Going Plant-Based?

According to an article in the Huffington Post about 50 of the world’s healthiest foods, 43 of them are vegan. The other good-for-you goodies include salmon, tuna, sardines, skim milk, greek yogurt, kefir and eggs. Not surprisingly, the list was filled with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fiber-rich beans – all staples of a nutritious vegan diet. I am not there yet – I love dairy ice cream and cheese – but articles like this are constant encouragement for me and others to improve our diets. I don’t think it makes sense, nor do I think it’s realistic that everyone will stop eating animal products, but I think we can all take a lesson from this list. What if we strive to eat such nutrient dense, plant-based foods 86% of the time? That’s how prevalent these whole foods are on the 50 Healthiest Foods list…it’s a good model to follow.

Healthy Foods

In a similar vein, I was fascinated by a recent article called “The Vibrant Vegan Life of an Obesity Survivor.” Not that long ago I was considered obese by BMI standards (being short is not an asset in this equation!), so I was pleased to read about this writer’s transformation and how a vegan lifestyle helped her shed the “diet” mentality. Her words really resonated with me:

“I grew up and became a health writer, interviewing the experts for magazine articles, under the assumption that getting their knowledge firsthand would seep in and change everything. It didn’t.

The turnaround came the day I realized that, as for any addict, the drug- – in this case, food, and manufactured products pretending to be food — had me. I knew there was no escaping, that my situation was beyond the reach of my nutritionist and the library of diet and self-help books I’d collected…”

As someone who eats food (duh), thinks about it, studies it, and wants to improve the food system, I can appreciate its addictive qualities. I’ve always said that I don’t like to drink, I don’t smoke or do drugs…food is my vice. But as I get older (and approach the age at which writer Victoria Moran “became free”), I also strive to improve my relationship with food. For me, I hope it will be through a mostly vegan diet, and I hope with the kind of resources available, others will understand why.

For excellent vegan-ish resources, check out:
Forks Over Knives
Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine
Blogs: Happy Herbivore, Oh She GlowsChoosing Raw, The Kind LifePeas and Thank You (and so much more!) 

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