I just earned my Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator certification in New York City and am bursting with information to share! As you may know, in 2012 my friend Luanne introduced me to the concept of eating a unprocessed vegan diet for optimal health at about the same time Wayne’s doctor was poised to prescribe him cholesterol lowering medication. Instead, we changed our diet and within three months his cholesterol dropped significantly. Risk of heart disease reduced. No medication needed.
Ever since then I’ve been delving into the decades of research conducted so far regarding this diet (my Nutritional Science degree has been helpful in this regard). And there is indeed strong evidence that eating this way can not only prevent, but also reverse, heart disease: the number one cause of death of men and women in Canada. So despite our genes, most of us can avoid the number one cause of death simply by changing the way we eat! We can also decrease our risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers. And obesity and type II diabetes. And list goes on…
But don’t take my word for it. Watch “Forks Over Knives” on Netflix. And for a sampling of other sources of information check out:
medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Prevention/46860 – American Association of Cardiology’s President writes about the vegan diet
nutritionfacts.org – Short searchable videos by Michael Gregor, MD on health and nutrition topics
dresselstyn.com – Click on Articles to read about a clinical trial involving heart disease patients
You may wonder what people on a whole foods plant based diet eat. Well, lots of fruits, veggies, beans and whole grains. And to a lesser extent, nuts and seeds. We love the vibrant and fresh flavours of the salads, wraps, soups, stews, dips and sauces. My favourite source of recipes right now is www.ohsheglows.com (try the 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta made with whole wheat pasta).
And guess what? Shifting more toward a plant based diet is not only a blessing for the animals, but it is the single most effective step we can take to improve the environment. No wonder Victoria Moran’s upcoming book about veganism is entitled The Good Karma Diet.
I am excited to share with you some of what I am learning about the powerful and profound potential of this approach to eating. And I am curious to learn how I can best use my knowledge, skills and passion to get the word out…to plant a seed. This newsletter is my first step. Stay tuned for more with links to interesting publications and podcasts, responses to frequently asked questions and ways to incorporate more plants into a diet. Please share your feedback and ideas with me and ask me any questions. I am happy to assist.
If you are in the area, check out the London Vegfest on October 25th!
What about protein?
Experts today agree that 40 to 60 grams of protein per day is plenty. A diet of beans, whole grains, vegetables and fruits contains all the protein we need. So there is no reason to continue eating animal products for the sake of protein intake. And there is no need to combine our plant based foods in a certain way due to amino acid content.
When I want a snack, instead of reaching for the usual cookies, chocolate bars or chips, I’ve started blendering coconut water, pineapple, banana and spinach.