A Plant-Based Diet

With a coworker recently, we ate at his suggestion at El Chico Cafe, one of his favorites. I made my way through the menu and discovered an indulgent but genuinely nutritious meal called their avocado enchilada. Aside from a bit of decoration with sour cream, the meal was mostly healthy. I recently learned, however, that avocados, despite being very healthy for you, are too resource-intensive, and are not a great choice if your diet is based partially on its effects on nature.
With a coworker recently, we ate at his suggestion at El Chico Cafe, one of his favorites. I made my way through the menu and discovered an indulgent but genuinely nutritious meal called their avocado enchilada. Aside from a bit of decoration with sour cream, the meal was mostly healthy. I recently learned, however, that avocados, despite being very healthy for you, are too resource-intensive, and are not a great choice if your diet is based partially on its effects on nature.
This beautiful, healthy salad came straight out of my garden.
This beautiful, healthy salad came straight out of my garden.

I hate to seem preachy or lectury, but I am actually right about many things. I have decent grammer, I know how to be good to my wife, and I can fly without crashing. I’ve never driven drunk even once. It’s true that my attitude could be adjusted about a few things, and I hope I can keep my eyes open and keep perceptions evolving.

One thing I have been right about for 30 years is a plant-based diet.

How We See the World...

In my office recently, I was approached by a close friend who asked, “Are you okay?” I thought she was asking about my wife having a stomach bug, but she couldn’t have known about it. In fact, she was concerned for my weight loss over the past few years. Her concern was a very kind gesture, but also a commentary on a society that perceives weight loss as so uncommon it is only seen as an indication of illness.

How much weight did I lose and how did I do it?

I was never overweight, but I can see myself looking decidedly heavier in photos from 2012, when I weighed about 188 pounds. I presently tip the scales at 165, almost exactly the same weight as our Irish Wolfhound Hawken. I am 73 inches tall,  so 165 is a great weight for me.

1. I walk the Wolfhound every day. 2. I turn down sugar when offered and don’t bring it home. 3. I stop eating when I’m full.

I know too many people who see weight control as a goal, whereas I see it as a lifelong process.

What is a plant-based diet? Foods we eat are grown in the ground.

What isn’t a plant-based diet?

  • Adding single servings of foods to an unhealthy diet like a dose of medicine. Lettuce and tomatoes on a Whopper doesn’t un-junk a Whopper.
  • Adding vitamins or supplements to diet like magic potions.
  • Following trends that don’t have much research or make much sense, like adopting a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free has been a thing for years now, but look around; are we all thin and healthy?
  • Blaming the wrong foods for your health problems; the main one is carbohydrates, which get almost all the blame in recent years, which they don’t reserve. The truth is that the culprit is a deadly combination of simple carbohydrates like refined sugar, eating too much in general, and not moving much. Low carb diets and their ilk are how we got here, not how we’ll get out.
  • Gluten-free and low-carb are sales tools, not real components of a healthy diet. Why do I think this? I recently bought some beans that were proudly labeled “Gluten Free!”  No beans contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found it wheat. What a brilliant scam.
  • The only diet you should ever try is one you can eat for the rest of your life. Anything else is a recipe for failure, pun intended.

Too often, in fact most of the time, the main excuse for not adopting a plant-based diet is, “I don’t care, I like (insert unhealthy food).” It’s the argument of a four-year-old. I’ve said this before one way or another, but I’ll say it again: meat, dairy and eggs are only moral choices when they are necessary. “But Richard, I need meat for (insert empty argument about protein or other nutrient.)” This is too easy: look around. Look at the meat eaters. Look at the doughnut eaters. Then look at me and my friends who have committed themselves to a long-term plant-based diet. Who looks healthy?

This is a burrito dinner I prepared for myself not long ago. If you look at this an whine about its lack of meat, or try to convince me it has "too many carbs," you and I should stand next to each other in front of a mirror.
This is a burrito dinner I prepared for myself not long ago. If you look at this an whine about its lack of meat, or try to convince me it has “too many carbs,” you and I should stand next to each other in front of a mirror.
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