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    Nutrition: Go Plant Based

    Posted by: Gillian Day BHSc. Comp Med, Adv Dip Nat, AFMCP Grad

    Nutrition: Go Plant Based

    The first step to better health may be as simple as changing what we eat and drink! Eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts will prevent many diseases and even assist others to disappear. Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, some types of diabetes, and many cancers can be prevented through basic lifestyle changes. A vegan or vegetarian diet can supply all the necessary dietary ingredients to achieve and maintain great health. A plant-based diet ensures that we get the most antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals with the least amount of calories. Science backs up this long-term plant-based diet philosophy, including the renowned research study completed by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD titled, Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic through Plant-Based Nutrition, which shows the benefits of a plant-based diet. More and more studies have confirmed that a plant based, predominantly vegetarian diet is the single biggest entity we can do to improve our health and vitality and overall improve our lifespan. So, whether you decide you want to go plant based for your health, for the environment or for the welfare of animals – before you jump head first into this positively life changing adventure, here are our GR8 tips to help you go plant based, but don’t know where to start….

    Educate yourself

    There is a plethora of information available on a variety of different information platforms. Books such as, Rip Esselstyn’s The Engine 2 Diet or Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals…….. or through films like Vegucated, Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, or Cowspiracy so you can make the most informed decisions for yourself and your loved ones.

    Ditch the Dairy

    From experience, this seems to be 1 of the hardest points for people to give up. Where will you get your calcium? Won’t you miss cheese?   Whilst dairy products, particularly cheese has a rich source of calcium, the form of the calcium is in is not easily recognised in the body and is highly acidic. When the body is acidic it leaches calcium from, you guessed it – our bones, thereby having the completely opposite effect in the body. Plant based foods high in calcium include; beans and legumes, soy and tofu and even broccoli are food choices rich in calcium, in a form the body loves.

    Love your Legumes

    With so many high fibre and high protein beans and legumes to choose from – e.g. lentils, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans to name a few; these power packed foods are nutrient dense and help to make the transition to plant based tasty and easier.

    Say yes to Soy

    1 of the most commonly discussed myths of nutrition is that soy is bad for you. Whilst  frozen soy nuggets and burgers are often heavily processed (and some still contain trans-or hydrogenated fats), consuming fermented soy products can be incredibly beneficial for health. Consider miso paste, which also has probiotic qualities. Add it to make soup, or enjoy it as an afternoon snack.

    Don’t Give Up

    If you fall off the wagon whilst you transition to plant based – then so be it! Remember this is NOT a sprint nor is it a diet. You are aiming to make changes that can be incorporated for a lifetime, not for just a season. If, and when you do fall off the wagon; make sure you make the best choices available to you – choosing grass fed over grain fed cattle, indulging in the freshest seafood platter available full of fresh oysters rich in minerals, especially zinc and omega-3 and heart healthy fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring. It can take time to change past habits and develop new ones. Be patient with yourself as you make the shift to plant based.

    Prep your protein

    If you were a meat and 2 veg kind of a person prior to going plant based; then you’re definitely going to want to spend some time preparing your new protein sources. Read more here…..

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