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It Doesn't Have to Be All or Nothing

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.

My Story

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?

Would you like to have more energy, lose weight, sleep better, and balance your hormones? I am launching another  5 week Sugar Detox Program beginning February 5th.

This program is open to anyone who:

  • would like to get control of their sugar cravings
  • feel better
  • have an abundance of energy
  • and an overall increase in well-being.

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.

6 Comments

  1. Victoria Juster on January 19, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    Karen, this is such important information. My diet is pretty clean although occasionally I go off the rails with sugar. You're so right about the affect it has. Without it I sleep better, have more energy and clearer thinking. Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen on January 19, 2022 at 6:34 pm

      I have a whole program on sugar detoxing because it's such a big problem with people. It's good you connect the impact of sugar with how you feel.

  2. Samantha T on January 19, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I have to admit I enjoy meat and never thought a plant-based burger (for example) would taste ANYTHING like a regular burger. Well I have my first one last weekend and I was pleasantly surprised. It was really good. I usually douse my burgers with BBQ sauce or something but tried it without any sauce and it was still very good. I don't know how other items taste, but I would gladly eat another burger anytime. Thanks for sharing and the info.

    • Karen on January 19, 2022 at 6:45 pm

      I don't really recommend the meat substitutes because they are highly processed. There are plenty of plant based options that have no resemblance to meet but are quite tasty. Try some of the recipes I've been posting. You might find that you don't even miss the taste of meat.

  3. Lily Leung on January 20, 2022 at 8:55 am

    Our traditional diet is rice and vegetables. Meat is expensive and a luxury so that small amounts are used to flavour the vegetable dish. However as the economics got better, we have gone the way of the West with lots of meat. It's a sign of wealth. I hope the tide has turned and we go back to the old ways. I am trying and experimenting with less meat and more veggies. I cannot be a vegan.

    • Karen on January 20, 2022 at 1:44 pm

      Lily...you can eat primarily plant based and move your health in the right direction. If you feel you need to eat meat from time to time, listen to your body and do what is best for you.

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