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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Raw Food Potlucks: Helpful or Harmful?

Posted on May 23rd, 2007 in food,potluck,raw by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate 2 Comments »

Are raw food potlucks helpful?

One of the first things I learned about when getting interested in raw foods was the raw food potlucks. They were recommended to me to learn more about the lifestyle, meet other raw foodists and learn new recipes.

After a few months I did learn those things; met others at all points of their journey to better health, learned new recipes, resources and lifestyle ideas.

Over the years, I made an important distinction. Long term raw foodists don’t normally eat the foods brought to a raw food potluck.

Why?

I’ve determined that raw food potlucks are most beneficial to those new to the lifestyle, those looking to make a change for their health, making new friends or those curious and wanting to learn more.

Long term raw foodists can be helpful to those that are new and provide guidance, although do not normally eat much at the potlucks. Since many who attend are new, they create dishes that are high in fat, lack proper food combining principles or are gourmet style recipes (all of course are great once in a while). For those experienced in raw foods, this type of meal is affectionately called “combo mambo” since the food combining is not the best and there are all sorts of foods mixed together when you try a little of this and that.

I noticed after about a year that eating at potlucks was no longer pleasurable. It often brought indigestion, gas and uncomfortable feelings. You see, as you progress in eating raw foods, you start to prefer simpler meals and normally combine foods naturally. Eating a combination of different foods that are normally high in fat (nuts, pates, seeds, avocados, coconut oil, etc) and normally more than just a bite can easily upset a digestive system that has been already cleaned and prefers simpler foods.

In fact, as I now bring simpler dishes, interestingly enough, they are not as popular as the more ‘gourmet’ meals I once brought. Most seem to enjoy the fancier foods that resemble cooked food dishes – just with raw ingredients.

So are potlucks helpful?

Absolutely!

First, they are a great support network for those interested in learning more about better health, raw foods and recipes. Second, as you learn and become more experienced, you can be helpful to others just starting out and looking for answers. Many long term 100% raw fooders I notice don’t eat much at the potlucks and spend most of the time sharing with others. I’ve learned to do the same, and often eat prior to attending and bring a simpler meal for others to enjoy.

You also make new friends and can build long term relationships with like-minded individuals in your area… which can be very helpful when making changes like this in your life.

You can learn more about the potlucks in your area by visiting: http://www.livingnutrition.com/potlucks.html
http://www.rawfoodnetwork.com/potlucks.html
http://www.rawfoodinfo.com/directories/dir_rawpotlucks.html

To your best health!

Mark

The Raw Lifestyle In Pictures

Posted on May 19th, 2007 in photos,raw,raw diet by Vegan Raw Diet Advocate Comments Off on The Raw Lifestyle In Pictures

Here are some pictures of living a raw lifestyle… enjoy!

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