Food is medicine, and your body is a temple.
Though it may sound cliché, the principle is true. We are making strides but are still facing an alarming epidemic in our country: the widespread reliance on prescription medications represent bandages covering a much larger problem. Here to heal this damage is the long-overdue, plant-based revolution. When you decide to live a plant-based lifestyle, you are solely consuming vegetables, grains, legumes, etcetera, and other foods derived from plants rather than animals. By embarking on this plant-powered journey, you can feel and see the healing properties of food and how it makes a significant player in the prevention of disease.
Food choice directly affects your long term health, mood, brain function, and overall productivity. Ask Novak Djokovic, Venus Williams, or Tom Brady; some of the top athletes in the world have chosen a plant-based diet and most report its beneficial, life-changing effects. We need to shift our mindset from short-term visuals to long-term health.
It’s time to debunk the myths that come with the suggestion of adopting a plant-based lifestyle. One of the most common misconceptions surrounds protein; if we don’t consume meat, we’ll waste away. Protein is undoubtedly important, but meat is not the only source from which we can obtain it. Most leafy greens actually contain more protein than meat. Spinach, for example, provides 12 grams of protein per 100 calories. That’s more than ground beef. Moreover, individuals should pay closer attention to how much fiber they consume rather than their protein intake, as it plays a major role in our gut health (directly connected to our immune system and how many nutrients we absorb).
I know that there is an elephant in the room: “How am I supposed to survive off of lettuce and carrots?” A plant-based lifestyle may offer the most diversity flavor-wise and ingredient-wise across the board. All you need is a little curiosity. Try a chocolate cherry smoothie, maybe a kimchi tofu bowl with avocado, not to mention a kale and cranberry salad, and even vegan chicken nuggets. Yes, there are plant-based nuggets. The options are absolutely endless. The only requirement is a recipe and an open mind.
All generations can benefit from understanding how foods directly influence their health. Science agrees. Only plants contain phytochemicals that protect and heal your body. Tofu has all seven essential amino acids our bodies need and is yet another complete protein. Calling all dark chocolate enthusiasts! Cacao helps tame inflammation within your body. And the queen of superfoods? Kale sports one of the world’s best sources of Vitamin K and powerful antioxidants. The list goes on. Every food that you eat is either fueling inflammation or fighting it. What do you choose? I have a passion to help teach that food is truly medicine.
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” –Ayurvedic proverb
Before taking any medical/dietary advice, always seek advice from a healthcare professional such as a doctor or a nutritionist.