Healthier Eating and Crushing Your Goals: MADE SIMPLE


When I try to motivate patients on how to add more plant-based meals to their routine, I can simply refer back to why and how I managed to transition my own family towards a predominantly whole food plant-based diet.



 




Although everyone‘s journey is different, there are definitely factors that will be similar from one person to the other. When I think of how I could motivate others to consider plant-based diets or simply trending towards more plants on their plates, I go right back to what fueled my own personal journey. This traces right back to my battle with cholinergic angioedema, a debilitating condition that caused my face to swell, my throat to close and my skin to hive. It crept up slowly, showing its ugly face a few times a year, then progressed to daily symptoms that led to my first hospitalization. When my first born got diagnosed with asthma and eczema and got her first hives, my « why » was staring me right in the face. I transitioned for my health and for the health of my kids, scared that they would suffer the same faith as me. When my patients are looking for change, it’s important that I help them find their own "why". It’s even more important to help them connect with that « why ».






It‘s easy for many people to respond « for health » when I ask them why they want to improve their lifestyle or nutrition. As their family doctor, I assume they just tell me what they think I want to hear. But I’m really looking for a deeper connection to their « why » than just blindly stating health. As I dig deeper and deeper, I ask them: « why do you really want to get healthy? ». Typically this isn’t deep enough yet and so they’ll respond with something factual that they’ve heard me say like « I don’t want to die of heart disease ». At this point, some get confused, not knowing where I’m going with my questions. Often, I’ll start using a technique called projection, where I have the patient project themselves in their future to see in what ways having heart disease could affect them down the road. This is usually where the magic happens. We’re digging deep enough to really get some emotional answers and deep reflections. Some might respond that they want to stay healthy to meet their grandchildren, while some want to walk their kids down the aisle. One specific patient had told me that he and his wife had been saving up their whole adult lives to tour Canada in the RV they planned on purchasing at retirement. Yet, here I was announcing that according to my Framingham risk score (a event-risk calculator that predicts your chances of experiencing heart disease or stroke within 10 years), they had 23% risk of experiencing a major cardiac event. By putting an emotional twist on this statistic, most had audible gasps. Let me explain. Instead of telling that last patient that they had a 23% risk of cardiovascular disease, I was really telling them they had a 23% risk of not being able to tour Canada in their RV. Now, I would‘ve never gotten that information without digging deeper. The patient’s own personal « why » magically went from a generic « I want to be healthy » to an emotional « me and my wife plan on retiring, purchasing an RV and touring Canada ». Now this is not just any « why », but a « why » they’re really connected to on a much more emotional level. I use this approach with many of my patients when chatting about lifestyle change. Most answers about their motivation to change start out with very simple answers. After a few layers of extra questions, we can often discover the real reasons behind their change. I encourage each and everyone of you to find the « why » that you‘re most connected with. One that could even make you emotional when you think about it for too long. That’s the real « why » and this way, I don‘t need to convince or to motivate anyone to change, you pretty convince yourself. My goal is simply to help with empowerment, so you can convince and motivate yourself. Follow-ups for tips, tricks and positive reinforcement are always appreciated by most and using my experience helps my patients avoid making the same mistakes I made.


If you're really connected to your "why", there's no obstacle or amount of friction that will keep you from achieving your goals. What is your real motivation to change?




Tips, Tricks and Veganizing Meals!


Looking back at my journey, I made lots of mistakes, but being so connected emotionally to my « why » helped me learn and adapt the next time around. I learned a lot about myself and the things that held me back or propelled me forward are probably similar to those factors that influence other people's success rates in transitioning. In fact, I once searched for a recipe book that would include quick, easy and convenient recipes that could help me along on my transition. When I had trouble finding one that suited my needs, I actually went and created one! In order to help make other people’s journeys easier, I wanted to create a plant-based cookbook that factored in the things that helped me along the way. These included: veganizing meals we already ate, cooking for convenience, batch friendly recipes and sauces that make everything taste good! I also wanted to find a simple chart that helps visualise how animal products could be substituted for whole plant ingredients.





Veganizing Meals


This includes recipes like tofu scramble since we ate lots of scrambled eggs, or bean burgers since we love to barbecue in the summer. Simple swaps and substitutions, like using plant-based milks instead of cow’s milk are super easy and realistic for most people. Breakfast pancakes are super easy to veganize. One of the first steps I'd recommend for those looking to increase plant-based meals is to simply take the foods and recipes you already love and consume regularly, and make a plant-based version of them. Those pancakes, that chili, that salad, that stir fry and that desert can all be veganized!






Convenience Cooking


This means meals that are quick and easy to whip up. We, like most people, live a very busy lifestyle and so it was very important to get familiar with a few recipes that took minutes to prepare, yet were very nutritious. Overnight oats, guilt free popcorn or energy bites made from dates and nut butters are still some of our favorite go-to meals and snacks. If it’s easy and creates little friction with our busy lifestyle, it has a lot more chances of being successfully implemented over the long term. Recipes with few, or simple ingredients are must-haves. In no time, you'll get familiar with these and won't even need a measuring cup anymore!






Batch Friendly Recipes


When we cook, we cook! Batch friendly meals are a must for busy parents and we have delicious recipes for chickpea curries, Chana Masala and vegetable soups that we can make in huge batches ready for rainy days. This has simplified our life and we use them regularly as quick microwaveable meals for our kids on schooldays. When we get home late from work, we can rest easy that we always have access to super quick, healthy and nutritious meals that we can reheat on the stovetop, or pop in the microwave!





Tasty Sauces


Throw some soaked cashews, nutritional yeast and a few other ingredients in a blender and bam, you have healthy and great tasting sauces. We drizzle these sauces on everything from pasta, to rice, to salads. They’re super easy, made from nutritious whole foods, they contain healthy fats and can be frozen for later use. Even our kids love them and they can be used as motivation for any fussy eater pushing away their veggies! We use the same base ingredients to create a cheese sauce, a barbecue sauce, pesto sauce, Caesar dressing and Alfredo sauce!





My recipe book is 100% free to download on my website plantbaseddrjules.com. Check it out if you think it could help you personally on your plant-based journey! These are the suggestions I tend to make to friends, family members and patients looking to increase the amount of whole plants on their plate. When people are truly and emotionally connected to their « why », no amount of friction will keep them from changing. If you're still in the process of searching for your own « why », then easy to prepare, quick, tasty and convenient plant-based recipes can give you a good head start!


Check out my website plantbaseddrjules.com and look for the “How To” section in the menu. There, you’ll find tips and tricks that helped me on my journey towards a plant-predominant diet. Everything there is completely free, no catches! If you're looking for quick, easy and healthy plant-based recipes, check out plantbaseddrjules.com and download my free recipe eBook!


Look for me on the socials, @plantbased_dr_jules on Instagram and go like my Facebook Page, Plant-based Dr. Jules. If you’re looking for some fitness motivation and are curious to see what a plant-based athlete can accomplish, follow me, @maritimeninja, on my fitness account on Instagram or check out my fitness group on Facebook, called Maritime Ninja Warrior. Me and my wife Melissa have recently qualified and competed in the Las Vegas Ninja Warrior World Championships, an obstacle racing course that was held in July 2022, and you can follow our fitness journey on IG! If you’d like to see what a plant-based athlete looks like, then check out our youtube channel here!


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Plant-Based Dr. Jules 💚🌱

plantbaseddrjules.com

@plantbased_dr_jules

@maritimeninja






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