Happy New Year! Are you ringing in 2020 with a resolution or a solution? Why not try a solution to the diet dilemma you may have been facing this past year or for the past few years. Instead of trying a fad diet, why not go with something simple that has science backed effects. I’m talking about a whole-food, plant-based diet. We all know that when we feel good physically, everything else in life is better. So, what should we do to feel better? Eat plants!
What is a whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet?
- In a form that most closely resembles the way it grew
- Very minimally processed; the processing should be something that you could do in your kitchen
Why WFPB diet?
A WFPB diet is a nutrient dense diet. Humans have evolved for millennia to eat, digest, and use the nutrients in whole plant food. It’s only been since WWII that we’ve seen the emergence of convenience and packaged food. Processed food does not provide our bodies with the symphony of nutrients required to perform optimally and as it should.
As Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the U.S. puts it, WFPB is ONE diet with SO MANY health benefits:
- Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
- Prevention or reversal of heart disease
- Prevention or reversal of diabetes
- Longer life
- Healthier weight
- Lower risk of cancer
- May slow progression of certain cancers
- Improves symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- Fewer medications
- Lower food costs
I love this video that explains why we should care about nutrition. Evidence backed research that shows how diabetes, heart disease and obesity can be reversed, is hard to argue with.
A little inspiration goes a long ways and we can find lots of inspiring success stories online from people who have switched to a whole-food, plant-based diet. Check out some of these stories from nutritionfacts.org and nutritionstudies.org. The photos and stories at Forks Over Knives are astounding. There are cases of anxiety, acne, fibroids, high cholesterol, kidney disease and cirrhosis, all cured through a plant-based diet. These testimonies come from ordinary people who were tired of feeling sick and tired! There is nothing magic or extraordinary about how they conquered their illnesses, they all just switched to a plant-based diet and cut out the processed junk food, soda, candy and other nefarious unhealthy foods that become an addiction to so many people. Use these stories for inspiration to find your own path to health, everyone is different, but the journey always involves adding more healthy food and eliminating the junk!
Ease Into It
If adding more vegetables and grains to your diet seems daunting. Make a goal of eating one plant-based meal a week. Then move on to one plant-based meal a day. Oatmeal for breakfast counts! Don’t make it hard, start with things that are easy and that will help you create a routine or habit.
Most importantly, find a support network that will give you positive encouragement as you embark on your journey. This could be in the form of family, friends, meet-up groups, facebook groups or local clubs. You will be amazed at the resources that exist to help you make the change. Don’t think of this as another diet, think of this as a solution to the ever shifting diet advice; a lifestyle change. A change for you, for your mind, body, soul and for the planet!
Here’s to a new healthy you in 2020!