You may have stumbled upon to this site for a number of different reasons. My hope is you have found my little corner of the web to be a resource for different tips and nuggets that help you believe that living a plant-based lifestyle is possible… despite the pushback you may receive from others, or more importantly from yourself.
On the days where you’re coming together with family, friends or coworkers to celebrate an event and you try to load up on the veggie tray without cleaning it out, and do your best to go unnoticed as you peek at the packaging on a bag of chips to make sure you can eat it, you may question why you’ve given yourself this challenge. Combining moments of personal doubt with situations of interrogation by others about your choices can really leave you feeling overwhelmed or even defeated.
In challenging moments it’s good to come back to the basics and remember why you decided to pursue this lifestyle to begin with, and continue to learn more about the impact of your choices. The good news is the impact a plant-based diet has is multi-faceted and there is so much information to explore.
When I first made the shift to a plant-based diet I was drawn to the impact eliminating meat and dairy products would have on my health. As I did additional research and learned more, I discovered my grocery trips were also making an environmental and humane impact. In addition to providing tips and tricks, I plan to take a look at the different effects of a plant-based diet.
These bites of information can be added to your knowledge bank to pull out as answers when other’s ask about your eating habits, or serve as reminders when we question ourselves. Let’s start at the very beginning in this post, where it all started for me… health.
1. Cancer and Disease
A plant-based diet helps prevent, and in some cases reverse, chronic diseases including heart disease, lung disease, brain disease, cancer and diabetes.
2. The Dairy Debate
Dairy products contain concentrated, disease-promoting and nutritionally compromised calories. Cheese is calorie-dense, and loaded with saturated fat. Cheese also contains casomorphins – an opioid peptide (protein fragment) derived from the metabolism of casein … which is why so many people have trouble giving it up.
3. But How do You get Your Protein?
You can get all the protein you need from a plant-based diet. We think we need more protein than we actually do. According to the World Health Organization 4.5% of calories should come from protein in an average person’s daily diet. Most Americans consume 20% or more calories from protein daily. (Think about some of the strongest animals that are herbivores; elephants, gorillas, hippos and bison.)
Everything in an animal-product based diet can be found in a safer and healthier form in a plant-based diet, with the exception of B12. B12 can be supplemented with a vitamin and is found in many plant-based milks and cereals fortified with B12.
5. Overall Health
You will likely find a whole food plant-based diet leaves you feeling lighter, and makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Whole foods are nutrient dense, and naturally low in calories, fat, and processed sugar, and higher in fiber than animal derived food. Eating a plant-based diet can also impact your health in a number of ways including boosting your immune system, and benefiting your skin.
A lot of this information you might have already heard. If you are hearing things for the first time and find yourself skeptical, that’s great. I encourage you to dive into the subject in question a little deeper and develop your own conclusion. There is so much information out there to be learned. At the end of the day the big win is being informed about what we put in our bodies, and knowing there is purpose in our choices.