I am sure you have heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. We tend to take it as a joke, “I ate 10 doughnuts today, so I am now a doughnut, lol”, but what if I told you that it should be taken very literally. Each meal we eat, from breakfast to dinner and the snacks we have throughout the day each either promote our health, or slowly and silently deteriorate our body. We tend to think that if we regularly exercise, manage stress, sleep enough and stay away from harmful substances like tobacco that we will be fine and healthy, but that is not necessarily true. If you do all of this, but have a diet that consists of processed food, it is all practically for nothing. Your body uses the food you eat as fuel. Imagine constantly fueling your car up with gas that has tons of bad debris and gunk in it. Overtime your car will have a buildup of all of the bad materials from the gas and it will eventually die out. That is basically what happens when we load our bodies unknowingly with processed food that is stripped of all nutrients. We are filling our bodies with things it can hardly run on, making us feel yucky and often leads to low energy levels. That is why it is so important to learn about nutrition. It not only empowers us to make wise choices, but it makes us self-aware of our bodies and more in tune with its functionality.
A Standard American Diet includes only 6% Whole Plant Food. 94% is made up of processed and animal food which assaults our bodies, leading to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. But the good news is that our body responds quickly when you put fiber-filled, nutrient-dense #plant-based foods in it, and detoxes itself in a matter of a few weeks. We tend to think that things sold in grocery stores and in restaurants can’t be that bad for us. Unfortunately, that is completely false. Many of these unhealthy foods typically don’t immediately result in diseases, but overtime they definitely have deadly results. Michael Klaper, MD presented at a conference and he asked the audience “have you ever had a thick pepperoni pizza, laden with cheese, topped off with a creamy milkshake and felt all greasy on the inside? It’s because you are!” Dr. Klaper explained that by eating fatty foods day after day, year after year, dietary cholesterol flows through our bloodstreams and causes inflammation inside our veins and arteries. After a few more years of this kind of assault on our bodies, it causes atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries. The problem is not only fatty foods. T. Colin Campbell, PhD, author of The China Study, calls fat, sugar and salt “the three devils.” The Standard American Diet (SAD) is comprised of food that is sad indeed. The acronym “SAD” is ironically perfect because compared to diets and overall health, the American Diet is by far the worst. From astonishingly large serving sizes to processed foods available at every corner, no wonder the American life expectancy is so low. We are surprised whenever we hear how people in African and Asian countries can easily live to being well over 100. The truth is it’s because their diet primarily consists of plant-based food. You are what you eat.
In case you are better with numbers, let me break The Standard American Diet (SAD) and its health effects down to figures as stated in the Plantrician Project Quick Start Guide:
A quick look at the “SAD” Facts:
- 63% refined and processed foods: empty calories that actually injure the body.
- 25% animal- based products: meat, fish, chicken, dairy products and eggs-too often filled with saturated fat and dietary cholesterol- delivering a lot more protein than needed.
- 12% plant- based foods, with up to 6% of this total derived from processed plant foods, meaning only a meager 6% of daily caloric intake comes from whole, unprocessed plant- based foods.
- We are consuming an average of 185 lbs of added sugar and sweeteners each year.
- We are consuming an average of 3,400 milligrams of salt a day, more than double the recommended amount, with the majority derived from processed food.
The Effects on our “SAD” Health State:
- 70% of Americans are overweight or obese.
- Nearly one-half of the American population will be obese by 2030, according to a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine
- Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years. 1 out of 3 American children is overweight or obese.
- 37% of our children who are not considered overweight have one or more cardiovascular risk factors.
- 70 million Americans have hypertension (high blood pressure), with elevated risk for stroke and heart attack.
- 100 million Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes, with increased risk of amputation, heart disease, and blindness
- Current trends suggest that 1 in 3 people born after 2000 will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in their lifetime (the trends for Hispanic and African Americans are 1 in 2).
- Many experts project type 2 diabetes as the future global epidemic, with diagnosis projections as high as 1 in 3 individuals from industrialized nations that adopted the Standard American Diet.
- The War on Cancer, waged by President Nixon, began over 50 years ago, yet, trends indicate that cancer is expected to become the leading cause of death in the U.S. by 2030, according to an ASOC report. We have spent years walking, running, and shopping for a cure, but we haven’t focused on what really counts: eating for a cure!
What can you do to break the cycle and provide your body with proper nutrients? It’s actually not as hard as many people think. Your body WANTS to #detox and get rid of all of the gunk in it. By eating fiber- filled, nutrient- dense plant- based foods, a lot of the things ailing you will become a thing of the past! One thing to note is that when you switch over to eating fiber- rich, plant-based food, it is common to have a few days of gastrointestinal discomfort. Don’t use that as an excuse to give up! It is simply your body getting used to the fiber-filled foods after years of process foods and dairy/ animal protein compromising your gut lining. Introducing the fiber-filled, plant- based food is a shock to our system. The good news is that our gut lining regenerates every 6 weeks!!! You can reverse all of that damage that has been done by years of processed food simply by switching over to health promoting, pure foods. You can give your body a new life by giving it time to heal and detox from the toxic things it has been laden with. If switching over to plant-based foods leaves you feeling bloated, gassy, light headed, fatigued, or with extreme cravings, KEEP GOING! That is just your body detoxing, and this only means you are right around the corner from a healthy, happy body and tummy.
- A vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients. (Plant-based diets tend to provide more fiber, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds).
- It can help you lose excess weight.
- It appears to lower blood sugar levels and improve kidney function. (Diabetics who substitute meat for plant protein may even reduce their risk of poor kidney function).
- A vegan diet may protect against certain cancers (like prostate, breast and colon cancer. Around 1/3 of all cancers can be prevented by factors within your control, like what you eat).
- It’s linked to a lower risk of heart disease. (Reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels may reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 46%)
- A vegan diet can reduce pain from arthritis. (Vegan diets based on probiotic- rich whole foods can significantly decrease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis).
Today is a new day! No better time to turn your health around than now! Today can be the day you make the conscious decision to break the “SAD” way of eating that has become a norm for Americans. The benefits of plant- based nutrition are unquestionable. By equipping yourself with nutritional knowledge, you can completely improve your lifestyle and increase your life expectancy. YOU have all of the power. A simple decision like cutting out processed foods can literally turn your life around. Those aches and pains and constant feelings of lethargy that is a common side effect from eating nutrient- depleted food can quickly turn into vibrant energy. A big factor for people when it comes to switching diets is the convenience. Many are dissuaded from switching to a plant-based diet due to the notion that it would require too much cooking and work. If that is your concern, I have great news! There is a delicious plant-based meal option available to you that requires zero prepping, cooking or cleaning. #Veestro meals are 100% plant-based, unprocessed, whole foods that are fully cooked and ready to eat. You simply need to pop the meals into the microwave or oven to heat them up and enjoy. If it is THAT easy to turn your health around, why not start TODAY!
The Plantrician Project, planning the seed of change, Plant Based Nutrition Quick Start Guide