While practicing a plant based diet I hope that you will go through some paradigm shifts or “ah ha” moments. Some of the shifts in my views on life are small and some have impacted me on nearly every level. Besides the physical benefits both internally and externally there have been some changes in my mood and outlook on life. So here are a few and there are more that span social and political views that we will cover in another post or several other posts.
Health is an outcome of genes and environment, and has little to do with diet and fitness. That was a belief of mine and maybe yours. I read a great book called “Whole” (rethinking the science of nutrition) that puts a lot of this topic into perspective. We are all genetically predisposed to potential cellular mutations that may cause disease processes in our life. Through a plant based whole food diet that is well balanced and varied, we can give our bodies or cells everything they need to ward off disease or cell mutations that cause disease. We can cleanse our bodies of environmental toxins through diet and nutrition. No longer am I in fear of uncontrollable circumstances, take back your life and influence of health with a whole food plant based diet! Feeding your body a wide variety of nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, lignans, and many other chemical compounds, that science has not even begun to understand how important they are to our health, is the foundation of a whole food plant based diet and the road map to superior health.
Getting old is not going to be pleasant, we will all succumb to disease and the end of life will be a long and unpleasant experience. This was another thought of mine prior to changing my view on nutrition. The aging process is at a basic level the re-generation of cells, old cells die and new cells are created to replace those cells. There are many factors that contribute to the aging and regeneration of your bodies cellular make up. There are several things you can do to help slow this process, exercise, reduce stress, meditate, get plenty of sleep, and eat right. I always thought that, as I listed, eating right had a minimal influence compared to the others. What is the one thing you do the most throughout the day (consistently every day)? What we choose to eat at every meal has far more influence on your bodies cellular needs, than any of the other activities listed. Feeding your cells the nutrition they need to ward off mutation, oxidation, deterioration, stress, sickness, so on and so forth will reward your body more than any activity listed. Eating a whole food plant based diet that is well balanced and varied will slow your body’s cellular regeneration, slowing the aging process, warding off disease, and allowing you to age gracefully, you will feel younger and look younger. The golden years do not have to be sedentary due to painful joints or spent fighting multiple disease processes with pills or medical procedures. You can enjoy an active lifestyle for many years when practicing a whole food plant based diet.
Western medicine is so advanced it will provide all I need to cure and fight any disease I may develop throughout my life. Kudos to western medicine for advancements in medicine and invasive procedures that at best remove a disease process or prolong life, but it is not the answer. We must take back our health, feed our bodies an anti-inflammatory plant based diet. Warding off inflammation through diet and nutrition will do far more than any medical procedure, pill, radiation, anti-biotic, can do. Your immune system starts with nutrition, the flora and fauna of your gut will do more for you than any pill or procedure. When eating a plant based whole food diet, you will consume the building blocks that will fight for you every day. Your immune system will be so strong that you will rarely get sick, you will rarely (if ever) develop disease, you will rarely need a doctor. So give your body the tools it needs to fight for your life at every meal, health is in the power of the foods you eat and the control is all yours.
Fitness has far more impact on body image than anything else. This was a big one for me, I have always been physically active and believed that if I wanted to look better I just have to work out more. When consuming the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) I would rationalize bad food choices with self talk: “you deserve that bowl of ice cream because of that work out today” “go ahead and have another portion, all you have to do is work out a little more”. This attitude was like treading water, eat more workout more, just to maintain. Eventually efforts become lost and the weight comes back or overtime I justified the few pounds here and there as part of the aging process. After practicing a whole food plant based diet, I have shed excess pounds, lost fat in “problem areas” all without changing my workout routine, overall I workout less now than I used to. Diet and nutrition have more influence on your body image and weight gain or loss than your workout routine. Keep your workout routine the same, change your diet to a whole food plant based diet and you will see far more benefits from that than increasing your workout routine. Now I eat more to maintain the weight I want, eat less and the pounds melt away.
These are just a few of the paradigm shifts I have experienced over the past year since I started this journey. There have been others, it is amazing how much our food choices on a daily basis can influence the world around us. Just think about it, what industries can we as individuals influence the most by changing what we eat at every meal (FDA, USDA, Big Pharma, Health Care, Farming, Biochemical, Transportation, Agriculture, Supplement)? Demand creates or destroys the supply, when we take back our health and choose to eat foods that produce a positive outcome on us and our environment, the supply of environmentally and physically toxic foods will decrease. What a concept? We are not slaves to the established system, we can take back our health, our well being, and our environment. So start now and enjoy food that gives back, not food that takes our health, our environment, and our lives!