Do you know the significance of your food choices? What you eat can have profound effects on:
- Your own well-being (health, longevity, finances)
- The well-being of others (people and all living things) who share the earth with us
- Future generations
Let’s explore how you can live longer and better with a simple living diet!
Voluntary Simplicity in Food Choices
“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.” ~ John Kabat-Zinn
Voluntary simplicity is the perfect vehicle to help us recognize and achieve good food choices. Let’s take a look at how this works:
- Voluntary simplicity, or simple living, is purposefully reducing income and possessions in order to have a more simple, streamlined life. The idea is not to live as cheaply as possible, but instead to see just how well you can live on less.
- Many of us who subscribe to voluntary simplicity recognize that it has benefits well beyond our own self-interests.To learn more, see: Simple Living Is Better for Everyone. We care deeply about social justice; we care about the environment. These concerns dovetail nicely with the desire to create simpler lives for ourselves.
- If you are committed to reducing your consumption, you may be looking for creative ways to obtain your food in some less expensive ways.This might encourage you to grow some of your own fruits and vegetables, to buy locally produced foods, and to prepare meals with more fresh, whole ingredients.
- Eating more fresh, whole foods will greatly benefit your health.
- Buying locally produced foods will reduce energy consumption, by saving the amount of energy required to get foods from their places of origin to your table. Saving energy means there’s more to go around; it also means fewer greenhouse gasses and a cleaner environment.
- If you care about the environment, one of the single most effective things that you can do to save it is to adopt a vegan diet! From PETA’s Meat and the Environment: “Would you ever open your refrigerator, pull out 16 plates of pasta, toss 15 in the trash, and then eat just one plate of food? How about leveling 55 square feet of rain forest for a single meal or dumping 2,400 gallons of water down the drain? Of course you wouldn’t. But if you’re eating chickens, fish, turkeys, pigs, cows, milk, or eggs, that’s what you’re doing – wasting resources and destroying our environment.”
The Simple Living Diet
Characteristics of the simple living diet are as follows:
- Plant-based: A plant-based diet is a diet based on vegetables, grains, legumes and fruit
- Whole foods: Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed
Have you heard of a film called “Forks Over Knives”? Look at these reviews!
Watch the trailer!
You may also want to visit the Fork Over Knives web site. Travis Goodrich shares his personal story titled Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet for Life . He explains how the film inspired him to make the diet changes that dramatically improved his health. At the time the article was posted, on June 4, 2013, he had lost 210 pounds, going from 370 to 210, and was continuing to lose. He was able to lower his blood pressure and avoid diabetes.
Michael Greger, M.D. is a physician, author and professional speaker who scours the world’s nutrition research to bring us informative daily videos and articles. These are presented on the web site NutritionFacts.org . In his 2012 video Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, Dr. Greger offered practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in the United States. For his 2013 nutrition review, Dr. Greger discusses the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect some of our most common medical conditions. Watch More Than an Apple a Day: Combating Common Diseases.
There are a myriad of studies that support the efficacy of the plant-based diet. Web article Plant Based Diets includes a comprehensive summary of several of these studies:
- Heart Disease: Dr Dean Ornish
- Heart Disease: Dr Caldwell Esselstyn
- Diabetes: Dr Gabriel Cousens
- Diabetes: Dr Neal Barnard
- Prostate Cancer: Dr Dean Ornish
- General Practitioner: Dr Joel Fuhrman
The same web article also covers the following topics:
- What are Plant Based Diets?
- Why Plant Based Diets?
- Other Authors
- Athletes and Celebrities
- Challenges of shifting to plant based diets
- Strategies for Transition
- What are Plant Only Diets?
- Meal Examples
- Relationship with Vegetarianism and Veganism
Plant-Based Diets Promote Longevity
An excerpt from a June 3, 2013 article in thejoint.com titled Plant-Based Diets Promote Longevity:
According to a new study published in theJournal of the American Medical Association, a vegetarian diet appears to be better than a non-vegetarian one. Previous studies have linked vegetarian diets to lower risks of chronic diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, circulatory disease, and hypertension.
The study of more than 73,000 participants is the largest of its kind, and compared the longevity of meat eaters to four types of vegetarians – vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians (who eat eggs and dairy), pescetarians (who eat fish but not meat), and semi-vegetarians (who eat meat no more than once weekly). The vegetarian groups had a 12 percent lower risk of dying during the study period than the meat eaters.
Strategies for Transition to a Plant-Based Diet
Would you like to adapt a plant-based diet? Don’t pressure yourself into making an immediate switch. When I was considering a vegetarian diet, I started by limiting any meat-eating to once a day. Some families have started a tradition of ”meatless Mondays”. You should do whatever works best for you. And just think – even if the transition is a gradual one, your health will immediately start to benefit, then continue to improve right along with your diet.
Here are two excellent resources to help you transition to a plant-based diet:
Recipes on Ahh The Simple Life
You may want to check out my new recipe series Easy a A-B-C Healthy Recipes. Each chapter will feature a particular healthy food. It will include all sorts of information about that food (nutritional profile, health benefits, how to select and store, tips for preparing and cooking, how to enjoy), as well as a simple, quick, healthy and delicious recipe.
As always, I would be be delighted to hear your comments.