Question for you: Have you heard the term plant-based diet yet? It’s been getting a lot of hype in the media these days and for good reason.
Diet is hands down the most powerful tool you have control over that determines your health. Choosing a plant-based diet is life altering.
Today I want to dive into what plant-based really means, discuss why everyone would benefit from eating this way and what you can do to feel more energized, leaner and ward off chronic illness today!
So what does plant-based really mean? For some it means eating a diet that consists of only plants (vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds) and no animal products (aka vegan). For others it means eating mainly plants and minimal high quality, organic animal products such as meat and dairy. Whatever version you choose, the common denominator is a diet based upon plants.This is opposite to the very meat-centric diet that we see everywhere these days.
4 years ago after having my son Odyn, I started to get psoriasis on my arms, legs and scalp. I had heard about an autoimmune paleo diet protocol and decided to give it a go. For one month I ate only meat, bone broth, and limited vegetables (carrots, zucchini, celery and greens) – no grains, no fruit, not nuts – nothing else. I was miserable. Not only did I feel horrible on this diet, but my psoriasis got worse – covering most of my body. I felt tired, toxic, bloated, constipated and worst of all defeated.
Since that time I have made many changes in my life in efforts to heal my body. I can tell you honestly, that the biggest changes I have seen in my health came when I switched to a plant-based diet. I started by decreasing the amount of meat that I ate, then slowly cut out all meat and dairy, only having fish occasionally and now mainly eating a vegan diet. I’ll be honest, this wasn’t an easy change for me – I grew up on a ranch for heaven’s sake! But the changes I have seen in my body and how I feel today outweigh any pleasure derived from eating meat and dairy.
Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!
My own personal experience along with the changes I have seen in my patients, is all the evidence I need to convince me that eating a plant-based diet is life altering.
“Homicide accounts for 0.8% of deaths. Diet-related disease is over 60%. But no one talks about it.” Jamie Oliver
Heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, autoimmune conditions and other chronic illnesses are all significantly influenced by diet. The mountain of evidence that is arising about how a plant-based diet eradicates diet-related disease is jaw-dropping. From slashing cholesterol levels, reversing heart disease and lowering cancer rates, a plant-based diet is not only the best investment you can make in your long-term health but also the long-term health of our planet. We must innovate and find new sustainable ways to feed ourselves that leaves a lighter footprint than the one we are currently leaving with animal-centric diets.
Simply put, the single most impactful thing that you can do for you health and the health of our planet is to eat more plants. Period.
“But where will I get my protein?” I get asked this question all the time.
“All protein is initially made by plants. It is not necessary to eat animal tissue in order to get protein. Only plants have the ability to take nitrogen from the air, break those molecules apart and incorporate nitrogen into amino acids and then make protein. So any protein you get from an animal is recycled from the original plant protein they ate.” Dr. Milton Mills MD, critical care physician
We’ve had it drilled into our brains that we need to consume animal protein in order to build muscle tissue. This is utter nonsense. The biggest, strongest animals on the planet are all herbavoires. Gorillas, rhinos and elephants all get their protein from plants. There is nothing in an animal-based diet that you cannot get anywhere else in a healthier form. B12, iron and calcium included.
There is a group of elite athletes arising that are using a plant-based diet to heal injuries, speed recovery times and enhance their performance; Ultra endurance athlete Rich Roll, pro tennis player Venus Williams and NFL defensive lineman David Carter to name a few.
These athletes are not only surviving on a plant based diet, they are thriving.
And so can you.
This month I am launching two plant-based programs to show you how it’s done: my 7-Day Plant-Based Kick-Start and my 21-Day Plant-Based Challenge. Filled with meal plans, delicious recipes and grocery lists, these tools will empower you to incorporate nourishing plant-based meals into your life.
The food choices we make every single day have the capacity to bring us true health and optimal wellness – not just for us as individuals but also for the planet.
Baby steps move mountains.
Simply start by eating half the amount of animal protein at your next meal and double your intake of vegetables.
Starting today, let food by your medicine and medicine be your food.