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Healthy Eating

Penny McPherson

Healthy Eating Article

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I have failed multiple times in my attempt to live plant-based or vegan for most of my life. But I have succeeded for the past seven years. With a progress not perfection mindset you too can understand the risks and embrace the benefits. Let me help you succeed at following this healthy lifestyle.

What exactly is a plant-based lifestyle?

A plant-based lifestyle means consuming foods from plant sources. There are thousands of plant-based food choices making it easier to avoid animal-derived elements such as eggs, dairy, or meat. When I quit my job and moved abroad, I discovered a myriad of new delectable fresh foods. Foods in a plant-based diet include vegetables, fruits, legumes/beans, grains, seeds, or nuts. It also includes byproducts of plants such as the milk from coconuts, hemp, walnuts, almonds and more. Expand your horizon of new foods and you might be pleasantly surprised.

God created man from the earth, “God created man from the dust of the ground….” Therefore, it makes sense consuming foods from the ground best matches our homeostasis needs!

In full transparency, I was an unhealthy meatless eater for years because I thought the absence of meat automatically made me healthy. Understanding that the bulk of my diet should consist of whole food, plant-based options, versus heavily processed foods, and that it is a holistic lifestyle, made a significant difference.

There are many benefits to living a plant-based lifestyle. Some of them are:

Weight control

People start thinking about their weight during sundresses and swimsuit season. Plant-based foods are a blessing to those struggling with extra pounds. According to statistics, people who lead a proper plant-based lifestyle maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).

But why is that so?

Research shows vegetables and whole grains assimilate at a relatively slower pace. Because fruits are fiber-rich, a person feels fuller longer and cravings decrease. Cravings are rewiring our brains to think we need more food when we do not. The more plant focused our diets are, the less we crave highly processed foods. Remarkably after a raw detox, my bloating, salty and sweet cravings unmistakably subside. Obesity is a contributing factor for chronic diseases. People whose diet consist primarily of plant food sources have a much lower chance of being obese. Their risk of having severe heart diseases, living with Type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, or other fatal diseases diminishes greatly.

Keeps cholesterol levels in check:

When I became committed to a plant-based lifestyle, my high cholesterol levels improved to normal levels. According to The American Journal of Cardiology, a plant-based diet may reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol by about 15 to 20 percent. By maintaining your cholesterol levels, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases can be avoided or even prevented.

Beneficial for gut health:

Plant-based food facilitates gut health by boosting beneficial bacteria present in your digestive tract. We have heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The fiber in whole fruit keeps your colon elimination on schedule which reduces health complications. Not just that. Fiber-packed plant foods also help in the enhancement of gut health.

Good gut health helps with: Strong metabolism Immunity Bowel movements Balanced appetite Summing Up Now you know why eating plants holds so much good! But wait, there is more. Did I mention this? A proper plant-based lifestyle encompasses more than healthy eating. It also means incorporating natural factors like fresh air, exercise, sunlight, sleep, drinking water, and stress management. This comprehensive approach is how we can secure the greatest benefit from living a healthier lifestyle. Unhealthy food tastes good, but nothing tastes as good as good health feels. A plant-based lifestyle is more than just avoiding meat, it is avoiding health consequences. Start by incorporating more vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, and more into your existing diet. Warmer weather is here! It means more than sundresses and swimsuits, it is the ability to look, live, and feel well. Even if you have failed before, you have permission to re-start your journey to better health. Make strides for progress not perfection, by starting where you are and starting today.

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