Making a change isn’t always easy! I’m sure I’ve already mentioned that I didn’t transition to a wfpb eating lifestyle. But not everyone chooses to jump straight in with both feet. Some choose to transition over time – it’s a personal choice. Some may choose to cut out meat while still eating dairy products. Others might choose to eat wfpb a few days each week or a few meals each week meat and dairy free. Some may choose to eat wfpb but still use oil and salt. For myself, I didn’t trust myself to transition, but however you decide to make the change will be right for you. I fully embraced wfpbnons (whole food plant based no oil no sugar) and have reaped the health benefits for doing so. I haven’t felt this good in so many years.
I recently spent a few days with my sister. Originally we started eating wfpb around the same time. She was off work at the time and we started the 21 day challenge, sharing the meal prep and cooking which certainlly made it easier. Since then my sister returned to work (she is a carer and has worked all through the lock down) working long hours with few days off, she has found it very difficult to maintain wfpb because of the lack of time to devote to preparing and cooking. During the few days we spent together, we prepared and cooked meals, sufficient to keep her going for a week. Four days in she admitted to feeling better, apart from what we call ‘brain fog’. Now, I’m not going to lie, going from eating a typical western diet to wfpb can result in some side effects/withdrawal symptoms. I remember having a headache for about 5 days and mild stomach pains and bloating for three weeks. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I also felt the benefits of this change immediately – no acid reflux from day one, reduced pain in my fingers and knees from day 3 and pain gone totally within 3 weeks. I don’t have numbers relating to blood pressure, cholesterol and other markers considered by health professionals to signify good health etc. but there are many testimonials out there relating to people reducing their meds or coming off medication altogether. Plants are amazing. Everyone is different of course and individual experiences will be different. All I can tell you is eating wfpbnons is the best thing I have ever done for me.
While with my sister, conversation inevitably turned to health and weight loss. We’ve both been overweight at different times in our lives. We talked about how our weight had impacted on us and how it made us feel. I know for certain being overweight destroyed my self confidence and I had very low self esteem. I know feeling this way prevented me achieving my full potential. I couldn’t rise above how being overweight made me feel – I not only judged myself but felt judged by others. My sister recognises she uses long cardigans as a way of making herself feel better about her weight. Believing that it hides her lumps and bumps – almost like camouflage!
That comment resonated with me as I have used cardigans, jackets and coats to ‘hide’ myself. Using these items like a security blanket! I can honestly say since turning to the wfpb lifestyle, I am feeling much more confident as well as being much healthier.
Code Blue – what your doctor doesn’t know will shock you!
Had to share this with you. I’ve just listened to a podcast featuring Dr. Saray Stancic (Producer of the documentary ‘Code Blue’) who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 28. Her doctor told her she’d be in a wheelchair by age 40. Twenty five years later, she takes no medication and is largely symptom free after embracing lifestyle medicine as a patient and as a practitioner. Her journey is highlighted in the recently released documentary Code Blue, directed by Marcia Machado. The film dives deep into the problems with the current health care system, from medical school curricula to the influence of Big Pharma and features experts such as David Katz, MD, Neal Barnard, MD, and T. Colin Campbell, PhD. While undergoing a traditional approach to MS, Stancic stumbled upon an article touting the benefits of blueberries for MS patients. From there she researched how nutrition affects disease outcomes. The big question here being, why is nutrition not given more emphasis in medical professional training, while lifestyle including healthy nutrition has such an amazing impact on our health and wellbeing.
Dr. Stancic also talks about a lifestyle medicine wheel consisting of 6 spokes: Follow a whole-food plant-based diet; physical activity; stress management; effective sleep hygiene; avoidance of tobacco and reduction or elimination of alcohol; and the importance of social connectedness. Each of these are important. I am yet to embrace physical activity! Stress management and effective sleep hygiene are also work in progress – but improving. Social connectedness has been a challenge during this pandemic lock down but we have still been able to connect via the wonders of technology. We have recently been able to meet friends and family again – laughter and support also being great medicine!
A Few Top Tips – to help cooking a little easier. Remember Google has lots of information to help adjusting to wfpb
- Use water or vegetable broth to saute instead of oil
- Use unsweetened apple sauce instead of eggs in muffins, cakes etc.
- Roast vegetables on parchment paper – no oil necessarily
- An air fryer is perfect for cooking chips, wedges and fries – no oil needed
If you are thinking about changing your diet, I hope I have given you some food for thought! There is such a huge amount of information out there to aid you in whatever you choose to do. Please comment if you found this post useful. Ask me anything regarding wfpb – not that I’m an expert at all, but if I can help, I will.