But don’t I need meat and dairy to be strong, have enough essential proteins and get my daily calcium boost?
Let’s take a deep breathe, brace yourself. . the answer is, no.
First let’s look at our furry friends. How do cows, pigs, chicken (insert animal here) get their protein? Well they seem to be just fine consuming a plant-based diet, which by the way, contains all 9 essential amino acids that you need to build a strong body. Animals are the middle men- they act as transporters of these essential nutrients, but unfortunately animals also have hormones, high levels of fat, cholesterol, endotoxins, and other ickys that create health issues for us humans. Plus, animal products are void or have very little of the protective components that plants offer (fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and nutrients).
Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet is a great way to set yourself up for long term health. If you look at the deadliest killers in the United States, you can easily see that they are all mostly due to diet and lifestyle. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, among others, can all be prevented, controlled and even reversed in most cases. How you ask? By simply eating a plant based diet, and removing the foods that created a build up of plaque, toxins, and inflammation in the first place.
“Every time you eat or drink you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” -Heather Morgan
The body has a remarkable capacity to heal itself if you give it the chance. If you stop bombarding it three times a day with foods that create inflammation and cause our bodies to work over time. The standard American diet is a recipe for disaster that often ends with a very poor quality of life, that quickly starts to decline mid-life, especially if we’ve eaten this way since we were kids. Studies are now finding the first signs of plaque build-up, atherosclerosis, in ten year olds!
I don’t know about you guys but I want to live a long, vibrant life. I don’t want to end up with a heart attack at age 50, an open heart surgery at 55, and taking meds gasping for air by 60. I want to be out hiking and enjoying sunsets with my loved ones. There’s a giant misconception that our genes lead us down this morbid and painfully slow death blanketed with illness, but genes are only part of the equation. One of my favorite doctors likes to say, “genes load the gun and diet pulls the trigger.” Let’s take our health back into our own hands. Let’s start nurishing and protecting our bodies now so that we can enjoy a life of freedom.
I know I know, it’s not only diet that set us up for long term health, but it plays a giant role. I strongly believe that it’s a part of a bigger picture, our purpose for life, the strength of our relationships, our community and family support, our spiritual or faith-based connections, and daily movement that keep us thriving.
I have been interested in diet ever since I was in college, realizing that the number one thing I could do to lessen my impact on the environment was to reduce my animal product consumption. The animal production industry contributes to more global warming, greenhouse gasses than the entire transportation industry. That means animal agriculture has a greater footprint than that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane and rocket ship combined. The production of animal products is the leading cause of habitat destruction (to make more corn/soy fields to feed these animals), dead zones in our oceans, and resource usage (land, water and food consumption). More than 45 percent of the land surface of Earth is used for grazing or growing feed crops for livestock. Holy cow!
My father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer when I was younger. It was devastating for our family, especially since doctors gave him only a few years to live. In 2018 ater a visit to the doctors, my dad was shocked to learn that his blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure were all at unhealthy levels. As my dad said, “I had accepted the fact that I have cancer but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a preventable illness like type 2 diabetes or heart disease kill me.” He immediately started taking his health back into his own hands. Overnight, both my parents pledged to turn to a completely whole foods, plant-based diet after watching an eye opening documentary called What the Health.
It was an incredible to watch the transformation of my parents. In 10 months time they had lost 100 pounds between the two of them and their energy levels were higher than ever before. My dad reversed his pre-diabetes, lowered his cholesterol by 100 points, and his blood pressure was back to a normal range. The best news came after his latest CAT scan showing him that for the first time in 6 years, he had no new cancer growth. What had previously made him feel completely out of control now became a battle that he knew he could fight.
Fast forwarding to now, my father and I have been running our own whole foods, plant-based kickstarter program here in Indiana for the local community. It has been incredibly fulfilling to arm others with this information that has unfortunately been so wrongly withheld by big pharma and the meat and dairy money giants who control our government. If you are interested in organizing or running a 21 day challenge or a plant-based diet program in your community, please send me an email for more information. I have an arsenal of tools and resources available to help you become your community wellness advocate and help make a difference in others’ lives!
You get at least three chances a day to vote for what quality of life you’d like to have and what earth you want to leave for the next generation. Each time we choose a plant-based food over the alternative we are choosing our health and wellness, animal equality and environmental protection. What are you choosing?