Crossing the Threshold
Okay, so deep into this plant based adventure now (in case you missed it, Part I of The Hero's Journey is here). The smoothies are flowing. I even picked up some dates from the world famous Hadley in Palm Springs! Yes, it’s been and up and down week, but I’m still fired up about the journey. It’s good for me, good for you, AND good for the environment. Triple play.
Tests, Allies and Enemies
We knew there would be many tests and challenges here. The first for me, and I’m guessing you’ve heard this myth too - there is not enough “protein” in plant based diets. Well, with a little research, I discovered this is not the case. Then there’s the other big question - How much protein do we really need? We’ve all been carrying around false impressions about what is necessary. Here are 5 myths around protein. And find more about plant based proteins in the What the Health? blog.
Taking a deeper dive proved, in fact, how much protein we can actually get from plants. Yes, there is protein in a number of vegetables, consider these 6 plant based proteins. Talk about an eye opener.
Approaching the inmost Cave
After you’ve been on this a week or so, you will certainly face some obstacles. You may find yourself at a party with friends, who don’t have dietary restrictions, or at a restaurant, with a menu that doesn’t jive with your new diet. These challenges may seem foreign at first, but they quickly become part of your new language. Trust me.
The important thing is YOU believe in what you’re doing. Your closest friends will get it; and if a new acquaintance doesn’t or can’t appreciate your personal quest, they are likely not worth your time or energy.
Same drill with the extended family. Having not eaten meat or chicken for years, not embracing Tom turkey on Thanksgiving was tough at first; but it was eventually accepted. And there are typically many other food options. Again, people who care about you will have to accept your new path.
Okay, so you’ve overcome the friends, family and outdoor dining dilemmas. The next big step is to find your rhythm, especially at home. There is a level of excitement in the adventure of it all. Trying new things. Feeling stronger, healthier. But let’s face it, becoming Vegan can be a logistical nightmare. You really have to rethink your day, your marketing, and your budget.
It’s disruptive, and that’s often the biggest challenge, especially for a family. When mom or dad tries a completely new menu, with dietary restrictions, how will that affect common market patterns? And family dinner? If you’re lucky, someone in your family joins you on this journey. Otherwise, it’s creating new patterns. The good news is that it all comes down to commitment and logistics. Planning is everything. If you are driven to see this through, just make a plan.
It will help to continue to read the articles, see the movies, and explore the recipes. Mentors, examples and new experiences all contribute to the package. Stay the course. The rewards far outweigh the challenges.
Again, here are a few of the more successful films FMTV in this category.
And a few others, found on other platforms, still worth consideration:
Part I for breakfast).
Work Lunches that take 15 Minutes or Less
20 Packed Vegan Lunch Recipes
32 Vegan Lunches you can take to Work
16 Dinner Recipes
30 Quick Vegan Dinners That Will Actually Fill You Up
55+ Vegan Recipes That Will Impress Everybody at Your Table
I will look forward to joining you again next week for the final stages of the journey, kicking off with…Rewards!
I hope you had a chance to see some of the great movies from the Yoga post and are ready for Part II – Hiking!
Hiking is one of the best ways to help you connect with nature and nurture your spirit. Especially in today’s digital age, being outdoors in the wilderness far away from civilization is is the ideal recipe to decompress. Breathing fresh, clean air, and enjoying solitude, gives you a different perspective and will help you recharge your soul.
There are also plenty of physical attributes, as you feel physically rejuvenated, and this uplifting exercise also gives you a sense of accomplishment.. Hiking will strengthen your body while feeding your soul; and pushing through steeper terrain will promote cardiovascular fitness and endurance. promoting overall physical well-being.
For some historical perspective, Scottish-born, American naturalist John Muir (1838 –1914), was an important early advocate of hiking and preservation of wilderness in the United States. He pushed the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States.
To get a real taste of the activity, the fitness and spiritual value, we’ve pulled together a handful of terrific documentaries you may not know about. From the John Muir tails of California, to the Camino in Spain, these engaging movies will inspire you to plan your next outdoor adventure. The title links you to the film website, where you can watch a trailer and learn more. Watch Now links below each film take you directly to platform to view film.
The Long Start to the Journey
This film was made on the beautiful (and often harsh) Appalachian Trail, day after day walking and sharing the experience with a cast of real, fascinating personalities who were following their own journeys on the trail. The Long Start to the Journey, a feature film about the Appalachian Trail, is now available to the public on BluRay, DVD, and via digital download!
Mile, Mile and a Half
In an epic snow year, five friends leave their daily lives behind to hike California’s historic John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.). Their goal — complete the journey in 25 days while capturing the amazing sights & sounds they encounter along the way. Inspired by their bond, humor, artistry & dedication, the group continues to grow: to include other artists, musicians & adventure seekers. Before they all reach the summit, hikers and viewers alike affirm the old adage — it’s about the journey, not the destination.
A young woman goes on a 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with four camels and her faithful dog.
Tell it on the Mountain
It takes a special kind of person to drop everything and walk through the woods for five months. But in a way, these hikers are just like you and me. They have jobs and families, they love their creature comforts. Yet something pulls them to be in nature, to leave everything behind and embark on what’s called a thru-hike. Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail involves walking 2,663 miles from Mexico to Canada. The journey lasts from April to October. That translates into about 20 miles a day, every day—on foot. These brave souls face bone-dry deserts, raging rivers, snow-covered mountain passes, mosquitoes, blisters, torrential rains… and the urge to quit.
Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
500 miles on foot. Bunk-beds. Blisters. Stunning landscapes. World-class snorers. Hot searing sun, freezing cold rain. Kindness from strangers. Debilitating injury. Unexpected romance. No toilet paper when you really need it. Profound grief and deep doubt. Hunger. Laughing with new friends. Total exhaustion. You are guaranteed to experience all of this when walking the ancient pilgrim path, the Camino de Santiago.
Watch Movie on Amazon
Watch Movie on iTunes
Great Hiking Trail Resources
10 Most Beautiful Hikes in the US
11 Can't Miss Hiking Trails
Best Hikes in America
Enjoy the movies, and your next outdoor adventure...and we'll see you next week with Part III where we go Running!
Everyone has a story, and a path. You’re the hero of your journey, and I’m hoping you will join me on a Plant Based Adventure, on a road less travelled. We all want to feel our best, reach our full potential and enjoy the ride. So let’s do it!
These past few years, my journey has led me to the social impact film space, I’ve had an opportunity to work with some amazing visionaries, gurus and industry leaders. I’ve produced a few documentaries and curate quality fare at Cause Cinema. The point is, in my work, I’ve seen my share of this tidal wave of food related movies. And yes, I do believe seeing these movies can make a difference, and inspire change. More on that later.
During this period, my diet has fluctuated. I dropped red meat many years ago, then chicken and was living mostly as a Pescetarian, eating fish occasionally. I’d done a few juice fasts, the annual master cleanse and have recently eliminated gluten. I wanted to see if I would feel better, stronger and have more energy. Even still, I kept reading, seeing, and hearing about Plant Based diets, and the many reasons we should give this a go.
Of course, there are two major camps, those who avoid meat for ethical reasons, believing we should not killing animals for our food. Then there are those who simply embrace the general health benefits. I wanted to take a deeper dive, embark on a quest to learn more. It didn’t take long to see just how many other benefits there are to a Plant Based diet. Let’s set the table with some basic facts.
The Ordinary World
It’s important to get the lay of the land. There are many nutrition experts, doctors and scientists who have been studying these elements for years. Each has their own perspective, and some with specific agendas, but here are 10 reasons, that seem to be a consensus among trusted, leading experts.
The Call to Adventure
Hopefully, when you digest all these reasons, enough of them will resonate enough to give it a try. What do you have to lose? Why not try it for 30 days and see if you feel any different. Most people sense some changes to their energy levels within a week. Others can take a bit longer, and we will be including links along the way, to help you with transitions into this new world.
It can sometimes make us feel more comfortable to hear recognizable names, from professional athletes to past presidents, from artists to industry leaders. Below, you will find a small sampling.
Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs Ellen Degeneres, Leonardo Da Vinci, Kafka, George Bernard Shaw, Ashley Judd, Rosa Parks, Tom Brady, Giselle, Moby, Sir Paul McCartney, Natalie Portman, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein. You can see more here:
Refusal of the Call
Okay, many of you are thinking, how can I stop eating cheese?! First of all, you can stay the vegetarian path and still eat cheese. That only applies to the true Vegan diet. Here is some feedback on that very question.
Some of you may really enjoy a good hamburger. I’ve got good news for you. First of all, there are many terrific vegan alternatives out there, from Morningstar Fams to 365 (Whole Foods) And for you true diehards, I came across a burger you will love, and it has been scientifically engineered to have same smells, texture and taste as a traditionally grilled hamburger patty. Amazing. Ironically, the brand is Impossible Foods. Click here and find the locations where they are serving this amazing burger.
Yes, there can be a bit of a withdrawal system if you are cutting out sugars or caffeine, but it’s worth a day or two of hell to get to heaven. Trust me. Learn more about that here.
Agreed, there are few reasons to avoid taking the plunge, but many more reasons to take that leap. See above list again, before you talk yourself out of it.
Meeting the Mentor
There are many different resources to lean on, from blog articles to movies, books to gurus. Everyone has a personal comfort level, and choice of educational path. There are many resources and links contained in this article, and more to come each week.
One of the best, and most engaging, resources is the documentary film. As promised above, I wanted to share a few examples that demonstrate the power of film to create change. One of the strongest is the Ted Talk by Johanna Blakely, of the Norman Lear Center. You see her explain how the documentary Food Inc, produced by Participant Media, has proven to be affective.
Another great resource is FMTV.com, a subscription platform founded by the producing team behind, you guessed it, Food Matters. There are some wonderful movies on this subject, as well as guided clinics, expert interviews and projects related to fitness.
Here are a few of the more successful films from their site in this category.
Here are a few others, found on other platforms, still worth consideration:
Being Part I of this adventure, I thought I would include a few Breakfast menu items I came across, as well as top rated books with recipes for other meals. This can be as basic or as adventurous as you want it. Have a look at the options below, as well as the resources for more background and recipes.
Thanks for joining us. This will be fun. And tasty. And improve your health. Talk to you next week, when we will be Crossing the Threshold!
Gluten Free Coconut Pancakes
Peanut Butter Crunch Balls
Salted Caramel Banana
Sweet Potato Smoothie
Almond Butter & Strawberry
Golden Goddess Anitoxidant
10 Best Vegan Cookbooks