Getting on the Plant-Based Train to Health
Well, the plant-based lifestyle phenomenon is exploding right now. You can’t go on Netflix without scrolling onto a new documentary about the craze. Supermarket vegan sections are popping up left and right. The plant-based product stock market is booming. I know some of you might find that annoying as you don’t understand why it’s a good thing to get on the plant-based train, and I totally hear you, change is always hard. I’d like to take this opportunity since I have you here reading this article, to share 5 ways how the plant-based diet can change your life and that of the planet.
I myself, have been a plant-based eater for almost 3 years now (I’ll be celebrating my veganniversary in March), I didn’t plan on becoming one. I actually thought not eating meat would starve me. I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it, and whoever was vegan must have been born with some kind of a special gene for perseverence.
In fact I tried the lifestyle once a few years ago for 1 month, and it ended up with me getting the shakes. I ended up needing to immediately consume a large amount of meat, to satisfy this intense hunger I was feeling. Looking back at that moment I know exactly why that happened. For that month, I was living on potato chips, frozen vegan meals and instant noodles. I did not once cook a meal for myself, or attempted to eat some whole foods. That caused me to get extremely nutrient deprived. At the time, I blamed the vegan diet for not being sustainable for me, rather than evaluating the poor quality of my meal choices.
After that experience I did not consider changing my diet again for a while, until I realized that what we put into our bodies affects our well being. At the time, I was struggling with multiple symptoms including psoriasis, severe gut issues, brain fog, fatigue and memory loss. I started learning about how a diet change, a mindset shift and exercise can drastically change your health. I decided to get on on board, this time do this diet thing right and see what happens.
It has not been an easy journey to say the least. I still struggle with eating mainly whole-food meals. But I strive for progress, not perfection. I think that’s an important idea to remember, life is not perfect, but making even the slightest progress can improve its quality.
The lifestyle change, has helped me with fatigue, brain fog, memory loss and other symptoms. I still struggle with psoriasis and some gut issues, but I am taking it one day at a time, and trust the process with some additional changes will help me heal. But enough about me! This article is for YOU.
Here are 5 reasons, why changing to the plant-based diet might be right for YOU and is definitely right for our planet.
1. It will make you healthier. All the nutrients you need are provided by the vegan diet. Yes, even the controversial B12 vitamin is in fact bacteria-based, found mostly in dirt and soil. Therefore, vegetables are a better source of B12 since they come from the soil directly. It is best to look for organic, farmers market or self-grown options, in order to get the best quality products. Of course it can be easy to eat a highly processed plant-based diet, I’ve done so myself. However, being vegan will make you more conscious of the quality of ingredients you put in your body.
2. It conserves water. Livestock drink the most and pollute our fresh water sources. There are hundreds of millions of people around the world with no water access. Limiting livestock production, would cause more water to be available. In fact, It takes 100 to 200 times more water to raise a pound of beef than it does to raise a pound of plant foods.
3. It purifies the air. Global warming is a serious threat to our planet and the future of humanity. Increased plant production will help clean our polluted air. Also, all the livestock in the world cause more air pollution than all the cars, buses, planes, ships and other modes of transportation in the world combined.
4. It is more ethical. After changing my diet and adopting my dog, my mindset on consuming other animals has completely shifted. Animals are extremely gentle, intelligent and loving creatures. They do not deserve to be raised for slaughter. They shouldn’t suffer from birth to death.
5. It is delicious. It may be hard for some to imagine what a plant-based diet meal may look like. I get those questions a lot, “what do you eat in a day?”, “aren’t you tired of eating salad?”. Most people don’t realize that no matter what your favorite meal is, you can have a plant-based equivalent of it. I don’t have to worry about missing out on Polish food or my favorite tapas. I may never again taste the real Jamon Iberico, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the vegan alternative is already out there on the market.
Well there you have it. I hope you consider making a switch or some changes. Even switching to eating one plant-based meal a day, can help make you healthier and help the planet.
According to Suzy Amis Cameron, If you eat just one plant-based meal a day for a year, you’ll save almost 200,000 gallons of water and the pollution equivalent to about 3,000 miles driven in your car (that’s roughly a trip from NYC to LA). And, if everyone in the U.S. reduced their meat and dairy intake by just 50 percent, it would be equal to taking 26 million cars off the road.
Disclaimer: This post is meant for educational purposes, not medical advice.