For health

The science is clear.  A well planned whole food plant-based diet is the best way to ensure optimal physical and mental health as well as longevity.  In 2019, Canada made a controversial announcement.  They presented us with their latest Canada Food Guide.  How can a food guide be controversial?  By listening to nutrition experts, scientific data coming from over 100 systematic reviews on food topics and listening to the best balance of evidence while ignoring lobbyists, industry-commissioned reports and big corporations wanting to push their products, that's how.  Experts finally removed the Dairy food group, and made water the drink of choice.  Then they removed the Meat food group and replaced it with a Protein food group encouraging more plant-based sources of protein.  They encouraged eating the rainbow, referring to eating a variety of colors of fruits and veggies, understanding that the colors are the vitamins and antioxidants.  Go Canada!

By ignoring food companies, commodity groups and lobbying boards, Health Canada based their recommendations on the most up-to-date science available at the time.  The science on health outcomes of dietary patterns is out there, and it's just a matter of time before others follow suit.  

Studies have shown time and time again that a whole food plant-based diet will improve health outcomes.  Studies have shown reduction in the risk of the following diseases:

  • cancer

  • diabetes

  • cardiovascular disease (strokes, heart attacks, angina, heart failure)

  • hypertension

  • dyslipidemia (high cholesterol)

  • obesity and its complications (sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, etc...)

  • inflammatory diseases

  • allergies

  • cataracts

  • diverticular disease

  • kidney disease

We have meta-analysis confirming reductions in morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases.  We have systematic reviews proving the rates of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia and obesity are lower in people on a plant-based diet.  We have studies showing that people who eat nuts regularly live longer lives.  Patients should know this, doctors should know this.  Everyone should know this!

Following a plant-based diet and living the plant-based lifestyle isn't a trend, it's science.  The impact on my life and my daughters's lives isn't coincidental, but merely a real life example of exactly what the science says.  As you might have already read on my blog, both my daughters had issues with asthma, eczema and milk protein allergies.  I had these same conditions and an allergic-inflammatory condition called Cholinergic Urticaria.  For years, I had been getting hives daily, and then all of a sudden, it got much worse and progressed to angioedema and an anaphylactis-like reaction similar to what you'd witness with a peanut allergy.  My third episode was the last draw, and it fueled my research into lifestyle changes that could benefit my daughters and me.  All the studies pointed towards a whole food plant-based diet and after a few months of scouring the medical literature, I was convinced.

Now that I was convinced, I had to figure out where to start.  I was consuming meat, dairy and eggs daily.  Being an athlete, I was relying on animal products as my main source of protein and didn't know where to look for tips, tricks and motivation.  I made the transition long before the terms plant-based or plant protein were mainstream.  I discovered many great resources on the internet and they helped me pursue my transition.  I started slow, with small objectives each month or two.  I made healthy swaps, traded refined and processed food for minimally processed alternatives, and then 18 months later, I made the final diet tweak...I finally replaced the milk in my coffee with non-dairy alternatives.  Although my complete transition took 18 months to achieve, it took only 1-2 months for the health benefits to become noticeable.  First my energy went up, then my sleep got better, then my brain fog improved, then my mood.  Shortly after, my asthma was controlled, my heart burn was gone and I haven't any hives, swelling or any sign of my Cholinergic Angioedema since.  I am now proudly medication-free, as are both my daughters.  I was quickly convinced that the plant-based diet would be beneficial, but now I am proof.  Hopefully my journey will become similar to yours and my goal is to make your transition easier with tips and tricks I've learned along the way. 

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