veggies + such: thoughts on food.

January 19, 2012

I wasn’t sure if I should post this. I felt nervous about writing it out, and mostly about sharing it with all of you. You see, I eat a plant-based, whole foods diet (or, in simpler terms, vegan). I’ve been a vegetarian for several years, but didn’t make the switch to eating entirely plant-based until one night in September when Brian and I watched Forks Over Knives.

Since I get a lot of questions from people about how we eat, I thought it might be helpful to explain my reasons for adopting what some might consider an extreme way of eating.

Reduce risk for disease.
People who eat a vegan diet live longer and have significantly reduced risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Enjoy more energy.
Waking up is easier (which is wild for a morning person like me), and daily tasks seem easier to accomplish. Coffee has become a simple joy that I drink sometimes, rather than a daily caffeinated requirement.

Prevent osteoporosis.
My grandmother (among a few women in my life) has this terrible disease that fills her with pain every day, and it’s something I never want to deal with. Bone health depends on a balance of neither too much or too little protein, adequate calcium intake, high potassium, and low sodium. With a healthy vegan diet, all four of these points set a perfect scenario for preventing osteoporosis. Also, it should be noted that while dairy does contain calcium, it creates an acidic environment in the body which actually ends up stealing calcium from your bones in order to create a more neutral environment.

Find a healthy weight.
It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my weight over the years. I’ve been too skinny from restrictive dieting and over-exercising, and I’ve gone to the other end of the spectrum by emotionally eating and bingeing on high-sugar and high-fat foods. I’m happy to say that those days are behind me. Through eating a plant-based diet, I finally have a firm grasp on my true hunger, and I also am free from calorie-counting and weight-watching. I’m free to just be Natalie.

Some helpful links for the curious (truly my inspiration for this post!)…
>> 20 reasons to go vegan
>> why becoming a vegan was the best thing i ever did
>> why being vegan is easy

My favorite veggie cookbooks and recipe sites for the domesticated (or those who aspire to be)…
>> The Happy Herbivore Cookbook
>> The Kind Diet

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