Updated: Jun 28, 2022
I despise misinformation, yet I have accepted that it’s likely to never disappear. Nowadays, you can google anything and find a result that aligns with your beliefs. If you want milk to be healthy, then you can find tons of literature saying it is. If you hate the dairy industry, then you can also easily find research that supports your views. But who’s right and who’s wrong? Who’s telling the truth and who’s lying? What about the haters that claim that plant-based diets are inadequate and lead to nutritional deficiencies? They point at B12, and plant protein to prove their point. Many decades ago, the lack of research, and access to what existed, made debating more difficult, but those days are gone and we now have the strongest evidence available, including systematic reviews and meta-analysis, cohorts of hundreds of thousands followed for decades, and randomized controlled trials that make it very easy to debunk any myths that plant-based deniers could throw at us. The evidence is crystal clear, whether you want to hear it or not. Well planned plant-predominant diets can help you live longer, live better, prevent and even reverse many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and auto-immune disease. I can’t forget to mention that the diet that’s evidence based to prevent and reverse chronic disease is also the dietary pattern associated with the smallest carbon footprint of all dietary patterns. It also reduces the animal cruelty that is seen in large scale animal agriculture, a profit driven business that has a total disregard for the ethical treatment of animals. Our desire to eat meat and to mass produce it has been responsible for some of the greatest infectious pandemics in recorded history, including the swine flu (H1N1), avian influenza, SARS, HIV and even possibly COVID-19.
Decades ago, all we had was impressive anecdotes of people who made life-altering disease reversals by changing their diets. Now we have the best available science that backs up these innumerable anecdotes. I should know, I am one of those anecdotes. I reversed my asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis, urticaria, gastro-esophageal reflux disease and well as my worst medical condition of all: cholinergic angioedema. This condition was a doozie, leaving my whole body covered in hives and my face so swollen that my eyeglasses didn’t fit my face anymore. Three of those swelling episodes were particularly violent, leaving me gasping for air and bent over in pain. The last one scared the shit out of me and put me in a hospital, hooked to an IV and left to be cared for by ER doctors who once were my colleagues and interns who once were my students. I knew that I had to change, so I did. I had hit rock bottom. Then once my medical conditions started vanishing one by one, the magic started to happen. In 2014, no longer limited by my medical conditions, I took my athletic training to the next level, threw my asthma puffers in the garbage, and pushed my performance through the roof. In July 2022, I’ll be proudly representing my province in the UNAA World Ninja Championships, a gruelling obstacle based race, as a proud forty year old plant-based athlete. I would’ve never predicted this journey in a millions years. I owe it all to evidence based nutrition.