Top 10 Reasons To Be Vegan

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 :) )!

Peace.

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Fruit For Sight

Posted on August 30th, 2006 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Fruit For Sight

We know how delicious and good fruit is for you. Here's a study showing another benefit... seeing.

A recent study published in the June 2004 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

In this study, which involved over 70,000 women and over 40,000 men, researchers evaluated the effect of consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARM, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss.

Food intake information was collected periodically for up to 18 years for women and 12 years for men. While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARM, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease.

To your best health,

All good things!

Mark

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Vegan Diet Reverses Diabetes Symptoms

Posted on August 24th, 2006 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Vegan Diet Reverses Diabetes Symptoms
Vegan diet reverses diabetes symptoms, study finds

by Yahoo News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People who ate a low-fat vegan diet, cutting out all meat and dairy, lowered their blood sugar more and lost more weight than people on a standard American Diabetes Association diet, researchers said on Thursday.

They lowered their cholesterol more and ended up with better kidney function, according to the report published in Diabetes Care, a journal published by the American Diabetes Association.

Participants said the vegan diet was easier to follow than most because they did not measure portions or count calories. Three of the vegan dieters dropped out of the study, compared to eight on the standard diet.

"I hope this study will rekindle interest in using diet changes first, rather than prescription drugs," Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, which helped conduct the study, told a news conference.

An estimated 18 million Americans have type-2 diabetes, which results from a combination of genetics and poor eating and exercise habits. They run a high risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and limb loss.

Barnard's team and colleagues at George Washington University, the University of Toronto and the University of North Carolina tested 99 people with type-2 diabetes, assigning them randomly to either a low-fat, low-sugar vegan diet or the standard American Diabetes Association diet.

After 22 weeks on the diet, 43 percent of those on the vegan diet and 26 percent of those on the standard diet were either able to stop taking some of their drugs such as insulin or glucose-control medications, or lowered the doses.

The vegan dieters lost 14 pounds (6.5 kg) on average while the diabetes association dieters lost 6.8 pounds (3.1 kg).

An important level of glucose control called a1c fell by 1.23 points in the vegan group and by 0.38 in the group on the standard diet.

DROPPING DRUGS

A1c gives a measure of how well-controlled blood sugar has been over the preceding three months.

In the dieters who did not change whatever cholesterol drugs they were on during the study, LDL or "bad" cholesterol fell by 21 percent in the vegan group and 10 percent in the standard diet group.

The vegan diet removed all animal products, including meat, fish and dairy. It was also low in added fat and in sugar.

The American Diabetes Association diet is more tailored, taking into account the patient's weight and cholesterol. Most patients on this diet cut calories significantly, and were told to eat sugary and starchy foods in moderation.

All 99 participants met weekly with advisers, who advised them on recipes, gave them tips for sticking to their respective diets, and offered encouragement.

"We have got a combination here that works successfully," said Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto, who worked on the study. "The message that we so often get with diet is that it is no good because nobody follows it for very long."

Dr. Joshua Cohen, George Washington University associate professor of medicine, said everyone diagnosed with diabetes is told to start eating more carefully.

"That may be among the hardest things that any of us can do," Cohen told the news conference.

The vegan diet "is at least as good, if not better than traditional approaches," Cohen said.

Vance Warren, a 36-year-old retired police officer living in Washington, said he lowered his a1c from 10.4, considered uncontrolled diabetes, to 5.1, considered a healthy level, over 18 months. "My life is much better being 74 pounds (34 kg) lighter," Warren told the news conference.

(Mark's Note: You'll notice that the vegan diet had almost double the success over the American Diabetes Association Diet recommendations. Also a new movie about how changing your diet to overcome diabetes is coming out... check it out at http://www.rawfor30days.com ... very exciting for your health!)

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Raw Rules To Live By?

Posted on August 2nd, 2006 in Uncategorized by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Raw Rules To Live By?

Ran across these rules from Joel at RawLifeLine.com originally written by GoDaddy President Bob Parsons and found them applicable not only to life in general, but to a raw food and healthy lifestyle as well. Change some of the words and apply them to your raw adventure and enjoy and be well!

16 Rules To Live By

1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone. I believe that not much happens of any significance when we're in our comfort zone. I hear people say, "But I'm concerned about security." My response to that is simple: "Security is for cadavers."

2. Never give up. Almost nothing works the first time it's attempted. Just because what you're doing does not seem to be working, doesn't mean it won't work. It just means that it might not work the way you're doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn't have an opportunity.

3. When you're ready to quit, you're closer than you think. There's an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: "The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed."

4. With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be. Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of "undefined consequences." My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, "Well, Robert, if it doesn't work, they can't eat you."

5. Focus on what you want to have happen. Remember that old saying, "As you think, so shall you be."

6. Take things a day at a time. No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don't look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.

7. Always be moving forward. Never stop investing. Never stop improving. Never stop doing something new. The moment you stop improving your organization, it starts to die. Make it your goal to be better each and every day, in some small way. Remember the Japanese concept of Kaizen. Small daily improvements eventually result in huge advantages.

8. Be quick to decide. Remember what General George S. Patton said: "A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

9. Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

10. Anything that is not managed will deteriorate. If you want to uncover problems you don't know about, take a few moments and look closely at the areas you haven't examined for a while. I guarantee you problems will be there.

11. Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you're doing. When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.

12. Never let anybody push you around. In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you're doing as anyone else, provided that what you're doing is legal.

13. Never expect life to be fair. Life isn't fair. You make your own breaks. You'll be doing good if the only meaning fair has to you, is something that you pay when you get on a bus (i.e., fare).

14. Solve your own problems. You'll find that by coming up with your own solutions, you'll develop a competitive edge. Masura Ibuka, the co-founder of SONY, said it best: "You never succeed in technology, business, or anything by following the others." There's also an old Asian saying that I remind myself of frequently. It goes like this: "A wise man keeps his own counsel."

15. Don't take yourself too seriously. Lighten up. Often, at least half of what we accomplish is due to luck. None of us are in control as much as we like to think we are.

16. There's always a reason to smile. Find it. After all, you're really lucky just to be alive. Life is short. More and more, I agree with my little brother. He always reminds me: "We're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time."

(The above rules for living is included with the permission of Bob Parsons (http://www.bobparsons.com) and is Copyright © 2004-2006 by Bob Parsons. All rights reserved.)

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