Sunday, August 20, 2017

Health and Wellness: Starting the Journey

Blog 5.0: How to start the journey to a plant based lifestyle--Part 1:

Whether you got the inspiration to start your personal journey to a plant based lifestyle from a friend, from a movie, or this blog, we are glad that you are taking this all important first step. We hope to provide practical tips and resources that will ease the transition. Before embarking on any adventure, you need to figure out where you are and where it is that you want to go. So, set clear goals. Do research on how to attain those goals. Put together an action plan. And, then GO FOR IT!

First and foremost, educate yourself. If you have not watched the movie, What The Health, DO IT! It’s available on Netflix. This movie will not only give you a crash course on harmful effects of animal foods and the healing power of plant foods, but it will inspire you to change your lifestyle. Other movies that are informative and inspirational are Forks Over Knives and Eating You Alive. If you like to read, these books are a wonderful source--Plant Based Journey by Lani Muelrath; Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran; 21 day Weight Loss Kickstart by Dr. Neal Barnard and China Study by T. Colin Campbell.

Announce it to your friends and family, that you are making this shift. Even if no other person joins you on this journey, hopefully, they can at least be supportive of your decision. And, if they ask you, why are you doing this? Where will you get your protein? With the wealth of knowledge, you have accumulated, you can provide an answer calmly and rationally. Seriously, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE PROTEIN. If you are getting enough calories and you eat a reasonably well balanced diet, you will get enough protein. Your caloric need for protein is about 8-10% of total calories consumed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234922/
Coincidentally, a well balanced plant based diet contains roughly 10%  protein. https://www.forksoverknives.com/meeting-protein-needs-simply-by-eating/#gs.8rT4wN4


Well balanced diet: Eat lots of whole grains, such as whole grain cereals and whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, quinoa and brown rice. Lots of legumes(beans, lentils, peas etc.). Lots of roots (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots etc.). Lots of vegetables--green leafy ones, red, white, purple, orange--whatever color vegetable you like. And, of course fruits. In addition to being healthy snack foods, they can serve as a dessert at the end of a meal. Enjoy seeds(flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds) and nuts(walnuts, almonds) in moderation. Also, many people find that making smoothies, soups, and juices are an easy way to get many servings of fruits and veggies in their diet.

Let your doctor know, especially, if you are taking any prescription medications, that you are transitioning to a healthier diet. Once you start losing weight and your body starts healing from the wonderful foods, your doctor will need to reduce the dosage of many medications such as medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc. Even if you are not taking any medicines on a regular basis, get your numbers checked, cholesterol, blood sugar, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D etc. And, recheck these numbers when you have stuck to your new lifestyle for a while. If you are looking for a physician who is plant based and understands and supports plant based lifestyle, you can find one by using this website. https://www.plantbaseddoctors.org/

Go at your own pace - some people prefer leaps and others take baby steps. There is no wrong way. We will continue with more tips in Part 2 of this blog. We will publish Part 2 in one week.

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