Congratulations on either going plant-based or at least thinking about it. Once you truly make the leap, your health will improve dramatically. You will feel energized, lose weight, sleep better, probably be able to get off of your medicines, reverse disease, spare the suffering of animals, and help save the environment. So why aren’t more people doing this? Apparently, people love the taste of cooked animals and the fluids that come out of their bodies. I used to be one of them.
The first thing I want you to know is I’m a gal who likes to eat. You are in good hands. I’m not one of those skinny, puny women who runs ten miles a day and chases a lettuce leaf around her plate and tells you how stuffed she is. No sir. I think about food constantly. One time in yoga when my mind was supposed to be blank, I was deciding what I would have for lunch. I accidentally blurted out, “yum” and had to pretend I said OM. There may not be a person on earth who loved cheese or any type of chip/dip situation more than I did.
All that being said, I’m going to break some news to you. If you want to live to be old, very old, and still be a vibrant, youthful person whose mind is there and whose body is still healthy, you’ve got some choices to make. Mainly, you are going to have to choose to adopt a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet. Don’t stop reading! I have discovered some stuff and I’m going to tell you how to do this without feeling deprived. In fact, you’ll likely be able to eat more than you are eating now, without guilt.
Trust me, you can change and never miss it. You can find a healthy plant-based substitution for any food that you love.
I follow Dr. Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (PRHD) plan. The premise is that you can reverse heart disease (most diseases) by eating a low-fat, WFPB diet; no animal products of any kind – no red meat, poultry, pork, fish, antelopes, jaguars, no eggs or dairy (yes, that means no cheese, cottage cheese, milk, half and half, sour cream, cream cheese, yogurt etc.). As they say in the book, if it had a face or a mother or came from something with a face or a mother, it’s off limits. You also may not eat any kind of oil. Yes, that includes olive oil and any other type of oil that is running through your panicked little mind right now. If you are trying to reverse heart disease stay away from nuts, coconut and coconut products, avocado and limit your seed intake. They are too high in fat.
The PRHD program has a proven track record. The initial group of patients in the study all had severe heart disease. Five were told they only had a year to live.
According to Dr. Esselstyn, “Twelve years later 17 compliant patients had no further cardiac events. Adherent patients survived beyond twenty years free of symptoms.”
Here is a link to the information from Dr. Esselstyn, in his own words if you want to read a more in-depth explanation of his study and others. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5466936/
Let’s get to it. What can you eat? Any and all fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, brown rice, barley, buckwheat, bulgar, spelt, quinoa, and millet to name a few, and legumes which include peas, beans, and lentils.
I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I promise that you can make amazing combinations out of those things that translate into delicious, but healthier versions of the foods you are accustomed to eating. I am talking about burgers, pizza, Reuben sandwiches, tacos, etc.
I never thought that I would be eating this way. If you would have told me that before 2015, I would have said, “You can rip the brie out of my cold, dead hands.” I wasn’t ready. You have to be ready. You will know if you’re ready because nothing will stop you. And if something does stop you, you’ll get right back to this way of eating.
I recommend that you go all in and don’t dabble in a WFPB diet. You have to go through a short period of adjustment where your taste buds are reborn. They begin to see the whole-food, plant-based way of eating as delicious and unadulterated. However, I’d rather you do any amount of this than none at all. Moderation is not the key when it comes to reversing disease, but do your best! I’m so happy you are here. Be sure to download my free 3-day meal plan and grocery list to get you started!
Love your writing and the great picture of you with Dr. E!
I need help with breakfast foods – I am open to thinking of leftover veggies for bfast but tofu scramble isn’t enough.
How is Gluten Intolerance addressed in your recipes. Are there ones that don’t include wheat or wheat related grains..?
I don’t specifically address gluten intolerance. When/if you subscribe to my email list I will send you recipes that you can amend. If you take my class I address how to amend any recipe. I am sure you are well-versed in what flours/grains you can tolerate and can use those. Thank you for your question!