What is a plant based / vegan diet?
I’ve been living my life on a plant-based approach since the year 2004. During the course of 13 years I’ve noticed great changes in my life, be it on the physical level, spiritual level and emotional level. Physically I became stronger, fitter and healthier. I have experienced lightness in my body I never knew before. My hair, skin, nails became stronger and what is the most important of it all, I cured my “born with” heart disease. Spiritually and emotionally I became aware of my environment and especially what we, as society, are doing to our animals and to our mother Earth. The acts are destructive and it’s a must that we educate ourselves about the current situations the animal diet is causing in the whole world.
What is a Plant-based or Vegan diet?
A whole-food, plant-based diet is not a diet but rather a lifestyle, which does not include any animal sources and foods in our daily eating habits. There is no meat, fish, eggs and dairy, no honey. And if we go deeper no wool, silk, lather and other animal products we are using day-to-day. It is simply food based purely on PLANTS.
A whole-food, plant-based diet is based on the following principles:
- Whole food describes natural foods that are not heavily processed. That means whole, unrefined, or minimally refined ingredients.
- Plant-based means food that comes from plants and doesn’t include animal ingredients such as meat, fish, milk, eggs, or honey.
A whole-food, plant-based diet lets you meet your nutritional needs by focusing on natural, minimally processed plant foods.(3) Well rounded and healthy plant-based foods and meal plans will include all major macronutrients such as healthy carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fibers; and micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You will get all those important nutrients by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, grains and pseudograins, spices and herbs and so much more. For delicious plant-based recipes visit my Recipe section.
Plant based food is for sure not boring, tasteless or plain but rather is full of life, flavor and energy.
On the opposite side is the standard Northern/Western/American diet, which is heavily based on meat, dairy, white flour, sugar, and oil with typical fast foods like hot dogs in white buns, mashed potatoes cooked with butter, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and lots of sweets and desserts. A “healthy” Western meal might include chicken, rice, and broccoli with a bit of cheese sauce. Whether or not the meal is healthy or filled with junk food, the standard Western diet relies mostly on animal foods, dairy, refined sugars, and processed plant fragments. Sadly, the consequences of the standard Western diet are epidemic levels of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, staggering health care costs, and strain on our planet. (2) And besides that heavily processed and animal food is a dead energy food, which can take a serious tool on your body.
The Benefits of a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
There are several major benefits to moving to plant-based nutrition, all supported by excellent science. These benefits include:
- Easy weight management: People who eat a plant-based diet tend to be leaner than those who don’t, and the diet makes it easy to lose weight and keep it off—without counting calories.
- Detox and Alkalinity: Plant based food is highly alkaline and eating more of it will reduce the acidity in your body and thus eliminate diseases, which are caused by consuming animal food.
- Disease prevention: Whole-food, plant-based eating can prevent, halt, or even reverse chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer etc.
- High level of satisfaction: Nutrient-dense whole foods will keep you satiated and satisfied because they are full of important nutrients your body needs (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy proteins, carbohydrates and fats)
- A lighter environmental footprint: A plant-based diet places much less stress on the environment.
- Better stress control: The absence of healthy food in the diet is a form of stress and hinders our cellular regeneration. Our bodies run the best on nutrient-dense whole foods, which support cellular rejuvenation and help rebuild new body tissues without having to deal with obstacles created from animal foods.
Switching to plant-based or Vegan lifestyle brings as lot of positive and healthy benefits. It aims to:
- Reduce biological age
- Increase life expectancy
- Help reduce body fat and maintain lean muscle
- Increase energy without coffee or sugar
- Increase strength and endurance
- Improve productivity
- Improve mental clarity
- Improve sleep requirements
- Improve resistance to infection
- Quicken recovery from exercise
- Reduce or eliminate sugar cravings
- Increase desire to excel (1)
Plant-based lifestyle taught me a lot. It taught me how to take care of my own body when it comes to food choices. It taught me how to feel and express the much-needed compassion towards our beautiful animals. It taught me how to start caring for our environment and mother Earth. And never the less it taught me how to craft my fitness life to perfection by incorporating healthy and nutritious foods into my daily routines.
If you are someone who wants to change eating habits, lose some extra pounds, help our beautiful animals and help to heal our mother Earth, or you just wish to feel good and amazing in the body, then you should consider trying Plant-based or Vegan Lifestyle. You will fall in love with it.
- Brendan Brazier. “Thrive, the vegan nutrition guide to optimal performance in sports and life”
- Zuzka Light. “15 min to Fit”. (2015)