There’s a new documentary called Forks over Knives and I’m looking forward to seeing it. It says that giving up meat, dairy and refined foods extends your life. I’m not looking to extend my life indefinitely; I just want my fair share of it.
Two years ago I was a major carnivore. I ate red meat about four times a week, a glass of milk every day, cheese and breads. I thought I was eating healthy getting so much calcium and protein. My body felt heavy though, not fat as much as bloated. I mentioned it to my doctors and complained about this heaviness to just about everyone. Well, anyone who would listen and that was Vita once a week at lunch.
After nearly a year or maybe it was years, time has a way of escaping on me, Vita had just about enough.
“I don’t see where you are heavy.”
We were sitting in Friedman’s Lunch. It’s one of those tiny restaurants along the corridor at Chelsea Market that has a chalkboard and a homey feel to it. It is comfortable like family. Vita and I were sitting at a table in the back. It was early enough for breakfast and late enough that no one else was having theirs. Except for a very bored waiter, we were alone in the restaurant able to laugh as loudly as we liked.
“Vita, it’s more like I’m bloated.”
“Bloated?” She says this while leaning over and squeezing my stomach like a melon. “That’s because you are!” I’m not sure when the physical boundaries were dropped but they’ve been long gone. Nothing is out of bounds.
I’m cradling my stomach, which is tingling from a brief moment as a melon when she begins, “Let me tell you what I would do.” I know those words. Those are the words that secretly mean – don’t interrupt me, I’m onto something. I like it when she gets like this and quietly nod.
“Give up all foods that come from mammals. You know beef, lamb, milk and cheese.”
“CHEESE?” I scream in horror. The thought was beyond my comprehension. I love cheese.
“Yes,” she answered in that no nonsense don’t even bother to argue kind of way she has. “Give it up for a month or so and then we will know.”
I knew immediately. Two weeks later I had lost that bloated feeling and four weeks later 14 pounds. I would love to leave the story there but I can’t. The lost water helped me find a lump and that lump the beginning of my journey through hell. I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, let’s just say my consumption of cheese, meat and dairy was never the same.