What do Oprah and Bill Clinton have in common?

……they both went vegan!!

Bill Clinton went vegan after his latest bout with heart disease.  He said he follows a “no animal product diet” and exercises regularly.  Since becoming a vegan he dropped 20 pounds and said his cholesterol is perfect and he feels great. See what he has to say here.

On February 2, 2011 Oprah aired the episode where she challenged her entire staff to “go vegan” for 1 week.

Oprah vegan show

Oprah! Put down the cupcakes!

378 of her staff accepted the challenge to eat no animal products at all…no meat, fish, dairy, or eggs for one entire week and then see how everyone felt.  Also off the list was artificial anything…sweeteners, flavors, color, preservatives, MSG or chemicals.

For some, it was a real challenge.  There was one staffer who basically lived on junk food and fast food.  She said about 2 days into the vegan diet, she “went into food withdrawal” where she felt physically sick, but after that day, and after staying with the diet, she just kept feeling better and better and actually has committed to continuing the vegan diet from then on out.  She said she has more energy, is sleeping better, and (not to gross anyone out) she poops every day now, and she used to only poop once every 8 days!! (talk about being full of sh*t!)

Oprah brought up some startling statistics:

  • 75% of all healthcare dollars are spent on diet related illnesses
  • 10 billion animals are slaughtered each year in the US alone (10 billion seconds ago it was the year 1559….just to give you some perspective)
  • our diets have changed more in the last 100 years than in the last 10,000 years because of all the processed food, additives, preservatives and chemical components.

One of Oprah’s staff went into a cattle slaughter house and the cameras showed from start to finish what happens to beef cattle each day.  It was quite an eye opener.

The biggest thing people thought they would have a problem with was giving up their favorite foods like tacos, burgers, and pizza.  But with the help of Oprah’s guest, Kathy Freston, they learned that they can have their favorite things…. and eat them too!

Vegan diets aren’t made up of just lettuce and tofu!

Kathy Freston showed that any animal product that you eat has a vegan substitute, but the philosophy of eating vegan is to make you aware of what you are putting into your body, and really fuel your body with quality wholesome foods that will enhance you life and prevent illness.  (you could eat potato chips and soda all day…..that’s technically vegan, but that’s not part of the vegan way of eating)

In one part of the show, they took the cameras into the house of an Oprah staff member.  She took all the products that contained animal substances in them out of her fridge.  She was literally left with a bottle of mustard and a jar of olives.  That made her realize just how much of what she ate was animal products.

The problem with animal products is the quality of the way the products are obtained.  Egg laying chickens, for example, are kept in extremely small cages, not allowed to move, shot up with hormones, and fed un-natural, pesticide laden diets that contain (among other things) artificial color so their egg yolks will look bright yellow–because studies show that consumers want bright yellow yolks–even if they are unnatural.  These eggs end up in our grocery stores in egg cartons for us to consume.  But the eggs are the products of chickens that are not living natural lives.  They are eggs, but not the way nature intended.

vegan

Do these guys look like they’re having fun?

At the end of the show, some of the staff were interviewed.  Out of the 378 staffers that ate vegan for 1 week, a collective 444 pounds were lost.  One guy lost 11 pounds just in that one week.  He said he was really skeptical at first, and really “thought he was going to hate the food”, but he said he was surprised at how good it was and he is feeling better than he has felt in his life.  He has remained eating vegan.

Some said they couldn’t give up all of their favorite animal product foods, but eating that way for the 1 week really made them realize just how much animal product they were ingesting, and most said they are definitely going to cut down on their intake and they would definitely start paying attention to what was in their food.

Oprah made the suggestion, for starters, to take one or two days in the week and try to eat vegan for those days.  Then you could add days in the week as you get more used to the lifestyle.

Some more facts that make you think:

  • you body starts to change in just 48 hours of eliminating animal products from your diet
  • in 2 weeks of eating vegan, your blood pressure and blood sugar begin to stabilize
  • in 3 weeks you can expect to see changes in your cholesterol
  • in 6 months you can actually start to reverse heart disease, that is, reverse the build up of plaque in your heart’s arteries.

As for Oprah, she said she still needs to eat her eggs, (but she gets them from a farm across the street and she sees how the chickens live and what they eat).  She said she would think about what she is putting into her body from now on, and she challenged the viewers to adopt a “vegan-ish” attitude about the food we consume.

“If we can’t all be vegans, let’s try to be vegan-ish.”

We all want to feel good and live better.  Eating a vegan diet is one way to accomplish that goal.  Pay attention to what you eat tomorrow.  How much of it is animal product?  What are some changes you can make?  It’s not as hard as you think!

Kathy Freston is a great resource if you’re looking to get started. Also see Dr. Dean Ornish and his book.

I have been eating plant-based for the past 5 years and I can honestly say I feel great and eat wonderfully delicious food (see some of my recipes).  I get my protein from whole grains, beans, legumes, soy, tempeh, nuts and nut butter, quinoa, and tofu.

Please fee free to e-mail me if you have any questions!    sisterearth@comcast.net



Categories: diet, health and wellness, nutrition, vegan diet

Tags: , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Thanks for the post. I love vegetarian food and if I were alone I would totally convert to vegetarian eater, but my husband is carnivorous. I don’t know many good and easy vegetarian dishes that I can’t cook just with vegetables, so I can’t be vegetarian at home. I think being vegan will be hard for me as I love dairy products! When my older daughter was a baby, I didn’t give her any meat until she turned one. The smell of her poop changed once she started eating meat. It was so foul I wanted to keep her vegetarian!! I will have to send this to my hubby. Thanks for your sweet comment, too! I appreciate your kind words. Hugs, Kaho

    • if you get a chance you should try the soy cheeses and milk alternatives. If your hubby is worried that vegans are whimps (some men fear this) just take a look here http://www.veganbodybuilding.org/home.htm No whimps here!
      Maybe you could make one day a week a “vegan day”.
      Thanks for you time, Kaho!

      • Thanks for the information! He’s a Texan, so the fact that he grew up in a meat land explains that he might not be able to survive without eating meat. Although there are many vegetarians in Austin, Texas where he and I spent 2.5 years at the beginning of our marriage. Since we live in Indonesia, we do not have an access to soy cheeses. Bummer. I do drink soy milk which is available here. This is going to be food for thoughts for a while.

        • Ha! Yes, it will be hard to get him to give up what he was raised on. That is one reason some find it hard to change their diets–because of tradition. There’s no “one fits all” diet….just do what you can and still be happy!

  2. Happy Valentines 🙂 This post made me glad that I have never eaten beef due to my mum’s religious enforcements 😉

    I must confess I would have a hard time going vegan but I actually take more carbs than meat. I didn’t realize that Oprah did a vegan show and that Bill Clinton went vegan.

    Thanks for the healthy message!!

    • At first I thought only weirdos and monks were vegan, but the more reading and talking to vegans I do, the more it makes great sense.
      It’s not as hard as I thought….
      Thanks for taking time out of your busy traveling/blogging life to comment! 😉

  3. Great article, I’ve realised I consume a lot of animal products, and I’m going to try to get a couple of vegetarian and vegan days in my week and see how feel. Thanks for this informative post 🙂

  4. what do you think about raw veganism?

    • I think if that works for you, go for it. Most people I talk to about changing their diets are looking for simple easy changes, and they just plain don’t know about how bad some of the food that they’re eating is. They also plain don’t know how filling and delicious vegan food can be. (if my husband eats it and wants more…..well then anyone would like it)
      Moderation is the key to good sense. With that in mind, including more raw foods in your diet makes sense, but I don’t think you have to go to the extreme to reap the benefits of healthy diet.
      Thanks so much for your comment CC!

  5. I agree that not eating meat do wonders for your body and that many animals are injected with weird stuff these days but in my opinion, God gave us animals to eat. Yes, his intention was surely not for us to take these animals and inject them with unnatural things but we are made by Him to consume meat. That is why I try to eat Organic meat produce as far as possible.

    • I agree with that 100%, but many dot know that you don’t NEED meat to live healthy. For those who choose to eat meat, many don’t know how their meat is processed and what it eats, how it lives, etc. There are many places where you can get organic farm raised meat. In the US you can go to http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
      There, you can find a place close to you that raises organic meat, chickens, eggs, etc and see the animal and the farmer. (most times,I get my eggs around the corner from my house at a free range farm). Maybe they have a similar service in other countries?
      Again it’s a personal choice, but education is the key.
      Thanks Blackhuff!

  6. RIGHT ON SAVVY SIS! This issue was one of my favorites. I am a true healthy vegan and everything you said is right on..right on…right on!!Breath clean air, drink pure water and eat clean healthy vegan food…that’s where it all starts. 🙂

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