If you want to skip my comments and go directly to the references, just scroll down to the bottom of the page.
I know I’m supposed to be talking about hiking…but I think your health is an important component to being able to keep doing whatever you love well into later life.
America is in a health crisis. We are heavier and in worse health than we have ever been in before. Lots of it is not our fault. We are surrounded by fast food and processed food that we think is good for us and that masquerades for food. But it’s not. And we are hooked on sugar and salt and fat. There are very few of us who can say we haven’t fallen into the trap. I am one of those people too.
My journey into plant based eating started with the movie Forks Over Knives. Like everybody else, the new year is always a time we want to get healthier and I fell across the movies about juicing, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, which eventually led me to Forks Over Knives. At first, I considered it an experiment to see if better nutrition would really make a difference. Now it is a lifestyle. I’m not perfect but I’m sure in a lot better place than when I started.
We all know we need to eat more simply prepared fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The problem is we are surrounded by lots of processed foods that are okay in small doses but when the majority of our eating consists of pizza, ice cream, and potato chips/french fries, that’s when we find ourselves in trouble. I still struggle with chips! but I’ve tried to find a substitute (I still run by the chip isle at the grocery store. Sometimes it catches me). It’s definitely hard in America to know what to eat or to resist all the temptations that surround us.
Lots of people with chronic health conditions have found relief by changing to a whole food diet. Sometimes you just have to reach out and do something different to help yourself. I think it helped me to call it an experiment. I did not put the pressure on myself and gave myself the time I needed to adjust. It’s been a bit hard but it has gotten easier over time. Sometimes you are so desperate you will try anything to see if you will feel better. I hope you are not in that place but if you are my question is what do you have to lose by trying something different? You can always go back to eating like you did before.
Even if you decide this lifestyle is too extreme for you, please don’t stop trying to eat healthier and incorporate lots of whole foods in your diet. Dr. Michael Greger has come up with a list he calls the Daily Dozen, foods he likes to incorporate into his diet every day. I think that is a helpful guide. You can get it as a free app for your phone. It’s all about Kaizen! Small steps.
I decided to post some references here to web sites I like on the topic of whole foods. I’ve also added some books and movies I like. It’s also a little selfish since I don’t want to have to write things down multiple times when telling people where to look. More to come as I run across them. If you have other references you’d like me to add, please feel free to contact me through the site.
- Dr. Michael Greger
- Dr. John McDougall
- Lindsay Nixon – The Happy Herbivore
- Forks Over Knives
- Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
- Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- PlantPure Nation
- Facebook: Look for private pages about whole foods
- YouTube: Lots of videos about WFPB Diet
- An Introduction to a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet – a presentation by Dr. Lim
- Twitter: Follow your favorite doctors/sites on Twitter
- Forks Over Knives
- Eating You Alive
- PlantPure Nation
- How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger
- The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant Based Living by Lindsay Nixon
- The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn