There are many curious people out there, including some skeptics, who (understandably) have a lot of questions about plant-based nutrition and even feel intimidated by the thought of transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. If you’re one of them, or just want to learn more about it, I encourage you to keep reading.
I speak to patients all the time about their nutrition and making smarter choices that lead to healthier living. I’m a big advocate of adopting a plant-based lifestyle, and I speak from experience.
My family and I commit to eating mostly plant-based foods. We eat meat once a month at most. As a result, we feel healthier, have more energy to get through the day and could very well be adding years to our lives.
Making any lifestyle change can feel like taking an unsure step into the unknown. But plant-based living is an easy and fun transition to make. When you discover how life-changing it can be (the benefits are pretty impressive!), and how simple it is to sustain long-term, you’ll realize that it could be the nutritional approach you want to incorporate into your own life. The more you learn about it, the better prepared you’ll be to make the decision that’s right for you.
Adopting a plant-based lifestyle is easier than you think.
The key benefits of adopting a plant-based lifestyle:
- It fights obesity.
- It lowers high blood pressure.
- It can reverse heart disease.
- It can prevent diabetes.
- It can help you to live longer.
- It can protect the livelihood of our land and animals.
- It’s good for the environment.
Below are some of the most common concerns about plant-based nutrition:
I won’t get enough protein.
Too little or too much protein can lead to health issues (high blood sugar, fatigue, etc.), so it’s important to get the right amount each day.
According to Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine practitioner, your ideal daily amount of protein depends on body size, weight and activity level. He recommends aiming somewhere between 15g and 35g of high-quality protein per meal.
You might think your options are limited to steak and chicken, but there are many plant-based sources that will help you reach your daily requirement and keep you feeling nourished and satisfied.
Some delicious options include lentils, buckwheat, tempeh, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, tahini, broccoli, quinoa, spirulina and amaranth.
Learning the rules will be too time consuming.
This is a valid concern because healthy lifestyle changes only stick when they’re realistic and easy to implement. Plant-based nutrition is easy to sustain long-term, which means you enjoy life-long benefits. Below are my top tips:
- Choose organic produce when it’s available. These items are less likely to have been treated with health-killing pesticides. Remember that ugly is the new healthy!
- If you’re going to eat meat, do so in moderation. My tribe limits meat consumption to once a month. Any meat you eat should be organic, pasture-raised and grass fed. These products are less likely to have been treated with hormones and antibiotics and could also reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and high blood sugar.
- If you’re going to eat fish, opt for wild (not farm-raised). Farm-raised fish are often raised in crowded conditions resulting in higher rates of bacteria, pesticides, artificial coloring, antibiotics and parasites.
There won’t be any variety. I’ll get bored FAST!
You can live a plant-based lifestyle for the rest of your life and never get bored. Seriously. Only a handful of foods are excluded which leaves thousands of delicious and satisfying choices.
Dr. Joel Kahn owns a restaurant (Kali and I love it!) that offers a weekly 3-course vegan menu. After 5 years, their selections have never been repeated!
People who regularly eat plant-based foods often say they’ve developed an appreciation for subtle flavors that they never got to enjoy in meals overwhelmed by meat, eggs and dairy. I promise, you will never be bored!
Whether or not you decide to try a plant-based diet, it’s important to eat whole and natural foods as much as possible. You’ll feel happier, healthier and stronger.
If you have questions about your nutrition or adopting a plant-based lifestyle, please send me an email to share your thoughts.
Make healthy living a part of every day.
The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.
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- Try some tasty vegan recipes. How tasty can a vegan meal really be? See for yourself. I bet you’ll be surprised! Here are two of my favorites:
- Enjoy food from your garden. What better way to enjoy natural and healthy foods than to use what you grow right at home! Bring home-grown fruits and veggies into your kitchen and use them in your favorite recipes.
- Always wash fruits and vegetables. This includes fruit you peel like oranges and bananas.