Friday, 19 July 2013

Why I am Proudly Plant Based

Ever since I have gone on this 100% Plant Based diet, many people have asked me why I am doing this. The answer is simple. The main reason I have decided to become a herbivore is to become a healthier person. 

About 9 months ago, I was in bad shape. At 5'4", I weighed 202 pounds, had very high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and was heading toward either heart disease or heart attack. My diet at the time consisted of processed foods, animal based foods, sugary drinks, fast food, high fat foods, and the list goes on and on. In addition, I had to give up running due to constant knee pain and aches and pains throughout my body. So I was on a very poor diet with minimal exercise. What does that equation equal? Poor health. I knew a change was required. I had a family and wanted to be around for my daughter. I wanted to be there when she graduated college, I wanted to be there when she was getting married, etc. So I knew a serious change was in order. I did research, looking for ways to lose weight and get fit. 

There are so many fad diets out there such as Atkins, South Beach, and many others. While you may lose weight in the short term, they didn't seem to be diets that would make an individual healthy. I mean, eating no carbohydrates and very fatty foods? Would this make me healthy? I didn't think so. Plus, it's almost guaranteed once you stop this "diet", you'll gain the weight back. So what to do? What was out there that could make me a healthier individual? I was at the local library when I came across ultra marathon legend Scott Jurek's book Eat and Run. Upon reading it, I discovered he was a vegan and he had many recipes in the book that actually sounded good enough to try. That's when I realized that maybe becoming a vegan can make me a healthier person. So I did my research. I came across advocates of the plant based diet such as Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr T Colin Campbell, Rip Esselstyn and many others. They were all in agreement. A 100% whole food plant based diet will assist in lowering your cholesterol, preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, help prevent certain cancers and that is only to name a few! So I decided to give it a try. I changed my lifestyle. One day I was a carnivore and the next I became a herbivore. And it was the best thing I have ever done for my health. 

After being on it for eight months, my cholesterol is in normal range now, I have lost 41 pounds to date, my blood pressure is optimal and I was able to start running again! With the change in my diet, I was in virtually no pain during and after running. The 41 pound weight loss made a huge difference on my entire body. One thing I have discovered is I love to cook my own meals now. No more fast food, no more processed hot dogs or chicken nuggets. It's much more fun creating my own recipes. I only eat from four groups now - Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. No more animal based foods. I say if it has a face and is able to move around on its own, let it live out it's life. We don't need to eat it. So many people think being on a plant based diet means your eating salad 3 times a day but it is so much more than that. There are so many delicious whole foods that are available to consume. And when you combine ingredients such as tofu, kidney beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spices you are creating a plant based masterpiece. 

Many people knock the whole food plant based diet but that's okay. I am living proof it works. I will remain Proudly Plant Based for the rest of my life.

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