Madhu, Monty and Dr. Tushar write:
Working collaboratively with the help of the Jain Society of Toronto (JSOT), the non-profit group Towards Ahimsa Inc. (based out of Toronto, Canada) co-hosted a special event last month to celebrate the health and wellbeing of a plant based diet.Through a series of interactive activities and thought-provoking discussions a group of 70 senior community members learnt first hand the philosophical definition of ahimsa in Jainism in its relationship to diet.
Presenters included medical doctors & professional educators who started by defining the nature of a Plant Based or Vegan diet. They presented medical evidence regarding benefits to vascular disease, cancers, diabetes, blood pressure, weight control, and overall benefits to quality-of-life and mortality. They also discussed ways to optimize the vegan diet and how to easily obtain nutrients like vitamin B12, calcium and iron, and protein.
The talk was extremely well received with great questions and enthusiasm on the part of the seniors. One attendee even claimed she would become vegan from this point forward!
JAINA Education Leader Pravin Shah was recorded this week while in London, where he was invited to give talks for Paryushan. Here we have two talks in English and one in Gujarati on his personal decision to become vegan after visiting a dairy farm and discusses the decrease in his cholesterol that resulted. He also sicusses the philosophical basis for veganism in Jain philosophy and practice. One is “parapagraho jivanam“, all life is interdependent, and the other enjoins the practitioner to consume only those items known to him or her to be ahimsak. Thanks to Minal, Mahersh, Nishma, and Sagar from the JAIN vegans UK for producing these recordings!
Based on the combined work of 15 Jain Center of Greater Boston volunteers and his own personal stories, Sanjay provides a compelling case for Jains to become vegan as the true expression of vegetarianism based on ahimsa.
Sudhanshu and Sanjay gave two excellent powerpoint presentations at JCNC this weekend as part of the 13th Anniversary celebrations.
Ahimsak Life Style
Here are some recent videos in which I discuss how i became vegan and address concerns with Calcium, Protein and B12. My story is similar to other doctors raised in Jain families who have come to learn and now incorporate into our practices how healthy a vegan diet is. It is especially beneficial for those of us who are vegetarian Indians that have a high risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and strokes due to our genetics to take the next step of eliminating dairy foods.
I asked Rabbi and physician (M.D., N.D. and diplomate in Ayurveda) Dr. Gabriel Cousens about Jainism and Veganism. He describes the violence to self in terms of adverse health effects from consuming animal products including dairy and connects veganism to our 5 anuvrats, also familar to yogis as the yamas.
We’ve been making almond milk from scratch for a few years, soaking the almonds (1 cup), draining, blending with 3 cups water, straining out the pulp, sometimes sweetening with dates or adding vanilla or cardamom. It is always delicious but sometimes felt time consuming.The store bought almond milk seems to have a lot of filler and is not as good. So SURPRISE!
In the book Forks over Knives, companion to the movie that is such a great resource, we found the following: Add 1-2 teaspoons of raw almond butter to each 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. We happen to have roasted almond butter on hand and it tasted good but will try raw next, because it will surely be even better. What a find! No worries about wasting or saving the pulp and we can make a small amount at a time.
Interestingly the website detoxinista.com has detailed instructions on making your own almond butter using a food processor and making your own almond milk using a high speed blender like a Vita-mix. We have not tried to make our own almond butter yet but if you like to make it yourself, you might be able to do this too.
OK, PCRM didn’t really time this for Diwali, our holiday celebrating the Nirvana of Mahavir Swami Tirthankar this Wednesday. But how nice that we have a 21 day program complete with Indian menus and a Kickstart program set for early November! Spread the word and check it out here.
Dr. Barnard gave a very nice, positive talk at JAINA last July which we have been meaning to post up. One point that he made very well is how tastes can change; many of the uncles and antis could identify with the way they are now able to enjoy fat free or low fat milk, when they used to like only full fat milk; similarly, tastes can change to enjoy even healthier soy, almond, rice and other types of non-dairy milks.
For those who follow a traditional Jain diet, the recipes on the Kickstart menu can be easily modified to eliminate root vegetables. Just remember the 5 sensed beings that are harmed in our traditional dairy based diet and consider all the compassion you are showing by sparing the cows that suffering!
Happy Diwali, may the light of knowledge guide us towards enlightened action.
Just after I posted the links to my talk at JCNC yesterday, I listened again to the lecture. I noticed a few areas that were less than crystal clear. And then today someone posted information about a new website with searchable posts on nutritional topics by Dr. Michael Greger. He is knowledgable and entertaining in person, and the website is a great resource for all kinds of topics, especially related to vegan nutrition, based on scientific evidence. Search on vegan vs. omnivore nutritional deficiencies and you’ll see how omnivores have 7 deficiencies, while vegans tend to have 3. Which 3– B12, iodine and calcium. And then you can look up each of these topics. You’ll see info on good, bad and killer fats, which sweeteners have nutritional value, and many other topics. Continue reading
Dr Jina gave a talk at the 11th anniversary of the Jain Center of Northern California on the Ahimsak Diet. The slides are available here:Ahimsak Diet and Nutrition and you can see the talk at the following YouTube links:
part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHcnDkswFpQ
part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMFK-ZcGDfo
part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTzTK6ua0b8
For those who are interested in preventing diabetes by choosing healthy Indian foods, Asha Jain has provided some recommendations :
carbohydrate & Caloric Content of common Indian foods-JAIN 2011