Plant Based

Plant Based

Plant Based

About a month ago my doctor recommended to me that I go on a plant-based diet and remove all animal fat and protein. Essentially, she said, “You must now be a vegan” but without all the dogma and righteousness. I was a little surprised at her suggestion but she sent me a long followup email with recommended reading of data about the health benefits for me to review. The reason she told me to do this is because of infrequently recurring chest pain. We tried a number of things in the past that didn’t work but the dietary change is an evidence based recommendation for improving overall health especially heart health. A plant based diet is the only diet ever shown to be able to reverse heart disease (not that I have that). She told me to read “The China Study.”

I trust my doctor, she went to a top notch medical school and knows a lot more about human physiology than I do, so I read it. The research is very compelling and strong enough to convince me that I’m done with meat, dairy and eggs. It is based on the largest and most comprehensive nutritional study ever conducted. I don’t want to go into all the gory details here, but it implicates a lot of terrible health issues with the consumption of animal protein and fat. The researcher/author, Dr. Colin Campbell, grew up on a dairy farm and had nothing to gain from his scientific discovery. He was simply curious and following the truth. If you don’t have time for the book, they did a documentary called “Forks Over Knives” that’s on Netflix. It’s like the abridged addition. There’s also Gamechangers which is a very entertaining documentary about athletes on plant based diets and features a guy who can walk while carrying four other guys!

This is not a huge leap for me. I was a vegetarian for 9 years earlier in my life. I wish now that I had continued on that path.

So I’ve been thinking about how my body is now in the process of rebuilding itself exclusively from plants, hence the picture. I feel healthier and lighter and happier overall. It’s kind of miraculous and unexpected. My endurance and energy have improved. The primary reason I’m doing this is because my doctor recommended it, but there are a lot of positive side effects, such as decreased carbon emissions, less impact on the environment, not harming animals and shedding unwanted pounds.

When you think about it, animals are the middlemen for nutrients that we can better obtain from plants. Why feed that perfectly good soybean to a cow when you can eat it yourself? Both are sources of protein, but one is more direct. How many pounds of soybeans and grains does it take to produce a pound of meat? I think of all the wild land that could be returned to wilderness with reduced consumption of animal products.

I’m just in the beginning here. If someone had told me in November that the next month I would be on a plant based diet I would be pretty shocked. It’s only been a month, but I’m feeling really good and so far the food is absolutely delicious. I’m exploring a whole new set of recipes. There wil be some things that I miss, but I feel pretty resolute in my new course, but maybe once or twice a year I might have some oysters. I’m not here to try to tell anyone what to do or to have judgement on others who want to eat meat, I’m just sharing a little about what I learned and letting you know, so that you’ll understand when you see me standing next to a bowl of hummus holding some carrots and avoiding the cheese.

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Written by jennalex

Artist and designer who explores the relationship between the natural world and the digital world and aims to create art and design that expands people's consciousness and creates meaningful experiences.

January 6, 2020