Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why I eat a low fat, whole foods plant based diet

Yeah, I know...I can hear it already-"here she goes again". Karen is up on her soapbox. Yep, I am. I am because I truly want people to know the benefits of a healthy plant based vegan diet. 

A few months ago I found out that one of my customers who was a 49 year old woman dropped dead of a massive coronary while taking care of her mom who has cancer. Women often have little to no symptoms before they have a heart attack. Men typically do, but for women it's not always the same signs and they either are missed or they don't exist. I was shocked, flabbergasted and felt so sad that I'd never see her again. I didn't get up to see her very often, but she was a joy to work with and training was always fun when I went to her lab. 

I don't want that to be me...EVER. I don't have heart disease, I'm not sure if my customer was having issues or was on any type of medication. But the reality is, whether heart disease runs in your family or not, whether you currently have heart disease or not, you CAN reverse it. And most of can prevent it. 

I know, I don't have heart disease. You are healthy, why should you make a change? Well, in 50% of cases, the first sign of heart disease is a massive coronary that is fatal (yeah, you die and that is your first warning sign). So you may have heart disease and not even know it. 50% of cases...those are odds that I don't want to be part of. No, I'm not trying to live forever. I'm trying to live a healthy life, free of health issues, free of medication so that if I live to 90 or 100, I am still strong of mind, body and health. I don't want to spend my elderly years sick or feeble. I want to be able to live a long healthy life free from disease. 

I know people want to hear this but they also don't want to hear it because it means that they have to make changes. I know that you would rather take a pill instead of change how you eat. I can't say I understand that idea, but I know that the prevailing feeling is that it's easier to take a pill than to change your way of eating. Even though that pill may cause major side effects that cause you to have to take another pill to cure those side effects. I get it. I know that after all the years of eating the same way, it seems inconceivable that you could revamp what you eat and how you eat. 

But why wouldn't you? Here's what I have heard over and over again. 
  • It is too hard
  • My family would never go for it
  • It's easy for you, you are single, you don't cook for anyone else
  • I can't eat one way when everyone else eats another way
  • People would think I'm weird
  • It would be too hard to eat out
  • I would rater die 10 years earlier and continue to eat the way I eat than to never eat (insert your favorite here - "bacon" "cheese" "meat" "milk" "eggs" again)
We have known for over 100 years that meat consumption is bad for us. This isn't a new trend. It was published long ago. Here's an article from 1907: 
1907 New York Times article shows that meat causes cancer

We also know that you CAN prevent and reverse heart disease

No one can make the choice for you, I realize that. But maybe, just maybe you'll take the time to read, research and make a change. Whether you go cold turkey (like I did, pun intended) or you take baby steps, changing to a whole foods plant based diet is the way to do. 

For the animals, for your health, for the planet...

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