Our Standard American Diet (SAD) may not be the best choice for a long and healthy life. It contains a lot of animal sourced food like meats, eggs and dairy and all the health challenges that go along with those options.
There may be a healthier choice
More and more studies are showing that eating primarily plant-based is supportive of a longer and healthier life. Limiting animal protein can reduce inflammation, unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. There are other health benefits as well.
There is an increased risk of certain cancers with the consumption of animal products, breast cancer being one of them. Since I'm a breast cancer survivor, I'm especially interested in not having to experience THAT again.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing
Purists believe that in order to consider your diet to be plant-based, you have to eliminate all forms of animal products. In my mind that is really vegan. And that can scare people out of trying to ease into a plant-based diet.
To me, a plant -based diet is eating primarily from plants with an occasional side dish of meat or fish. Animal products should only be served as a side dish, not the main event. The food choices should be from whole, fresh foods, not from a box or can. Processed vegan foods are still junk food just like their non-vegan counterparts.
You can be an omnivore like our friends, the bears. Bears eat primarily plants with some fish and animal protein thrown in during he winter.
For about ten years I have been gravitating to a nearly vegan diet. I started out small by eliminating processed sugar, meat, then dairy and eventually egg yolks. I do occasionally eat egg whites but rarely. Sometimes I eat fish, but most of the time I follow a healthy vegan diet.
The important takeaway is that your healthy diet should consist mostly of plant based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains. If you want to consume a small amount of animal protein every so often, moderation is key.
A tougher choice
Veganism is a pretty big commitment. People who are vegan for ethical reasons not only don't eat animal products but they also won't eat gelatin or honey. They won't wear clothing made from animals or use personal care products that are tested on animals.
There is no 'wiggle room' for vegans to deviate from the lifestyle but that doesn't make it necessarily healthy. You can be a junk food vegan because there are plenty of processed food options that have no animal products in them.
The choice is yours
Whether you choose plant-based or vegan, any progress you make in removing animal products from your diet will be a step forward to a healthier lifestyle. Do a little at a time. Small incremental changes in your diet are more sustainable and much less overwhelming than a wholesale overhaul of your eating. Set yourself up for success.
Since June 2019, I decided to hold myself accountable for walking my talk. Several years ago, I was able to take off 135 pounds and essentially save my own life. I regained some of that weight in the last couple of years and I’m working my way back down.
If you choose to join me on this journey, I hope I am able to impart some nutritional and lifestyle wisdom. Even though I may have gone off the rails temporarily I can still share some of my first hand experience as well as my acquired knowledge and training to help you make the right changes to live your best life.
Do You Want Help?
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This program is open to anyone who:
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Aren’t you tired of feeling bloated and lethargic?
If you continue to follow the path you’re on, where will you be in six months? a year? Isn’t it time to take a different approach?
What you have done in the past hasn’t worked or at least has not stuck. I can help you change that. Click here for a free consultation. We’ll discuss your challenges and your goals for the coming year and see if we’re a good fit. You have nothing to lose except those nasty cravings.
I help women living with or at risk for developing heart disease or other chronic illness that we can manage through lifestyle and nutrition changes. Or maybe you're on the verge of developing heart disease, or diabetes, or another lifestyle related condition. If so, let's chat. For a free consultation with me, click here.