A Whole Food Plant-based diet (WFPB), means I eat whole food plant products, and that I don’t eat animals or animal products. I used to eat meat and dairy until about 3 years ago. Not a huge amount, but the sort of healthy “flexitarian” style of diet. Tons of fruits and veggies and grass-fed organic meat meat, and a little organic dairy. Nothing wrong with that for many people. My parents have eaten this way for their whole lives and are in pretty good health. However, they, like many people of the blue zone regions of the world, do many other things that keep them in good health: they exercise daily, their food is locally sourced and minimally processed, they eat in moderation, and they are very socially engaged. Yep – these blue zones tell us that diet is only part of the equation in terms of longevity and health. But I have come to believe that for most people, you can’t go wrong with a WFPB Diet!
I chose to stop eating animal flesh for 3 reasons:
- I didn’t want to be part of animals having to needlessly suffer anymore. I could justify meat eating by saying that I only purchased organic/grass-fed/humanely-reared meat, but come on!!!! Those labels are so misleading. I did a ton of research in this area, and the truth (for the most part), isn’t pretty. And secondly, as a board-certified holistic nutritionist, I could no longer see any health benefits in eating meat. When I could simply take a B12 supplement to cover the one nutrient I might be missing, why did I need to eat chunks of flesh that might be otherwise deleterious to my health? It was pretty much that simple.
- As an environmentalist, I could no longer justify eating meat because raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and causes immense animal suffering. A staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute.
- Since moving into the WFPB/vegan space, I have had the pleasure of meeting endless men and women who are literally shimmering with optimum health. I’ve seen hundreds of people shed unwanted pounds, watch their high cholesterol and high blood pressure plummet, not to mention a resolution of more health issues than I can write about here. And many of the “wellness warriors” who I interview for my Facebook live chats are athletes, trainers, body-builders, marathon runners, etc – which shows that the belief that you can’t get enough protein from plants, is just plain NOT TRUE. I highly recommend you check out Thomas Tadlock’s Vegan Body Revolution.
I have never felt better from making the transition. I have more energy, vitality, and zest for live than ever before. I don’t have to exercise like a lunatic to keep my body in shape. My skin is clear, my hair is thick and lustrous, and my digestive issues have gone. I also spend way less money in the grocery store because that organic, grass-fed meat was so darn expensive.
But, a “vegan” diet isn’t necessarily healthy just by being vegan. Like any diet, it can be super unhealthy if you are eating processed foods, full of additives and sugar. This is why I prefer the term, “whole food plant based” – Those foods have got to be minimally processed. So, where do you find these miraculously healthy foods? In the produce section of the grocery store or the farmers market. That section of the store is where the unpackaged food can be found – foods in glorious colors of the rainbow. These are the foods that contain the anti-disease compounds. These are the foods that should make up 95% of our diet. A mixture of raw and cooked fruits and veggies will keep you in optimum health.
But what about the taste? This is the hardest thing for many on a WFBD because meat and dairy gives our taste buds the fatty, salty thing that many of us crave. Well, in my experience of cooking for a family who like that taste as much as anyone, I’ve had to get a bit creative in the kitchen. There are new tips, tricks and skills to be learned for sure. And my hope is that through my blog, videos and pointers to other blogs, I can supply you guys with more easy recipes than you know what to do with.I don’t think anyone can deny (and certainly the scientific evidence proves) that a WFPB diet is pretty much the healthiest diet for inner health and outer beauty long term. Trendy quick weight-loss diets (Paleo and Keto included), can be extremely deleterious to your health in the long run. And, with WFPB you get to be cruelty-free too. Win Win, right?