When you get sick, you go to the doctor. The doctor will usually tell you what’s wrong and give you a prescription to make the problem go away. But what they don’t do is ask you about your health as a whole. They don’t dig deep to find out the underlying cause. They don’t take steps to help you prevent it from happening again or teach you about diet and nutrition. Most doctors don’t even get trained in the area of nutrition, which blows my mind. It should be the first thing they are taught because food is what nourishes and heals us. Sadly in today’s world, it’s the fake and convenient “foods” that are destroying our bodies. The power that food has on our body is truly an amazing thing. In some cases it can even reverse disease, that is how powerful it is! Once you take a look at the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet, it will be hard to look back.
When I first went vegan it was something that happened over night. I was fed up with feeling tired and lacking energy, feeling dragged down and dealing with stomach issues. I was also tired of the constant on and off dieting and having a horrible relationship with food. The battle in my head was never ending and I’d beat myself up every time I ate something “bad” like sweets (which was an every night thing, thanks mom and dad for giving us dessert every night as kids). Counting calories and counting macros is just too limiting and unnecessary. The truth is, eating shouldn’t be that hard! Who wants to spend all day stressing over numbers and portion sizes when there is a much simpler life style out there? One of the reasons I love this life style is because I don’t have to worry about any of that, I can eat stress free and really feel like I am nourishing my body while staying in align with my core values and what nature has to offer us.
About two weeks after eating a vegan diet, I felt changes in my body and I had never felt so good in my life. I was full of energy, clear minded, I felt lighter and more vibrant and so much more fulfilled! I was putting healthy, whole foods into my body and the benefits were unreal. I didn’t even know it was possible to feel this good and of course I never wanted it to go away. With out restricting myself or being cautious of how much I was eating, I naturally slimmed down with in just a few weeks. I was so stoked about my newfound way of life that I wanted to become as educated as I could and spread the word.
I watched documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, What the Health, Cowspiracy, Dominion, Seaspiracy, and Earthlings. I was shocked. The food industry has engraved into our minds that we need animal products to achieve optimal health…that we NEED animal protein to survive, we need the calcium from cows milk that is actually supposed to be for their baby calves (which by the way they don’t actually get any of because they are separated from their mothers right after birth, leaving the milk for humans to drink). All of this has been defined as part of our culture and our dietary needs and when we have been told something for so long, why would we suddenly think otherwise?
Well, because science says it all. There have been studies showing that a plant-based diet prevents a number of diseases. The number one leading cause of death in the US is heart disease and just by switching to a vegan diet you can reduce that risk tremendously. Eating more nuts and whole grains while eliminating dairy and meat will improve your cardiovascular health. Animal products are very high in saturated fats and the more you can reduce the amount of saturated fats in your diet, the lower your risk of heart disease will be. What also comes with eliminating animal products is eliminating bad cholesterol, which will do your heart wonders. A vegan life style is also shown to reduce the risks of prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Not to mention the benefits to your physical health, which include weight loss, more energy, healthy skin, longevity, relief from migraines, and healthy hair and nails. If you are interested in reading up on the science of a plant-based diet, I suggest the China Study. It goes way more in depth and contains scientific data to back it up.
The problem with the American diet is we are consuming way too much of unnecessary food products or toxins, way too much animal protein, dairy, eggs, mercury, and sugar. Switching to a plant-based diet can naturally eliminate this problem. The average American eats twice as much protein as necessary for a healthy diet leading to all sorts of health problems later down the road. And yes, you can get plenty protein from plants! Beans, nuts, whole grains, lentils, avocados, chia seeds, hemp seeds, tofu and tempeh are great sources of plant proteins. When it comes to dairy, the human body is not designed to drink cows milk, cows milk is meant for baby calves to drink and grow into a strong adult cow. Why do you think there are so many people who are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies and sensitivities? Milk has been pushed through advertising to make people believe that we need it but in reality it’s not made for us. Eggs are high in saturated fat and can raise cholesterol levels and mercury is found in most fish and shellfish that we consume. Another problem with consuming animal products is the amount of antibiotics that are being pumped into these animals, which then gets into our bodies after eating them.
You can’t blame those who are uneducated on this topic and the sad truth is that so many of us are. Knowledge is in fact power, and the more we can educate ourselves the better we can work towards achieving optimal health and doing what’s best for our bodies. This life style has helped me become more aware of how my body is feeling, what it needs and how to be in tune with it. Conscious eating (being aware of what you are putting into your body, where your food comes from, how it was grown, and how it makes you feel) will help balance out your life over all.
I only hope to inspire others to go outside their comfort zone and explore this life style! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me, I am here to help you!