Mark Bittman, a writer over at the New York Times, always has something relevant to talk about in his food blog. This piece was published seven months ago, but any source for simple, delicious vegetarian recipes is always fresh in my book. HERE you can find miso soup, fried rice, brussels sprouts, roasted squash and kale, &c. In the related article, Bittman lays out the simplicity of eating “better”:
The core of the answer is known to everyone: Eat more plants. And if the diet that most starkly represents this — veganism — is no longer considered bizarre or unreasonably spartan, neither is it exactly mainstream.
I’ll dig into why plants are good later — that’s unfortunately a simultaneously easy & difficult topic to work through, but luckily I love talking about it.
The best part of Bittman’s piece, something I think he doesn’t usually write about much — and even this is, like, a final sentence or two — is what he subtly works into the conclusion of this brief piece: ”This is not a gimmick or even a diet. It’s a path, and the smart resolution might be to get on it.”
Small personal note: When people find out I’m vegan and they don’t really realize what that means (this is mostly the older populous, who can’t even pronounce the word), they ask me how long I’ve been vegan, ask me why, and then — kind of to the side — ask me how long I think I’ll keep up with this diet. And that’s a key problem with the United States, and many other countries influenced by the Western Diet (or the Standard American Diet, which I will also get into later on): We think of everything as a diet! Right after Thanksgiving or Christmas when we’re having trouble getting our favorite pants to fit around our waist, we say “I’m giving up sweets” or whatever Americans give up when they go on diets — I’m declaring ignorance here — maybe they stop eating bread, which by the way is stupid, and then they spend a week digging around in their old purses to find their forgotten Y membership card and they start jogging on the treadmill every day for about two weeks until they decide, “Okay, the pants fit now, back to Chili’s & TV during dinner!” Not okay, y’all. What makes veganism work (at least for me) is that it’s not a fad, it’s not for losing weight (though you’ll definitely lose weight if you’re eating the right foods, i.e., unprocessed plants, and cutting out all the other stuff). Bittman’s 100% correct: It’s a path, much like my own educational path. Every day I learn something new about food that gives me cause to keep going with renewed eagerness. We’re supposed to eat food, not cheat ourselves out of the good stuff. We’ve just let 50+ years of Big Ag and processed food companies lead us astray from our evolutionary instincts which naturally tell us what is good.