Friday, January 9, 2015

Kickstart Little Rock

Tonight, I went to the free showing of Forks Over Knives, put on my Kickstart Little Rock.  My sister wanted to go, and even though I'd seen the movie several years ago, I went with her.  I'm really glad I did.  It was like a nice vegan booster shot.

Neal Barnard, M.D., was there, as well as several physicians from Little Rock, and they did a panel discussion after the film about the benefits of plant based eating.  It was really great to see three local doctors all explaining how they eat a vegan diet and promote it to their patents.

Kickstart Little Rock has a 21 Day Vegan Diet initiative going right now, that will start at the beginning of every month.  It's all completely free, too!  My sister is going to take the challenge starting in February, and I'm so proud of her.  She's been moving towards a plant based diet for some time, and this event was great to get her excited and invigorate me to move towards a more whole foods diet.

Honestly, I really needed this event and didn't even realize it.  My diet has definitely moved more into the convenience and junk food realm in the past 6 months or so, and I can feel the difference.  I was getting very sluggish and depressed, and I wasn't eating a lot of fresh fruit and veg.  Since Monday, though, I've been eating tons of salads, sauteed greens, and smoothies, and I'm bouncing around the house, full of happiness and energy.  It's amazing how much your diet can affect you.

After almost 7 years as a vegan, it can be a little understandable to get disconnected from the reasons you went vegan in the first place.  I was starting to lose that passion and fire that made me so outraged about animal suffering and so concerned about heart disease and cancer.  With a limited (but growing and awesome) local community, it's easy to feel alienated.  Tonight definitely gave me a new sense of certainty about plant based eating for my health, the animals, and the planet.

If you're feeling a little detached and bored with veganism, and you're thinking about incorporating animal products back in your diet, I would recommend having a refresher course and watching Forks Over Knives.  If you want extra credit, watch Earthlings.  Honestly, I don't know how anyone can eat meat after watching that movie.

I'm wanting to focus more on whole foods and rely less on processed vegan food.  Yes, I think it's great that those things exist, and they're a nice treat (I'm looking at you, Chao), but I know I feel better when I'm eating fruits, grains, legumes, and vegetables.  There was a lot of discussion about all the dietary noise out there:  no oil, some oil, low fat, high carb, only raw, only cooked, no soy, no gluten, etc.  All that can make a person crazy and feel like they can't eat anything.  I think that's often when people fail on a plant based diet.  I really believe that focusing on whole foods, cooked in a healthy way in some instances and eaten raw in others, is the key.

One of the doctors tonight made a great point that everyone needs to find a way of eating that agrees with your gut chemistry, because ultimately, that will have a lot to do with your health.  Make those tummy bugs happy, and you're golden!

Do you ever get disconnected from your dietary reasons?  What do you do to get back into the groove?  


  1. Kickstart Little Rock!! How cool. And I'm super jealous that you got to see Neal Bernard in real life!!!

    I wouldn't say that I ever get disconnected from the ethical stuff, BUT I get disconnected from healthy eating all the time, especially every December. That's why I always have to do some sort of cleanse in January. It really helps me get my shit together again! :-)

    1. It's definitely easy to get astray from the healthy eating stuff when there are so many delicious vegan things to eat!

  2. Aw man, I am so sad that I missed this! Would have loved to see Dr. Barnard in person too! And thank you so much for the link...I love seeing and reading about local vegan docs! Let's make plans for a hangout soon!

    1. It was great! I'm glad my sister wanted to go, because since I'd already seen it, I hadn't put it on my schedule to go. We definitely need to hang out soon. I think we're trying to pull a game night together for a few weekends from now. I'll email you :)

  3. Curious to know what Physicians were there. I am sorry to have missed it. Judy

  4. Kickstart Your Health Little Rock was co-created by Dr. Christie Beck (ob/gyn) and Dr. Jason Beck (neuroradiology) together with Dr. Neal Barnard and the Physicians Committee (in Washington D.C.). Dr. CD Williams (heart surgeon) was also on the panel. The website is and there are other doctors listed on there who support the campaign with more being added each week. How awesome to have a program like this right here in Arkansas!

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