This is the biggest obstacle to changing over to a plant-based diet--most people who hear about it don't seriously consider it--DESPITE the truly IMPRESSIVE health benefits. I find people that think like this--they're curious about it, but know they would never give up meat--no matter how much I talk to them, I am not going to change their mind.
These people just have to TRY a plant-based diet for one month for themselves. That's it, just one month. These people have been eating cheeseburgers for their whole life--a month without them won't kill them. However, a month isn't enough time to get all the long-term benefits from eating this way, but it is long enough to discover at least four things:
- There are some great foods you can eat in a plant-based diet that you probably may never have discovered. You will be eating LOTS of great, delicious food.
- It's not as bad as you anticipate. Some people take to this diet and run with it--they LOVE it!! However, others may take months to fully adjust to it--and that's great too. Almost everyone will find that it's a lot easier than they thought.
- You will FEEL better. Even after only a month, most people will feel better and will LOSE WEIGHT. I ask people to have their blood work done prior to starting and again after a set period of time. Odds are, you'll see a significant improvement in even that period of time.
- Most importantly, you will find this is POSSIBLE. You can do this if you choose to...everyone should have excellent health....it's all about what's on the end of your fork!
The first month can be challenging, but it gets much easier after that. And for many people, it becomes a pleasure! I know this is hard to believe until you experience it yourself, but your tastes change when you are on a plant-based diet. You begin to discover new flavors in much of your food that were dulled when you ate a primarily animal-based diet. And, this may be hard to believe, but your body will start CRAVING vegetables and fruits because it's what your body NEEDS.
If you decide to try a plant-based diet for one month, here are a few tips:
- In the long-term, plant-based eating is CHEAPER than an animal-based diet..but as you learn you may spend a little extra money trying things--do it--YOU are worth it!
- Eat well. If you eat out often, there are more choices on the menu than you may think. Many restaurants offer vegetable based dishes, however, if there is nothing you see on the menu you like, often times I ask for a combination of vegetables, greens, a whole grain, baked potato, etc., and make up my own "dish". I have not yet had an issue with any restaurant. Every time I've done this, everyone was extremely accommodating and happy to do it!!
- Eat enough. One of your health goals may be to lose weight--that's fine, and on a plant-based diet you will eat better than you ever have. But, don't hold back--whatever you do, don't go hungry---there is no need to--when you are filling up on vegetables and fruits, they are nutrient DENSE and LOW in calories---it doesn't get any better than that!
- Eat a variety. Mixing it up is important for getting all the necessary nutrients and for maintaining your interest in the diet. If you continually eat the same thing, you will get bored after a while.
Making the transition my be a challenge---that's OK, it takes time and effort to break old habits. Sometimes there are psychological barriers--family and friends may not be supportive in the beginning--that's OK too--remember, not everyone can be "convinced" to give this a try. As I mentioned before, some people continue to see this as a "crazy" way to live, but that's because we have all been "taught" how "important" meat and dairy is for us--it has been ingrained in us for as long as we have been living. However, look at the health crisis this country is facing--we have epidemics of obesity and diabetes...heart disease continues to be the #1 KILLER in America with cancer being #2--what we are doing IS NOT WORKING!
However, all the nutritional science data, research and clinical studies with thousands of people participating, have proven eating a whole food plant based diet is THE DIET for OPTIMAL HEALTH. To be able to PREVENT disease from starting, to STOP disease from progressing, and to many times REVERSE the damage that has been done, doesn't seem "crazy" to me at all---it is nothing short of MIRACULOUS!
The beauty of all this is, you take control of your health with the food you put in your mouth. Give your body all the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (found only in plant foods) it MUST have to function correctly, and you will have EXCELLENT HEALTH!
No doctors or pills required......