Real World Tips for Going Vegan

salad-healthy-diet-spinach-mediumThis is advice for those of you who are new to veganism or plant-based eating. I take it an extra step and omit oil, avocado and nuts because I am on the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Diet by Dr. Esselstyn. www.dresselstyn.com  I do not stray from it so it takes some planning but the results have been worth it. I have dropped my cholesterol 100 points in a year and I have lost 20 pounds.

Going to Someone’s House Scenario 1

If you have civilized friends or family you can have this conversation when you are invited to someone’s home.

You: I have some serious dietary restrictions so I’ll just bring my own food, but I’d love your company. Let me know when you decide on your menu and I will bring something like that so it’s not so obvious.

Friend variation 1: Don’t be ridiculous. Tell me what you can eat and I’ll make something.

Friend variation 2 (lazy friend): Fine. And bring a bottle of wine while you’re at it. Continue reading “Real World Tips for Going Vegan”

Can Diet Alone Cure Diseases?

apple“When food is wrong, medicine is of no use. When food is right, medicine is of no need.” Anonymous

There is a lot of evidence that suggests a plant-based diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes. I urge you to look at Forks Over Knives, The China Study, and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. I’m not asking you to make a full and sudden change in your diet, but maybe see what resonates with you and your specific situation.

I lowered my cholesterol by 100 points over seven months without any medication by switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet. My journey has been a process. If you go back to the beginning of my blogs you will see that I ate dairy and a little bit of humanely raised meat. Everyone comes to what they need in their own time. Maybe your journey starts or revs up today.

 

Continue reading “Can Diet Alone Cure Diseases?”

Is Going Vegan Right for you?

Two months ago I switched to a 100% plant-based diet. I was dabbling in veganism, but I was definitely not a vegan. This transition was brought about by some health concerns. A plant-based diet has been scientifically proven to stave off chronic disease in general. Do you have any history of chronic disease in you family? Are you overweight or struggling with high blood pressure, or high cholesterol? If so, you might want to consider going vegan. That means no fish, meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs. As they say, anything with a face or a mother or came from anything with a face or a mother is off limits.

I have a long family history of heart disease. I have had high cholesterol for as long as I can remember. When I was 18 years old, my cholesterol was over 300. The doctor told me that I’d be lucky to live to be 30. I got the numbers down somewhat, but it was never below 250. Continue reading “Is Going Vegan Right for you?”

Flu Shot or Juice Shot?

 

juice veg close This is a re-run from last year, but I think it’s a good reminder during cold and flu season. Remember, I am not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV; but it is rare that veggies can hurt you.

I picked my son up from school early the other day so we could go to the movies. It was a rare treat (for me) because he hates to miss any amount of school. While I was waiting for him to come to the office and wondering if he was really my kid since he would rather go to 7th period than see Oz the Great and Powerful in 3D (update, not a good reason to miss school), I noticed the inordinate amount of zombie-like kids waiting to be picked up by their parents. I could only assume they weren’t off to a secret movie date or even an orthodontist appointment. They looked like Typhoid Mary had sneezed on them. Continue reading “Flu Shot or Juice Shot?”

Ten Easy Tips for Better Health

People always ask me for ways they can be healthier. I think I scare them a little when I start rattling things off. There really are simple ways to avoid the things that lead to disease. Here is a quick list from easiest to more challenging.

my garden

  1. Buy organic produce, meat and packaged foods – this is the easiest and surest way to avoid the onslaught of toxins, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that are in our food system.
  2. Give up “diet” everything… soda, Splenda, aspartame, low-fat, fat-free, etc. I promise you, if it has to have a claim on the package, you DON’T want to put it in your body. If eating “diet” foods worked so well, we’d be an emaciated nation, not the sickest and fattest. You are being lied to. It keeps you coming back for more diet products and it makes you gain weight.
  3. Get rid of your old Tupperware and plastic containers – switch them out for glass or at the very least, BPA free plastic. Also stop buying canned goods. They contain BPA in the lining (with the exception of Eden brand foods and a few others). You’ll notice more items are coming in cardboard (aseptic) packaging. The evidence is mounting that plastics and BPA are linked to hormone and thyroid disruption. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25121464
  4. Stop using your microwave – I know, I know, but really, you will get used to heating things up on your stove top and in your oven. I swear, in the last year, I have not used my microwave for more than heating up my coffee for 15 seconds on the very rare occasion. My mom had a dear friend who died from cancer when she was about 55 years old. I don’t remember that sweet woman ever cooking anything other than a microwave dinner. There is scientific evidence that microwaves change the DNA in meat! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24122804
  5. Avoid GMOs. I’ve written about this extensively so I will just link to the main article. https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/whats-the-problem-with-gmos/sp squash
  6. Cook at home – you will be healthier and live longer! http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cooking-to-live-longer/ Again, I know it can be scary, especially if you really don’t know how to cook. You can easily learn to make a few simple things from scratch.kale smoothie
  7. Make a green juice or smoothie for breakfast – Here is my recipe for a Berry Kale Smoothie. It keeps you full and satisfied. Get your nutrients for the day in your first “meal.” https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/berry-kale-smoothie/
  8. Limit processed foods – If it comes in a bag or a box, make sure it’s organic and has less than five ingredients. Remember, for the most part, this is not food, it’s a food like substance. It is special, like your weird uncle Harold, and should be avoided if possible.
  9. Cut back on dairy, sugar, white and whole wheat flours – dairy is inflaming (and delicious, I know, but it’s not healthy). Try to cut waaaaay back on sugar. If you have to sweeten your coffee, tea, or bake with something use 100% Organic Pure Cane Sugar; not sugar in the raw, not turbinado sugar, make sure it is 100% organic. Organic agave nectar is good too, coconut sugar is good, honey is good, but not the junk that comes in a bear shaped plastic container. It has to be pure, raw or local honey. I have found many recipes can be sweetened with organic dates.
  10. Eat more vegetarian and vegan meals – there are so many delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes on WordPress and online in general. Devote several meals a week to vegetarian meals. Here is one of my favorite vegan sites for recipes http://minimalistbaker.com/ Vegans have the lowest incidence of disease overall as well as the healthiest BMI. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vegans/