Saturday, November 30, 2013

My sister the vegetarian... Transformed by paleo!

In this weekend following thanksgiving, I am noticing that I'm thankful for many things. One thing that truly makes me giddy with appreciation is my family.

Like all families, we have had our struggles from time to time. However, for the most part, we remain open to each other's ideas. We are constantly asking each other for support and advice...

 A couple of years ago, I got a call from my sister. She is a very intelligent, educated, and highly capable nurse midwife who unfortunately lives far away from me. To the best of my memory, the call went something like this:

"Hey, Mo... Which barefoot running book should I get?"

"Why?" I replied, "You don't run."

"Yeah," She agreed, "But I've been wearing the fivefingers for about a year and I'm wearing Soft Star's at work like you do. My feet and knees are feeling much better. However, I just turned 47... and I'm tired of getting fatter every year. I want to get in shape."

"If you want to get in shape, forget running," I said. "If you want to be fit and healthy, read 'The Paleo Solution' by Robb Wolf. I gotta warn you, though... He loves to pick on vegetarians."

I love my sister.
Like most vegetarians, she had come into it for all the right reasons:

She wanted to do the least possible damage and the most possible good to the planet.
She wanted to do the least possible damage and the most possible good to her body.
She wanted to be kind to animals.
She really wanted to enjoy a long and healthy life.

Luckily, She was open both to my suggestion and Robb Wolf's sarcastic wit. If we had the same conversation today, I'd probably recommend a different book like "It starts with food" by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig or "Practical Paleo"by Dianne Sanfilippo  Neither of these was available back then, but they both take a much less combative tone with those who don't eat critters.

About 6 months later, I got a text from my (formerly) vegetarian sister:
"I have some local grass-fed sirloin steaks. What should I do?"

Unable to contain my "snarky little brother" self, I replied:

She texted back:
"No, Seriously. I don't know what to do with such a thing."

This time I called her:
"You know that fancy, full-color cookbook with the 12-step process to turn tofu into something delicious? You can get rid of that. Those steaks are such high quality, you could probably eat them raw. Just throw the steak in a hot cast iron pan. Maybe add a little salt and pepper... Flip it over, and take it out when it's too raw. You can always cook it more if you need to."

An hour later, she sent another text:
"OMG, this is so GOOD!"

I replied:
"Welcome to the wonderful world of meat. :)"

On her 48th birthday, after about a year of eating paleo:

  •  she felt like a leaner, more muscular version of her 18 year old self.
  • she had to buy an entire new wardrobe 3 times in a year to fit her rapidly shrinking frame
  • she is now an amazing paleo cook, even making her own "bacon fat mayo"!
A last-minute addition directly from the happy, healthy woman herself:

 "Add in there somewhere that I went from 148 at 5'4" tall to holding at or below 125. But the BIG thing was that two weeks into it I was waking up without any aches and pains at all, and am more flexible than I was when I practiced yoga three times a week--which I don't do any more."

Here she is at 49... A glowing, vital human!

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