Tonight on The Panel, George talks with Graham Kay, Darren Frost and Emma Hunter about the topic of healthy living (he even offers them a taste of the green stuff in the jar above).
A couple of years ago, George got into a motorcycle accident that had him on his back for two weeks. It gave him time to think, and he decided he needed to get healthy: he started paying more attention to the food he put in his body, transitioned to a plant-based diet and started working out regularly. Here are some of the things that helped convince George to change up his lifestyle, as well as some of the resources he turns to.
Michael Pollan — In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
The motto at the heart of Pollan's 2008 manifesto for healthy, sustainable eating is something that carnivores and herbivores alike can adopt: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." What Pollan means by "food" here is simple: "the sort of food our great grandmothers would recognize as food." By that standard, Pollan argues that most of the things we consume today aren't really food at all — instead, he says, they're “edible foodlike substances.”
Forks Over Knives
This 2011 documentary by American independent filmmaker Lee Fulkerson makes the case for a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet, and argues that eating this way can control or even reverse a wide range of diseases like diabetes, obesity, coronary disease and some kinds of cancer. The kind of diet Fulkerson advocates isn't just vegan, since a vegan diet can still contain plenty of highly processed foods. The movie had "one of the biggest impacts in my life," George said. "If you go to the website they've actually got a lot of really cool recipes too."
The Engine 2 Diet
If you're trying to transition to the kind of whole-food, plant-based diet endorsed by Forks Over Knives, The Engine 2 Diet can help. The book was written by a Texas firefighter named Rip Esselstyn who made the transition himself before getting his fellow firefighters to follow his lead.
Here's another cookbook recommendation. Veganomicon contains accessible vegan recipes using a wide enough variety of ingredients to keep things interesting while avoiding fake meat and egg products. It's also got a lot of vegan desserts. The two co-authors were previously the hosts of The Post Punk Kitchen, a public-access vegan cooking show broadcast in New York in the mid-2000s.
One of George's favourite online resources for figuring out what to make is Finding Vegan, which aggregates vegan recipes from food blogs from around the web, and often provides strategies for veganizing dishes that are typically made from animal products.
For The Torontonians
Feel Good Guru is a cafe on Toronto's Queen St. W. that serves creative vegan fare and also supplies the green stuff seen in the jar that George is holding above (that "stuff" is called "Super Green Fuel"; George gets it delivered daily.) George works out regularly at the Academy of Lions, a crossfit gym in Toronto. He also plays hockey a couple of times a week in the winter and has a weekly squash game.
To catch the healthy living panel, tune into George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight on January 6 at 7 p.m. on CBC.