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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The One Book For Advice on Eating Raw

Posted on September 17th, 2005 in eating,food,meals,organic,raw diet,recipes,vegan diet,weight loss by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 1 Comment »

I often get asked what one book I would recommend for advice on eating raw and vegan.

Although there are many excellent resources, there are two I’d recommend today, you can choose the one best for your situation.

The first resource is The Garden Diet by Storm and Jinjee. Storm has been eating raw vegan for most of his life and you can see the benefits by just looking at him. His entire family is an inspiration. He and Jinjee share their research on the benefits of a raw vegan diet, their experiences along with delicious and easy to make recipes. One note, they don’t use or recommend a dehydrator (often used by many raw foodists) so their recipes can be made and enjoyed simply and quickly. I would recommend their entire collection of ebooks which includes the Garden Diet, Anti-Aging, Raising Healthy Children, The Orange Juice Diet and several other related titles (ten in all). This collection is all meat, no fluff – direct and to the point. You get to know Storm and Jinjee throughout the books as well as learn about the benefits of a raw vegan lifestyle.

Note, this collection is in online and downloadable format. I would recommend downloading and then printing your copies for reading at your convenience. I’ve found that printing the recipes, hole punching, slipping them inside plastic sheet protectors and into a 3 ring binder works best for reference when preparing meals in your kitchen. Read more about the Garden Diet.

The second resource I recommend is the The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. Natalia offers a flexible and sensible approach to adding raw food to your diet. The background on the benefits is not extensive, but offers the main one, detoxification, as the primary reason for eating raw. By eliminating the buildup of toxic and unused waste from your system, you regain the balance your body needs. She focuses on elimination, and for good reason. If your system eliminates quickly and easily, there is no ongoing buildup to clog your system and it can deliver and use the nutrition your body needs. Natalia offers different levels of the raw food diet which may be helpful to some. She offers a good set of recipes, and a special section for children and family eating. She is flexible in her approach and offers a plan that most readers can relate to and follow easily. Compared to The Garden Diet, I would describe Natalia’s book the “light” and introductory version of learning about how raw foods can benefit your health.

As much as I recommend the book, there are a few issues I don’t agree with Natalia on.

First, she recommends the use of Splenda as a sweetner. I don’t agree. Splenda (sucralose) is a man-made abomination that has been linked to dozens of health problems including enlarged kidneys and liver, migranes and reduced red blood cell count among others. Read more about the effects at Healthy Living Talk. So skip the Splenda and enjoy the rest of the book!

Second, Natalia doesn’t specifically advocate a vegan diet. I believe the benefits outweigh the occassional eating of fish, meat or dairy products and although not for everyone, I highly recommend it. Once you get used to fresh, organic and raw foods, your body no longer craves the processed foods you ate in the past and instead craves more fresh, raw and nutrient dense foods.

This book is a hardback although also available in a download version from Amazon.

Search for The Raw Food Detox Diet at eBay
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May your journey to enjoying fresh, raw foods be filled with health and happiness!

All the best for your health,

Mark

Are You Dressing In Chemicals Today?

Posted on September 13th, 2005 in clothing,organic,toxins by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on Are You Dressing In Chemicals Today?

Along with a diet rich in fresh, organically grown foods, consideration should be given to the clothes you wear as well. Not only for the fact that your skin is in constant contact with your clothing, but also for the way certain fabrics are made and their impact on our environment.