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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Save on Groceries, Grow Your Own Garden

Posted on March 7th, 2010 in Gardening,greens,local produce,raw vegan diet,video by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 6 Comments »

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:

Is Whole Foods a Health Food Store?

Posted on June 10th, 2008 in food,local produce,organic by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 4 Comments »

Being a regular customer at Whole Foods for some time, I've had a chance to notice what they sell and who normally shops there.

After a recent visit I've come to the conclusion that contrary to popular belief, Whole Foods IS NOT a health food store in my opinion.

Why?

Eat Seasonally, Buy Locally

Posted on February 27th, 2008 in eating,farmers market,food,local produce,raw vegan diet by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 2 Comments »

One of the wonderful aspects of our change of seasons is the variety of foods we can choose from.

And although in our consumer driven, commercial world where foods of all types are available most everywhere and at most times of the year, there is a great benefit in eating seasonally as well as locally.

Support Your Local Co-Op’s and Markets!

Posted on March 7th, 2007 in co-op,local produce,organic by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Support Your Local Co-Op’s and Markets!

Recently, the only co-op in the Phoenix area, Gentle Strength, and a leader in locally grown, organic produce, went out of business.

Why?

Bottom line... not enough shoppers.

Sure there were probably a few other reasons, but the main one was lack of business.

It's funny, though, everyone I talk to in the area is disappointed and saddened by the closing (as I was). However, I believe there was too much talk and not enough action.

If we want to have better, fresher, organic and locally grown choices, we have to support those organizations. Support them with our shopping dollars and with our help in letting others know about the organizations.

Personally, I'll miss the co-op and the friends I've made there. They were the -only- central place to get fresh, locally grown greens and other produce. All the produce sold was organic and as much as possible was sourced locally. The only choices now are the national chains including Whole Foods and Wild Oats (now owned by Whole Foods), a few smaller chains and some traditional grocery chains that now carry some organic produce. I'm happy that they're all carrying more organic foods, although little, if any, is locally grown. Whole Foods advertises 'local' although a quick walk through shows just a few locally grown out of over 200 produce items.

Alternative sources include farmers markets and visiting farms directly. I've found a few farms and frequent farmers markets on weekends and can find some of the same items. Although not as convenient, it's a solution for now.

Find the local co-ops in your area and support them. It's a fact, traditional companies will continue to market non-organic products and source all over the world unless we 'vote' with our dollars. Using as much locally grown organic produce not only supports your community and the environment, the food is also more nutritious and benefits your health.

We can make a difference.. just do it!

To your best health!

Mark

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