!
When we first started eating this way one of the first benefits was losing weight. After five years we both have tons of energy, and have found some AMAZING food to eat. I'm actually eating vegetables and liking them and we both feel very good. Another up side, I really do feel like we were prompted to change our eating habits. And by following that prompting I do feel like I gained more of a testimony for revelation and also that Heavenly Father is watching out for our family and what our health needs are. I know everyone is entitled to their own revelation so this is what we have personally interpreted the scriptures to mean for our family! Everyone has the right to interpret it differently and to make their own choices. Oh, wonderful AGENCY!
Let's end with the promises of following the Word of Wisdom fully (Doctrine and Covenants 89):
“18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.”