Why switch to a plant-based Diet?
Choosing whole-foods & plant-Based meals.
Growing up, a meal wasn't a meal unless there was meat involved.
Veggie-based dish? Nope, that's just a side.
A standard Sunday dinner at my house might be an iceberg lettuce salad with a few veggies (covered in ranch dressing), pork chops, mashed potatoes, green-beans, some bread, and if we were really lucky, ice cream for dessert. We made a lot of hamburger helper during the week, and if my dad was traveling, sometimes we'd even have breakfast for dinner, which meant scrambled eggs (with a few bits of red pepper and onion mixed in), bacon, and maybe even some pancakes - a rare treat!
We followed the traditional mid-western farm menu. Where meat was the main ingredient for most meals, 'because you needed your protein.' You drank milk, 'because you needed your calcium, so you could grow big and strong', and you ate a few veggies, 'because they were good for you'.
While most of us like to believe we eat health(ish) meals, most American meals are still aligned to the traditional food guide pyramid, which includes 4-6 servings of dairy, eggs, meat, or poultry a day. Research shows that eating animal products - especially meat and eggs - is a lot less healthy for us (and our environment!) than we'd like to think. And it turns out we can get enough protein, calcium, calories, and often even save money by eating a plant-based diet.
common misconceptions about plant-based diets.
eating a plant-based diet is much better at preventing (and reversing!) chronic diseases - and is better for our environment.
Most deaths in the United States are preventable and related to nutrition.
Well it's true that we will all die someday, wouldn't you rather your spend most of your days enjoying optimal health? According to the Center for Chronic Disease there are 15 leading causes of death in the United States, with the number one killer being heart disease.
A whole-food, plant-based diet is the only diet that has been proven to reverse heart-disease - yet because eating meat is 'normal' just like smoking was in the 1950's, most health organizations won't come out and directly say, 'stop eating animal products'.
But just because something is 'normal' doesn't mean it's good for us.
Advocates for happier, healthier eating.
Dr. Michael Greger - an advocate and author for whole-food, plant-based diets - shares how a plant-based diet can prevent and reverse the effects of the 15 leading causes of death in the USA.
Entitled, How Not to Die (prematurely), Greger shares how we each have tremendous power over our health destiny - that how we eat and how we live is largely a matter of choice.
How to Cook Whole-Food, Plant-Based Meals You'll Love.
Nostalgia is strong. Making the switch from meat-based meals takes effort. While I still love a lot of the meals I grew up eating, I'm happy to make the switch to a plant-based diet because I know that I have a choice in my longevity, and my quality of life.
If you're not ready to go all in, I suggest you try Meatless Mondays.
If you're ready to make the change, use a resource like Forks over Knives - Plant-Based Primer: The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Plant-Based Diet to help you prep your menu.
Many people find it helpful to clear out their cupboards of the foods that will make sticking to your new plan harder, and I recommend you give your new diet at least a month!