Thoughts on Forks Over Knives Chapters 3&4

If you’re like me, you’ve probably struggled with your weight your whole life.  And the funny thing about it really is that you never were “fat” growing up but just had a negative view of yourself.  I’ve tried Weight Watchers which really worked but I just couldn’t afford to go to the meetings and eat their food.  I’ve tried all sorts of diet pills and worked out extremely heavy….all of which I really don’t enjoy doing.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I have to put some effort into losing weight or maintaining my weight which means I have to exercise but I don’t enjoy tough workout regimens.  I just don’t.

So I read Chapter three which states in the title, “How Can Eating More Lead to Weight Loss and Better Health”?  Well….how can it!?!  The whole idea  behind the Forks Over Knives “diet” is that it’s really just changing the way you eat.  It’s not a diet!  It consists of eating whole, plant based foods: fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes.  It suggests that you avoid or minimize meat, dairy products, and eggs as well as refined foods like bleached flour, sugar, and oils.  That’s hard to do if you’ve always eaten a certain way.

One would think that if you only ate veggies and fruits you wouldn’t get enough protein, carbs, or other essential macro-nutrients. The point that they drive home right away is that you aren’t just eating green leafy vegetables.  They center the diet around starch-based foods and fruits.  Foods like potatoes, corn, and peas……foods that when you’re dieting you’re told to stay away from!  Say what??  They go on to say that “whole foods contain carbohydrates, protein, and fat”…”The foods you eat on a whole-food, plant based diet will most easily get you to a healthy carbohydrate, protein, and fat ratio, which lies somewhere in the range of 80/10/10” (Forks Over Knives, 29).  While you’re consuming these amazing macro-nutrients, you are also able to lose weight because whole, plant based foods are generally lower in calories per pound.  The only vitamins/minerals that they say you’ll have a deficit in is Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D; both of which can be supplemented. Because of it’s lower calorie density, you are able to take in more until you feel full.

I won’t lie, they do suggest that exercise is still recommended.  I can’t escape it!  The book suggests that when you’re eating this way, you may have increased energy and stamina and actually want to exercise!

Chapter 4 teaches us how to change the way we eat breakfast in the morning.  They suggest that you start the diet transition by changing your breakfast for a week, then lunch, and then dinner.  By the end of the four weeks you’ll have a good idea of how to prepare foods for each meal and whether this diet will work for you.

Every diet talks about reading labels but this one teaches you a whole new way to look at it.  This time you’re not looking at calories as much as you’re looking to make sure that it’s low in fat and that sugar isn’t one of the first three ingredients.  For the most part, you won’t have any labels since you’re not cooking with processed foods but you still may with plant milks, grains, etc.  The end of the chapter shows you what to look for when you’re cleaning out your pantry when getting ready for this diet and also what foods to buy when stocking your pantry.

My homework for this week will be to change my breakfast although I’ve already sort of begun.  Lately I’ve become accustomed to making 1/2 cup oatmeal and then adding about 2tbsp of homemade trail mix (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, almonds, walnuts, and choc chips) to sweeten it.  This helps me to not feel hungry about an hour later and it tastes good.

I’m looking forward to not having to count calories and starve myself anymore.  I’m excited to learn a new way of eating and one that will hopefully change my risk for inheriting some awful diseases that my family members deal with.  I hope this not only transforms the foods I eat but also the way I look at myself.  I encourage you buy the book from Amazon or watch the documentary on Netflix or YouTube.  Cheers!

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Chapters 1&2 – Forks Over Knives Plan

Chapters 1&2 basically are giving an introduction to why the authors came up with the Forks Over Knives cookbooks, meal plans, and such.  Each of them are in the medical field to some extent; some being experienced MD’s who were disgruntled by feeling that they were treating the patient’s symptoms with medications but not the underlying problems.  They gave many examples of how medications can lower the patient’s blood pressure but it is not curing the underlying problem which was clogged arteries.  Statins may help disintegrate clots but that person is still at risk for forming more clots….and so on.  They strongly believe that if we eat clean, whole foods and avoid certain other foods like animal fats and certain oils, we are preventing ourselves from many different diseases such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, cancers, bowel conditions, and much more.  Patients that have implemented the Forks Over Knives Plan into their dietary habits “were not only losing weight but were getting rid of their medications as they reversed their heart disease, cured their diabetes, and reduced their blood pressure and cholesterol” (Forks Over Knives Plan, p.8).

We are often told that genetics cause us to be more at risk to certain diseases and ailments.  And this is true!  But what is also true is that our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on probably ate the same types of foods thus predisposing us to these diseases.  These authors strongly believe that if you change the way you eat, you can change your destiny.  It’s amazing to think that we can change our destiny just with the types of foods that we eat!

I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to learn more and hopefully will be able to adopt this way of eating and living!
Cheers!
-Sarah

A little about me

My name is Sarah Peers and I’m an RN at a large medical center here in Rochester, NY.  I work on a cardiac unit that specializes in all stages of CHF and cardiomyopathy (pacemakers, medical management, Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs), Total Heart replacement pumps (TAH’s), and heart transplant.  Seeing my patients in these situations and knowing what diseases I am at risk of inheriting from my family (Type 1&2 Diabetes, CHF, high cholesterol, heart attacks, low thyroid), has brought me to where I am now in life.  I want to be healthier so that I can prevent myself and my children from inheriting these conditions.  So on my journey I have lost 40lbs over the past 4.5 years by eating more clean and exercising at least three or more times a week for 30mins.  That doesn’t sound hard right?  Well as we all know…It’s easier said than done!  There are so many days that I just want to stay in bed, especially on those cold frigid days in the winter!

I started out on my journey by working out 5 days at the gym and just portion controlling.  I really, really wanted to lose the weight I had put on after my babies!  Aidan is 7 and McKenzie is 4.  I knew that I was done having children and I wanted to show them a good example of what healthy is without getting into the discussion of being “too fat” or “too skinny”.  I want them to have a well-rounded view of what it means to be healthy especially in this day and age where obesity is an epidemic.  After I had lost a considerable amount of weight (about 5 months later), I decreased the amount of time I worked out down to three days a week which was much easier to juggle.  I also started working out with Beachbody’s Focus T25.  With that program and the help of a friend coaching me, I was able to shed the rest of the weight and I learned to eat cleaner foods, using more fruits, and vegetables.  This has encouraged me to look more into what it means to truly eat clean, whole foods.  I strongly believe that we can eat cleaner without spending a ton on our groceries therefore changing our outcome thus preventing complications such as high blood pressure, Diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and even some cancers..

So I purchased The Forks over Knives Plan: A 4 week Meal-by-Meal Makeover off of Amazon for $10!  For the next four weeks, I will log my journey of thoughts, concerns, etc with you all….and maybe some recipes too!  So stay tuned!  It’s going to be fun!