A major, comprehensive new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in January shows that the less meat is eaten, the lower risk of colon cancer. Previous studies have show similar findings, but this is the longest (20 years) and included a large group of people. In fact, related studies show your risk of colon cancer on a vegetarian diet is 50% less than if you ate red meat regularly. If you need another reason to eliminate meat from your diet, here it is!
Have you heard of the about documentary film Simply Raw or its companion, Raw For Life?
Simply Raw shows the dramatic effect that eating raw and living foods can have on our health. It highlights how by making simple healthy choices when it comes to our food that we can allow our bodies to heal.
Ok, so you want to find out more about becoming vegan. Maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you want more energy, maybe you're just curious. Here are the top 10 reasons why I believe being vegan is the best diet for your health and life:
- Instant Conversation Starter - Everyone either has an opinion or is curious about vegetarians and vegans. Over 10 million American have now accepted a vegetarian diet and 20 million more are trying it out. You'll never be stuck when striking up a conversation!
- Enjoy Delicious, Nutritious, Healthy and Pure Foods - Since becoming vegan almost 15 years ago, I've had the pleasure of tasting some of the most delicious variety of foods. Do a little research on the web and see how many vegan recipes are available. Since the vegan diet is growing in awareness, more resources (recipes, foods, information, restaurants) are becoming available making it easier to prepare awesome, delicious and healthy meals. Almost every animal based food has been altered in one way or another. From infected beef (on average, one cubic inch of inspected prime choice beef have 1,000 parasite larva in it), to hormones and other substances found in chicken and meats, to toxins in fish (recent reports from ABC's PrimeTime Live revealed over two-thirds of tested fresh fish had toxic levels of PCB's and 25% had toxic levels of mercury)... eating animal based food is dangerous to your health. Although there is genetically modified and pesticide residue produce on the market, if you buy fresh and organic, you are as close as you get to the healthiest food on earth.
- Have More Time - Preparing most plant-based dishes (also see above), especially raw, on average is faster and easier, leaving you more time to relax and enjoy your meals, family and friends. Growing up with a chef in the family, I saw my mother spending hours and hours preparing meat based dishes in her business. Since then I've watched family and friends sometimes spend days creating meals and feasts on holidays. After becoming vegan, on average I've spent no longer than 15-20 minutes preparing a meal... only longer on occasion. Even shopping is faster. The produce sections are usually next to the entrance in most grocery stores.. most of your foods are conveniently located in one area.
- Don't Worry About Cholesterol - Plant-based foods have zero cholesterol. Eat all the plant-based foods you want and you'll most likely see a drop in your cholesterol levels, never a gain.
- Don't Worry About Your Weight - On average, vegans maintain healthy weight levels. Combined with activity, exercise and stress management, if you are vegan, the probability of you having a weight problem is low. If you're currently overweight, becoming vegan is one of the healthiest and fastest ways to lose weight naturally and keep it off for life.
- Overcome Health Challenges - Your body is amazing. Given the opportunity, it can heal itself. That's how it was designed. The vegan diet gives your body more energy, more tools to rid toxins and more nutrition to enhance your immune system and fight off viruses, germs and disease more efficiently. Nagging health problems often disappear, certain aches or pains seem to subside, and the chances of overcoming serious health challenges are excellent. Medical studies and research now report that most diseases are "diseases of the fork" and in one way or another largely linked to what we eat, in particular animal foods. You'd be surprised to know that every day in America 10 people die as a direct result of food poisoning after eating chicken, and 10,000 more get sick. Chicken is the most common source of food poisoning, more than any type of meat.
- Spend Less on Health Care - If you are healthier, as most vegans are, you will spend considerably less money on doctors visits, insurance, hospitals and medication as well as having more time to enjoy life (rather than being sick). Also, when's the last time you heard about someone getting food poisoning from fruits or vegetables?
- Have More Energy - One of the most common side effects of a vegan diet is more energy. The answer to why is simple. Your body spends less time and resources digesting animal products (they are much less efficient to digest and assimilate into your system - most fruits and vegetables are easily digested) so you automatically have more energy. I remember when I used to eat meat that often after a meal, I would have an overwhelming desire to take a nap. This feeling isn't uncommon, especially after reading a recent survey that reported 43% of Americans felt they were sleep deprived enough that it affected their day-to-day lives. With over 60% of Americans overweight or obese, there seems to be some evidence of a link.
- Feel Better - It's common to hear from vegans that one of the main reasons they decided to stay with the vegan diet is because they just plain feel better. You are lighter on your feet, you're more in tune with your body, you feel the effects of unhealthy or animal-based foods faster, and you have a more relaxed and peaceful composure.
- Live Longer - Studies show that on average, vegetarians (and vegans as well) live longer and have fewer diseases.
- No Disadvantages - That's right, there are no disadvantages to eating a vegan diet that I've found! It's hard to find someone that will defend eating meat as being healthier or more advantageous for you. Only positive benefits await you when you decide to be vegan!
There you have it, my Top 10 Reasons To Be Vegan. It's clearly been one of the best decisions I've made and has changed my life significantly for the better. Feel free to contact me if I can help with any questions. I hope this has helped you in making an informed decision (or at least interesting reading )!
OK, you've decided to "go raw". Congratulations!
But now you have temptations and cravings for cooked and processed foods. Is it ok? Is it acceptable to eat mostly raw?
Sure, eating some cooked/steamed foods is ok, it just depends on your goals and how you feel. Of course, you'll get the most benefits by sticking to as close to a 100% raw diet as possible. Again, it depends on your goals.
Here's the rub. I've been researching the reasons for the cravings and observing my experiences. What I've found is that by eating cooked foods occassionally, you're actually building a desire for more cooked foods. This also applies to spices, salt, garlic, chocolate, sugar and other foods.
If you crave a pizza and eat it, you'll have a desire for more. If you have salt, you'll build a desire for it again. It's a vicious circle that won't end unless you give it up. There are other reasons you crave certain foods. Sometimes your body may be low on a particular mineral that could trigger a craving.
In my experience, just a few weeks after going 100% I lost all desire and taste for cooked foods. It was a natural result of eating raw. I also found that when I tasted something cooked, I then had a desire for it again. After a short time, that desire went away. I also quickly gained a strong and healthy desire for fresh greens, fruits and other vegetables... a desire that's lasted and only grows with time.
My personal goal has never been to label myself 100% raw vegan ... I've chosen to be 100% raw for the way I feel as well and the health benefits. For me, they've been dramatic and I feel grateful for the many benefits I've experienced.
Here's an interesting quote from the great German thinker Goethe:
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then providence moves, too.All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising one's favor all manner of
unforseen incidents and meetings and
material assistance which no man
could have dreamed would come his way.
Whatever you can do or
dream you can, begin it!
Boldness has genius, power
and magic in it."
In essence, until you commit yourself 100% to whatever you desire (in this case, better health through eating a vegan, raw diet) there will always be hesitancy, and you'll never reach your goals, whatever they may be.
Something to think about.
All the best for your health!
"The Raw Guy"
- You can't STAND the smell of any kind of Fast Food no matter how delicious it's supposed to be and you can detect who has just eaten a greasy burger by noticing the odor of Fast Food Ooze coming out of that person's skin
- ...your idea of junk food is celery dipped in tahini, agave, cinnamon and cocoa powder....or the best part of your day is when you get to turn on your juicer
- when the guys in the produce department know your name
- You know that a "9" on the sticker on the fruit/veggie (example: 94031) means the produce is organic.
- Your cravings have gone from chocolate chip cookies to a banana wrapped in romaine leafs!
- when you're packing for a trip and the 1st thing you think of is your juicer.
- when your friends use organic produce to bribe you into doing things for them
- When you're buying fruit and the cashier looks at you puzzled and then asks, "You ate all that fruit you bought yesterday?!"
- ...you start using words that are not in the English dictionary...like RAWESOME.
- you walk into a natural foods store and can barley find something to eat
- you make SEXY sounds while eating a mango....
Source: Nature's First Law Forum
Enjoy... to your best health!
One of the things I've noticed since transitioning to a raw food diet is that the hunger 'pangs' I'd had in the past... stayed in the past .
Sure, I may feel like eating something, although I no longer have intense feelings of hunger. I can often eat some fruit throughout the day and a nice salad for dinner and feel satisfied. More importantly I feel full of energy, light on my feet, relaxed and grounded.
This is how our bodies work naturally... and why eating fresh, organic and raw foods is optimal for your health... and longevity.
One of the reasons those on the SAD diet (standard american diet) get hunger pains is in part the additives in processed foods (MSG for example) and in part because the normal American stretches their stomach far beyond their normal size. Emotions and stress play a factor as well.
Go raw and feel great!
All the best for your health,
Essential fatty acids are an important part of a well balanced diet, especially if you're trying to lose weight. What is surprising is that many people don't know fat is essential to maintaining normal weight as well as many other health benefits. Our country has fallen in love with "low fat"... and in part, it's making many people fat. If your body senses a lack of fat intake, it starts storing it... and surprise, surprise, you stay fat!
Fish is routinely recommended by many as a great source of EFA's although there's one small problem.
"...nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury."
FDA / EPA What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish
"Children under age 5, nursing mothers and women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid fish with the highest mercury levels -- tile fish, swordfish, king mackerel and shark. They should also limit their fish intake to no more than 12 ounces a week of fish and shellfish that contain low levels of mercury, foods such as shrimp, salmon, pollock, canned light tuna and catfish.
Albacore tuna is higher in mercury than canned light tuna, so consumption of albacore tuna should be limited to nor more than six ounces a week, the experts write.
Eating a variety of fish may reduce the potential negative effects of environmental pollutants. Try to avoid farm-raised fish, which tend to have more fat and calories and slightly less protein than wild fish. Farm-fed fish may also contain higher levels of contaminants due to toxins in their feed, according to the experts."
Why is mercury bad? Well, for many reasons, and the report above, directly from the FDA plays down the effects on everyone except for young children, and pregnant and nursing women. Unfortunately it's a little more serious than that:
"Canadian scientists studying the toxic effects of mercury have made a major breakthrough, showing for the first time how the metal that gave rise to the expression 'mad as a hatter' actually debilitates and destroys parts of nerve cells.
The finding, announced yesterday, is likely to raise further controversy over exposure to mercury in dental fillings and food, and provide new clues to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Three scientists at the University of Calgary exposed the brain cells of snails to small amounts of mercury and found the damage caused by the silvery-grey metal was similar to that seen in brains of humans suffering from Alzheimer's.
The protein in snail brain cells is identical to that in the nerves of human and other higher animals.
One of the co-authors of the paper, Dr. Fritz Lorscheider of the university's faculty of medicine, said the research highlights the need to reduce public exposure to mercury. The experiments used mercury levels that are typically found in people who have a large number of amalgam fillings.
"What it really means is that we . . . need to be far more concerned about sources of mercury exposure,' Dr. Lorscheider said.
A paper outlining the findings is being published as the cover story in the April issue of the British journal NeuroReport.
Almost everyone in North America is exposed to trace amounts of mercury. Fillings emit mercury vapour when people chew. Mercury concentrations have been rising in many seafoods, as fish absorb metal dispersed by coal-burning power plants and mining.
Until now, scientists have known that mercury is a potent nerve poison, causing tremors, loss of memory, insomnia, depression and personality changes, but they did not understand how."
Scientists unlock mystery of mercury's harmful effects
I don't know about you, but would you knowingly eat a poison that could cause tremors, loss of memory, depression and countless other effects. Would you feed it to your children? Especially if you had options? Since you can get EFA's from many other sources, why risk your health and the health of your children? Is it worth it?
To me, another reason for the vegan diet... for your health and your life.
Bernando LaPallo just turned 109 years young and credits the raw diet for his long life. He is living proof that eating a mostly fresh, whole raw food diet as the way nature intended slows the aging process and allows you to live a long life without illness. This is uncommon in our world today, but Bernando lives unlike most, he has eaten a mainly raw vegan diet for over 100 years, 2/3's of his diet consists of fresh greens, he walks daily, drinks pure water and doesn't believe in stress. He has outlived some of his children, has never been sick and is more alive at 109 years than most others in the 60's, 70's or 80's.
One of the ways I've found to save on your grocery bill (next to shopping at your local farmers market) is to grow your own garden. As I show in this video, you don't need a lot of space to grow just about anything you enjoy. You can dig up a small garden, or use the square foot garden method to grow just about anywhere around your house. You can also use containers as I do if you're short on gardening space. All it takes is getting some compost locally (I found some at my local Whole Foods) and seeds. Here's an update on our home garden: