Why I’m going Plant-Based

One giant step for Andy!

I grew up a meat and potatoes kinda girl. A South African with English parents pretty much gaurentees that meat is always on the menu and vegetables were optional to say the least. The BBQ’s, the roast dinners and the greasy bacon sandwhiches. Everything a food-loving gal like me could want.

Until I step on a scale.

For most of my teenage and adult life I have struggled with weight issues. I was always the bigger girl but it wasn’t until I arrived in Canada that my weight ballooned. According to Stats Can 3 in 5 Canadian people are considered overwiehgt or obese. And that number is only growing. In fact all over the Westernized food weight issues is becoming on on the biggest health issues that is helpigng to contribute to the two biggest killers Heart disease and Cancer.

I am tired of just being another statistic.

For the past four years, I have made resolutions to finally lose the weight. To become the person I have always wanted to be. Now I am not saying you shouldn’t love your body nor should you strive for the film star body. But for me I am tired of been sick, fatigued and overweight.

Despite making these promises to change, I rarely ever do instead falling back to my old habits because they were easy. It was known. But this is the year of change right?

The Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet has been a growing trend in recent years as more and more people try to turn to nutriotion to improve their health and lifestyle. Made mainstream thorugh media such as the China Study by Colin Campbell, the Forks over Knives documentary and the PlantPure Nation initiative to name a few. The benefits are astounding.

According to these resources and a number of medical professionals, this lifestyle is the only one that can not only prevent heart diesease but reverse it too. And who doesn’t want to keep their heart healthy?

Now I won’t go into to much detail as I am still learning as I go so think of this post as more of a starting point to why I am starting and as time progresses, then I will post more about what I learn.

fruit and vegetable (image from her campus.com)

So what does Whole Foods, Plant Based mean?

Essentially WFPB (Whole Foods, Plant Based) is a diet where no animal byproduct or refined food is consummed. Only plant based products such as leafy greens, veggies, fruits and non-refined grains are eaten. So essentially a vegan right?

Well yes and no. Veganism is defined as the practice of abstaining from the use of animal byproducts in a diet. But many vegans do not partake in the Whole Foods side of things. In fact vegans and vegatarians can still be very unhealthy because not all foods that are labeled as Vegan are healthy. Potato chips are vegan but they sure as heck aren’t doing you any good.

A plant based diet, if done right, can also be incredibly environmentally friendly. Most of our habitat destruction and environmental issues surround the animal food prodcution industry. Mono cropping to feed the cows that we eat. The massive amounts of water that go into producing one pound of food.

According to foodtank.com it takes to 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. One pound of pork takes 576 gallons of water. As a comparison, the water footprint of soybeans is 216 gallons; corn is 108 gallons. That’s a lot of water especially considering in most parts of the world water is becoming rather scarce.

And if it saves a couple hundred cows, chickens and pigs in the long run then heck yeah I’m in!

So why now?

I have tried to do this for a number of years but never really stuck to it. But last year I cut out diary from my diet, only enjoying cheese when needed. I also almost entirly cut out beef from my diet. I continuosly noted how much better I felt when my meal wasn’t ladened with meats and heavy fats.

But the biggest issues are my weight gain and my overall health. For months I have suffering from reoccuring colds and respiratory issues, fatigue and insomnia. And if I am to take control of my life then that means my health too.

Slowly does it!

Now I know going cold turkey is hard so I am weaning myself off my current diet until I feel like I am able to substain the WFPB lifestyle without hassle. I have also decided that I will not be ‘militant’ in the way I see food. Instead if I am out with friends and they order pizza then I will allow myself to indulge in a small piece.

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